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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pickoff Moves

Three Finalists For Dodger Manager Spot

The Press Telegram reports that the Dodgers' managerial search has been narrowed to three candidates, with Orel Hirsheiser and Terry Collins as the two known quantities, and an unknown (but likely Alan Trammell) as the third. Whoever takes over, the announcement won't be made until next week. Some coaches are expected to be retained, though pitching coach Jim Colborn and bench coach Jim Lett are already gone; hitting coach Tim Wallach is not expected to return.

Las Vegas Pitching Coach McDowell Expected To Join Mariners

Roger McDowell of the Las Vegas 51's is one of two finalists to join the Mariners as a pitching coach, according to the Kitap Sun. The other finalist is the former pitching coach of the Yankees, Mel Stottlemyre.

Jermaine Dye Wins Series MVP

Talk about unlikely, Jermaine Dye won the World Series MVP, getting hits in every game, and driving in runs in both the first game, and crucially, in the last. It was his first injury-free season in five years. And to think, only a year ago he was a high-priced bust with the A's.

Some Schmuck Advances To BBWAA President

Peter Schmuck, that is, so now when you see the Cooperstown votes next year, you'll know who's at the head of that heap.

Cubs-Flavored Sour Grapes

I suppose Jim Litke is right; the chances of the Chisox repeating are about zero, especially considering the number of rounds in the playoffs, not to mention the fact that A.J. Pierzynski hasn't hit 18 home runs in his freaking career outside of 2005, not to mention their Pythagorean standings, etc., etc., etc. Will it light a fire under the Cubs to improve? Sure. Will they? Ask the Dodgers...

Failures In Scouting, One In A Series: Albert Pujols

How would you like to be one of the many scouts who failed to recognize Albert Pujols' talent?
"For a while, I just thought I was hexed," said Dan Jennings, who is now the vice president of player personnel for the Marlins. "I'd come in the room when he first got in the big leagues and it would be Pujols hitting a double, Pujols driving in a run. I'd say, 'God, I get the message.' You can make one bad decision and it will bite you forever."
The Padres, Devil Rays, Marlins, Reds, Brewers, Red Sox, Royals, and Rockies -- all failed to pick up on the earthshattering talent that is Albert Pujols. Just amazing. (Pujols ended up signing as the 402nd pick overall, in the 13th round of the 1999 draft for $60,000.) Will the Angels regret letting Bobby Jenks and Derrick Turnbow go? Sure. But at least neither are Pujols.

Wow, that is how you justify a bad move by the Angels front office? Pujols was young, untested and passed over by every organization durng the draft. No one knew (or could have known) that he would pan out to be as good as he is. Jenks has a great fastball and injury concerns aside, it makes so much more sense to take a gamble on him than to keep someone like Josh Paul. Even if Jenks gets injured tomorrow and never pitches again in the majors, the trade is already a horrible one, and even though he is no where nearly as valuable as Pujols, the Angels front office, in this instance, are bigger morons than all the teams you listed.
Hey, Zak, try reading more than post on the subject. I've been solidly against letting Jenks go from the very beginning. I never said that these other clubs' failures to sign Pujols justified any move by the Angels, only that Stoneman's gaffes with Jenks and Turnbow pale in comparison to those scouts who failed -- multiple times, apparently -- to recognize Pujols' talent.
Pujols is kinda fascinating, because he likely wasn't a "5 Tool" kind of guy out of high school. Not fast. Not an exceptional fielder. Probably didn't have a conventional "baseball body." And so on. You could say all of Pujols talent was a product of his hard work in the minor leagues. That being said, I would be kinda fascinated with a baseball program that developed linebacker-ish physiques while teaching modern swing mechanics.

Jenks is different, because well, CW says that you give a guy who throws 100+ a few zillion chances before you cut him. But I am surprised Guillen made him their closer. His 4-seamer, hard as it is, cuts a little too much back over the plate. His iffy conditioning may make him problematic to last an entire season. And so on. But develop his pitches some more and he'd be their Percival. We could use a young Percival on our team. :(
From the BA article:

Albert Pujols was known as Jose Pujols then. He was playing out of position at Maple Woods Community College, and he was playing out of shape. Like many talented players with roots in the Dominican Republic, Pujols was suspected of being older than he claimed.

Nor did he meet the run-and-throw standards scouts have been trained to seek in amateur prospects. Darnell's May 14, 1999, scouting report, filed less than three weeks before the draft, described Pujols as "heavy legged," and observed that his throws "often tail and sink as fingers are not on top of the ball."

Yet with a bat in his hands, Albert Pujols was precocious and powerful. If you were paying attention, he held it.

"Guys that can hit are going to play," said Brad Kullman, director of major league operations for the Reds. "Our reports were that he had power and he was undisciplined at the plate--a free swinger. That's one of his strengths now--he's so disciplined."

Pujols was exactly what the Moneyball guys would drool over: a nobody prospect who the other scouts missed because of his body. But he had the desire and work ethic, and look at him now.

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