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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hey, Dodgers, You Can Have Scioscia Back: A's 6, Angels 5

I have written almost nothing about the Angels for a long time, and felt little urge to do so for quite a while. Much of that is because of the overall mediocrity of the season, but it seems to me now that things have really, truly spiraled out of control. Losing 3-1 at home to the A's on Friday with Jered Weaver on the mound — a game that bitterly, appropriately, ended with Vernon Wells making the last out — was in many ways the apotheosis of this miserable, frustrating season.

At least, it was until today, when Mike Scioscia watched as his closer steadily gave up the lead and the win. It was obvious Jordan Walden was operating on a thread, and while I don't have much in the way of confidence in any other relievers in the 2011 Angels bullpen, Scioscia owed it to his paying audience to at least make the effort to try and seem like he planned on playing for something — say, the alleged AL Wild Card that is still in play. This of course included a pathetic yet somehow suitably appropriate error by Walden, who threw a routine and would-be inning-ending double play ball into center field.

Scioscia's fingerprints were all over the Vernon Wells trade; no ex-catcher with as much influence on the organization as he has could possibly have allowed Mike Napoli to be shipped out without his stamp of approval. That Napoli is stinging the ball down in Texas is an even bitterer blow, because it highlights how thoroughly incompetent the organization is from the general manager on down at correctly identifying and deploying playing talent. I have been reluctant in general to throw the field manager under the bus, but given Scioscia's inane reliance on a provably false offensive strategy, and his considerable power within the organization to make catastrophic personnel decisions, it's time the Angels started cutting some heads. There has to be some accountability, and it needs to start with the people making the bad decisions.

Fire Tony Reagins, and I might consider re-upping my season tickets. If, as seems likely, the organization makes it through September without any structural changes, I'll be happy to watch from the sidelines in 2012.


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