Looking for a few good men
It’s getting somewhat serious as the MLB off-season reaches its crescendo with a number of teams looking cement their rosters through free agent acquisitions. Nowhere has this been more self-evident than with the upheaval taking place concerning the Los Angeles Angels , with the front office seeking to rid itself of a number of high-priced unproductive players on their roster. Manager, Mike Sciocsia , after what was a tremendously disappointing season , must have been in agreement with the decisions made by GM, Jerry Dipoto , and owner Arte Moreno to make these changes .
Once a stalwart on the team’s pitching rotation , Ervin Santana was traded to the Kansas City Royals , within the AL Central. And given the issues of that organization over the past few seasons , it would be hard to see how much of an improvement Santana would be able to provide to a team that has labored with so many problems beyond their pitching within the AL . Dan Haren, once a prominent starter with the Angels , was due $15.5 million for the upcoming season , but the decision made by the organization to buyout his contract for a mere $3.5 million, allowing Haren to become an unrestricted free agent. In a turnaround the Angels , then made the decision to trade the pitcher to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Carlos Marmol .
How the Los Angeles Angels seeks to rebuild their roster during this off-season , should give us a clear indication as to the direction they seek to take. Mike Sciocsia’s players were never truly in contention for the AL West throughout much of the season , having fallen by the wayside. Ultimately, that situation would prove fortuitous for the Oakland Athletics, as they prevailed in supplanting the Texas Rangers as the AL West champions in 2012. Far be it for me to suggest, but the Rangers having led the division for one hundred and seventy-eight days of one hundred and eighty-seven days of baseball played over the 162 game schedule. It was simply exacerbating to see the Rangers wilt under pressure as they fell to the A’s in their final game of the season, thereby allowing Bob Melvin and his players to celebrate their first divisional title in several years. That situation, left Rangers’ team President , Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels looking for answers , as to the reasons why the team failed so miserably in 2012. One of the biggest decisions the front office will have to make, concerns the future of outfielder Josh Hamilton. It should come as no surprise that the player will undoubtedly become one of the biggest and most prized marquee free agents during the off-season, should the team choose not to re-sign Hamilton. A long-term deal is being sought by the player , but it appears doubtful that the Texas Rangers would seek to offer the player an eight or ten-year deal , as is being sought. All evidence points to the fact , that anything short of decade long $260 million deal would fall short of what Hamilton seeks. That type of contract would place the player in the upper echelons of being one of the highest-paid players within the game of baseball. It remains to be seen whether or not the Rangers will seek to meet the demands of the player’s agent , whatever those terms might be.
St Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach, Mark McGwire , has informed the organization that he will be leaving the team, vacating his role, to take up a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers.We all knew that the Dodgers’ intent was to spend at will , in order to be competitive , and this was borne out in their commitment to trade for the Adrian Gonzalez , Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett , and thereby committing themselves to $265 million owed to the three players. Dodgers’ managing partner, Mark Walter, Head of Baseball Operations, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson and GM Ned Colletti are keenly aware as to what the fans’ expectations were this past season and this upcoming season. Don Mattingly , the team’s manager knows , he has a roster built to win now, but having fallen way short in 2012, questions now abound as to what happens next? Trying to figure out as to what McGwire can offer a team , that once they hit their stride are as talented offensively , as any other team within baseball. Personally, I am not so sure what the former slugger can now seek to pursue from this all, other than to suggest that this is simply a progression for Mark McGwire , as he not only seeks redemption for his past indiscretions , but also some semblance of respectability, as he seeks to move up the managerial ladder.
After a disastrous season in 2012, the Boston Red Sox rid themselves of Bobby Valentine , and hired former pitching coach, John Farrell , at the time , manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. To listen to the explanation of GM Ben Cherington explain the reasons behind Valentine’s firing , was akin to listening to a child claim why he failed to listen to a parent ,when told not to disobey a direct order. In truth, much of the blame for this malaise was not solely because of Valentine’s incompetence , but also, the sheer stupidity shown by Red Sox team President , Larry Lucchino , in overriding the general manager’s decision to hire a manager who was simply “ full of air” , rather than managerial acumen.
One of the big decisions by the organization by the Red Sox was to re-sign DH, David Ortiz , to a two-year extension that will pay Ortiz $26 million , with an additional $ 4 million in incentives , making the deal worth $30 million. The slugger , proved to everyone during 2012 , why it is , that he is one of the franchise’s most productive players over the course of the team’s history, putting up stellar numbers , albeit that he missed several games to due to a litany of injury woes. As to whether or not the Red Sox can see Ortiz season highs in 2013 , wherein we will also more productive numbers from Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, along with several of the other seasoned veterans on this roster. There is no denying that beyond a lack productivity in producing runs, it has been the team’s pitching that has been woeful over the past two seasons. Whether or not, Ben Cherington will seek additional pitching strength, by pursuing a top-flight free agent pitcher to complement a rotation led by Jon Lester and Clay Bucholtz , remains to be seen. However, there is the belief that the franchise’s farm system and top prospects will bear a treasure trove of top-notch pitching talent.
We may not have liked what we witnessed during the 2012 World Series , but there is no denying that Pablo Sandoval and his teammates raided and laid the cupboard bare when they marched through the postseason like a panzer movement of sheer precision , showing grittiness and determination. What might be even more astounding is the very fact that the Detroit Tigers, as the AL pennant winners were so listless , on their way to being swept 4-0 in such a lopsided series. Sandoval was named the Series’ MVP , allowing Bruce Bochy , his managerial staff to come away with the franchise’s second World Series’ crown in four seasons. Giants’ owner Bill Neukom and GM Brian Sabean , I believe will simply be prudent and make the decisions the feel best , in bolstering the team’s roster as they have done so often in previous seasons. There is a reason why the San Francisco Giants were dominant this season , and much of that came by of this team’s determination and their “never say die attitude”. Unfortunately, that was not seen the vast majority of teams within baseball over the course of this season.
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any do have concerning the points raised within this article ? And do you believe that the San Francisco Giants can be dominant once again in 2013 ? Or will be there another team either within the AL or NL,that can overcome the current World Series’ champions?
Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal.
(1) Ervin Santana (54) of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after he was replaced by a relied pitcher against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America …
(2) File-This Feb. 29, 2012 file photo shows pitcher Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to trade Haren to the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol . The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday Nov. 2, 2012, because the deal had not been completed yet. AP Photo/Morry Gash ….
(3) Mark McGwire (right) is seen here in the dugout with manager Mike Matheny , far right during a game played at Busch Stadium , St Louis, Missouri during the postseason . McGwire has revealed that he will be leaving his position as the Cardinals’ hitting instructor to take a similar role with the Los Angeles Dodgers . One would assume that the former player , sees this as the next step , in what he hopes will lead to managerial career within the game . AP Photo/ Mark Thompson …
(4) FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2012, file photo, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, right, talks with, from left, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and first base coach Alex Ochoa in the dugout before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. Valentine told NBC’s Bob Costas in an interview Tuesday, Oct. 23, that Ortiz spent more time than expected on the disabled list then returned to it after playing one game when the team made a major trade that signaled it would not compete for a postseason berth. AP Photo/Nick Wass …..
(5) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, presents Carl Crawford with his new Dodgers jersey, during a news conference at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. Crawford was acquired by the Dodgers in August from the Boston Red Sox in a trade, along with players Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….
Hot chic pic of the day Laeann Moss .