George Kaplan

  • joined Mar 12, 2008
  • last login Mar 20, 2014
  • posts 89
  • comments 4877

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  • MLB Los Angeles Angels
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Why I love Torii: Bourjos tells about his arrival to the Angel clubhouse


From the story: [Bourjos] says he was ready for just about anything. He had played a few games in left field in Salt Lake, the word being that that was where the mothership had a need. He wasn't ready for what happened next. "I walked into Mike Scioscia's office," Bourjos says. "He asked me if I was nervous. I said no. He said I should be. But he was kidding. He said not to be. Then he said I'd be starting in center field." Bourjos was stunned. Center field belonged to Hunter. "I walked out," Bourjos says, "and Torii walked up to me, told me he was moving over, that it was fine with him, they had let him make the call, and that if I needed anything, he was there. He treated me like he had known me forever." Hunter could have pouted. He could have refused to move. He could have hazed or frozen out the rookie. Instead he embraced and he mentored; I have no doubt that Bourjos' high level of play in CF is due in no small part to his comfort level in joining the team. He was made to feel like he belonged from the start.

Abreu comes alive?


I won't go all Chris Berman and make references to Abreu showing the Angels the way. But it is interesting that, after a Rip Van Winkle season, he suddenly is driving the ball with authority. His slash line for the last 13 games (since the beginning of the Boston series) is .327/.411/.653, with 3 HR, 11 RBI and 7 BB. Maybe being at the top of the order really suits him? Maybe this is enough to jumpstart the offense for the remainder of the season, with Bourjos hitting 9th but being on base for Abreu in his 2nd, 3rd and 4th at bats, creating a little havoc on the basepaths and giving Abreu more fastballs to see.

And THIS is why he's The Ninja


Check out the summary of Morosi's post from earlier in the day, and note that the Angels weren't one of the 5 teams he identified as being "interested" in Haren for trade talks--this was Saturday. Going back a few more days is interesting, with assertions that the Dbacks were insisting the Yankees provide them with a package as good or better than what they offered the Mariners for Cliff Lee (which certainly makes sense), and a quote from Derrick Hall that the Dbacks would need an "A Plus" package of players to justify the trade. Really, Derrick? That was an A Plus package you just received?

Yankee players no-shows at Bob Sheppard funeral


The man worked until age 98 announcing the players, but when it was time for him to be laid to rest, not even team captain Jeter showed to pay his respects. After all, Bob Sheppard was the voice who announced Jeter (and fellow "core four" Pettitte, Posada and Rivera) in Yankee Stadium for his entire Yankee career since his 1995 debut. The PR people for the top players are in full damage-control mode, explaining that the players didn't know when the funeral was, etc. However, given the enormous financial resources of the top players--Jeter and Rodriguez went from their hotel suites to the ASG in a $400K Maybach, instead of on the bus like the rest of the players--it isn't unreasonable to imagine a thoughtful player would have made a few phone calls and found out the time and place on his own. Private jets can be chartered; indeed, Jeter took one to Tampa to visit with his family on the off-day following the ASG. The front office knew precisely where and when the ceremony was because GM Brian Cashman gave the eulogy. This is shameful, coming from a team which bleats constantly about its "tradition". George Steinbrenner dies and the players simply become Hessians, not even able to summon the time in a day off to attend the funeral of someone who was integral to the Yankee team for over five decades.

Why Steve Phillips is the worst GM in history


Even worse than Jim Hendry. Next season, Bobby Bonilla goes back on the Mets payroll at age 47 for $1.2M a year until 2035. This is because Phillips bought out Bonilla's 2000 $6M salary at 8% annually deferred, which will be nearly $30M by next year. No more crying about Mo Vaughn, GMJ or Speier after this story.


Not in SoCal? Then how do you follow the Angels?

As I sit here watching the game on Fox Sports Detroit (still enjoy Mario Impemba), it prompted me to ask how those of us who no longer live in Southern California manage to follow the team. I had...

Extraordinarily lame analysis of the Angels on the interwebs


Jesus, this linked "report" is so awful, I truly hope nobody here wrote it. Mike Lowell is the answer for the Angels? Really? A guy so broken down that a 4th place team struggling to reach .500 might have to eat his contract and release him? But the wise counsel is to move Mathis or Napoli for him? Or Miguel Tejada? How many PED users has Arte knowingly pursued? And what price would the Orioles be expecting in return? Same with Scott Downs: At what cost? Napoli for the remainder of Downs' last season before free agency? Seriously? We really need at least minimal standards for intelligence to prevent blog postings like the one linked above from ever seeing the light of day.


Show of hands: Who here is still upset at signing Rodney?

Seems to me Reagins had a premonition that either Shields would not be in form when he returned (meaning Rodney would be an important set-up piece) or that Fuentes would not be an effective closer...

Boston Herald columnist lists Angels as favorites for Bay AND Halladay over Sox


Granted, it is just one guy's opinion, but an interesting idea that the Jays could find Weaver, Saunders or Santana as a more desirable option than Bucholz, based upon the big-league history of each. Likewise, he correctly intuits that Arte would increase the payroll for the right player, even though he has a baseline payroll figure to which he would otherwise adhere. Thus, stretching for Bay and/or Halladay isn't beyond the realm of imagination, even knowing the normal Angel payroll constraints.


Should the Angels make a play for Josh Johnson?

The cost in prospects would be steep--almost certainly Reckling and/or Walden, plus two or three other players. Kendrick might have to be included to allow the Marlins the ability to then trade...


Is Roy Halladay in the Angels' future?

Yeah, I know...I'm sick of the speculation myself. But it was interesting to read in the National Post of Toronto that the new GM of the Jays is planning on moving Halladay, after conversations...


I hope Darren Oliver retires

No flames, hear me out. I was listening to MLB radio on XM this evening, and Oliver was interviewed for his perspective on the World Series games. He was clearly on a cellphone, and admitted he was...


Fay Vincent on Umpiring

In an op-ed in the NY Times, former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent (the last one who wasn't a lap-dog for the owners) writes an intelligent analysis of what's wrong with the umpiring in baseball...


Angels dominate BA's list of top AZL prospects 3 of the top 5, 5 of the top 20, with Mike Trout at the top of the list. Story goes on to say Tyler...


It's official: Michael Young out at least two weeks

Ouch...I don't care if you're for or against the Rangers, this is tough to see. The Dallas Morning News just reported that Young will miss "at least" two weeks with a strained left hamstring. That...


Re-sign Vlad?

Not too long ago, there were plenty of people here who were kicking dirt on Guerrero's grave and measuring the DH slot for new drapes. But the fact is now that Vlad is back, in some ways better...


In appreciation of Arte

Some owners are meddlesome. Some are absentee. Arte is neither: He is an active, involved owner who has taken the time to hire excellent advisors, and who knows when to get out of their way and let...


Snap Answer Needed--Trade for Garland?

I know, I know, there are plenty of people who don't think fondly of Jon Garland (the Human Rain Delay). Reports have the Diamondbacks placing him on waivers. His record at first glance isn't that...


Is 16 year old Bryce Harper next year's #1 draft pick?

This SI story is long but worth the read. If even half of what is written about this kid is true, he will set baseball on its ear. According to coaches and scouts, Harper runs very well, can throw...


Show of hands: Who watched Prime Ticket for Vin Scully?

I cheerfully admit to it. I had the choice of the Prime Ticket or FSW/KCOP feeds, and I took Prime Ticket to listen to Vin Scully. No matter how favorably one thinks of Physioc and Hudler, they...


Is Percy finished? AP reports he may retire (again)

The AP reports that Troy Percival was given permission by the Rays to go home to California and consider his future after going on the DL once again, this time for a bothersome shoulder. Though...


Who misses Frankie? I don't...

Don't get me wrong...this isn't about hatin'. The simple reality is that Frankie in a Mets uni is about the same as Frankie in an Angels uni, which is to say, exasperatingly uneven. He has four...


A modest proposal: Trade Figgins to White Sox

The White Sox desperately need a CF and some speed at the top of the order. In the middle of the order, it is all power and cement legs (Thome, Dye, Konerko). Josh Fields is doing well at 3B, but...


Go see the Quakes Sunday 4/19/09

Reason: Trevor Reckling is slated to pitch at the Epicenter. Reckling has had a great start to his season, with a K:BB of 13:1 over 12 IP in two starts. Opponents are hitting .143 thus far against...



Sorry, but this guy's potential availability intrigues me too much. It has been written in various areas in the past few weeks that some of the lesser teams will be seeking to dump their assets in...


BIG thanks to Sothball

This is probably the wrong place for this note--feel free to nuke away if so, Rev--but I give huge thanks for Sothball for the contributions and insight to Spring Training 2009. Since moving...


Where Would John Lackey Go?

If the Angels fail to sign pitcher John Lackey, which teams might sign him?


Shades of last season: Santana to open 2009 on DL

This from the online LA Times: Ervin Santana to open year on disabled list 10:37 AM, March 8, 2009 TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ervin Santana's elbow injury is worse than originally feared, and...


E. Santana ranked higher than J. Santana in this metric

From Rich Lederer in his 1/23/09 Baseball Analysts column: Using a metric of strikeouts per 100 pitches (which would combine strikeouts with pitch efficiency), the #7 pitcher (min 100 IP) in 2008...

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