Monday, October 31, 2005

Emerging From My Post-Season of Discontent

As everyone knows, baseball season is over. I could not muster the strength to comment on the Angels exodus at the hands of the newly crowned World Champion White Sox. The blown calls, the offensive slumber of the Halos (or if you prefer, the dominant pitching of the Sox). Without going into anymore detail, suffice it to say the Angels finished right where they should have: second-place in the AL and likely, as the second-best team in the Majors.

But now comes the fun part, the giddy anticipation of fans as they play pseudo-GM and prognosticate on what they think should be done to push their team over the hump. For some teams like Kansas City it usually begins with something like "first you blow-up the current team..." Fortunately for Halo fans they are tantalizingly close. What would have happened had Bartolo Colon and Dallas McPherson both stayed healthy and been able to play to their awesome potential through October? What if the Steve Finley acquisition had not been a colossal failure? These little set-backs are part-and-parcel with the game of baseball and it is the deep teams, that can draw on a prospect or grizzled veteran to fill the shoes of an injured teammate, that makes all the difference in the world. It is also why keeping Troy Glaus would have been an awfully shrewd move. So now we look ahead because one thing is certain, there will be new names on the roster next spring and Angel fans will likely bid adieu to others.

Jarrod Washburn, Paul Byrd, Bengie Molina and Tim Salmon are all free-agents. The Angels have stated a desire to re-sign Molina but with two high-level pitching prospects they are reluctant to overspend (no matter if Molina is well worth it or not) or commit themselves to anything longer than a three year deal. It would be prudent for the Angels to ink Bengie to a three-year contract (or two year with an option if they can manage it). The leverage on their side has been Molina's lack of power and his frequent visits to the disabled list. Plus there is a comfort-level for Molina to play with his brother and within the friendly confines of Angel Stadium. As for the Angels, if they opt to go elsewhere for their primary catching duties they could simply promote their other Molina, Jose, and/or hope that either Jeff Mathis or Mike Napoli can make a run for the job in Spring Training. Had Molina been clubbing 25 - 30 HR's a year with limited time on the DL he could command a hefty wage in 2006 but this might be a case where both Molina and the Angels enter into a contract-of-convenience to their mutual benefit. Molina can prove himself durable and likely increase his offensive abilities (which continue to steadily improve) while the Angels can bridge the time between the Molina era and the next-in-line-to-catch era.

4 Comments:

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Blogger Uncle Al said...

Just a quick note to say how much I've enjoyed this website during the past 11 months or so. As I've noticed that your posts over the past couple or three months have gotten fewer and much farther in between, it has occurred to me that one day I might click on the link only to find that Halo Herald is no more. So, better to say my thanks now rather than after it's too late.

At various times over that past several years, I've set up 3 or 4 websites of my own (completely different subjects), and each has run its course in due time. It takes more dedication to keep a site going for more than a few months---more dedication than I ever had. It's not fun knowing that there are 25,000 lurkers who visit your site for every one who bothers to comment or otherwise contribute. Then there are jerks like the first commenter today who waste everyone's time with their spam. And, of course the monthly ISP bill.

I hope I'm wrong, and that this site will continue on, if only on an occasional basis. Keep up the good work!

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