Angels 2011 More Golden Than 2010, Free Agency and a Mélange of Other Stuff

A lot has gone on in baseball the last couple of days. I’d love to explain it all, but there is no time. Let me sum up.

Erick Aybar. Gold Glove winner. Congratulations! I have to say, that was a little unexpected. Pleasantly so, don’t get me wrong. He’s got the glove. He’s got the arm. He’s got that oh my God! ability to turn two when he shouldn’t even have been able to turn one with where he had to go to get the ball. He just also has that oh my God! ability to completely forget what to do with the ball a couple of games a season. That was the source of my surprise, not any lack of ability. I will say this though, because I know there are a lot of naysayers out there griping about Aybar winning the Gold Glove. Who votes on the award? Managers and coaches. Managers and coaches who apparently routinely drool over Aybar because folks keep offering to trade us for him. And I think that had a lot do with the voting. Not statistics, traditional, saber or otherwise, but what the coaches and managers saw with their own eyes.

Erick Aybar does his thing during a between innings infield warm-up with Howie Kedrick standing by. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

And can I just tell you how happy I was to see not one, not two but four Angels make it to the top three for Gold Glove consideration? And with real shots a winning, too, unlike last season. I think that under the old format, Peter Bourjos might have won or come in a close 4th. And I think that Dan Haren should have won, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, this is one more reminder that while 2011 was not everything we hoped it would be, it was still forward progress over 2010.

As far as the Dodgers three Gold Glove and one Silver Slugger Awards go, I have to say, I was almost as excited to hear that as I was to hear about Aybar. As bad as some of us think our teams need good news? The Dodgers needed it more. A lot more. And Frank McCourt finally realizing that he needed to sell the Dodgers? Yaaaaaaaaaaay!! But, “I believe it is in the best interests of our organization, our loyal fans and the community at large.”? Really Frank? Wow. What a brilliant conclusion. However did you come to it? And what took you so f’n long you selfish asshat! Perhaps he finally noticed all of trick-or-treaters in his neighborhood this season clad in traditional Los Angeles “Frank McCourt as an evil, delusional, lifeforce sucking demon” costumes?

Matt Kemp takes a mighty swing. Dodgers vs. Angels, June 26, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Not unexpected at all, however? No Angels were nominated for the Sliver Slugger Award. I know. You are all shocked, right? It’s okay. Maybe Dipoto can help us fix that for next season…or, you know, Mark Trumbo. I hope, I hope, I hope. And there’s always the possibility Kendrys Morales will be back…and in playing shape…and pick up where he left off with his bat…soon enough in the season to make a difference…and…and…hey! It could totally happen. This is baseball. Much like a team coming from 10 games behind in the Wild Card Race to win the World Series, anything is possible.

Look, Fernando Rodney's pretty relaxed about the whole free agency thing too. Angels vs. White Sox, August 24, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

Then there’s the free agent free for all about to take off. Talk about stress…for other fans that is. As far as Angels free agents go, forget stressing over it. Joel Pineiro? Scott Kazmir? Fernando Rodney? Please, that right there is a recipe for stress relief. *clink, clink, clink* I would like to propose a toast to our soon to be departed free agent signing failures. Gentlemen, may you richly enjoy your new homes, far, far from Anaheim. And, while I wish you all well, if you suddenly have a Mike Napoli like transformation, especially one that helps knock us out of the post season that I then have to hear about. All. October. Long. Please understand that I’m going to take it poorly. Slainte!

And then there’s the Cubs! But this is long enough already. I will leave that for folks far more up on all things National League than I to discuss.


  1. Red State Blue State

    I will drink to your toast! CHEERS! The Halos might be able to make up for the Napoli regret by signing CJ Wilson (I hear Anaheim is a spot he could end up)… of course, once CJ signs he will automatically turn into AJ Burnett (if my calculations are correct) so buyer beware 😉

    • This is a very simple game...

      Yeah, I’m not drinking the C.J. Koolaid either Jeff. Don’t get me wrong, he’s tough, tough, tough whenever we face him but the way he faded again late in the season makes me wonder if his arm is really handling the transition from bullpen to starter. I could be wrong, but I anticipate the fade continuing and starting earlier in the season as he progresses, possibly with other issues as well.

      — Kristen

  2. Rants, Raves, etc.

    Scott Kazmir. I thought he had been released back in mid-season? What’s he been up to? For someone who seemed so promising once upon a time, it’s amazing how far he’s fallen off the radar.

    • This is a very simple game...

      They did release him Sue, but the Angels still had to pay his contract which is up now. I guess free agency wasn’t the way to put it, although, technically I guess he is. Don’t know that anyone would pick him up though. He’s been out of the news since the Angels let him go so I don’t know if he’s still trying to find his stuff again or if he retired. It was all very sad. He seems like a good guy. But when he can’t pitch anymore what are you going to do?

      — Kristen

  3. strictlycubsbaseball

    I get aggravated almost every year when the gold gloves are announced. However, this year I thought was a better than years past. I think Aybar was the right choice. As for the Dodgers, Ethier surprised me. I thought CarGo would be a great choice. Anyway, the HOT STOVE season is upon us now. I cannot wait to see what unfolds for my Cubbies.


    • This is a very simple game...

      Thanks Ron! I do think there is a certain amount of senority and almost academy awards-esque, well, we’re giving it to him partially for last season, stuff that goes on with the Gold Gloves. It’s frustrating but it’s human nature. Hot Stove should be interesting this season. Lots of big names on the move and your Cubs are on everyone’s lips as being in the running for several of them,

      — Kristen

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