MLB Thoughts of the Day – August 23, 2013

The three teams who disappointed the most in 2013:

San Francisco Giants – The defending champion Giants overcame the loss of their leading hitter, Melky Cabrera, to a 50-game PED suspension on August 1, to win the 2012 World Series. This offseason, they basically stayed pat, a strategy that seldom works, and for SF, it didn’t. As August, 2013 winds down, the Giants are in the NL West cellar, behind even the Padres, and are 15 games under .500 .

Los Angeles Angels – After the 2011 season, the Angels spent a fortune on the likes of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, off to a slow start in 2012, and finished third in the AL west, but with a respectable 89-73 record. This past offseason, they spent another bundle,



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landing the likes of Josh Hamilton, a couple of injured relief pitchers who were never able to contribute in Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson, and a couple of average to bad starters, namely Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton (combined 2013 record of 8-19), that have been a royal step back from Dan Haren and Ervin Santana (combined 2012 record of 21-26). In late August, 2013, the Angels are ahead of only baseball’s worse team, the Houston Astros, in the AL West, and sit 18-1/2 games out of first with a 55-71 record.

Toronto Blue Jays – The 2012 Blue Jays finished strong, had a top caliber manager, and a pretty good farm system. Management decided to mortgage their future by trading a slew of top prospects for a bunch of aging veterans, some of who were coming off a single excellent season (hint, R.A. Dickey). What was to happen the season was not hard to predict. Dickey had been 41-50 over the first nine years of his career, had one sparkling season, and the Blue Jays traded a team for him and signed him to a contract extension that would triple his salary. His record in 2013 is 9-12. John Farrell was a smart, solid, and decisive manager, who Toronto TRADED to Boston, where he took a cellar-dwelling, turmoil-ridden 69-93 team to the American League’s best record in 2013. The Jays, now led by the second coming of former and now present-day manager John Gibbons, are in the AL East’s cellar, at 57-71.

Speaking of the Angels, I’ve had a lot to say the past couple of season about Joe Blanton, and after a brief hiatus, perhaps it’s time to revisit his 2013 season. Blanton started 20 games this season, compiling a 2-13 record with a 5.66 ERA. Incredibly, in seven relief appearances since his removal from the starting rotation, he has been worse, going 0-1 while giving up 20 base hits and 15 earned runs over 13-1/3 innings pitched in seven appearance. That’s a 10.13 ERA out of the bullpen. Enough is enough.

Finally, for now, it was a grave disappointment to see Ryan Braun’s mia culpa in the form of a written statement released by the team. Reports were that he would speak to fans, press, and teammates in a live address, where honesty and his personality would show truthfulness and remorse. This didn’t cut it.

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