The Bisheff Blog
Analyzing and commenting on what's hot in sports

Questions for Scioscia

The Angels’ season officially expired about 10 days ago, but I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.

Observing some of the crazy things happening with this team at the moment leaves me no choice but to present the following questions to Manager Mike Scisocia:

1. Maicer Izturis batting cleanup? Really? If you’ve followed the Angels for any length of time, you know about Scioscia’s man crush on Izturis. So yes, I understand that priority one when making out the lineup card is finding somewhere for Maicer to play. But this is getting ridiculous. Izturis is about as much of a cleanup hitter as I am a NASA astronaut. Yes, I know Torii Hunter is serving his four-game suspension and that leaves a pizza-sized hole in the middle of the lineup. But come on, Izturis is hitting .247 with 3 homers and a .380 slugging percentage. Scouts and executives from around the league have to be reading the Angels’ box score today and giggling. You could have Mike Napoli and his 18 homers batting fourth, or Juan Rivera, who at least can still hit some even if he can’t field. Anybody but Izturis. It’s embarrassing for a team that is still pretending it’s a contender to bat this little ping hitter fourth. Seriously, it just is.

2. Why is Scot Shields still on the roster? His ERA now is 6.05, and he’s walked almost as many as he has struck out. Every time he walks out there, it’s an adventure. I know, I know, Mike, you’re a loyal guy. But loyalty isn’t a good excuse when somebody is hurting the team. Shields was the best set-up guy in baseball for 10 years. But he’s just a shadow of that reliever now. For those of us who got to know him, it’s painful to watch. Just put him out of his misery and shut him down, at least until next spring. It’s not only the best thing for him, it’s the best thing for the team.

3. What exactly was behind the Albert Callaspo acquisition? I just don’t get it. Not only do you have him for the rest of the season, but it appears he’s your third baseman for a couple more years, based on his contract. He doesn’t hit for power, he doesn’t drive in many runs and so far, on this team, his defense has been erratic. So what’s to like? At his best, he’s just another ping hitter in a lineup full of them. Like I said, I don’t get it.

4. Is it possible the Torii Hunter to right field move was a bit premature? Peter Bourjos is a speedy little guy who certainly can cover great gobs of ground in center field. But shouldn’t you have waited until he proved he could hit before moving Torii and his gold glove over? Couldn’t you have started Bourjos in left and waited to see how he adapted? He was hitting .312 in Triple-A at the time of his call up, but if you followed his season, you know his average was in the .270s or .280s until he had one hot month in July. So maybe it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he’s struggling with an average under .150 at the moment. At his best, this is yet another singles hitter. How many did that make in Sunday’s lineup? Let’s see, there was Erick Aybar, Callaspo, Izturis, Reggie Willits, Jeff Mathis, Howie Kendrick and Bourjos. And people wonder why this team has trouble generating big innings.

5. So tell me, Mike, how are you holding up physically and mentally at this point?. Wait, wait. I think I already know the answer to that one.

– STEVE BISHEFF

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5 Responses to “Questions for Scioscia”

  1. What this lineup tells me is that we have clearly given up on 2010. What keeps Scioscia from admitting it openly, justifying creativity on the field, and allowing Arty to reward fan loyalty by again lowering the price of beer by 50 cents?

  2. Thanks again, my friend, for laying it on the line to the Angels’ manager. I am still in shock that he moved Torii Hunter to right field. Makes absolutely no sense. And I think we can lay Callaspo’s acquisition to Tony Reagins. I cringe everytime Rodriguez comes in to pitch. And I am a great fan of Scot Shields and it is painful to watch him lately. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  3. The current Angel roster has the manager’s fingerprints all over it. Someone is responsible for assembling this bunch. Who? Well, that old rascal Reagins probably doesn’t blow his nose without consulting either the manager of Moreno. If acquiring Callaspo is the best Reagins could do, he should resign or somebody should admit that he was hired because he works cheap. Moving Kendrick to first because room had to be made for Izturis is crazy. Would any team trade for Izturis? Light hitting infielders are a dime a dozen. Let’s see? What team had Callaspo and got rid of him, Oh, yeah, the ROYALS. And Aybar is an untouchable? If the manger is not such a good judge of talent, well, at least he can handle pitchers. Oh, I forgot.

  4. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Scioscia’s doing the best he can with the personnel he has. Hunter made the move to RF on his own. He suggested the idea and I think it’s a good one. Bourjos has to feel more comfortable playing the position he’s always played.

    Who said Callaspo is the long term solution at 3B? He’s a stop gap and will serve as either trade bait or infield depth after the season.

    As for Izturis in the clean up spot. This is what really makes your crazy? The lineup is full of guys who haven’t delivered with RISP. I don’t think it makes much difference who is in that spot.

    Don’t get me wrong… I’m as disgusted as the next guy – but piling on Scioscia makes even less sense than this post. Just saing.

  5. It was one game hitting cleanup. Naploi and Rivera have been bad with men on base. He was trying to get more guys on base for the 5-8 spots in order. Not the worst idea.

    As for Shields. This is Shields last year in MLB. If you knew him like you claim to you might know that. So to say he should be shut down til spring just shows the level of attention you have been paying to this team. Sosh is loyal. Shields wants to pitch. Not hard to figure out.

    Callaspo is a valuable utility player. The kind of guy Sosh likes. We gave up two arms who will never help us at the MLB level for one bat that will. Not hard to figure out. Hes very good at 3B. Sorry it wasnt Adam Dunn we aquired. Now we are flexible on Wood and can rest Howie more often. This is Sosh’s thinking.

    This team is top 5 in AL in home runs. We need more guys on base before the home runs if anything. Bourjous playing in center is a good move. Again if you were around team and not just a columnist you might know the level of pain Torii plays in everyday. This move was about making our outfield D better and slowly transitioning Torii to RF, which is where he’ll obviously finish his contract with us.


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