Some of my interest is a matter of their being one of the best-run ballclubs out there. Properly noting Dan Fox’s worthwhile cautions about Mike Scioscia’s aggressiveness, the Angels have talent, and they know how to use it. I also find them a bit fascinating because they just don’t seem to have captured the Fourth Estate’s fancy in their latest quixotic attempt to find the “anti-Moneyball” team. Maybe it’s a matter of Scioscia just being too insightful and so obviously a manager who does his homework–he had some very interesting things to say to Jeff Angus in Management by Baseball, which came out a year ago today.
There’s another thing, of course, which is that they’re the most frightening of rivals if you happen to be an A’s fan. Maybe it’s a matter of Kendrick envy, but this still seems like an under-touted farm system–just in general Goldstein, not by you–one that captures talent from the college and high school levels, and one that also has a willingness to take some risks on the international market. Yes, Kendry Morales isn’t turning out too well, but I’m more impressed by the club’s willingness to spend the $3 million to find out if there was something there, and Clay Davenport’s initial research into the quality of talent in the Cuban leagues suggested that perhaps there was.
Then, on top of all that, I learn that Angels catching prospect Hank Conger is running for president, and I’ll be if he doesn’t seem like the best candidate. The guy plays baseball really well too, well enough to rank 88th in our top 100 prospects list. As an A’s fan, I’m left looking at Kurt Suzuki and unfairly holding him up for comparison, and while I really like Suzuki… heck, what can I say. I’ve got a bad case of Angel envy. Can we beat these guys again? I don’t envy Billy Beane, or Jon Daniels for that matter. And Bill Bavasi? Fuhgeddaboudit.