Monday, April 27, 2009

Wood Rot

This entry is written by Eric Denton and was originally posted on the blog at, the best Los Angeles of Angels of Anaheim site on the 'net. A big thanks to Angelswin senior writer Eric Denton and executive editor Chuck Richtar for allowing it to be posted here. Eric does a good job of pointing out the Angels mishandling of top prospect Brandon Wood.

By Eric Denton - Senior Writer -

Brandon Wood was recalled for what seems to be the 100th time in his brief major league career. Despite his hot hitting at AAA Salt Lake and Erick Aybar's sub-par play thus far he is on the bench yet again for tonight's game against Seattle.

Scioscia believes Aybar has All Star potential, but frankly it seems the only ones who see it is Mike, his coaching staff and maybe Tony Reagins.

Scioscia keeps saying Wood's "time will come" to the local media. He reiterated this stance this afternoon on "The Drive with Jeff Biggs"

"The offense needs some things not just power, on-base percentage and working counts." he said.

"Right now he isn't the end all, be all answer to our offensive problems." he said.

"We want to see some lineup consistency with Izturis and Aybar" he said.

How does anyone know if he isn't the answer to both on base and power issues?
How is there line up consistency if Aybar and Izturis end up playing 80 games a piece?

Brandon has sat since Wednesday and wont play until Sunday. Is anyone honestly expecting Wood to come off the bench cold and go 3-4 with a home run or is it more likely that he'll take an 0-4?

I don't want to say he's being set up for failure but Wood is not being groomed to be a utility player. If the number one hitting prospect in the organization isn't going to play everyday when he is on the big league roster then it's best just to keep him in the minors. Sean Rodriguez is much better suited for a bench role and while he's shown potential in the minors, he certainly hasn't captured the fans excitement to see him in the lineup everyday.

It would be refreshing if Scioscia would just say what he believes, that Brandon Wood is not a major league short-stop on a team with Erick Aybar and Macier Izturis on the roster. He's capable as a fill in but long term he's a third baseman and when he says "his time will come" he means only if Chone Figgins moves to the outfield, second-base or leaves via free agency in 2010.

Unless Mike changes his view on the defensive aspect of the game (like he has regarding starting Mike Napoli over Jeff Mathis) fans should get used to Wood riding the pine for nine or move to Salt Lake City if they want to see him play regularly, because it's not going to happen in Anaheim anytime soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MLB Blackout Need to Be Changed

I was watching the Royals game this afternoon when the announcer mentioned that Giants pitcher Randy Johnson had a no-hitter through 5 innings. I immediately switched to the Giants game only to discover the game was blacked out in Utah. The reason for the blackout is the Giants were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Diamondbacks have territorial rights to broadcast its games in Utah. MLB Extra Innings cannot broadcast a game in the market where a team has territorial rights. The frustrating part of it all is, even though the Diamondbacks have territorial rights to broadcast its games in Utah, Arizona games are not available in the Salt Lake City market. The FSN station that is available on Directv in Salt Lake broadcasts the Colorado Rockies games but the Diamondbacks games are unavailable. Looking at the MLB blackout map below, it becomes clear that Major League Baseball needs to rethink its blackout policy.

click on the map for larger image

I'm lucky living in Utah because the only team I cannot see play is the Diamondbacks. In Iowa, the Cardinals, Royals, Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, and Twins are not available to MLB Extra Innings subscribers. If one of the local stations does not carry the game, the fans of these teams living in Iowa are unable to see their favorite team play. In Las Vegas, the Angels, Dodgers, Giants, A's Diamondbacks, and Padres games are all blacked out.

There is no way these types of blackouts are in the best interest of baseball. Baseball needs to make the broadcasts of its games more available. The solution is simple, if a station in a local market is not carrying the broadcast the game should be available on MLB Extra Innings. Bud Selig has made an effort to grow baseball's popularity and making more games available for fans to watch is a way to do this.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Horrible Turn of Events

The best part of being a Bees fan is watching players that have played for Salt Lake perform well in the Major Leagues. Last night, I cheered on every pitch thrown by former Salt Lake Bees pitcher Nick Adenhart as he shut out the Oakland A's for six innings. Watching his confidence grow with each inning left me with no doubt that he was taking a giant step toward realizing his outstanding potential. Sadly, last night's outing against Oakland was Nick Adenhart's final appearance. Hours after the game he was tragically killed in a auto accident.

I got to know Nick Adenhart a little bit while he was pitching for the Bees. He was a highly rated prospect and he struggled in the second half of the 2008 season. But he never lost his determination or dedication. He was a great kid and you couldn't help but root for him. A young life was tragically lost last night. My prayers go out to his family and teammates.