Kaz, Rookie Pitchers and Moneyball: an Angels Off Day Potpourri

 

Scott Kazmir – The Final Chapter?

A final decision regarding Kaz came even sooner than I thought. On Tuesday, the date of my last post, Angels GM Tony Reagins and former Angels GM Bill Stoneman attended a Salt Lake City Bees game to assess Scott Kazmir’s performance and it was terrible. Six earned runs on five hits, three walks and one hit batsman in 1.2 innings terrible. Wednesday morning, the Angels put Kaz on waivers with the intention of unconditionally releasing him if he remains unclaimed. While I’m sad that a young pitcher who had a lot of early success lost all speed and control and seemingly can’t regain it, I think this was a good decision. The Angels have been patient, but it was time to release him. More than time.

However, I had not anticipated the rumors that the Mets are considering claiming Kaz or signing him after his release. I suppose it makes sense, if it is indeed anything more than a rumor. Kaz was the Mets draft pick. Maybe they think they can get him back in the proper headspace to pitch like he used to again? If they can, more power to them and best wishes to all involved, but I don’t see any improvement happening for a very long time if ever.

 

Tyler Chatwood

Mike Scioscia is taking advantage of this off day to adjust the starting rotation slightly, flipping Dan Haren and Tyler Chatwood’s starts in order to push Chatwood back and give him a little more rest. The Angels are starting to monitor Chatwood’s innings count and do not want to see it climb much over 170 innings for the season. Future off days are likely to be used in a similar fashion. I think the Angels should use the innings count as a guideline and monitor how Chatwood himself seems to be performing and how his arm is wearing through those innings more than a setting a strict numerical guideline. There is ample anecdotal evidence both for and against such handling of rookie pitchers and I really think that in the end the personality, physical makeup and style of pitching of the individual are what determines if such an innings limit is beneficial or detrimental in the long run.

 

Moneyball Trailer!

The Moneyball trailer is up, and included below. It passed the goosebumps test for both my husband and me, and after seeing it I am jonesing for the movie release even more than before. Goosebumps test you ask? I tend to get goosebumps whenever I see something I love done beautifully, wonderfully right, such a movie adaptation of a book I adored that absolutely nails the book. Thus trailers must pass the goosebumps test in order to ensure my complete anticipation. The trailer for the Shawshank Redemption where I could tell exactly what it was they had adapted from second one when the warden slaps the bible on the table? The scene from the Watchmen trailer where Jon Osterman becomes Dr. Manhattan? The first glimpse of the Ents in the Two Towers trailer? Or, more recently, pretty much every split second flash in the American remake of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I was planning on passing on as unnecessary until I saw the trailer)? Killer goosebump generators all.

So, Moneyball the movie. Is it going to contain factual inaccuracies, oversimplifications and overly romanticized details? Yes. Will some scenes frustrate the historically knowledgeable baseball fan? More than likely. Will it leave some non-baseball fans with the mistaken impression that the Oakland A’s have gone on to sweep the division time and time again? Actually, I have some hopes on this front. Aaron Sorkin did work the modern consequences of Charlie Wilson’s War into the end of the movie in a poignant way, so maybe not. But, alas, it is possible.

However, will Moneyball include Aaron Sorkin’s typically gorgeous dialog waxing poetic about one of my favorite subjects? Absolutely. And this, more than anything else, is the reason I am dying to see this movie. The baseball equivalent of the ‘Two Cathedrals’ soliloquy, the “May we have it back please” debate sarcasm, or Gust Avrakotes’ rant? I’m getting chills just thinking about it. Old baseball scouts and other staff discussing how they first fell in love with the game (the ‘how did I get here’ speech being a Sorkin staple)? Oh. Yes. Please. …And the by now de rigueur Gilbert and Sullivan reference? I have absolutely no idea how Sorkin is going to work one into a baseball movie, but somehow I am sure he will manage. (Yes, Seth. They’re all about duty. ;) )

6 Comments

The Mets picking up Kazmir would make sense. When he on with the Rays it seems like at least once a broadcast an announcer would mention how the Mets traded him for Victor Zambrano. I never thought he’d lose it as fast as he did and he’s not even 30 yet. Hard to believe.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

Bluejaysnest – Yeah, even looking at the Kaz of ’10 and ’11, that was a pretty terrible trade. I am shocked Kaz lost it so fast. When Reagins actually did the deal, I thought the trade for Kaz was a great one. Now, not so much. If the Mets think they can re-hab him back to effectiveness, good for Kaz and the Mets and thanks for shaving a little bit off what we owe him becauuse I don’t think we can do anything with him.

– Kristen

After reading your review on the trailer (can’t watch it at work), I am looking forward to the movie. Sad about Kaz. You are coming to Dodger Stadium this weekend right? Forgot what day. I can’t go Sunday as we leave Saturday night to Minnesota.

Emma – Especially with your ties to SABR, it think you’ll like it! Yes, I will be at the Saturday game, sitting right above Vin Scully’s head, is the way my friend described the tickets. Is there some place I could come and meet you? We’re definitley getting there early for batting practice and such.

– Kristen

Kristen,
I really like what you had to say about the film Moneyball. I agree in your reasoning that the film will no doubt contain factual inaccuracies. As an A’s fan I know all too well that Moneyball and the Billy Beane way has not won a world series, and is currently suffering through it’s 4th loosing season. So I hope the film is an accurate portrayal of what really happened not a glamorization of how Beane forever changed the game. In the local media they say Beane is not going to be happy with the portrayal of himself but he really does throw stuff around, and he never watches the games. There is a lot of truth to Pitt’s portrayal except for the fact that he looks nothing like Beane.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but whenever I see Brad Pitt I cannot get past him. I never see the character’s he plays I just see Brad Pitt on screen. Also the rest of the casting like Jonah Hill is laughable. The only good casting choices are in the players especially in Scott Hatterberg. When I was an extra a lot of the “actors” playing players really looked like them. I was surprised because it really looked like the 2002 A’s on the field. Tejada, Zito, Chavez, they did a good job with them all.

Thanks Katelyn! That is so cool that you got to be an extra! I do also like the casting of Phillip Seymor Hoffman, not so much because he looks like Howe, which he does not, but because he does such a good job of disappearing into any role he takes. I find Pitt less distracting in supportng roles, like in Snatch or Burn After Reading.

– Kristen

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