New Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced late Tuesday night that hitting coach Don Baylor and pitching coach Mike Butcher will not return to the club in 2016.
Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, who won the 1979 American League MVP with the Angels in 1979, will not return to the team in 2016. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
“Don’s career with the Angels is one that has embodied commitment, dedication and leadership,” Eppler said in a statement. “From his MVP season in 1979, subsequent induction into the Angels Hall of Fame, and eventual return as hitting coach, Don will always remain synonymous with Angels Baseball.”
The Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher has been with the club since 2006. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
“These are good baseball men and individuals who have a deep passion and focus towards their craft,” Eppler added. “I am both respectful and appreciative of the many contributions Don and Mike have made to this organization during their careers here.”
Baylor, who won American League MVP while playing for the Angels in 1979, returned to the club as hitting coach in 2014. He has been a manager or coach in each of the 23 seasons since he stopped playing.
Butcher took over the Angels pitching coach duties in 2006 after Bud Black left to manage the San Diego Padres.
“This past weekend I had a lengthy conversation with John Carpino and Billy Eppler regarding my status with the organization” Butcher said. “We mutually agreed this might be a good time for change. Billy is an impressive individual with solid concepts for the future and I wish him well. I am also thankful to Arte, the entire Angels family, and of course the players themselves for my time with an organization that has meant so much to my family and I.”
Dean Chance/Photo courtesy of BaseballReference.com
Dean Chance, who pitched for the Angels from 1961-66, has died at age 74, according to an Associated Press story. Details of Chance’s demise were not immediately available.
Chance won the Cy Young Award at age 23 in 1964 while going 20-9 with an ERA of 1.65 for the Angels. Chance began a three-year stint with the Minnesota Twins in 1967 and pitched a no-hitter for them on Aug. 25 of that year.
Chance also pitched for the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers and finished his 11-year career with a record of 128-115 and ERA of 2.92.
Chance earlier this season was on hand at Angel Stadium when he and others were inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame.
Chance was only 30 in 1971, his final season.
Chris Iannetta/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta had a very good observation Monday while cleaning out his locker in the Angels’ clubhouse. It came a day after the Angels lost 9-2 at Texas. They needed a victory in that game to force a one-game playoff with Houston for the right to play in the American League wild-card game Tuesday at New York.
“It was definitely an exciting finish, but it obviously didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” Iannetta said. “That’s why every game through the course of a season is important – whether it’s the first game or the last game. At least we had the opportunity to write our own destiny at the end. We just fell a little bit short.”
The Angels won nine of their last 12 games to put themselves in position to make the postseason, but it didn’t happen.
Mike Scioscia, left, and new general manager Billy Eppler at Monday’s news conference announcing the hiring of Eppler as general manager/Photo by Nick Ut, Associated Press
Owner Arte Moreno on Monday was helping play host to the news conference formally announcing the hiring of Billy Eppler as the team’s 12th general manager. Moreno was talking about the process and mentioned a moment when he, Eppler and other Angels executives were having dinner recently to discuss the job.
“He (Eppler) was a little nervous and he said, ‘I’ll just drink water.’ ” I said, ‘You better have a glass of wine,’ ” Moreno said, drawing lots of laughs from reporters and family members of Eppler.