Angels hire Billy Eppler to become their 12th general manager

Billy Eppler, left, has been named Angels general manager/Photo courtesy of New York Daily News


The Angels on Sunday night announced they have hired longtime New York Yankees executive Billy Eppler to become their general manager.

Bill Stoneman had been interim general manager after Jerry Dipoto resigned his post in early July after a beef with manager Mike Scioscia.

Eppler had been in the Yankees front office for 11 years, the past four as assistant general manager to general manager Brian Cashman. He also served as vice-president this season. Eppler, 40, is a native of San Diego.

Eppler becomes the 12th general manager in club history. He will report directly to owner Arte Moreno.

“We used a lot of time, energy and research into the decision to fill this very critical position,” Moreno said in a statement.  “We interviewed several quality individuals throughout the process.  In the end, Billy’s experience in the areas of scouting, player development and major-league operations, in addition to his organizational and communication skills,  were primary reasons for our decision.

“He is energetic, creative and has a tremendous passion for the game.  We look forward to him joining the organization and making his impact felt in short order.”

Eppler is stoked to get this opportunity.

“I cannot adequately express how excited I am for the opportunity Arte Moreno and the Angels have given me,” he said.  “The Angels are committed to championship standards. They are committed to being a perennial contender, and many of the pieces are already in place for that to occur.  I look forward to a collaborative effort as we look to enhance and advance every phase of the baseball operations department.

“This is an organization with a tremendous amount of talent on and off the field, and I am excited to begin the next chapter of Angels baseball.”

The Angels’ season ended Sunday with a 9-2 loss at Texas. The Angels needed to win that game to force a one-game playoff Monday at Houston that would have decided the second wild-card team in the American League.




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Angels’ season is over as they fall 9-2 at Texas, which wins AL West

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


The Angels needed two things to happen Sunday in order to force a one-game playoff Monday at Houston to determine the second wild-card team for the postseason.

The Angels had to win at Texas and have Houston lose at Arizona. Houston lost 5-3, but the Angels also lost, 9-2, after leading 2-1 after the first inning. That meant Houston won the second wild-card spot.

The Rangers, who clinched the AL West with their victory, scored twice in the fifth and six times in the seventh to blow open what would be the final game of the season for the Angels.

The Angels got a double by Mike Trout and 2-run home run by Albert Pujols off Rangers starter Cole Hamels in the first inning. But Hamels allowed only one more hit – a double by Shane Victorino in the second – while pitching a complete game.

The Angels finished 85-77 and won nine of their last 12 games to put themselves in position to get into the playoffs.

“I was inspired by these guys,” manager Mike Scioscia said during a post-game television interview on Fox Sports West.




I was inspired by these guys.

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Angels in a must-win situation heading into final three games

Mike Trout

Mike Trout will lead Angels in the final three games at Texas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


The Angels have been left for dead several times already this season, but have always found a way to get themselves back into playoff contention.

Well, the Angels have taken a couple of giant steps in reverse the past two games, losing Wednesday to Oakland in that series finale and losing again Thursday at Texas in the first of a four-game series.

In Wednesday’s 8-7 loss, the A’s had a four-run seventh inning. In Thursday’s 5-3 setback, the Rangers had a four-run fifth.

With just three games left, the Angels began play Friday a game behind Houston for the final wild-card spot. The Minnesota Twins were tied with the Angels.

The Angels (83-76) will start Jered Weaver (7-12) on Friday at Texas (87-72), which will start Martin Perez (3-6). The Rangers’ magic number to clinch the AL West is one, so they won’t be taking it easy, that’s for sure.


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Angels’ Joe Smith says he’ll return from sprained ankle Wednesday

Joe Smith said he will return from a sprained ankle on Wednesday to assist a taxed Angels bullpen. The set-up man for closer Huston Street, who is likely sidelined for the rest of the regular season, isn’t sure what his role will be.

“Most likely back end, but we’re still going to have to match up a little bit and that doesn’t mean that Joe might not come in in the eighth inning to get out of something real heavy and maybe somebody else is the closer,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I’m not going to rule out that he won’t be closing, you know what I mean. So I guess basically, we’ll see.” Continue reading

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