Owner Arte Moreno suggested Billy Eppler have a glass of wine

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.


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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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Mike Trout calls Saturday’s spectacular catch his best ever

Mike Trout

Mike Trout/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


Understandably, there was still a lot of talk Sunday morning about the spectacular catch Angels centerfielder Mike Trout made in the fourth inning of Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Trout’s catch – which saw him make like Spider Man, climbing the ball to where his waist was even with the top of it – robbed Jesus Montero of a 3-run home run.

It was about three hours before Sunday’s series finale. Trout had all night to think about the catch that helped his team stay a half-game behind Houston for the second wild-card spot. Though he has made some terrific catches in the past, he had decided this was his best.

“Yeah, I think so, for sure,” he said.

Trout said that he and other outfielders practice home-run-robbing in batting practice, though he was quick to note they don’t necessarily climb the wall.

“Scioscia would kill us,” Trout said, laughing. “We mess around in BP every day, trying to just have fun with it, but everything worked out perfect,” he said. “It was just the timing of it. Going up there and getting it. It happened probably about three or four times (before), I would climb the wall and it was either too far or I’d climb too much to the right, or too much to the left.”

It’s the best catch manager Mike Scioscia can remember seeing.

“I mean, you’ve gotta go out there and see just how high he got up, and he’s using the fence to kind of hang just enough to where he could catch that ball,” he said. “It’s incredible.”

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Mike Scioscia has fond memories of his playing days with Dodgers

Mike Scioscia/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Anges


Angels manager Mike Scioscia was a catcher for 13 years in the big leagues, all with the Dodgers. Though his loyalty these days rests with the Angels, he has fond memories of his days with the team down the 5 Freeway.

“I’m always thankful for the opportunity to play with an organization like the Dodgers,” Scioscia said. “And not just to play at Dodger Stadium, but coming up through it and having access to the best coaches and mentors in the world, guys like Roy Campanella and Del Crandall and Johnny Roseboro from the catching perspective.

“And just getting to grow as a young baseball player, I got a great education there and so I’m very, very thankful for that. And you always have those memories. But right now it’s what our team is doing, what the Angels are doing and that’s what we want to focus on.”

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