Cal League musings

I haven’t posted here in a while, but here are some notes since the Cal League season ended about a month ago along with my perspective

  • Lake Elsinore won the league title with a losing record (69-71), the first team to win the title with a losing record in league history. The previous worst record to win a league title? The 2006 66ers, who were 72-68.
  • 66ers outfielder/first baseman Kole Calhoun was named Angels Minor League Player of the Year. He had an outstanding year on a team without a lot of offensive firepower, finishing with a .324 batting average, 22 homers and 99 RBIs. Not bad for a guy who only made the team because there were too many injuries in the Angels system.
  • If you didn’t see the article in the paper a few weeks ago, Tom Gamboa, who was the 66ers manager for the first two months of 2011, has a cameo role as a scout in the movie “Moneyball.” Pretty cool, and there were some pretty cool real-life connections to the Billy Beane story, including Gamboa scouting Beane in real life when Beane was in high school, then later managing him when Beane was in the minors.
  • The Angels dismissed Director of Player Development Abe Flores. Mistake, mistake, mistake. While Tony Reagins’ mistakes as GM are well-documented, I don’t see Flores as the problem. He had the Angels developing players as part of Mike Scioscia’s system. Everyone was on the same page. He helped keep impressive consistency among the staffs, and players were ready, whether they were trade bait (in the Dan Haren deal) or whether they were contributing at the big league level (Jordan Walden, Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout). Flores wasn’t the one who traded away Mike Napoli.
  • Abe Flores will land on his feet, perhaps in scouting, which was his background before serving as assistant director of player development under Reagins. Some organization will get a great baseball man, who has an astute judge of talent and the ability to run an organizaton’s player development system. Just my 2 cents. There are some good baseball people in the Angels minor league system. Lets hope the new director of player development doesn’t clean house.