The election over, Barak Obama is still president and whether you like it or not, will more than likely will remain so for another four years.  This year we’ve seen the American people become more divided in their beliefs than any generation before.  Some like cats, some like dogs. Some liked Miguel Cabrera for MVP, others liked Mike Trout.  Some folks like red and hate blue, some folks like blue and simply ignore red.  However you break it down, pretty much no one agrees about anything any more.  So rather than tell you what’s right (trust me, I’ll do plenty of that in other articles) I figured I’d highlight what would happen if the angels followed an offseason plan built from each side of the aisle.  It isn’t meant to be a slander piece against Republicans or Democrats or to say one side is better than the other.  It’s fun.  So if you get on twitter and message me (@ScottyA_LAAI by the way) about how much I hate so & so, I won’t respond.  Let’s read this and have some fun.

The Republicans – They love to spend their money on defense and to stand by their principles.  The past had it right, their values were right and they fought for what they believed in and by golly if John Wayne or Gene Autry were alive today, they’d kick those progressives so hard it’d make their elbows bleed!  So what principles did the Angels of the past stand by?  Speed and bullpen.  We win games by running the bases, applying constant pressure capitalizing on errors.  We win games by shortening our opponents’ window of opportunity.  Our starting pitcher need only go 5 innings at a time.  Let the bullpen take care of the rest.  

Now assuming Arte gave those right-wing fellas a 30 million dollar check, how would they spend it? 

  1. Defense Spending – Whatever they do, they’d make sure Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout were in the outfield at the same time!  No ball would ever drop!
  2. More Defense Spending – The best defense is a good offense, so in order to weaken the Texas Rangers, we need to take Josh Hamilton and turn him against them.  It totally worked in Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader’s the only one that could kill the Emperor.  We need to sign Josh Hamilton for 6/120.
  3. Big Business Trading - Now we need a bullpen and we have too many outfielders.  We should trade Mark Trumbo to a non-competing country for a couple of arms that would shorten games.  How about Tampa Bay?  They need a 1B, and they have Jake McGee and Wade Davis.  Sure why not?
  4. Return to Arms - With about 10 million left, we need to find a couple of starting pitchers.  Nothing says “return to the good ol’ days” better than bringing in a former flame, like Joe Saunders.  He’d come over for maybe 3 years 24 million.
  5. Fortify our Foreign Assets - With only 2 million left to spend, we need to take a chance on someone the rest of baseball might ignore.  In all the Greinke hoopla, we forgot about Daisuke Matsuzaka.  We love the Japanese, and at one time, this guy was unstoppable.  At worst, he takes a dive and we’re left using Jerome Williams (isn’t that bad) or promoting Nick Maronde to start until we can acquire someone at the trade deadline.  So Dice-K 1 year, 2 million.

So the Republican looks like this:

  1. LF Trout
  2. SS Aybar
  3. RF Hamilton
  4. 1B Pujols
  5. DH Morales
  6. 2B Kendrick
  7. 3B Callaspo
  8. C Iannetta
  9. CF Bourjos

Rotation: Weaver, Wilson, Saunders, Richards, Matsuzaka

Bullpen: Frieri, McGee, Davis, Jepsen, Downs, Walden, Williams

The Democrats – They are all about the continual progression of the team, keeping up with the times and advancing in a direction that makes sense both on the field and in the pocketbook.  Those fancy new sabermetric stats tell us the Angels need pitching, pitching, pitching.  The offense will take care of itself, and the Angels need not concern themselves with what’s going on in other countries/team (Rangers/A’s).  They just need to improve and become more efficient. 

So with that same 30 million, what would the Democrats do?

  1. Streamline Defense Spending – Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo are the ultimate weapons in defense.  Nothing makes the pitchers better than two Gold Glove caliber CF and a RF with a 95 mph fastball.  We loved Torii Hunter just like we loved the M16A1 service rifle, but it’s time to spend our money elsewhere, or at least in this case, save our money.
  2. Bailout, Bailout, Bailout – We need Zack Greinke.  We’ll have no country (team) to defend without pitching.  We need to drop a lot of money and bail out this team’s rotation.  It went bankrupt after the Haren and Santana stocks took a nosedive.  Greinke’s familiar with the Angels and frankly, he’s just the best on the market. 6 years, 130 million (21.5 million annually) will do.
  3. Restructure Our Finances – Sure, we might have to pay more for it tomorrow, but there really won’t be a tomorrow unless we solve the issues of today.  Let’s backload Greinke’s contract for only one year.  In 2013, he’ll make 4 million less than the contract stipulates his average annual salary should be.  The final two years of his contract, he can make 2 million more than the 21.5 million he’s earning. 
  4. Cut Unnecessary Expenditures - With 12.5 million left to spend, it’s time to free up even more money for one final acquisition.  Vernon Wells simply does not help this team any more than young Kole Calhoun can.  But this old technology may be able to help another under-developed country’s economy.  Sure, we’ll only save 3 million this year and 3 million next, but getting out from under that contract is an important step toward financial freedom.  Now we have 15.5 million left to spend. 
  5. Improve Foreign Policy – The Asian market is ever growing and without a strong Asian presence, this team runs the risk of falling behind.  Kyuji Fujikawa is the best relief pitcher Japan has to offer.   3 years, 13.5 million (4.5 million annually) should help. 
  6. Go Green – With 11 million left to spend, we need to simply ensure this team remains competitive until some of our prospects arrive and provide fiscally responsible alternatives of transportation to October.  It may not be the fanciest way to travel, but it’s sure going to help in getting you there.  Signing Joe Saunders to a 2 year deal worth 17 million (8.5 million annually) with a 3rd year option keeps this pitching staff afloat until we are certain Nick Maronde and other prospects are ready to take care of this team. 
  7. Fiscal Responsibility - 2.5 million left to spend, let’s hold onto it, the team already spends enough money on everything else, let’s give Arte a break. 

So the Democrat team looks like this…

  1. LF Trout
  2. SS Aybar
  3. 1B Pujols
  4. DH Morales
  5. RF Trumbo
  6. 2B Kendrick
  7. 3B Callaspo
  8. C Iannetta
  9. CF Bourjos

Rotation: Weaver, Greinke, Wilson, Saunders, Richards

Bullpen: Frieri, Fujikawa, Jepsen, Downs, Walden, Kohn/Carpenter/Williams

Final Words

Democrats: The Republican plan is simply wasteful.  Josh Hamilton would not serve a role on this team.  The offense is already good.  The rich need not get richer.  We need to stablize the rotation, not fill it with the Dice-K's of the world.  Greinke and Saunders give the Angels and their fans what they need, dependability and durability.  Zack Greinke and Jered Weaver on the mound with our fantastic OF would win a lot of games.  Furthermore, if the Angels are going to venture into the Asian markets, Fujikawa is the proper investment, not Matsuzaka.  

Republicans: It doesn't matter who is in the rotation, with our OF defense, the amount of runs our offense will score and how deep our bullpen is, no one will stand against us.  Have you seen Josh Hamilton hit?  Could you imagine a lineup with him, Pujols, Morales and Mike Trout in it?  The rest of the league would bow at the Angels feet.  The Angels would also have so many arms built up in the bullpen, teams might as well stop swinging the bat after the fifth inning, because they won't score any runs on the Angels. 

You'll notice, the Democrats and Republicans want the same thing, a return to the World Series.  They just want to take different paths to get there.  The irony is, these paths are both windy and in several parts merge back into the same path (Saunders and Bourjos).  Interesting isn't it?