Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just about a week ago, Garret Richards went down with a season-ending injury and with that injury came serious questions about how bad the Angels would be without him (consensus: bad!) and what they would do to replace him (consensus: irreplaceable!).  One of the most talked-about choices to replace him is former Angel and former PED piƱata Bartolo Colon.  He’s cleared waivers so all the Angels have to do is negotiate with the Mets to get him.  True, the Mets aren’t the Diamondbacks so Jerry Dipoto might have to google “Mets GM” to get his contact info, but it can be done.  The question is; should the Angels get Bartolo?

Get Bartolo!

By Glen McKee, Staff Writer

There’s been a lot of debate about whether the Angels should trade for (or just get for the price of his contract) Bartolo Colon for the stretch run, and for insurance next year because we’re gonna be down two starters for at least the first month, and one for the entire season.  Starting pitching is like gratuitous nudity in a movie or peanut butter on a PBJ; you just can’t have enough of it.  To reduce it to simple math, Bartolo = starting pitching = we need him.  That should be the end, but I’m sure you’ll need more convincing.  Okay, prepare to be convinced.

First and foremost, we need to panic!  Just look at the facts, man.  The god of baseball GMs himself, Billy Beane,  got the best pitcher on the market at the trading deadline and we have to react accordingly or else we’re obviously not serious about winning it all.  Look at some more facts – since Beane made that non-desperation move, the As have drastically improved and taken a chokehold on the AL west, and the Angels have faded since Richards was injured.  What?  What’s that?  Wait a minute; the Angels have actually done better than Oakland since then?  The devil you say!  Well, we still need to panic, dammit.

Secondly, consider our current staff of 1-4.  We have Weaver, who represents the stoners – he should be starring in a commercial for Jack in the Box’s late-night munchies meals.  We have CJ Wilson, the cerebral heartthrob.  Matt Shoemaker and his beard are the manliest of man things, and Hector Santiago – I still weep for him, I have that luxury – is the young dude with the edge.  We’re missing the old fat guy, and we desperately need that demographic in our starting five. Just look at this picture of Bartolo, winding up to throw yet another strike, and try to tell me you don’t want that:

Third-ish, look at the three in-house options to take over the #5 spot in the rotation.  I forget their names, but here are the pictures:

Fezzik is looking a lot better now, isn’t he?

D, everybody loves a returning player, except for AO.  Bartolo’s pitching better now than he was during the last year he was here.  He has a decent stat line and most importantly, he throws strikes.  Let me repeat that: he throws strikes.  Remember that game against us last year when he threw 80 strikes in a row (note: not actually 80) and the Angels took at least 65 of them (note: not actually 65)?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have our pitcher do that to another team, like say Bartolo’s team from last year?  We know that nobody on our staff could pull that one off.  True, we also know that no other team would look at that many strikes, but still. 

Now some of you out there – I call you whiners – might say something about having a proven cheater on the team.  To that I say: is this not America, and does America no longer believe in redemption and second chances?  If America doesn’t, then call me a communist.  George Washington and Bono came to America from Australia for a second chance, and look at the great country they left in their wake.  I don’t care what Bartolo did in the past or how many infant souls he ate to regain his form – ha ha, Bartolo’s form – as long as it’s in the past.  The past is over there, and over here is the present and the future.  Here is what I care about.  If he pops for PEDs again I’ll bust the rust off of my pitchfork and oil up my torch, but until then I’ll keep using them on witches only.  Besides, consider the colorful history of cheaters in the history of the Angels: David Eckstein lying about his height, many players (according to Torii Hunter) pretending to be black, Brad Fullmer doing all of the steroids, Reggie Willits and his corked, power-enhancing bat – the list is long and I could keep going.  Bartolo would fight right (back) in.  I know, sometimes it’s painful to address your past but you have to do it.  

Counterpoint – 11 million noes!  

By Nathan Trop, Staff Writer

The first thing I thought of when Glen suggested this topic was; he is fat and ugly…  Then I got to thinking about Bartolo.  Aside from the fact that his weight is only barely less than his salary and Whoopi Goldberg is easier on the eyes than he is, he is paid $11 million next season, his numbers are down, he pitches in an extreme pitchers park, and he is a cheater.

I was at that game where Bartolo threw strike after strike.  I think it was more than 60 in a row.  The Angels lost 6-0 and the only offensive thing the Angels did was show up.  If it hadn’t been the first game I ever took my daughter to, it would be the worst game I ever attended.  But that was three years ago, he has gotten older, and fatter, and now he (probably) isn’t cheating.

On the topic of throwing strikes, does everyone remember the last pitcher we got that was heralded for throwing strikes?  One Joseph Matthew Blanton, the worst pitcher in a long line of bad pitchers to start for the Angels in recent years.  I don’t know why exactly but Bartolo just screams of Blanton.  His velocity is down (roids anyone?) and his ERA is up.  The Mets play at Citi Field, also known as the new polo grounds.  His away ERA is 4.08, in the NL.  Imagine coming back to the AL what it would be like?

His Salary next season is $11 million.  He will be 42 years old.  I just can’t imagine paying a pitcher that much when they are 42 unless they are a knuckle baller or Nolan Ryan.  The Angels desperately need to add (young) starting pitching next season since GR is out for at least the first month but probably longer and Skaggs is likely out for the season.  Having Bartolo almost certainly means that won’t happen.  The Mets would have to take on a considerable portion of his salary and in order to do that the Angels would have to give up too many of the few remaining Rondons they have left.

That leads to the most important part of this entire conversation.  The Angels have the most valuable beard in baseball and behind that masterpiece of pure manhood is the man that will carry Garrett Richards’ torch and the Angels to the best record in baseball and deep into the playoffs.  Matt Shoemaker has stepped up to become the ace of this staff now that Richards is out.  He throws strikes, tons of strikes, has good velocity and right now is mowing through MLB lineups.  I would not be upset with a rotation of Weaver, Shoe, Santiago and CJ.  CJ would be the only one that worries me and there is no way Scioscia is removing him from the rotation, even if we somehow traded for Kershaw.

So no reclamation projects, no obese 40 year olds, roll with what we’ve got and enjoy this time Angels fans.  Lead by the youth of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and Matt Shoemaker the Angels are headed back to the playoffs!
Love to hear what you think!

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