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The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Around the Hornet: Angel fans are going Mad-don

The Los Angeles Angels have hired Joe Maddon to be the next manager of the team for the 2020 season on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Manager Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs looks on before game four of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 18, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Getty Images

The 2019 Manager Brad Ausmus lasted just one season with the Angels before being fired, and finished with a 72-90 record, finishing fourth in the division of five teams.

Personally, Ausmus was just a filler until they could find a new manger that fit the team for the long term.

So, the Angels have hired Joe Maddon, long time skipper, who has been with three MLB teams in his managerial career: the Tampa Bay rays, Chicago Cubs and now the Los Angeles Angels.

Maddon was the Angels bench coach in 2002, when the Angels won the World Series.

Bring out the ticker tape, confetti, and get ready for a parade, right? No.

Here is why the Angels have much more to worry about before even thinking of a championship.

Let’s take a look at the state of the franchise.

The Angels are uncertain about where they will play in the future. Currently, the Angels and the city of Anaheim are in dispute about whether or not they will play in Anaheim, that uncertainty has brought another possible suitor and bidder in Long beach.

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 15: General view of the exterior of Angel Stadium before the Round 2 Pool 2 Game between Team Japan and Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic at Angel Stadium on March 15, 2006 in Anaheim, California. Korea defeated Japan 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Photo credit: Getty Images

The Angels prospect system has improved in recently as they have developed some good prospects. According to Prospect Digest they still rank 15 out of 30 teams in MLB.

The Angels currently have the best players in the world, Mike Trout and the Japanese Babe Ruth Shohei Ohtani. However, both stars are showing to show injury concerns.

Trout had his 2019 season came to an end after needing surgery on his foot; while Ohtani had surgery on his knee ending his season as well. These could just be fluke injuries, but Trout has had surgery on his thumb in 2017 and Ohtani was recovering from Tommy-John Surgery suffered in 2018.

The Angels ranked 15 with a .247 batting average and ranked near the bottom in pitching with a 5.12 ERA. Now these numbers probably don’t mean much, but consider a .247 average is a hit 24 % of the time and 5.12 ERA is five runs per seven innings.

The Angels will have to do quite a bit to be competitive. The pitching staff needs to improve from top to bottom and are still reeling from the death of starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs in 2019.

Aside from Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and occasionally Ohtani, the Angels don’t have much consistency. There are young faces in David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella, but these two young guns are unproven.

The bright side of things is that Maddon took the Tampa Bay Rays three years to get to a World Series and just two Seasons to win in Chicago. However, this will be Maddon’s biggest challenge and may take some time before the ball gets rolling in Anaheim.

The Angels have hired World Series champion Joe Maddon to return to the team that he started his coaching career with, this time as Manager. Photo credit: Los Angeles Angels twitter

Whatever direction Maddon takes he will have to work fast, he will turn 66 before the 2020 season starts and depending how long Maddon will manage, this may not be a long term solution.

The Angels have not had a winning season since they removed the Anaheim identifier in their name in 2015. Maddon will look to change that, with his career 1,225–1,045 managerial record but there is a lot of work to be done all around.