Ducks Deal! One team in Anaheim is getting it right


The Anaheim Ducks arrived in the city more than 25 years after their baseball counterparts on the other side of the 57-freeway, but they are showing the veterans how to get it done! The team signed Bobby Ryan to a five-year deal, essentially locking up their three best players for the next few years. The Ducks won’t have to worry about re-negotiations with Getzlaf, Perry, or Ryan til at least 2013.

Bobby Ryan


The Ducks have managed to stay competitive over the years, and I credit their front office. They drafted Ryan in 2005, and developed him into one of the league’s better players. Two years earlier, the Ducks drafted Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the entry draft. Perry and Getzlaf were contributors to the 2007 Stanley Cup winning team. Along with bringing in veterans at the right time like the Niedermayer brothers, and the continual re-signings of Teemu Selanne, this organization has had a great blend of old and new. It seems the team is on track for another run, after missing out on the playoffs last year. They have the nucleus of the team locked up, and they can concentrate on adding the last pieces to regain prominence.

It’s a far different story on the North side of the freeway. The Angels are more like gamblers. Their draft picks have not fared so well. Dallas Macpherson was a total bust. Aybar and Kendrick are trying to get over the hump of mediocrity. Jeff Mathis just goes without explanation. Brandon Wood is struggling to reach the Mendoza Mathis line.
The Angels once built around Vlad. Now they are building around Hunter. The problem is Hunter is the Empire State building, and the rest of the guys in the lineup are single-story shake-shingle homes. They could burn down at any time, and they don’t belong in the same neighborhood as the ESB.
I’m one of the few who liked both the Kazmir and Haren trades. I think both are accomplished, and if you can get a good pitching coach to straighten them out, you’ve got a great pair of trades. I’m not sure Mike Butcher is the guy or not. I’ll plead ignorant. Saunders was a Jeckyl and Hyde kind of guy, but Santana and Weaver are on top of their games. Is it their natural ability, or is Butcher effective? I certainly wouldn’t get rid of Butcher. I think he’s doing a decent job.
There just has to be something wrong with the Angels. I’m not sure if there’s a bad smell around the stadium, or something in the water. Torri Hunter seems like a pretty respected and well liked guy. He’s also a huge cheerleader for free agents to come to Anaheim. But the big free agents have gone other directions. The Angels have been bargain hunting for two years. It isn’t working. Vlad was like Selanne. They should have kept him around. For roughly the same amount of money, they brought in Matsui. This is surely a one and done situation. Godzilla isn’t going to pull off a Bobby Abreu. Remember his great season last year? He stinks now. Both need to go away.
The Angels can right the ship. If Hunter can help them sign Crawford the Angels can somehow outbid the Yankees for Crawford, they have another strong piece to put around Hunter. You have to hope at least one of either Bourjos, Conger, or Trumbo breaks through. If two of these guys develop into everyday players, sign them to long contracts. They need to imitate the Ducks. Heck, they need to imitate the old Angels. Percival, Salmon, Anderson all had long deals. The Angels specialized in developing and signing. The Ducks stole their business model, and somewhere along the way, the Angels lost it. It’s one thing to add the last piece of the puzzle like the Yankees and Phillies seem to do every year, but it’s another to be so rough around the edges, sotospeak.

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~ by sotospeaks on September 14, 2010.

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