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Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros To bring Anaheim its next championship, the Angels need more than Joe Maddon. Baseball isn’t basketball. Winning is not predicated on the strength of a team’s stars. It is a “weak-link sport,” where coaxing contributions from the five worst players on the roster is essential. To his credit, Maddon seemed to grasp this before many of his contemporaries.Maddon wasn’t the only early adopter former Rays GM Andrew Friedman hired in Tampa Bay. In a Cubs organization led by Theo Epstein, Maddon was surrounded by other baseball progressives. The Angels are of a different DNA, a franchise too often enchanted by past success. Maddon’s worldview represents a step in the right direction. But he will need more progressive thinkers around him to make the Angels a relevant franchise on the field in 2020.As an organization, the Angels are still playing catch-up within their own division. The Astros and A’s play in smaller markets, but they have been smarter than most teams about taking a bottom-up approach to roster building and player development – an approach that is reflected in the standings.If nothing else, Maddon will be blessed with stars for the duration of his three-year contract. Mike Trout is signed through 2030. Shohei Ohtani is under team control through 2023. Whatever star power Albert Pujols commands in 2020 and 2021, the Angels have that, too.What they lack is depth, a baseball necessity that Maddon regularly enjoyed in Chicago and St. Petersburg. The Angels have a star prospect (Jo Adell) and the financial wherewithal to sign a big-name free agent or two. To compete with the Houstons and Oaklands of the world, the Angels will need more than that. They are one of five teams – the Reds, Padres, Marlins and White Sox are the others – who have yet to finish a season at .500 or better since 2015. The recent headlines surrounding the Angels paint an even bleaker picture off the field.The Drug Enforcement Agency is presently investigating the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. An Angels public relations employee, Eric Kay, reportedly told the DEA that he supplied Skaggs with oxycodone pills a few days before the Angels left for their trip to Texas on June 30. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room the next day. An autopsy revealed Skaggs had oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system at the time. Other current players might have bought drugs from Kay, and it’s possible the team could be held legally liable for Skaggs’ death.Those are turbulent waters for any manager to enter. Many might drown. Maddon’s job, in large part, will be to project that he is keen to every moment. To do that, he’ll need more than a solid analytical base, or a progressive approach to managing. He will need to draw on the kind of the lessons a man learns only through experience.To that end, the Angels could not have picked a better manager for the moment. Yet for everything they are up against, on and off the field, they will need much more. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield The Angels’ new manager was not among the 679 players chosen in the 1975 amateur draft. A catcher by trade and the son of a plumber, Joe Maddon retired after batting .250 for the Single-A Santa Clara Padres in 1979. He toiled for another 15 seasons in the Angels’ organization as a minor league manager, coach, or scout, before ever wearing a major league uniform. When the Angels needed a manager in 1999, Maddon had already done the job twice on an interim basis, winning 27 games and losing 24. Yet he was not one of the three finalists for a job that ultimately went to Mike Scioscia.Now, 20 years later, Maddon has the job he’s been preparing for most of his professional life.The news of Maddon’s hiring had been anticipated from the moment Brad Ausmus was fired Sept. 30. The Angels’ most predictable offseason transaction was also their first. It is appropriately billed as a “homecoming,” yet the job of a major league manager is not the same now as it was in 2005, Maddon’s final season as Scioscia’s bench coach. Neither is this organization.Maddon is considered a baseball Progressive, an early adopter of managerial practices that have become standard since he helped resurrect the Tampa Bay Rays from oblivion. Freeing players from draconic rules of decorum? Maddon was doing that more than a decade ago. Relying on binders full of data to form the basis of in-game decisions? Maddon helped make that popular, too. Thick, black-rimmed glasses? Maddon didn’t start that exactly, but he wore them as Scioscia’s right-hand man. And that’s central, not tangential, to today’s announcement: to connect fans with a brand of baseball familiar from an era that brought Anaheim its only championship. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Williams, who was selected 11th overall by Cincinnati in this year’s NFL Draft, was expected to take over for Cordy Glenn. He was taking first-team reps before he was sidelined by the injury.Williams is expected to make a full recovery. According to the Bengals, the injury and surgery likely mean Williams won’t play this season.“We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” coach Zac Taylor said, via the team’s website. “We’re confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals.” Related News There is a good chance the Bengals’ top 2019 draft pick won’t play this season.Left tackle Jonah Williams underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, meaning he won’t take over as the starter as the team had hoped. A.J. Green hopeful to stay with Bengals ‘a couple more years’ Tyreek Hill, NFL to have meeting this week, report says Glenn was moved to guard to make room for Williams but now is expected to shift back to left tackle. It’s unclear who will take over at left guard, but Christian Westerman has been taking first-team reps in that position the past few weeks. John Jerry is another option.Clint Boling was the Bengals’ left guard last year but has been absent from offseason activities with an unknown ailment. The severity of the issue and Boling’s timetable to return are unknown.Williams’ injury adds to the Bengals’ unfortunate trend of troubles with first-round picks from the past few years. Most of Cincinnati’s top picks have either missed a substantial time due to injury or have been busts.Bengals recent first round picks:Jonah Williams, 2019: Likely out for the season.Billy Price, 2018: Six games missed (foot).John Ross, 2017: 17 total snaps played, zero catches.William Jackson, 2016: Zero games played (pec).Cedric Ogbuehi, 2015: 11 games missed (knee). https://t.co/jn7ZLZ1Bs7— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 25, 2019 NFL news and notes: Joe Namath dubs Tom Brady best ever; Amari Cooper wants to be Cowboy ‘a long time’