Friday, January 22, 2010

Joel Piniero and the game of hockey

For some reason, the quotation mark speaks to me today.

The Angels added a pair of moves to their offseason bottom line, signing Joel Piniero to a 2 year, $16 million dollar deal, and trading offloading Gary Matthews Jr. to the Mets in exchange for reliever Brian Stokes.

The Piniero move ranks from expensive to mind-bogglingly stupid, depending on what sort of performance the Angels get this season. Piniero is, for all intents and purposes, a replacement-level pitcher. Replacement level players are worth $3-4 million in salary, and can usually be had for the $400,000 major-league minimum. That's if Piniero is as "good" as he was last year.

If he plays like he did before last year, he'll have a tRA above 5, which means he'll either be really lucky and have an ERA below 5 or play to his skills and have an ERA over 5. This means he'll owe the Angels about half his salary...assuming he can stay at about replacement-level.

Getting rid of Gary Matthews was another "meh" move. Sure, you're getting rid of him, but the problem with Junior is the dollars invested in his contract, not his physical presence. So by sending him to the Mets and acquiring a mediocre-to-awful 30-year old relief pitcher, the Angels save $2 million over the next two seasons. That's not worth it, frankly, and I wish they'd have taken a better player in an exchange of bad contracts. Zito for GMJ?

These moves, in combination with the Matsui signing, the GMJ signing, the Teixeira and Lackey debacles, and even "positives" like the Hunter signing, have led me to believe that the front office is incompetent. Not godawful (Royals), not terrible (Mets), but definitely incompetent. Tony Reagins has not shown any evidence that he understands the concept of advanced baseball statistics, and his continued reliance on things like RBI and average as accurate metrics of a player's value has severely damaged the Angels' ability to contend in the AL West for the foreseeable future. It's time for him to go.

All hope is not lost. The Mariners, just two years removed from Bill Bavasi single handedly destroying the franchise, have assembled a team on a smaller payroll which projects to win 85 games to the Angels' projected 86. They have signed a young, star pitcher to a long-term deal, avoided expensive, backloaded contracts assigned to aging veterans, and managed to maintain their draft picks and improve an already strong farm system. The Mariners are what the Angels will need to become to continue their success in the division and league.

Fire Tony Reagins. You heard it here first.

High Glove Side 2, Reptar on Ice 8

I think my High Glove Side is one of the better names in Northeastern intramural ice hockey, but Reptar on Ice is pretty solid.

This game wasn't really as uneven as the score suggests. I really didn't play that poorly, either, outside of the last seconds of the second and third periods. We were playing with a short bench, and the other team was composed partially of club players, so the result was largely expected.

I saved the first shot of the night off my right arm, the first time in 6 games I've managed to keep the first shot from becoming the first goal. They would, however, score on a relatively simply five-hole shot that would've been stopped had I put my stick in the proper location. One problem with my current leg pads is that they don't seal the five-hole when in the butterfly, so even though I've really improved my dropdown, pucks still sneak through if I'm perfectly square to the shooter. Yes, I realize it's ridiculous that my being positionally sound leads to goals, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Their second goal was a fluke. I came down to stop a low shot, but a defenseman got a stick on it and it flew right into the top of the net. It happens, and goals like that are something that NHL goalies don't stop, so I can live with that. We finished the first period down 2-1, unusually close, as my first period is usually my weakest.

Not so this night.

The second period was brutal. I was making lots of saves, but I gave up 4 goals on various shots, 2 of which were decidedly soft. I had a deflection off a skate in front of me go five-hole, which is fine, and a nice shot over my left shoulder (hence the name High Glove Side), but the other was a trickler from a bad angle and the last was a shot I never saw.

The third was tiring, particularly since our short bench meant most of the players had been on the ice most of the game. Without much defense, I saw a few most shots, almost made a brilliant glove save before the puck bounced out and back into play, and allowed a breakaway goal with like 5 seconds left. Maybe it wasn't a breakaway. Whatever it was, it didn't matter.

So that was the first hockey game of the season. I'm going to miss one, but my next game is Sunday at 5:00, so if anyone's interested in watching me/UStreaming the event, it's at Matthews Arena.

Also, I thought this was pretty funny. Not the part where Carey Price gets run over, that scares me, but the part where he drops the gloves as if he's actually going to fight the enforcer. And the part where Conklin skates over like he's actually going to enter a goalie fight.

Facebook users, there's a video here, so click on "View Original Post" if you wanna watch it.


Jane Doe said...

Guy definitely tried to get out of Price's way by going over the top. Definitely an overreaction by the sieve. Goalies need to understand if they want to venture out from the crease to play a puck then getting hit is part of the game. Rules may indicate that sieves are to be untouched by I think it hurts the game when you tell a forward he can't go for the puck because the goalie is in the vicinity.

Jane Doe said...

(Previous comment was from Steven Roth, no idea why it says Jane Doe...)