Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 
Senior Baseball Columnist

Angels' firing of scout Bane looks bad with success of Trout, Weaver, Trumbo

  •  

Eddie Bane signed slugger Kendrys Morales as an international free agent in 2005. (US Presswire)  
Eddie Bane signed slugger Kendrys Morales as an international free agent in 2005. (US Presswire)  

Mike Trout is the most exciting thing to happen to baseball since the concession-stand hot dog. He's arguably the very best player in the game, even after he spotted everybody else a month this summer. At 21, he is the youngest to ever -- as in, ever -- produce a 25-homer/40-theft season.

He also pilots the Angels charter flights, personally cleans the halo above the Big A in the parking lot and feeds the Rally Monkey before he goes home each night.

Well ... some of those last items might not be true, technically. But this is: A total of 23 players were chosen by 21 different clubs in the 2009 draft before the Angels picked outfielder Randal Grichuk 24th and Trout 25th.

More on MLB
Analysis
Related links
Eye on Baseball news | Follow on Twitter

For this, you would think the genius who drafted Trout for the Angels would have been rewarded with, what? A lifetime contract? A Lamborghini? A personal masseuse?

Instead, Eddie Bane got fired.

Then-general manager Tony Reagins summoned Bane, Angels' scouting director from 2004-2010, into his office two years ago and told him to get lost.

"Real short conversation," says Bane, who now scouts for the Detroit Tigers. "He said, 'We're not going to renew your contract.' I said, 'You've gotta be kidding me.' He said, 'I don't like your last couple of drafts.' "

Stuff happens in baseball every day, some things more unexpected than others. Even lifers like Bane know you're hired to be fired. In Houston this week, first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow's reorganization of the Astros included dumping a handful of veteran scouts, including Scipio Spinks and Jack Lind.

"Scouts hate this time of year, the end of August, early September," Bane says. "Because after the draft, that's when guys get let go.

"It drives a stake through your heart because you see guys on the road all the time, and then all of a sudden you don't see them anymore."

But ... you find a Trout and you're still a short-timer?

The Angels, with Bane drafting, also acquired All-Stars Jered Weaver and Mark Trumbo (2004). Trumbo smashed his career-high 30th home run the other day, becoming the first Angel to club 30 or more homers in a season since Kendrys Morales in 2009.

Morales? Signed by Bane as an international free agent in 2005.

Also from the '09 draft came pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin, whom Reagins wound up trading to Arizona as part of the four-player package for pitcher Dan Haren on July 25, 2010 -- about a month before the GM dismissed Bane.

Skaggs (supplemental first-round pick) and Corbin (second round) followed Trout in '09. So did Angels pitcher Garrett Richards (3-3, 4.84 ERA in 14 games, nine starts), who also was another supplemental first-round pick in '09.

"Saying he didn't like that draft was like a slap in my face, because those were really good drafts," Bane says. "You look at Dan Haren, who is a really good pitcher, but I never understood that trade because you knew how good Skaggs was going to be, and Corbin had potential.

"Skaggs has got a chance to be a No. 1 starter, and Corbin is almost a lock to be a No. 3. That was the one that bothered me the most."

There are many reasons why the Rangers have replaced the Angels as the elite team in the AL West. Chief among them is that, while the Angels' baseball operations department became dysfunctional during the Reagins era (2008-2011) under owner Arte Moreno, the Rangers' brain trust emerged state-of-the-art under club president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels. First-year Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and his staff, almost entirely new, are playing from behind in attempting to close that gap.

The Angels, through a club spokesperson, declined to speak on the subject of Bane's firing this week.

"Everyone knows we didn't get along," Bane says of Reagins.

Nevertheless, scouts become so invested in the players they bring into an organization that they often view them as family. And so it is that, from afar, Bane continues rooting for his guys (when they're not playing the Tigers, of course).

"Without a doubt," Bane says. "I get texts from those guys, and I text 'em back."

"He texts my parents quite a bit, and he still keeps in touch with me," Trout says. "He's a great dude. I thought he was a great guy.

"I guess the Angels wanted to go their separate way."

When the Angels were in final deliberations leading up to the '09 draft, Bane flew East for what since has become a storied dinner with the Trout family. They went to a place just outside of Trout's home town of Millville, N.J., to become better acquainted.

"You could tell they were really good people," Bane says. "His parents bragged on his brother and daughter, too. Not just on Mike. Everybody got cut down, and then everybody got boosted up.

"You could tell nobody was phony. Mike acted how he wanted."

Trumbo, too, continues to keep in touch with Bane.

"He was the main reason I got a chance," says Trumbo, the Angels' 18th-round pick in '04. "He believed in me when a lot of people had doubts.

"That's really special to me. You never forget."

Trumbo, in fact, vividly remembers the first time he met Bane: During a Fall Ball game before his senior year of high school, when Trumbo was warming up in the bullpen before pitching at Cal State Fullerton.

"Phil Hughes threw the first inning," Trumbo says of his old teammate, who now pitches for the Yankees. "I threw the second inning. Every week."

From those early days, relationships -- and careers -- are shaped.

"We're all big boys," says Bane, 60, who also is responsible for drafting fleet outfielder Peter Bourjos (2005) on the current Angels' roster (and Paul Konerko when he was with the Dodgers in the 1980s). "Everybody understands things happen."

He pitched for the Twins from 1973-76, coached in the minors and then started as a scout with the Indians in the mid-1980s, learning under executives Joe Klein and Birdie Tebbetts.

"Those guys were like my grandfathers," Bane says. "When I thought I knew everything, they let me know I didn't. Joe Klein used to say there are good people in every organization. Sometimes I think we can forget that."

So the game delivers reminders.

"I'm really lucky I ended up where I did," Bane says. "Dave Dombrowski [Tigers' GM] and Scott Reid [special assistant to the GM] have been great.

"Jim Leyland, Gene Lamont ... they're all baseball people, and they're tremendous. Dave is just a genius in making everybody feel like they're involved."

Crazy, how this game can produce bad bounces and true hops, sometimes both at the same time. While Bane's pulse is with the Tigers, his fingerprints remain evident all over the Angels.

"I didn't know he had that kind of power," Bane says of Trout. "Maybe when he'd be 26, 27 years old. But he's hitting balls a real long way now. He's driving in runs, playing the outfield, running the bases ... and he does it all with so much enthusiasm.

"That's what's infectious. And I think he'll be doing that his whole life."

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Astros pitcher Asher Wojciechowski gives up four runs in outing
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:23 pm ET) Astros pitcher Asher Wojciechowski surrendered four runs (two earned) on five hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched Tuesday against the Braves.

Wojciechowski, who is still competing for a spot on the pitching staff, added three strikeouts and one walk while pushing his ERA to 1.71.

"It was frustrating, but I know it's all part of baseball," he said to the Houston Chronicle. "You're going to have your good days and you're going to have your bad days. You got to find a way to get through it and to adjust. I was starting to find my off-speed stuff late in that fourth inning. It was just one of those games for me."


Chad Bettis still in mix for Rockies' rotation
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(9:16 pm ET) The Rockies sent Chad Bettis to the minor leagues on March 22, but he's still in the running for a spot in the rotation. 

Bettis was sent down to get consistent innings and to work on changes to his motion. Over the last nine days, he's returned to the Major League team twice to pitch in games. 

"We have open competition and he's still in the mix," manager Walt Weiss said. 


Jose Alvarez ready to be Angels' long reliever
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(9:12 pm ET) Angels pitcher Jose Alvarez transitioned from starting to the bullpen, this spring, and it looks like he's landed a job as the team's long man out of the bullpen. 

"It's a little different, but have to do it," Alvarez said per MLB.com. "We're looking for a spot no matter what position, starter or reliever."

Alvarez has a 2.16 ERA this spring. 

"We're definitely impressed with his stuff," manager Mike Scioscia said. "His velocity is better, his slider is tighter. He looks much better than he did last year. ... He has enough stuff to start. But his stuff definitely plays in a bullpen, both as a lefty specialist, but also a guy who can give you some length because he has really good stuff against right-handers also."


Padres' Carlos Quentin making progress at first base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:12 pm ET) Padres new first baseman Carlos Quentin is continuing to make progress as he adjusts to his new position this spring, reports U-T San Diego.

"It takes time for anybody to comfortable at the major league level, the highest level of baseball, to switch positions. That's tough. But he continues to work on it," said manager Bud Black. "It doesn't happen overnight. But he's putting the time in. He's doing a nice job with all the little intricacies of first base."


Padres catcher Wil Nieves receives retention bonus
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:09 pm ET) Padres backup catcher Wil Nieves received a $100,000 retention bonus Tuesday for still being on the team in spring training, reports U-T San Diego.

Nieves, who signed a minor-league contract with San Diego this offseason, may still not make the roster, as the team has until Sunday to make its final roster moves before Opening Day.

Nieves is hitting .214 this spring with one RBI in 28 plate appearances.


Braves' Chris Johnson, Kelly Johnson OK after struck by pitches
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:58 pm ET) Braves infielders Chris Johnson and Kelly Johnson both said they were OK after being hit by pitches Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Chris Johnson was struck on the hand and had it wrapped as he left the ballpark Wednesday. Kelly Johnson was sore after being hit on the back of his right arm.


Yankees' Andrew Bailey must pitch back-to-back days to make roster
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:55 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Andrew Bailey is still working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. Bailey has pitched four innings this spring without giving up an earned run and just three hits.

But for Bailey to make the Opening Day roster, manager Joe Girardi wants to see Bailey pitch on back-to-back days, reports The Journal News.

"I don't see how you could do that," Girardi said. "And the one thing is, we're not going to rush him. I think it comes down to who we think is going to help us the most is the bottom line. I don't think you necessarily in your mind say (for example) I have to have a third lefty. Is it a luxury, sure it is, but I think it's who we think is going to help us the most."


Braves pitcher Wandy Rodriguez picks up minor issue in shoulder
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:36 pm ET) Braves pitcher Wandy Rodriguez gave up three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts in his start Tuesday against the Astros. 

Rodriguez, who now has a 3.13 ERA this spring, said after the game his shoulder was giving him a bit of a problem after trying to field a ground ball, reports 680 The Fan in Atlanta.

Rodriguez said he was able to get his arm loose shortly thereafter and didn't think it was much of an issue.


Angels pitcher Huston Street surrenders four runs in outing Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:06 pm ET) Angels pitcher Huston Street gave up four runs on three hits, including two home runs, in just one inning of work Tuesday against the Athletics.

Street, who is hoping to finish a contract extension before the start of the season next week, pushed his ERA to 8.10 in seven appearances this spring.


Athletics' Coco Crisp feels soreness in elbow Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp felt some soreness in his injured elbow while taking swings Tuesday, Comcast SportsNet California reports.

Crisp was playing in an intrasquad game Tuesday after missing time with the elbow injury, and he appears likely to be shut down again to give the elbow time to heal. Crisp is a candidate to open the season on the disabled list.


 
 
 
Rankings