ANGELS ANNOUNCE COACHING CHANGES
The Angels announced changes to their staff Tuesday night in a press release. They have decided to relieve bench coach Rob Picciolo and hitting coach Jim Eppard of their duties. In the release (below), it mentions that the announcement was made by manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto, indicating the two power figures will remain in their respective posts heading into next season. For much of the Angels disappointing 2012 season -- following their disappointing 2011 season -- it's been thought that either Dipoto or Scioscia would be the scapegoat for owner Arte Moreno.
Maybe even both. In each of the past two offseasons, the Angels have made a gigantic, nine-figure signing -- Albert Pujols prior to the 2012 season and Josh Hamilton prior to this season. They also have the most dynamic young player in baseball in Mike Trout and a bona fide, highly-paid ace in Jered Weaver -- not to mention highly-paid No. 2 starter C.J. Wilson. And yet, the Angels missed the playoffs in 2012 and finished below .500 this season. There's also been reported tension between Dipoto and Scioscia at times, so Moreno keeping both is a bit of a surprise
ANAHEIM, CA – General Manager Jerry Dipoto and Manager Mike Scioscia today announced bench coach Rob Picciolo and hitting coach Jim Eppard will not be retained for the 2014 season. Picciolo spent three full seasons as the club’s bench coach (2011-13) with 2013 representing his eighth year in the Angels system. Prior to his time with the Halos, Picciolo spent 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres organization. It was also announced that both Dipoto and Scioscia will return in 2014 with the Angels.
DON BAYLOR JOINS ANGELS COACHING STAFF IN 2014
The Angels announced Don Baylor, a member of the Angels Hall of Fame and the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1979, is returning to the organization as the club’s hitting coach in 2014. The announcement was made by club General Manager Jerry Dipoto. “Don enjoyed a distinguished playing career, highlighted by his tenure with the Angels during their first two division championships,” said Dipoto.
“As a coach, he brings us tremendous expertise in the areas of hitting, communication and presence. It’s nice to have him home,” Dipoto added. Baylor, 64, started his professional career in 1967 after being drafted in the second round with the Baltimore Orioles. He eventually made his Major League debut with the Orioles in 1970 and became a fixture for Baltimore in 1972. His career spanned time with Baltimore, Oakland, California, New York Yankees, Boston and Minnesota. In 2,292 career games, Baylor recorded a .260 average (2135/8198), with 338 home runs, 1,276 RBI, along with 1,236 runs scored, and 285 stolen bases. His playing career included appearances in seven League Championship Series (1973-74, 1979, 1982, 1986-88) and three consecutive World Series for three different teams (Boston - 1986, Minnesota - 1987 and Oakland - 1988). He was also a member of the 1979 American League All-Star team.
Baylor’s most productive Major League campaign came as a member of the Angels in 1979 when he recorded a .296 average (186/628), with 36 home runs and 139 RBI while appearing in each of the club’s 162 games. As impressive as the run production was, he totaled more base on balls (71) than strikeouts (51) during his memorable campaign. He is one of 22 players all-time to collect at least 250 home runs and record 250 stolen bases. Baylor also holds the American League record for being hit by a pitch – 267.
In 14 of his seasons, he was struck by a pitch 10-or-more times, including an A.L. record 35 times in 1986. Baylor will be entering his 22nd season in either a managing or coaching capacity in 2014 which has included stops with the Brewers (1990-91, hitting coach), Cardinals (1992, hitting coach), Rockies (1993-98, manager & 2009-10, hitting coach), Braves (1999, hitting coach), Cubs (2000-02, manager), Mets (2003-04, bench coach), Mariners (2005, hitting coach) and Diamondbacks (2011-13, hitting coach). He compiled a 627-689 managerial record in nine seasons with the Colorado Rockies (1993-98) and Chicago Cubs (2000-02).
He was appointed the first Rockies manager on Oct. 27, 1992 and later earned Manager of the Year honors from the BBWAA and The Sporting News after leading the Rockies to their first postseason berth as the N.L. Wild Card participant in 1995. During his 10 seasons as a hitting coach, Baylor has coached 11 different All-Stars and one MVP (Chipper Jones, 1999). Since 1978, Baylor has helped to raise over $5 million hosting an annual celebrity golf tournament in Southern California to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. In 1985, he was honored as the Roberto Clemente Award winner, presented to “the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball on and off the field.”
Baylor and his wife Becky reside in La Quinta, CA.
Local Youths with Disabilities Step up to the Plate at Angel Stadium
The Angels, Angels Baseball Foundation, Bank of America and Little League® Team Up
for Eighth Annual Orange County Little LeagueÒ Challenger Classic
Anaheim, CA ¯ More than 900 children with physical and mental disabilities from 30 Challenger Division Little League teams throughout Orange County will experience the thrill of playing baseball at Angel Stadium on Saturday, November 2nd, in the eighth annual Bank of America Orange County Little League “Challenger Classic.”
The Challenger Classic, created through a partnership between the Angels Baseball Foundation and Bank of America, provides young players with the joy of playing America’s favorite pastime alongside their baseball heroes and coaches, right on the field at Angel Stadium. Scheduled to participate in this year’s Orange County Little League Challenger Classic is Angel pitcher Jerome Williams, Bullpen Coach Steve Soliz, former Angels Jim Abbott, Bobby Grich, Clyde Wright, Justin Speier and Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl.
In addition to the current and former Angels, 350 Bank of America volunteers and local Little League “Buddies” will help make it a day to remember, including video display of the games on the Jumbotron, a team photo with an Angel player, special medal award ceremony near home plate and lunch. Four sets of games will be played starting at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with each age division playing a two-inning, one-hour game on designated diamonds on the outfield grass at Angel Stadium. Families, friends and baseball fans are invited to join Bank of America, the Angels Baseball Foundation at the Orange County Little League Challenger Classic. Seating is open and free to the public. Enter at Angels Stadium at Gate 1.