COMMENTARY | Everyone's got at least one friend whose relationship choices seem to range only from bad to mindbogglingly terrible.
No matter how many times they're burned, they can't stop overlooking obvious faults that are plain as day to everyone else. This friend does want to be happy. He or she does want a successful relationship. But no matter how many resolutions or affirmations they assert, they keep finding themselves in trouble.
The red flags are all there to be seen in their potential partners -- whether it's a guy with a ponytail who "doesn't believe in marriage" or a girl with a cobra tattoo on her back who "has a slight drug problem" -- once the wheels are set in motion, only the eventual train wreck can bring it to a stop.
The last few years have seen the Los Angeles Angels become that hopeless friend.
There's no doubt they want to win championships. They want to be happy. But their recent player acquisitions have ranged from bad to mindbogglingly terrible. Overpaid free agents and lopsided trades with obvious faults -- that were plain as day to everyone else -- have resulted in a mediocre team with a premium payroll.
Surely -- we all thought -- owner Arte Moreno and the front office had learned its lesson with the Josh Hamilton signing. Surely, that was the final lesson that there was no sense in throwing around big money at past-their-prime players and burning draft picks just to grab a few headlines.
Not to get all Biblical on y'all, but: As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
McCann is exactly the type of folly that seems to be the specialty of the house down in Anaheim. He's an offense-first star-caliber player coming off a year in which he was injured and who plays a position at which the Angels are well-represented.
Oh boy, the Angels sure do have a type.
McCann sounds like an exact repeat of Hamilton last offseason when the Angels overpaid for a recently injured, offense-first star-caliber player. Now that contract is considered one of the few very worst in the league.
It's not that there's anything really wrong with McCann himself. He's one of the best five catchers in baseball and with Joe Mauer moving to first base, he's one of the four best catchers.
Catchers aren't usually very good offensively, so when a hitter comes along, it's going to take big bucks to lock him up. Some experts are expecting McCann will get a contract for about 5-years and $75 million -- like what Yadier Molina got.
For a team like the Angels with a $150 million payroll, that's actually a reasonable price and his bat would fit right in. However, there are three huge problems here.
Second, as with the Hamilton signing, the team already has someone at the player's position. Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger filled in very nicely last year at catcher and actually with the two of them there's already a bit of a logjam. It's time to look at trading one of those guys for, oh I don't know, maybe some pitching.
Third, signing McCann will cost the Angels their first-round draft pick. Again. Just as with Hamilton -- and as with Albert Pujols the year before. The Pujols draft pick wound up being the St. Louis Cardinals rookie playoff sensation Michael Wacha -- which just makes those kinds of signings just so much worse.
So, come on, Angels. Let Brian McCann go somewhere else. You'll be fine offensively. You need pitching. Don't make things worse by returnething to your folly.
But there's little hope among Angels fans. When it comes to love, they say: "The heart wants what the heart wants." And when it comes to the Angels: "The Arte wants what the Arte wants."
Jed Rigney is a Los Angeles-based award-winning filmmaker who also fancies himself a baseball writer. He is the lead humor columnist at Through The Fence Baseball.
You can find him on Twitter @JedRigney.
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