Although I don't think they are committed to fielding a winning Double-A team and their coaches have proven to put little emphasis on winning, the Los Angeles Angels have been a fairly decent parent club for the Arkansas Travelers. That said, I feel the need to point out the recent success of the St. Louis Cardinals because of how much they get trashed by some, including those in Travs management.
Wouldn't the fan fervor of the Cards' world championship be something for the Travs to market this offseason as they move into their own new stadium? If only. Just think of all the players on the Cardinals roster who the Travs could have advertised as recently playing in Ray Winder Field. Take a look at this list.
These are the players who have played Double-A ball in the Cardinals farm system since the Travs dropped them and moved on to the Angels. These are the players our fans would have related to seeing as they were swept up in the World Series action. Here are the could've-been appearances in Ray Winder Field (note the two high-profile rehab appearances, Angels):
• Yadier Molina - Played in Double-A in 2003
• So Taguchi - The So man honed his American skills in Double-A in 2002
• Chris Duncan - Played in Double-A in 2003-2004
• Anthony Reyes - Pitched most of the year in Double-A in 2004
• Tyler Johnson - Pitched in Double-A in 2003-2004
• Josh Kinney - Pitched in Double-A in 2003-2005
• Brad Thompson - Pitched in Double-A in 2004
• Skip Schumaker - Played in Double-A in 2003-2004
• Chris Carpenter - Made a rehab appearance at Double-A in 2003
• Jason Isringhausen - Made two Double-A rehab appearances in 2003
So how did the Cardinals win the World Series? With players cast off by the Angels as not good enough for LA. Not only that, it turns out Walt Jocketty did get the better of the Angels in the Jeff Weaver for Terry Evans trade after all with the performances Weaver put in during the playoffs. At least his former-Trav brother Jered got some face time sitting in the stands.
So let's take a look at the former Angels that helped bring home the title for St. Louis:
• Jeff Weaver - Dumped by the Angels this year for Double-A outfielder Terry Evans. Oops. And maybe old Dave Duncan isn't such a rotten pitching coach.
• David Eckstein - Granted free agency by the Angels at the end of 2004 because they thought they could do better at shortstop than this guy? His World Series MVP trophy sits mocking you.
• Scott Spiezio - The Angels thought this guy wasn't worth resigning in 2003. Well, in their defense, he didn't have the red soul patch back then.
• Jim Edmonds - Angels, how do you let this guy get away in 1999? Traded for Adam Kennedy and Kent Bottenfield? Jocketty strikes again.
I look at these lists and I come to two conclusions -- The Angels front office isn't quite so smart when it comes to evaluating and keeping talent, and boy wouldn't it have been nice to be celebrating this Cardinals World Series championship with some personal memories of some of the guys who just won it recently playing in Little Rock.