March 26, 2005
HE CERTAINLY DIDN'T LEARN IT FROM LASORDA:
Position of Influence: Figgins' speed and versatility make him a most valuable asset, no matter where Angels play him (Mike DiGiovanna, March 26, 2005, LA Times)
Way down the list of vote-getters for the 2004 American League most-valuable-player award, far behind superstars Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriguez, in 29th place to be exact, was Chone Figgins.
The Angel utility player's total of two points, for the two 10th-place votes he received, seemed minuscule compared to the triple-digit figures at the top of the charts. But to Figgins, those votes represent "one of the greatest accomplishments I've ever had," he said. "To even be mentioned as an MVP candidate was a great honor." [...]
The versatile, speedy Figgins started at five positions — shortstop, center field, third base, second base and right field — fielding each proficiently, and hit in six lineup spots, first, second, third, seventh, eighth and ninth.
He batted .296 with five home runs, 17 triples, 22 doubles, 60 runs batted in, 83 runs and a team-high 34 stolen bases, and with the exception of August, when his average dipped to .269, he hit .283 or better in each month.
The way he used Chone Figgins is just one indicator of what makes Mike Scioscia perhaps the best manager in the game today. With the plethora of great young players they have at the top levels of their minor league system, his Angels could be the dominant team in baseball for some time to come.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2005 7:10 AM