Multiple industry sources have confirmed that the Angels have declined to renew the contract of Eddie Bane as the organization's director of amateur scouting. The Angels also let go three area scouts: South Florida's Bart Braun Jr., Alabama-based Jim "Bear" Bryant and Four Corners veteran Jeff Scholzen.
Bane, 58, has been the Angels' scouting director since the fall of 2003, running his first draft in 2004. His contributions are all over Los Angeles' roster, including ace righthander Jered Weaver, his first first-round pick, who signed for $4 million after a lengthy holdout. Several other Bane draftees broke into the majors this season, including center fielder Peter Bourjos, catcher Hank Conger (a 2006 first-rounder) and reliever Jordan Walden.
Scouts outside the organization said Bane's dismissal came as a surprise considering Angels outfielder Mike Trout is on the short list of players considered as the game's top prospect. Bane and the Angels snagged Trout with the 25th overall pick in 2009, signing him for a slot bonus of $1.215 million.
Bane and Angels general manager Tony Reagins had yet to return phone messages left for them Wednesday. Sources inside and outside the organization, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated tensions between the two had increased over the last year or two.
"The way the year developed," one scout said, "with Trout and the guys they broke into the big leagues, I thought Eddie would be OK."
Last month, Bane interviewed for the Diamondbacks' GM job, which ultimately went to Kevin Towers.
Al LaMacchia, a former big league pitcher and longtime scout who helped lay the foundation for the Blue Jays' back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-93, died Wednesday at age 89. LaMacchia, who scouted most recently for the Dodgers, had a career that spanned eight decades working in the game.
LaMacchia made an impact on several organizations, working as a scout with the Braves from 1961-76 and being involved in the drafting and signing of Dale Murphy, Bruce Benedict and current Jays manager Cito Gaston. With the Jays, he's credited with helping bring in Dave Stieb and George Bell, and his signature move with the Dodgers was pushing for the acquisition of Andre Ethier in a trade.
In his own career, LaMacchia pitched 16 games in the majors from 1943-1946 with the St. Louis Browns, his hometown team, and the Washington Senators. He posted a 6.46 ERA in 30.2 innings and posted a 2-2 record.
The LaMacchia family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund." LaMacchia scouted and was involved in the signing of Coolbaugh, the late Jays farmhand and Rockies coach who died on the field in 2007. Donations may be sent payable to “Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund” c/o the LaMacchia Family, 13515 Vista Bonita, San Antonio, Texas, 78216, or http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/news/tributes/mikecoolbaugh.js p.
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