Rhett Bollinger covers the Los Angeles Angels for MLB.com and is a proud USC alum. He returns to the Jack Vita Show this week to discuss a wide variety of topics, including the Angels' immediate struggles following the trade deadline, and the murky future of the Pac-12 Conference.
First, Rhett and Jack talk all things Pac-12. A week ago, it was announced that Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah would all be joining the Big 12, with Oregon and Washington entering the Big Ten. Last summer, USC and UCLA shockingly announced that 2023-24 would be their final year in the Pac-12, with both southern California schools heading to the Big Ten. Conference realignment is in full force. The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 are going to look quite a bit different after this year. Rhett breaks it all down and explains what exactly happened to the Pac-12. Now only four teams remain in the Pac-12: Stanford, Cal, Oregon State and Washington State. What will happen to the remaining schools? Rhett and Jack open the show talking Pac-12, then pivot over to some baseball news, before returning to Pac-12 talk. Along the way, Rhett and Jack discuss MLB TV deals, the Tim Anderson vs. Jose Ramirez fight, the Cleveland Guardians' lingering struggles, and more! Jack and Rhett also take a look at the new Big 12 and Big Ten. At first glance, the new Big 12 appears to be the NCAA's premier men's basketball league.
Then, Rhett and Jack put the Angels under the microscope. Two weeks ago, the club was riding high, having won nine of their last ten games. The Angels opted to buy at the trade deadline, adding Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Randal Grichuk and CJ Cron to aid them in their playoff chase. The Angels enter the weekend on a cold spell. Prior to taking back-to-back games from the San Francisco Giants, the Halos lost seven straight, a streak in which they dropped all four games of a home series to the division rival Seattle Mariners. Rhett checks the pulse of the Angels and details what has gone wrong for the club in the time since the deadline. Can the club recover, and still make the postseason? If the Angels miss the playoffs for the eighth-straight season, will the club still be able to re-sign Shohei Ohtani?
Rhett weighs in on the Angels' decision not to trade Ohtani, and assesses the upcoming free agent market for the current American League MVP frontrunner. How many teams does Rhett believe will realistically be in play for Shohei, and which teams are they? Rhett also sizes up the teams in contention for Ohtani's services, and shares which team(s) he believes has the best shot at signing him.
Later, Rhett and Jack discuss the hottest team in baseball: the Seattle Mariners. Rhett also predicts which team will win the American League West, and the American League as a whole. It's a jam-packed episode you won't want to miss!
Pac-12 Fallout, MLB TV deals, Tim Anderson vs. Jose Ramirez (0:00 - 30:10)
Angels' struggles, Ohtani's future (30:10 - 52:05)
Mariners, AL West predictions (52:05 - END)
Rhett appeared on the Jack Vita Show for the first time in May. You can catch that episode here.
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