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Cubs and Angels on different paths

(MCT) ANAHEIM, Calif. — Though they both play in large markets, the Cubs and Angels have gone in opposite directions off the field.

Angels owner Arte Moreno splurged on free agents Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson the last two seasons, while the Cubs are trying to build with a middle-market payroll and a core of young players such as Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardzija.

The debate on which team is doing it the right way could go on all night, but there's no arguing the early results.

The Cubs are 23-33 after Tuesday night's 4-3 loss, while the Angels are slightly better at 26-33.

Is one team wasting money? Is one team wasting time?

The only certainty is spending doesn't always translate to winning.

"Even the Yankees in the '80s (didn't always succeed)," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's not the formula all the time. Sometimes it is. In (2003) the Marlins went out and traded and bought and this and that (en route to a World Series championship).

"But in the long run, you look at all the teams that have won World Series, bits and pieces come from somewhere else, but the core players _ there are sometimes four, five, six, sometimes 10 core players that they drafted that came from the organization."

The Angels lost 22 of their first 33 games this year before getting on a roll and eventually winning eight straight. But they came into Tuesday's game having been swept in a four-game series by the lowly Astros, and are 3-7 against them. They scored only eight runs in the four-game sweep, against the team with the worst pitching in the majors.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia held a closed door meeting with his team after the game, shutting the media out of the clubhouse for almost 30 minutes.

"It seems like these four games, a switch flipped off," Scioscia said.

The Cubs have had their share of disappointments, including the inconsistent performance of Castro, who was moved down to the No. 7 hole on Tuesday. Castro probably gets more heat from Cubs fans than any other player besides Carlos Marmol, but Sveum said that it's "part of (playing in) a big market," and should be expected.

"It's just like the Derek Jeters of the world," he said. "Those things are going to be dissected. They're playing in the prime spot in a big market and it's a very noticeable spot, and he had a lot of success early in his career.

"It's a good thing that they put themselves into that position to be dissected."

While the Angels try to climb back into contention, the Cubs were looking toward Thursday's draft, which could be the biggest day of the year for President Theo Epstein and scouting director Jason McLeod.

With the No. 2 pick behind the Astros, the Cubs can't afford to make the wrong choice.

"It's probably why they haven't talked to anybody in two weeks, they're in lockdown making sure we get the draft right," Sveum said. "It's a gamble, but you're putting all your eggs in one basket. Not (just that) the No. 2 pick in the country is right, but getting the best players after that, too."

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