April 27, 2012

What? Me worry?

I’m frustrated.  You’re frustrated.  Every Angel fan in America is frustrated. 

Take all that frustration and multiply it a hundred times and I’m guessing that’s how the players, coaches and front office feels too.  I’ve got a list of complaints – it’s probably the same list as yours with the juggling lineups and lack of playing time for Mark Trumbo at the top of it all.

I get it.  It’s insane.

And yet – I’m not here to pile on.  There are plenty of bloggers, talk-show hosts, columnists and fans in general doing enough complaining and ranting.  Why add to it?  It’s not much fun and at this point it’s redundant.  I’m not much for following crowds anyway. 

Besides – we should have all seen it coming.  Whenever Sports Illustrated starts touting your favorite team as the best, stuff is bound to happen.  I became very nervous when so many “experts” starting picking the Angels to dominate. I kid, but only sort of.

I keep thinking back to 2008 when the Tigers acquired Miguel Cabrera and everyone picked them to win the whole thing.  What happened?  They went 74-88 – that’s what happened. That’s baseball and even though teams look great on paper – if they don’t go out and execute – they’re not going to do a darn thing.

I’m not saying the 2012 Angels are going to end up like the 2008 Tigers.  I’m just saying the Angels have been delivered a wake-up call and it’s up to them to respond.

So here’s the thing – this thing is going to turn around.  I know it.  You know it and more importantly – the Angels know it.  There is too much talent on this team for me to believe anything else.  And there’s also Mike Scioscia, who I happen to believe is the most important Angel of all.

I know – some of you are calling for his head.  You think he’s lost touch with his team and they’re not responding to him, and blah, blah, blah. Please.

Who would you rather have run this team?  And before you answer that – you’d better be careful what you wish for.  All I’m saying is that Mike Scioscia is not the problem.

You’re better off blaming Sports Illustrated because that makes more sense (even though that’s also pretty silly).

I’m going to speculate a little bit here.  My guess is that this team started to believe the press clippings a little too much.  They probably thought they’d ride Albert Pujols’ coat tails for a bit and start to get after it later in the season.  Albert was making it look pretty easy in the spring.  Well, stuff happens.

Again – 19 games in and they just got a wake-up call.

Look – they’re human.  You can call Albert – “The Machine” – but at the end of the day – he puts his head on a pillow like the rest of us.  They all do. 

It’s going to get better.  So, in the mean time – don’t stop watching because when this thing turns around – you want to be there.  I mean it.  You need to be there – be it in front of the television, at the stadium or in your car listening on the radio.  That’s what this fan is going to do. The way I see it, if I can endure the pain of watching them lose, I should get to enjoyment out of seeing them win.  You feel me?

The off season was long.  I couldn’t wait for the spring and for baseball to be on the daily docket every day.  I’ll be darned if I’m going to give up on this season so fast.

Okay – maybe that’s easier said than done for some of you.  Maybe you need something to take your mind off the 6-13 start.  Okay, I got a few things for you to focus on.

Last year, after 19 games the Cleveland Indians were atop the AL Central with the Kansas City Royals a game back.    Everyone thought the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox were headed for a show down in October.  In fact, the Angels were a half game up on the Rangers at this point.  It all changed over the course of a long season.

It was early then and it’s early now.

Don’t panic.  That’s what the other guy does.  Let them do that... like in Boston where they're jumping off bridges.  Detroit isn't running away with the AL Central just yet either.  There's time folks; lots of time.  I know the Rangers are hot, but the long hot summer is coming.  Just saying.

I'll leave you with this - in Albert’s time in St. Louis his team only had a losing record once and that was the year after they won the World Series in 2007. Albert Pujols is going to get this thing going and when he does - lots of other things will fall into place.  It's not like we're relying on Jeff Mathis to save us.  And... don't forget - there's a certain someone (Mike Trout) tearing things up at Salt Lake City.  

This season has a story in it - and you need to let it unfold.  Any good story isn't necessarily predictable... so enjoy the ride.


  1. Bob in section 514April 29, 2012

    It must be wonderful to view the world through Halo-Red colored glasses. But one item which you conveniently ignored is that Texas is for real and is not going away. I was shocked to read that they have already outscored their opponents by 53 runs this season. That's almost as many runs as the Angels have SCORED. And for those Scioscia apologists who think that management doesn't matter, take a look at the terrific job that Mike Maddux has done with the Rangers pitchers, formerly a laughingstock & guaranteed to run out of gas in August. Scioscia's biggest failing is his undying loyalty to Mickey Hatcher and Mike Butcher, who have ruined many more careers than they have resurrected. And as for your dig at whipping boy Jeff Mathis, last time I looked he had two more homers than the $240 million man and Kendrys combined (in 16 at bats, no less). It is amazing to see how the Halos and Rangers have switched places in such a seemingly short period of time, and despite the tens of millions that the Angels have spent (thrown away??).

  2. Bob,
    It is nice to view a baseball team with optimism. You should try it sometime. Forgive me if I don't join the whine fest. I really don't have much more to say; except that it appears you miss Jeff Mathis. Who knew? And one last thing - hating on Mike Scioscia is typical of fans who fail to see the big picture and forget what it was like when this franchise was somewhat of a laughing stock.

  3. Bob - perhaps you missed this line in my post - "I’m not here to pile on. There are plenty of bloggers, talk-show hosts, columnists and fans in general doing enough complaining and ranting. Why add to it? It’s not much fun and at this point it’s redundant. I’m not much for following crowds anyway."

    So, if you're looking for me to state the obvious about Texas, Hatcher and Butcher - you're wasting your time this time around. That wasn't the purpose of this post. Sorry to disappoint you.

    Seems like there's a little extra venom in your comments, Bob. Relax, take a deep breath - it's a long season.

  4. Bob in section 514April 30, 2012

    I'm a life-long Cubs fan so I know all about laughingstocks. That didn't mean that I had to blindly love & support Lou Piniella after it was obvious to everyone that the team had stopped responding to him. I see a lot of parallels between this year's Angels and my beloved LA Kings (speaking of perennial laughingstocks). The Kings were big spenders last offseason but by December it was clear that Terry Murray (despite being a good and well respected head coach) had "lost" the team and they were lifeless and comatose. Management made the right move in firing him and hiring Darryl Sutter and, lo and behold, the Kings right now are the surprise team of the NHL playoffs. And yes, the Kings have historically had many years of mediocrity just like the Angels but that should not and did not figure into the coaching change. The fact is that management and the fan base were correctly disappointed with the roster not playing up to its capabilities (just like our favorite baseball team, not only this year but in 2010 & 2011 as well).

    With the Angels, for me, it's not a case of optimism or pessimism but more about the entertainment value that is not being provided. This team is stale and BORING. They do not play Angels baseball any longer. The Angels used to be looked upon as a "scrappy" team. Now, they are scrappy without the "s." And can you honestly tell me that Scioscia has gotten the most out of his talent in the past two seasons plus one month??? Seriously? Despite your blind optimism don't you just get even a wee bit frustrated at what we are seeing this season? Just because the Halos have had many years of mediocrity in the past is no reason to look the other way when players are no longer responding to their leader.

    Just because the masses (fans, beat writers, etc.) are placing some of the blame on Scioscia, his coaching staff and their approach does not invalidate their opinions. I am just wondering, did you really enjoy the past two seasons and how do you like this one so far? Seems like there is no bigger laughingstock in baseball than the Angles right now, given the money they have thrown away on players who are no longer with the team.

    I went to spring training twice this year and I bought into the hype (read optimism) as much as anyone. But I would be a fool to look at this team and the way it is performing right now and pretend that everything is wonderful with it.

    Finally, I was never a Jeff Mathis basher. Besides, the Halos have a suitable replacement for his bat as long as Mike (oops, I mean Jerry) keeps Alberto Callaspo on the roster.

  5. Bob in section 514April 30, 2012

    There's no venom in my comments whatsoever. Sorry you took it that way. All I am saying in a nutshell is that someone needs to light a fire under this team of underachievers and I do not believe that Mike Scioscia has the capability of doing so any longer, that's all.

  6. Bob - Again, maybe you missed my first statement in my post - "I'm frustrated." I don't know how any Angel fan couldn't be absolutely and totally frustrated. I have the same list of issues that most Angel fans do (again as I stated in my blog). I get it. I live it. I understand it. I'm not saying the opinions of fans, columnists, etc. are invalid because I agree with most of them. I SAID AS MUCH IN MY POST.

    The only thing I can't do is place the blame on Scioscia. A guy doesn't win a world series and five division championships by not knowing how to do his job. The last two years were more of a result of Tony Reagins ineffectiveness to improve the ball club than it was Scioscia's managing in my opinion.

    When you start out saying, "it must be wonderful to view the world through Halo-red..." and then say "you conveniently ignored..." I'd say you have an axe to grind with a certain amount of venom. Clearly you misunderstood the purpose of my post - otherwise, we wouldn't be having this dialog. I mean what part of "I'm not here to pile on" don't you understand? I've done plenty of that when I've felt like it, but right now - I just don't feel the need.

  7. One last comment from me and then I'm "turning the page" (I know you'll like that statement)...

    "Buying the hype" is hardly being optimistic.

    1. Bob in section 514April 30, 2012

      I agree with you 100% about the Mike Scioscia of years gone by, the one who managed aggressively, played the hot hand, and ALWAYS got the most out of his talent. Those Scioscia managed teams were always so much fun to watch, win or lose (and so unlike the 2011 and 2012 versions, thus far).

      I am wondering what happened to that guy? I think I saw his picture on the back of a milk carton. I never said that he doesn't know how to do his job, I just think that the players no longer respond to him. It would certainly not be the first time in sports that a superior coach or manager wears out his welcome in the current situation.

      When a class act and leader like Torii Hunter speaks out publicly and says that the team is "going through the motions," that definitely got my attention, and tells me that things are much worse in that clubhouse than they seem.

      There's my final two cents, now it's time for ME to "turn the page."

    2. I was working on a piece exactly like this right about the same time you published this piece. Rest assured, Great Minds do Think A like.

      Well I guess I'll junk mine now.