May 30, 2012

Now we're talking

Recently and when I say “recently” – I mean in the last 2+ seasons, I’d get a sinking feeling every time the Angels fell behind early in a game. Monday night was different. Perhaps it was because of the way the team had been playing lately or the fact that Phil Hughes was on the mound; take your pick, I had a sense of calm and confidence that the Angels would come back.

When the Angels rallied for four runs in the bottom of the first inning after giving up 3 in the top of the first, I wasn’t surprised. When all was said and done – the Angels outlasted the Yankees for a 9-8 victory and new day was born.

The team had finally reached a .500 record at 25-25 and the abysmal start of the 2012 season was starting to fade into the past Everything seemed right with the world again.

Tuesday night the United States Air Force declared the Angels outfield a “No Fly Zone” as well hit balls met their demise at the hands of Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos. Apparently, the baseballs had enough sense to not test Torii Hunter. Watching the two young guys run down fly balls in the outfield was a thing of absolute beauty.

The Angels won their eighth consecutive game last night (5-1) and moved to within 5.5 games of the Texas Rangers. Suddenly, the big bad Rangers don't seem so invincible. Just saying.

It’s been a long road – but baseball and more specifically Angels baseball is fun again.

How did the Angels turn things around? Perhaps it was all because of fellow Angel blogger Josh and his wife, who found that by not watching Angel games – the team has gone on their current winning streak. Josh chronicles his superstition on his blog “Angels Nation.”

Perhaps the Angels turn around coincides with Albert Pujols’ family arrival in Southern California to be with Albert during the summer – as it was chronicled in the USA Today. This is something I speculated about earlier as well.

Maybe it has something to do with the departure of Mickey Hatcher or Vernon Wells going on the DL or the recent solar eclipse. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, it all came just in time. I’m feeling less anxious and I’m starting to see a bit of a swagger in the way the Angels are going about their business now. Albert is back. Mike Trout is doing remarkable things at just 20 years of age and Mark Trumbo is just a beast.

And yet… there is still work to be done. The Angels have one more game against the Yankees and then three big games against the Rangers. Things could get very interested, very fast.

I know a lot of fans have hung in there through the struggles of the early season and I also know that some of you are just finding your way back.

Regardless of it all, now is the time for us to rally around this team, fill the stadium, be loud and show the rest of the baseball word how great this fan base can be.

If you’re like me, you’ve been taking names and notes of all the people who had a field day with the Angels struggles early on. If you wanted Mike Scioscia fired – be warned, I’ve got your name on my list. If you ceremoniously handed the Western Division title to the Rangers in April – I know who you are. If you thought Albert Pujols was a bust – I’ve got my eye on you too. After all, that's part of being a fan.

The fun of every baseball season is in the journey and the stories that unfold along the way. This season hasn't had any shortage of stories to be sure. Like the night Jered Weaver threw his no-hitter or even Monday night when the Angels overcame Weaver leaving early because of a back injury.

There is so much baseball still be played and so many more stories to be told.

My hope is that you have a chance to experience as many of them as possible. Join us in the journey because folks, this is going to be fun. It's time people; so break our your red and get your Angel game face on. Let's do this together!

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