Don’t turn off the lights just yet

MINNEAPOLIS – Angels fans are bailing left and right. I hear it every day in emails. They can’t take it anymore. They can’t watch. They can’t even listen to the games. It’s too frustrating, too distressing.

This is what happens when a team goes from really good to so-so virtually overnight. You want to know, you demand to know, if this is a temporary blip or a preview of dark times ahead, a return to the dead-ball era in Anaheim.

I’m no prophet, but I’ll take the blip route until I see or feel something that leads me to believe the organization is in the freefall imagined by so many doomsayers.

What makes this season so difficult – no, impossible – to accurate gauge is the loss of Kendry Morales. This man was the centerpiece of the offense, fifth in the American League MVP balloting last season. His loss has had an impact on the entire lineup, to say nothing of the attitude in the clubhouse.

The Angels had three players they couldn’t afford to lose – Torii Hunter, Jered Weaver and Morales – and they lost one of them. They simply haven’t been the same with seven different bodies trying to fill the Morales void at first.

Would Morales’ presence – he had developed into a quality defender at first — have been enough to make up the difference between the Rangers and the Angels? Hard to say. But I think it’s fair to say they’d be much closer than they are to Texas – maybe three, four games off the lead. And well within striking distance.

The Angels players and staff know this, but they can’t talk about it. It would sound defeatist, and that’s the last thing you want with so much season left on the schedule. But it’s the truth, and sometimes the truth needs to be expressed.

As for the future, if I’m an Angels fan – my job description doesn’t allow for that – I’d be excited. Peter Bourjos is on his way to being one of the game’s most exciting players, and Mike Trout is coming right behind Bourjos: incredibly swift, developing power with the confident bearing of a young Pete Rose at age 19.

Bourjos has pretty much owned Target Field today with speed, power, arm, instincts. On his first Major League homer, a laser into the left-field seats against Kevin Slowey, Bourjos was at first base when the line drive hit the seats. That was amazing to see. On his triple to right center? Simply flying.

All those fans — you know who you are — who were ready to quit on Bourjos after 20 at-bats, as they did Brandon Wood, don’t understand that nobody conquers this game instantly. Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, arguably the two greatest athletes to play the game, wanted to go home after failing in their first months in the bigs.

Bourjos and Trout in the outfield someday with Torii Hunter as the veteran anchor is a vision thrilling to ponder.

Eddie Bane and his scouting staff have had two consecutive intriguing drafts. If the kids from the 2010 Draft group – headed by position players Kaleb Cowart, Chevez Clarke, Taylor Lindsey and Ryan Bolden and pitcher Cam Bedrosian – show as well as the ’09 crop, the Angels are in the process of restocking their system with premium talent.

It’s easy to get depressed and negative, turn off the lights. But if you leave them on and give it a chance, you just might have some fun at the party.  – Lyle Spencer

11 Comments

Lyle

I have been a loyal Angels fan since 1977, I’ve never bailed on them in 33 years! It gets SO frustrating watching the fickleness of California residents. I sat next to a Boston fan on 7/28 and enjoyed his company more than I do many an Angels fan; he understood baseball (that’s why I like Spring Training so much, its all about Baseball there).

Let’s focus on the game and have fun – rid ourselves of the stress & simply play fundamental baseball! Oh, and send Wood down, instead of wasting space..get someone who can contribute when called upon; umm…. let’s see….Frandsen!

I have been an angel fan since 1962 it started as a joke and guess what its been going on ever since however; I have seen some really bad teams . The problem I have with the angels is this they seem to get rid of home grown players that are good and at times hold on to the jewels of the farm system that can’t hit over 200 . I do feel sorry for the owner and Mike Scioscia but not the GM . The owner has done a lot for the angel fans and deserve better from his players.

amen musso47

For every single one of the players to Not be able to hit the ball in support of Weaver’s 11 Strike Outs (or for how many games prior….?), it is Not the players problem. The problem is within the organization somewhere else. Time to face that, accept it and fix it!

amen musso47

For every single one of the players to Not be able to hit the ball in support of Weaver’s 11 Strike Outs (or for how many games prior….?), it is Not the players problem. The problem is within the organization somewhere else. Time to face that, accept it and fix it!

No doubt the team needs some offensive power boost. The loss of Kendry and Vlady hurt big time. There is no one in the line up that pitchers fear, other than Tori. You need at least 3 power bats that are consistent. And Matsui is not it. That forces pitchers to pitch the guys ahead of them differently, and often times results in them seeing more hittable pitches. The way the team is built now, they need to string together 3 or 4 hits in order to score…difficult to do all of the time and thus why this team struggles to score every night. You need a few guys in there that can put up 1-3 runs with one swing of the bat. Hopefully Reagins will get that, and try to acquire another power bat or two during the off season and not another singles and doubles guy. The pitching is there for next year, assuming all return.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.
I think we have to make a statement this offseason showing we’re not going anywhere in terms of the best teams in baseball, WE NEED to do whatever it takes to get Carl Crawford in an Angels uniform, his versatility, speed and power potential would give us a whole new look to our offense, but we also must revamp that bullpen either through trades or our farm system because the free agent market for relievers is not too strong, and we also need to get one more consistent starting pitcher, because having only one SP with a sub 4.00 ERA just doesnt cut it. trading for Chris Young of the Padres would make perfect sense considering there young pitchers have just taken over this year, I would feel comfortable with a Weaver, Haren, Young, Santana, and Kazmir rotation.

I have been an Angel fan my whole life, only 20 years up to this point but I love this team as much as my wife lol. And the problem I have with this team is it doesnt play ANGELS BASEBALL. That speedy, versatile, clutch team that always had a dominant bullpen to shut the door, and always had those clutch hits in the late innings, and was always in the top of the league batting with RISP. Now it seems like with Abreu looking slower every game, and Matsui, Napoli, and Mathis all in the line-up it just seems like everything is slowed down, with no clutch hitters stepping up, and don’t even get me started on our bullpen this year.
I think we have to make a statement this offseason showing we’re not going anywhere in terms of the best teams in baseball, WE NEED to do whatever it takes to get Carl Crawford in an Angels uniform, his versatility, speed and power potential would give us a whole new look to our offense, but we also must revamp that bullpen either through trades or our farm system because the free agent market for relievers is not too strong, and we also need to get one more consistent starting pitcher, because having only one SP with a sub 4.00 ERA just doesnt cut it. trading for Chris Young of the Padres would make perfect sense considering there young pitchers have just taken over this year, I would feel comfortable with a Weaver, Haren, Young, Santana, and Kazmir rotation.
I’m not sure also how many Angel fans would aagree with me on this one but one way to completely change our bullpen is to possibly unload some second teir prospects and possibly a Juan Rivera or Maicier Izturis and go after Francisco Rodriguez who looks to have pitched his last game in a Mets uniform. putting him back into the back of our bullpen would be great for the fans and for our under achieving pen. And getting rid of one of our catchers only makes sense considering Hank Congers progression, having Mathis and Napoli both also doesnt make sense.
Things just have to change for this team this offseason, not haviong a .300 hitter in our everyday line-up and our sub par pitching if that, just isn’t cutting it. Angels can be better than this, with just a few signings or trades, they can get back to playing the game that had us in the top of the league over the last 5 years. We got to get back to the World Series and light up that halo ! Let’s Go Angels

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