Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Wish You Would Step Back From That Ledge, My Friends...

Let me preface this post by saying that yes, no one loves bitching about my beloved Halos more than me.  I have been calling for Mickey Hatcher's head for the better part of two seasons now... and I simply don't like Erick Aybar, but the stuff I've been seeing on Twitter and message boards recently is making me sad to be an Angels fan.

On twitter after tonight's loss against a good Blue Jays team, there is actually momentum behind firing Mike Scioscia... you know its not a good sign when the only guy to bring our team ANY playoff success is trying to be made out to be some sacrificial lamb.  Like if we fire Mike and bring in some unemployed schmuck, he is going to turn this ship around and take us to the postseason.  Get real people, Terry Francona isn't going to do anything but hasten our trip to mediocrity.  He took maybe the best on-paper team of all time, the 2011 Red Sox... got them off to a 0-7 start, then back into contention, only to lose their playoff spot on the final game of the season after an epic collapse gave the Rays a chance.  Yeah, he is who I want leading an already struggling club.

Mike is a two-time Manager of the Year (2002, 2009) and has more than 1000 victories as our manager, and has taken us to the playoffs 6 times... DOUBLE what ALL previous Angels' Managers combined had gotten before him in nearly 40 years.  I think the man knows what he is doing, and I trust him to take us back there, even if its with a team that looks almost nothing like the one we have on the field.

The other person that people are rallying against is our new slugger, and future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols.  Yes, I will admit that he is having, by far, the worst 5 week span of his career.  And yes, I'll also concede that the immediate future isn't looking good.  But to think that a career .328 hitter (in St. Louis) isn't going to turn it around and raise his average back above the Mendoza line is ridiculous.  I can sit here and make a ton of excuses, but the real problem isn't so cut and dry, otherwise Albert would have figured it out by now.  He is just in a slump, and nothing is going to get him out of it better than letting him go out there and get his AB's in every day.  Maybe give him a day off this weekend, but there is no need to consider benching the all-star, or cutting his playing time in any way.

So, you are sitting there, probably still unable to get your Angels gear off fast enough, yelling at your computer screen, saying "Well then, smart-ass, who do we blame for our 10-17 start?!".

The answer is simple: No one.  It's 27 games... we have 135 left to play.  If we finish the season playing .600 baseball (this team is more than good enough to play at that level), we finish the season with 91 wins.  With the two wild-cards, and the additional win here and there, this club should easily find itself in the playoffs, at which point anything can happen.

Here at Angels Nation, we aren't going to be hitting any kind of panic button until we find ourselves under .500 after July 1st.  When that happens, I'll be glad to write each and every one of you an apology, and I'll get out my "Fire Mike" signs.

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