Saturday, April 13, 2013

Six Ways to Cope With A Losing Team

In their 53 seasons of existence, the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels have only started 2-8 twice.  The first was in 1961, the Angels' first season, and now, in their 53rd season, the Angels have once again started 2-8.  After only picking up one road win each in Cincinnati and Arlington, the Halos are an embarrassing 0-4 to start the season in Anaheim, including a 5-0 loss against the Houston Astros on Friday night.  A team many projected to be among the league's worst clubs this season, and finish with less than 60 wins.  Now, the Astros are a decent 4-6, and are two games ahead of the Angels, who sit alone at the cellar of the AL West.

What can we do?  As fans, we can't fix the pitching.  We can't get timely hits.  We can hardly root for this team, right?  Wrong.  But how does one cope with a last place team?  Let this article be your handy guide!

1. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff - Bad teams are bad for a reason.  They either don't have the talent, or chemistry, or drive of their winning counterparts.  It's hard to tell at this point in the season what the Angels are having trouble with, but it's clear that the formula isn't working.  So simply don't sweat the small stuff.  Albert Pujols doesn't run out a ground ball?  Don't worry about it Albert, you have to stay healthy for another 8 years!  Eric Aybar strikes out looking?  At least you didn't ground into a double play, buddy!  Kevin Jepsen allows two home runs in 2/3rds of an inning?  Don't let it get to you, Kevin.  It could have been 4!

The first and second rules are very similar, but also vastly different in a very important way...

2. Get Excited About The Little Things - Normally, a lot of little things in a game can go a long way.  Say Pujols grounds out, but it gets Mike Trout to third with one out.  That's amazing, cheer loudly.  Jason Vargas gives up three runs over six innings of work in a losing effort?  The offense will get you next time, and hey, that's a quality start, keep your chin up!  That pretty much puts you in the upper echelon of Angels pitching this year.  Anything that is a positive for the Angels will stick out like a sore thumb, it won't be hard to notice.

3. Root for Former Angels on New Teams - Vernon Wells is tearing it up in New York.  Hitting over .300 and with a similarly high OBP, the change of scenery did great things for his mojo.  He may not have set the world on fire in Anaheim, but he was the nicest guy imaginable.  Speaking of impossibly nice people, Torii Hunter is hitting over .400!   Sure, Detroit may have weaseled their way into the playoffs last year in an easy division, but it's still better than rooting for the Red Sox.

4. You Get A Chance to See Our Talent Grow - The Minor Leagues are for the birds.  Why wait when you can have the future of your team here today?!  With injuries to Aybar and Alberto Callaspo, Luis Jimenez got the call from Salt Lake to join the club on Friday.  He may be a little raw, but thanks to our rough start, there is very little pressure on this kid to perform at a major league level right away.  If things continue to look rough, look for more prospects to join the team well ahead of schedule!

5. Don't Buy Tickets For Future Games Now - Just imagine the pie on your face in July when the Angels have a 31-59 record and tickets to Friday Nights game are just $2 at the door, and you paid $45 back in April!  You should still go to games, but be smart and wait for bargains!  A $2 ticket will get you in the door, and by the 7th inning you will be sitting behind the Angels Dugout!

6. Update Your Resumes - I get the feeling there will quite a few job openings at Angel Stadium in the coming months if things continue to look this bleak.  Imagine how awesome "Interim Manager" would look on your resume in a couple years!

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