Especially for this team. The Angels have the 4th highest payroll in baseball and they need to be accountable for it. I don't care if the players didn't negotiate their contracts or the Angels added up bad contracts; they need to play every single night.
Front office, you're definitely accountable on this... but I'll get at you at the end of this rant.
There were way too many games that they lost this year to bad, bad teams. I've said it all along, you don't win a division by beating up on bad teams, but you definitely lose it by losing to bad teams.
I'll tell you what, though. The young players stepped up and played their hearts out for this team. Starting with Peter Bourjos. Any time you're replacing an annual gold glove recipient you're going to have pressure on your shoulders.
And the kid stepped up without flinching. Prior to the season I didn't see him playing as well as he did this year. Petey gets an A.
Mike Trout. What can I say. 20.Damn.Years.Old. That's all I can say. And scary, this kid is going to be damn scary in the coming years. He provided a jolt to the team that was so sorely needed and got them back in the race.
It's going to be amazing to watch this kid grow into an all-star.
Which leads us to the rookie of the year. Mark freaking Trumbo. Bourjos' pressure was nothing compared to what was on Trumbo. And he exceeded any expectations to fill the shoes of Kendrys Morales. Hell, plenty of times I saw "Morales, who?!?" on my timeline.
Trumbo was supposed to be the guy that held down first base while Morales got better. Instead, he turned into the heart of the team. Whenever the Angels needed a homerun, his named was uttered by the announcers. When no one wanted to step up, he took the job.
And the pitchers.
Without the grit and guts of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Jerome Williams in rotation these Angels would not have competed. And as bad as the bullpen is, Scott Downs proved to be a reliable arm (which proved me wrong; I hated his contract).
But mainly the starting pitchers kept these Halos afloat. No thanks to Kazmir, who decided to give up on the bigs.
Bad news bear time.
First, the thing that pisses me off the most.
Vernon freaking Wells. Where's your heart, guy? First year jitters? I better not hear that during the offseason. Don't promise us fans anything, either. We just want to see results.
Get in the cages, shag balls, do some HGH, whatever. Figure it out... because we know we're stuck with your contract. Like any work situation, we know we don't like each other, let's just get the job done.
Mike Scioscia. Ever heard of consistency? For two years running now you've been playing spin the wheel-o-lineup. How about letting your players adjust to their spot in the lineup.
The injury excuse couldn't be used because you had the majority of your guys every night. You're shuffling obviously isn't working, so stop.
And don't take a "we're glad we competed" line from Tony Reagins or Arte Moreno. These guys expected to win the AL West. Don't tell let them tell you any different. They can't say different because they took on a contract from an aging outfielder they didn't need. They can't say different because they paid a lot of money to "revamp" the bullpen.
They can't say because they passed up the chance to bring back Vladimir Guerrero.
Out of all excuses I hear during the offseason, the excuses out of Moreno's and Reagins' mouth won't touch the earwax on the outside of my ear. I don't want to hear it.
With time, this team will be at the point you two expected. And the expectations you created in our minds will be met.
Until then, I'll appreciate the players effort but I won't "ra-ra" them. Not this year. Not for what's expected of them.
I'll see you at the yard.