A Losing Team's Guide to Late Season Happiness.
Not Accustomed to losing? Not sure what to do this September? Here's some quick advice and high points to look forward to.
- First and foremost, one must keep himself lighthearted. It sucks not winning, this used to happen a lot, but this decade has been kind to Halo faithful. How do we keep our spirits high while watching the bankrupt corn-holers in Texas celebrate? Easy. Stick to fun postings. Don't go DOV on everyone and make everything a retarded joke, but be able to laugh at certain things. WiFi's comics are sure to get a laugh, and my own personal favorite, Suboptimal's children story about an angry father and his two sons will entertain us through this rough season.
- Accept the fact that the Angels have much work to do this offseason. The team as a whole is a bunch of overpaid, under-performing, frail players who lack any real sense of identity. Focus on what we can do to fix this, pretend you're Tony Reagins and make trades and roster moves galore, or pretend you're Mike Scioscia and blame Mike Napoli for the Great Pestilence, start Mighty Mouse at 3B and bat him 3rd, or just have fun with an interchangeable lineup. I once had a drill instructor who told me as I was being hazed to near death "acceptance is the key to happiness". Once I accepted that my life sucked and I was lower than rat excrement, the military became a much more enjoyable experience.
Get to know the AAAngels and root for them, this is our future and perhaps, the best part of September.
- Mark Trumbo. Is he the next Brandon Wood or Paul Konerko? Only time will tell. But he's cut the baby fat, had some encouraging test runs in the OF and has played a very solid 1B in AAA. His plate discipline has improved and as expected, he's bashed his fair sure of HR in SLC. The Angels need to play him and learn what they have.
- Hank Conger. Essentially, the centerpeice to the Angels catching controversy. Mike Sciosica loves him some Jeff Mathis, but for the 4th consecutive season Mathis has redefined the Mendoza line, making it the Mathis line and is expected to be a strong non-tender candidate this offseason. Meanwhile, Hank Conger down in AAA has played great defense, has unparalleled plate discipline (a rarity in our system), has a solid BA around .300, has hit for power and has impressed at the Futures Game. Expect the Angels to rid themselves of half their MLB ready catchers this offseason (Napoli, Mathis, Wilson, Conger).
- Bullpen. Expect to see a heavy dose of Angels vying for next year's bullpen spot. This list includes fireballer Jordan Walden, Michael Kohn, Rich Thompson, Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Bulger, Brian Stokes, Matt Palmer, Bobby Mosebach and Bobby Cassevah. All of these relievers have what it takes to be solid major league pitchers. Through the big league experience of these relievers, I expect the Angels bullpen next year will be a strength rather than a weakness as it has been in the past couple years.
Finally, root for some of our youngsters playing in the minor league playoffs and look forward to an eventful offseason. Potential offseason themes include:
- Mike Trout. Love him, super love him, or love him so much you wanna give birth to small fry. He looks primed for AA, is there any chance we see him in 2011?
- Howie Kendrick. The future batting title seems further and further away. Love his gap power, but with our abundance of infielders and the development of guys like Jean Segura and Alexi Amarista, is there any chance we trade him?
- Randal Grichuk. He should be in Rancho next season because of his late season surge from the DL this season. Expect to see Grichuk's numbers inflate in the same manner that Mark Trumbo's did his 22 year old season in Rancho and 24 year old season in SLC.
- Juan Rivera. Any chance we trade him? Or is he destined to be the Angels starting LF in 2011, providing a .200 5 HR first half and .300 20 HR second half?
- Mike Napoli. He is going to start getting expensive, he expects to be a full time player and fans expect Mike Scioscia to beat him with a stick or trade him. If Scioscia can do neither, expect another soul crushing timeshare, where Napoli hits 20 HR in 11 days and is benched for the next 4 months. Everytime Scioscia benches Napoli, Little Mikey dies a little inside.
- Free Agents. Yup there's a bunch out there, and depending on what we do, we might be able to afford one or two. As a way to pass the time, dream up possible rumors and email them to the gullible ESPN analysts and see if your ideas and their idiocy can make it all the way to MLBTR. Also, count how many times in one month you'll see a poster construct an Angels lineup with Carl Crawford or Adam Dunn in it, as if we didn't already know exactly what it looked like from the other 374 identical posts.
- Chronic masturbation. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? How many women a year does Napo - Smash sleep with? It's a long, cold offseason, and sometimes Fantasy Football and cocaine simply can't pass November to April fast enough. Perhaps celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving and plot new and inventive ways to bring about the downfall of the Red Sox, Yankees and Rangers.
This is Halowood, signing off, hoping this informational post brightens up your fall.