I am incensed at all of the comments about how we deserve this or that, and still other comments to the effect that supposed fans will not support the team next season. If anyone thinks that one, two, or even several consecutive losing or non-playoff seasons is a reason to abandon the team or not go to games, then that person is not a real fan in the first place. In fact, by that logic, only the Yankees and Red Sox would have any fans at all.
In the past 10 years, we averaged nearly 90 wins per season, never lost 90 games, never had consecutive losing seasons, and never went more than one season without winning over 90 games. We made the playoffs 6 times, won the division 5 times (including 5 of the past 7), played in the ALCS 3 times, and won a World Series.How did our division rivals fare during that time? The Mariners made the playoffs once -- as division champions in 2001. They lost in the ALCS, and then averaged fewer than 77 wins per season, including 5 losing seasons, 4 seasons of more than 90 losses, and 2 seasons of more than 100 losses.
The Rangers made the playoffs once -- as division champions last year. They lost in the World Series. During the 9 prior years, they averaged 78 wins, and had 7 losing seasons and 2 seasons of more than 90 losses.
The A's, meanwhile, made the playoffs 4 times and won the division 3 times. They advanced to the ALCS only once and got swept by Detroit. In the last 4 years, they had three consecutive losing seasons and the 81-81 finish last year.
It thus seems to me that life was pretty damn good compared to our division rivals over the past decade. If we deserve better and have no reason to support our team, then MLB should just disband the whole freaking AL West because none of these teams deserves any fans.
So what, you say, who cares about the rest of the division -- we deserve better! Well, how did the rest of MLB fare during this time?
Five teams -- the Mets, Reds, Tigers, Brewers, and Marlins -- only went to the playoffs once in the past decade. Three of those teams -- the Tigers, Brewers, and Marlins -- did so as the wild card and thus never won a division title. Of this group, only the Marlins won a World Series, and they were the definition of mediocre during this timeframe -- 5 losing seasons, 5 winning seasons, and an average of 81 wins per year. I'm fairly certain no one wants to trade places with these teams either.
Five teams -- the Padres, Indians, Rockies, Rays, and White Sox -- only went to the playoffs twice in the past decade, and the Rockies never won a division title. The White Sox won a World Series and were respectable during most of the decade, but averaged 5 fewer wins per season than the Angels.
Five more teams -- the Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, Diamondbacks, and Giants -- only went to the playoffs three times in the past decade. The Dodgers and Cubs both lost in the first round twice and in the NLCS the other year. Of the two World Series winners in this group, the Diamondbacks had 5 losing seasons, 3 seasons of more than 90 losses, and one season of 111 losses, while the Giants averaged 5 fewer wins per season than the Angels and at one point had 4 consecutive losing seasons.
Of these teams, the Angels out-performed the Twins and Braves by almost every metric. Like the Angels, the Twins and Braves each went to the playoffs 6 times. Unlike the Angels, however, the Twins and Braves did not make it to a World Series, much less win one. They both advanced to the LCS once and lost in the first round 5 times, whereas the Angels went to the LCS 3 times. The Twins and Braves both also averaged 1 fewer win per season than the Angels.
So that leaves the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, and Cardinals, meaning that at worst the Angels were one of the 5 most successful franchises in MLB this past decade. In fact, the Angels averaged 1.6 more wins per year than the Phillies and went to the playoffs two more times than they did. Our nearest comparable is the Cardinals, and only the Yankees and Red Sox were demonstrably more successful.
To make a long story short, I have no problem with those who want to vent about how you would have improved the team or what shortcomings you perceive heading into next season. But to everyone who is lamenting our sorry state and is vowing to give up on the team entirely, please take a step back, get some perspective, and shut the fuck up (there is my one for January).