IN MEMORIAM: THE 2012 LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM SEASON • SELECT INDIVIDUAL ANGELS ACCOMPLISHMENTS...
The 2012 Angels were born November 30, 2011, with the first roster move to directly effect the then-recently-deceased 2011 Angels. It was on that date that the building of the 2012 incarnation of the franchise began, with the team acquiring Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, giving up the team's fifth starter from the year before, Tyler Chatwood. Within the next week thereafter, two other notable moves took place that continued to shape the new team: the trading of catcher Jeff Mathis to the Toronto Blue Jays for right-handed pitcher Brad Mills, and the signing of right-handed pitcher LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year contract. A little over a week after the birth of this newly-updated franchise, one of its highest peaks of life occurred.
On December 8, 2011, an historic moment in baseball history took place. First baseman Albert Pujols, forever thought to be a mainstay with the St. Louis Cardinals, left his former team for these Angels, signing a 10-year, $240 million contract to become the team's new first baseman. Just hours later, the team announced the signing of former Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson, to a five-year, $77.5 million contract. With just five new players, the team looked brand-new already. Owner Arte Moreno wanted this team, his newest child, if you will, to thrive and live long in shining glory, and was nurturing and feeding it exactly what it appeared it needed to get to that perfect span of life, to achieve that dream.
However, this dream team began showing signs of illness in just the first month of the season. Some would say this is when the death of the team truly occurred. Although the team provided excitement on Opening Night with a thrilling win against the Kansas City Royals, for the most part, things were not clicking, and this team was falling dangerously ill. Arte's child, with the brightest of prospects, was in danger of an early death--a fate he'd wished not to even come close to encountering. Particularly, the offensive unit of the team was struggling mightily; failing to adjust quickly, Pujols ended the month of April weaving in and out of the Mendoza line; the formerly-reliable Bobby Abreu was quickly showing his age, and particularly a lack of motivation due to his lack of a consistent spot in the lineup.
It was the night of April 27, 2012. The team suffered a loss against the Cleveland Indians, showing further signs of failing health by falling to a 6-14 record. The team was in grave danger of an early grave, and times were looking extremely desperate if there was any hope of the team turning things around and regaining strength and health. After that evening's game, the faltering Abreu was released from the team, and the young, spry Mike Trout received a callup from the Salt Lake Bees, ready to take over as the team's new center fielder, unseating the also-struggling Peter Bourjos from a daily presence in the lineup. As changes did not come immediately, and the child still appeared fatally sick, the team underwent emergency surgery on May 15, 2012 to remove a clearly rotting limb, firing Mickey Hatcher, the team's flailing hitting coach, immediately bringing in the team's AAA hitting coach, Jim Eppard. This, coupled with the implementation of Trout into the body of the team, marked the beginning of a turnaround, and prospects began to change on this team's outlook.
Although not immediately, the team looked as though nothing could stop them, after a while, and it seemed as though the team regained full health and would have a chance to achieve the glory that Moreno long dreamed of. As this franchise grew, so did the outlook of its finish. The team went from fighting to emerge from last place, to fighting for a postseason spot, which, for much of June and July, they grew to achieve, having sole claim of a wild card spot for quite some time. However, in late July and much of August, the team hit its second bout of life-threatening illness, falling not just from its hold on a playoff spot, but almost below a .500 record. Rock bottom was August 19, 2012: The team went from a hold on the first wild card up to a month before, to just two games above .500. It was clear that Arte's child was fading fast, and it seemed as though nothing could help: three weeks prior, the team sacrificed three key prospects (which, in all likelihood, were bound to be trade bait anyway) for talented right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke. Greinke himself was struggling since his arrival, and the team likewise. The day after rock bottom, the team began a run that showed promise, and hope that possibly, the dream was still within reach, a healthy and glorious life was still in sight, and Arte's child may finally touch the seemingly unreachable star.
Although one more scare took place for ten days in September that almost saw the franchise die yet again, things looked to be optimistic for this team. Although they never did regain control of any playoff spot, they fought valiantly and, save for managerial and player blunders in isolated instances, heading into the final three days of the regular season, life was still sustainable, although very improbable to maintain for longer than a day.
On October 1, 2012, the 2012 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim season, after a six-month battle with an underperforming roster, grouped with crippling complications of a managerial cerebrectomy, countless wrongly turned pages, excessive tipped caps, and a particularly destructive bout of Scioscialist paralysis, died. Although they fought until the very last possible day, even claiming victory in their final game with life, 8-4 over the Seattle Mariners, it just wasn't enough, as the team went into Oakland Athletic arrest and succumbed soon thereafter. With it, all likelihood of the young phenom Mike Trout winning the American League's Most Valuable Player Award died as well, although this is a tricky diagnosis to verify, and cannot be confirmed until November.
IN REMEMBERANCE OF:
2012 LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM SEASON (4/6/2012-10/1/2012)
MIKE TROUT'S MVP AWARD (4/28/2012-10/1/2012)
TEAM POSTSEASON CHANCES (4/6/2012-10/1/2012)
WE HARDLY KNEW YE...REST IN PEACE.
All condolences may be offered below.