For those old-timers on this board, the past decade must have been a revelation in terms of team performance. In the ten years since (and including) 2002, the Angels have broken .500 8 times, and look to be headed that way again this year. During that period the Angels have finished 1st five times, made the play-offs six times and contested 10 play-off series. A good time to be a fan.
But as most of you know, it hasn't always been that way...
As we stand tonight, the Angels sit 17 games below 500 in 51 (and a bit) professional seasons of major league ball. Clearly, you don't have a record like that (especially after the last decade) without long periods of abject futility.
The question remains - can the Angels put all that futility behind them in 2012 and set the second 50 years off on a better footing that the first 50?
During those 50+ years, the Halos have sat under water, metaphorically, for all but 2 days - having won their opening game against Baltimore they promptly lost their next 8 and never looked back. The last time the Angels sat at .500 was on the morning of the 17th of April 1961. They finished that first season 21 games below .500 (with one game tied).
There was a brief moment in the '62 season when the Angels approached parity - as late as the 11th of September 1962, they stood 18 games above .500 on the season (82-64 after a 5-0 win in Minnesota) and headed back to California for a 10 game homestand which could well have seen them level things up. They were 4 games back of the Yankees in the pennant race with an outside shot at October baseball in just their second season. Of course, they promptly went 2-8 in the homestand and that, as they say, was that.
It then took 24 years to have the 8 winning series that we've seen in the last decade during which the Angels never breached 90 wins, though they did make the play-offs twice.
Today, with 73 games remaining the Angels sit 17 games under .500. In order to finally level up the record, they would need to go 45-28 between now and the end of the season - a winning percentage of .616, which would translate to winning 100 games over a full season. For comparison, over the last 73 games, they're at 43-30.
So, what say you? Will the Angels hit .500 in 2012 (or indeed ever)? What needs to go right for us to get there? What that be enough to take the West (94 wins)?