No Current Angels Worth Hating On?

WELLS & MATHIS - Elsa

Jeff Mathis has been gone a year. Vernon Wells has been gone a week. Gary Matthews Jr. is a phantasm from an old nightmare. Is there any Angels player on the current team who could gather the ire of the fan base like the turkeys of our recnt past?

"MAYBE, IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE AND FORGET HOW TO HATE."
-Ozzy Osbourne in "Crazy Train"

The 2013 Angels are unique among Angels squads of the past eight seasons in that there is not a single player worthy of an avalanche of fan derision.

In 2012 there was Vernon Wells (91 OPS+ exacerbated by taking playing time away from Bourjos) and Jason Isringhausen (the old man's ERA+ of 92 was better than Haren's or Santana's but those two had accrued some goodwill in their playing time here while Father Time just showed up sneering at us all).

In 2011 there was Jeff Mathis (38 OPS+ and Scioscia strident to the press about playing the great CERA machine) and Vernon Wells (animosity over the contract, the trading of the popular Napoli and, oh yeah, the 84 OPS+).

In 2010 there was Jeff Mathis (37 OPS+ and still a controversy about playing him over Napoli) and Scott Kazmir (67 ERA+).

In 2009 there was Jeff Mathis (58 OPS+ in 272 unnecessary PA) and Brian Fuentes (Fun Stat Fact: a 112 ERA+ is not good for a closer).

In 2008 there was Gary Matthews Jr. (The front office hired Hunter as his replacement and his 78 OPS+ confirmed even Tony Ragiens had baseball insight) and Justin Speier (89 ERA+).

In 2007 there was Shea Hillebrand (57 ERA+ was a Bill Stoneman panic acquisition) and Bartolo Colon (76 ERA+ brought out the merciless fat jokes).

In 2006 there was Jeff Weaver (72 ERA+) and J.C. Romero (68 ERA+).

In 2005 there was Steve Finley (71 OPS+ after slobbering LA Times and OC Register jockworship) and Jeff DaVanon (80 OPS+ after hanging too close to the wünerkid tag).

In 2004 there was Jose Guillen, but not until right near the end... and prior to the legendary outburst of Mister Chemistry himself, you have to go back to to the 2004 Angels - where the afterglow of the '02 championship mingled so nice with Vladdy's debut MVP to form a feeling of love between every player on that team and the fanbase - you have to go that far back to find a recent Angels team that did not have a default pair of hated players.

The 2013 team looks to have few players who pull in the dissent like these recent incarnations - as the current front office now seems nimbly poised and ready to make whatever changes are necessary, thus never leaving a player out too long to become a hated Angel.

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