Alden Gonzalez has an occasional feature on the Angels official website where he answers reader questions. They are the same questions that we ask ourselves, ask the TV, ask the sky, ask the dust... Let's examine where the heart of the Halo Nation is when it encounters the head...
QUESTION: Will the Angels be sellers or buyers at the Trade Deadline?
Alden gives us a little inside dope here (a rare thing in the staid confines of the MLB.com official sites). He cites being "told" (which means "take it to the bank, the bloggers ain't got my sources and here is a little swagger) that:
...nothing will cause them to blow up the roster and start all over again, a la the 2012 Marlins.
You have made for a far less speculative July. He speculates a healthy Jason Vargas and Scott Downs, both pending free agents, would be on the block.
REACTION: A few great prospects are nothing to sniff at, as is cost-controlled pitching - I hope the temptation presents itself to the Angels and they jettison some veteran deadweight for a gamble on the future.
QUESTION: How much has defense cost the Angels this season?
After getting in a good dig at Joe Blanton, he points the finger at Josh Hamilton, Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson. Then he digs deeper citing the team's last place -57 Defensive Runs Saves total, third-worst outs on the basepaths (31) and points out that the Angels have played the most one-run games in all of baseball (29) and are one of five teams at least five games below .500 in one-run-ames at 12-17.
REACTION: He could have just answered the question and broken down who exactly is terrible on defense. Hamilton has been okay in RF if there is anything nice to be said about him at all. Mike Trout has been sloppy but nobody wants to dis the golden boy as he still makes highlight-reel catches wherever they play him. Is it all on Alberto Callaspo? J.B. Shuck? The Post-Mathis Catchers? Name names, or are the names his locker room sources?
QUESTION: Is there anything the Angels can do to get Hamilton going?
Two paragraphs of boilerplate.
REACTION: Alden wants to stay on Arte's Christmas Card list by ignoring that obvious. There is enough info out there about the way that players with Hambone's physical profile and age to have avoided making this mistake. The correct answer AND THE ONLY ANSWER to this question is "Hamilton going into a wall and sustaining a career ending injury that our insurance will pay out on." Of course not a single Angels beat writer has ever been capable of getting a definitive answer out of the Angels on whether they carry insurance on big contracts. Far be it form them to inform fans on the real buts and bolts when the delusional masses believe there is a prayer of Hambone McFreeswinger turning anything around.
QUESTION: Jered Weaver hasn't looked like himself all season. What's going on with him?
Alden brings up the layoff and velocity and leans on Scioscia to bring up the "elusive command" excuse.
REACTION: Alden played it safe instead of mocking a desperate front office who brought Weaver back way too soon.
QUESTION: Who, besides Mike Trout, will represent the Angels in New York?
Alden throws out Howie's great first half numbers as a player who should be named and also points out that Trout is likely going to be the first Angels position player to start an All Star Game since Vladimir Guerrero in 2007.
REACTION: Let's let Joni Mitchell have the last word:
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til its gone