As the Angels enter play this afternoon, they stand at 55-70, just 3 1/2 games behind Seattle for the coveted third place finish in the American League West. Do the Angels have what it takes to catch Seattle?
"Well, it's going to be a struggle", warned manager Mike Scioscia. "The Mariners are a tough ball club, they're not just going to roll over. But if we execute, and play the kind of baseball I know we're capable of, then I like our chances to finish third".
Obviously the entire Angel organization would be disappointed to finish fourth. "It begins in the offseason" said Angel general manager Jerry Dipoto. "I set my sights on a third place finish, and that's why I acquired Joe Blanton."
Asked to elaborate, Dipoto continued, "Aces like Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson give your ball club a chance to win nearly every time they start. Too many wins could spoil our plan. However, based on his performance the last two full seasons pitching in Philadelphia, with an ERA of nearly 5, I felt Blanton really had the kind of stuff necessary to ensure a truly mediocre team overall. And it's panned out nicely! Joe has 14 losses, and an ERA of 6.12, really keeping us in the hunt for third place."
Dipoto's plan may have worked too well, as the Angels now need to make up some ground to achieve their goal. According to Scioscia, this prompted the recent decision to move Joe Blanton to the bullpen. "Joe working out of the bullpen gives us some flexibility" said the rotund skipper. "We can lose games a number of different ways. That's enough to keep us out of the wild card race."
Last night was a case in point, as Blanton served up game winning runs to the Indians in the 14th inning, spoiling another brilliant C.J. Wilson performance. "But now we find we actually need to win some games, to get where we want to be" continued Scioscia.
"Coming into spring training, we wanted to finish third in the west" said Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher. "Ending up fourth or second or somewhere else might be fine for some teams, but not the Angels. We're all about mediocrity and under-achieving."
When the team signed Josh Hamilton this past offseason, that created lofty expectations among many, because it left just enough payroll for a third-rate pitching staff. "Those are the kind of guys I'm comfortable coaching" added Butcher.
The Angels are in a great position, but it's going to come down to the wire. There are 32 games remaining in the season, including 6 more against the Mariners. The Seattle ball club wants third place just as much as the Angels do. Scioscia is right, they're not going to roll over. But I believe! Third place is in our sights! Go Angels!
Note: This is a work of parody and sarcasm. Scioscia, Dipoto, and Butcher did not really say these things. It's a joke, for this joke of a season.