The season is officially half over. 81 games have been played. The Angels have won 50 of them. A few games that they blew or should have won are mitigated by some giftwrapped contests hand-delivered by mediocre opposing teams.
The 2005 squad has the best record of any Angel team after 81 games in franchise history. This is a good team with a great pitching staff and an above average offense. We are not as good at pressuring the defense by running on the bases as we are advertised and without advocating a conservative approach in this, it could be assumed that we might start dying by the sword if we live by it as sloppily as we did in the first half.
The best thing we have going for us is that the pitching keeps us in almost every game and the hitters scrap out a few innings worth of threats to keep us in as well.
The second-half conundrum is twofold: Our greatest success has been without Steve Finley in the lineup. When he returns, how much time will he be given to not suck until he is demoted to Rivera/DaVanon Land? And if we are oversupplied at the trading deadline, is there a package we could have that will make us a greater threat come playoff time? If Finley gets hot, since we have proven we can win without him, will someone else want him on July 31?
A look at the A.L. West sees a resurgent Oakland and a sloppy Texas, and that our rivals will have to scrap with each other so many many times only makes things easier on us. Easier, not easy, though. This is still major league baseball (Guys show up to beat our ass every day) and our favorite team is still the Angels (no litany of accursed moments need be recited). Congratulations on a great first half are in order. Let's go win a division, then a league, then a championship.