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And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Red

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The Angels are the 2005 AL West Champions, and that's not insignificant. It's the first time in team history that they've repeated as division champs.

Soon comes the time when they will show us what this season was all about.

Last year was the thrill of winning the division, then the humiliating chill of getting swept in the division series.

This year better be different. The Angels are emerging as a top-tier franchise, and if they want to take it to the next level, they need to go further. Much further? You decide.

Are you ok with an A's-like team that wins the division but gets bounced in the first round? I think not.

Are you ok with a Braves-like team that consistently wins, but rarely gets fitted for jewelry? I think not.

One of the best things I saw at the stadium all year was Angel fans booing bad performances. Even though it was at times undeserved, it showed that the fans are paying attention and are not stuck on cell phones or managing children with candy-cane weapons.

So let's hope for a postseason that solidifies what we Angel fans believe -- that is, the fact that this is a top-tier baseball club that deserves the respect that comes with winning in big situations. There were hints in the late '70s/early 80's, and there were some unfulfilled expectations in the '90s. Then there was 2002 to say "We're on the map, guys".

Now it's time to prove it.