Wednesday's victory over the Royals assured the Angels of their 17th winning season in franchise history. 2006 has been the team's 46th season in Major League Baseball.
This is the first time in franchise history that the club has had three consecutive winning seasons.
In a season where we suffered maddeningly bad luck in regards to player health (Kotchman, Colon, McPherson) and ridiculously unexpected underperformance (J.C. Romero, Jeff Weaver), we hung in there.
The Angels franchise was, historically, satisfied with medium market success. Save for a Reggie Jackson signing or a Wally-World phenomena here or there, the Angels were content with the occasional season above .500 and pocketing the profit from crowds of 17,000 local yokels.
But Arte Moreno and Bill Stoneman are not satisfied with 82+ wins.
As a longtime fan of the team, it thrills me to see an owner value victory as an asset of growing a profitable venture.
Arte is going to squeeze the ticket-scalpers in order to maximize fan attendance (as opposed to tickets-sold/empty-seats) to increase profitability (more parking revenue, more concession sales, more souvenir sales) to reinvest in the team. The players he acquires will be marketed to the hilt.
It may be Zito or Schmidt, it may be Soriano or Lee. If A-Rod is blamed for a quick Yankee postseason exit, it might even be Alex.
There are a hundred possible offseason moves we can make. Stoneman has been given the order from management twice in his career:
1. Paul Pressler ordered him to "WIN NOW" in December of 2001 and Stoneman did.
2. Arte backed Mike Scioscia over Jose Guillen and demanded good value for a hotheaded offensive masher, and Stoneman again delivered.
The Angels have achieved an historic trifecta and it is not seen as cause for celebration by the franchise leaders.
So let US all celebrate this little victory, safe in the knowledge that management won't ever settle for 2nd Place soda pop over 1st Place champagne.