Before the grumbling overtakes the pleasant chitchat, before the wheels fall off, before the team tanks, there is one thing that indicates we have lost our confidence: Trade Talk.
Now talking about the possibilities of acquisition is a national pastime sub-genre within the national pastime itself. But for every trade in which the Angels acquire something, they too must also give up something. Please note that the Dan Haren free Diamondbacks of Arizona are in first place in their division, five games over .500... Yes, as much as we chortled last summer when their General Manager called Joe Saunders a proven winner, they would be a game ahead of the Rangers right now if they were in our division. Meanwhile they have two live arms in the minors coming up in a few years while our offense insists that Haren throw a shutout if he wants a W.
The trade was not a waste, not necessarily even a bust, but it was one thing: totally unexpected. Anyone who stops thinking about Angels trades after surmising that we need Prince Fielder isn't even awake enough to look at the standings: Milwaukee has the same record as the AZ Snakes of Phoenix and is two games under the Marlins in the wild card hunt and only two and a half back of the sputtering Cardinals in the NL Central. Why would they trade an offensive catalyst critical to any postseason hopes (and the two minor league draft picks he will deliver next June should he leave in free agency), not to mention a fan-favorite driving merchandise sales to unprecedented heights?
They wouldn't ever consider it because they are confident. And the Angels will not be making outlandish and futile grabs at marquee names on contenders. The minor league blogs out there have lost their confidence. We might have lost ours in Tony Reagins, but a casual perusal of the standings reveals so many clubs in contention that nobody is really going to be able to trade for an all star until much closer to the July deadline. Everyone is still confident. And you should be too!