Remember the halcyon days of early December, when the southern California air was still a balmy 75 degrees, our bellies and familial obligations all filled up from the recently-passed Thanksgiving, and there was still hope of the Angels making a big move at the annual Winter Meetings? Oh, if we could only go back to THOSE days; the time of hopeful Halos speculation and wishing for a big LF free agent to be plucked from the enticing talent pool, before the cold, stinging slap of December 16th came along. That was the day that Arte Moreno, our intrepid owner, told the Angels fans that they can wish and hope all they want, but he wasn’t going to be going over the luxury tax threshold, ruined holiday season be damned. There would be no big left field acquisition, and palms all across Orange County quickly found themselves attached to their owners’ faces. "Probably out" was the key phrase, and with those two words, many an essay, rant and ramble was born out of the mouths and fingers of bloggers, pundits and talking heads alike. Hope was gone. The winter had gone nuclear and we didn’t have to wait for the fallout. It was already here, in the form of endless tirades towards the billboard businessman from Arizona. Once again, Angels found themselves at a rabid, seething conclusion; one that puts everybody’s fandom in an uncomfortable and awkward space: the problem with our favorite team happens to be the guy who OWNS our favorite team.
Yes, for what seems like the trillionth time in the past 12 months, Arte Moreno was once again the villain. (To be fair to Arte, it was only the 3rd or 4th time in the past 12 months that he’s had fans and media turn on him. Good job, Arte.)
As we all know by now, the ownership of the Angels is a big problem; if it’s not business and admin strategies blowing up in his face, then it’s inconsistent penny pinching and on-field meddling that’s mucking up the Big A. What can you do when the main glitch in the Angels system is the guy that owns them? Things are bleak, but could they be any worse? The answer, as usual, is a resounding "Yes".
I’m here to show you a bright side. Or rather, a darker side that, in comparison to our real life situation, makes us feel quite comfortable with the mustachioed Moreno at the helm. In the parlance of Abed from Community, i’ve tapped into The Darkest Timeline for our beloved Angels; a place where Arte Moreno never bought the Angels, but instead they are owned by a famous reality tv show star/real estate mogul/hair piece enthusiast/GOP presidential hopeful. I’m here to show you that no matter how bleak things are now, they could always be worse.
The Angels could be owned by Donald Trump. If you don’t think that Trump owning the Angels would be more of a colossal, embarrassing headache than Arte Moreno, take a look at these horrible stories from The Darkest Timeline, where Donald Trump owns the Angels. You’ll soon find yourself booking a plane ticket to Arizona, just to shake Arte’s hand and tell him to never, ever leave us.
Donald Trump buys the Angels, calls to "Make the Angels great again"
"I don't like what I see happening to the Angels organization. The infrastructure of this team is a laughing stock all over MLB. Our stadium, our lineup, it's falling apart. It's a terrible thing to see. Our former owners are all talk, no action. This team has tremendous potential. Let's make the Angels great again."-Donald Trump
After buying the Angels for a cool $180 million, Donald Trump begins making vague calls to action among the stout Halos following. He has no specifics on how things regarding the team will get better, just that he’s good at "making deals". His first order of business is to lower the beer prices. However, ticket prices go up 200%. Amid some backlash, Donald Trump proceeds to use the Angels’ Facebook page to call all the upset fans "losers". While the fans themselves can’t really argue with that insult, most still find it crass and bush league that an owner would so flippantly berate his team’s fanbase.
Donald Trump names Don King as his GM
King, with no prior baseball knowledge, is upset to learn he can’t trade the team’s 28th and 30th best prospects for Alex Rodriguez or Ken Griffey, Jr. Also, he’s upset to learn that Ken Griffey Jr. retired long ago. King then creates a projection system called MoneyInThePalmBall, wherein players are analyzed for their ability to sneakily give bribes to umpires mid-game, in hopes to receive favorable calls in return. This brought Jose Canseco out of retirement for two seasons, where he only batted .122 but became known to have the smallest strike zone in MLB.
Trump declares that he will not sign any latin players
"When latin america sends its players, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending players that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing PEDs. They’re bringing criminally low stats. They're lazy. And some, I assume, are good players."-Donald Trump, in a speech to season ticket holders
Seeing as how a large swath of MLB’s talent comes from foreign lands, this tact, while proving to be a winning strategy among Angels fans from more uneducated and rural areas, ends up leading to a bunch of signings where "grit" is used to describe the player. The Angels get labeled as xenophobic, and rightfully so. Meanwhile, they languish in the bottom of the AL West for years to come.
Albert Pujols is signed to a huge deal, Trump appoints himself as Pujols’ personal hitting coach
GM Don King, desperate to pull this move off, had to first convince Trump that Albert Pujols was born in Iowa, and that his accent is just from watching too much Univision as a kid. Trump buys this lie, but stipulates in Pujols’ contract that he’s not allowed to watch and/or make any references to Univision in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, as he puts himself in charge of coaching Pujols’ swing, Albert’s numbers fall to historic lows. (This part of the Darkest Timeline isn’t much different than the real timeline, I guess)
It’s been a long-held fear of Angels fans that in Big A match-ups against some of their regular rivals, the home field advantage is taken away once the fans of said rivals rush to Anaheim and take over the stadium. Donald Trump doesn’t stand for this one bit, and proposes a law that will not allow any fan of the Big 3 Rivals(Texas, Boston and NYY) to enter the stadium, "until the team’s representatives can figure out what’s going on."
Mike Trout gets groomed by Trump to be the next leader of the free world
The Angels, and GM Don King, still managed to snake away Mike Trout from the rest of the MLB, via draft, and he becomes a superstar(this happens in every timeline). But like Anakin and the Emperor, Trump is constantly in Trout’s ear, to the point where Mike Trout becomes an evil extension of The Donald himself. Donald Trump effectively makes us hate Mike Trout, and for that, he should be run out on a rail.
Angels forego acquiring a big name 3B, Trump elects to play the position himself
In an off-season where they had a big need at 3B, yet made no moves to get a 3B, Donald Trump decides this is probably as good of a time as any to insert himself into the lineup and become the face of the Halos’ hot corner. This becomes an unmitigated disaster, not only for the team, but also for Trump’s hairpiece.
This is all just a smattering of bad ideas and horrible personal beliefs hoisted on the Angels organization from up high during Trump’s reign of terror. It’s called The Darkest Timeline for good reason, because while we may bitch and moan at Moreno’s constant buffoonery, Donald Trump owning the Angels was an epic disaster of untold proportions, so much so that eventually the MLB just kicked the Angels out of MLB altogether.
That’s your bright side that you need to focus on in these cold, dark times in the Halosphere: Arte Moreno may be bad, but it always COULD be worse. Hang in there, folks.
And just keep repeating "It could be worse."