We have officially passed what is considered the first half mark of the MLB season for our beloved/reviled/cursed/amazing/horrible/meh/OMG!! 2015 Angels baseball team. To say it has been a rollercoaster ride would be somewhat of an understatement, but the team finds itself in first place in the AL West, a feat that is nothing short of remarkable and cause for fist bumps and high fives all around, considering the maelstrom of bad news, bad playing and bad headlines this organization has churned out over the past 4 months. We got rid of Josh Hamilton; people didn’t like that. The Angels didn’t have an answer for him in LF, instead they rolled out a rag tag group of guys, spearheaded by the ceaselessly bad Matt Joyce. They couldn’t score runs for the first two months of the season, basically, outside of Mike Trout heroics(natch). The pitching was spotty and only Hector Santiago, who was in a dogfight with Andrew Heaney to simply make the roster in spring training, would show up as our savior starter. GM Jerry Dipoto would abruptly throw up his hands, behind closed doors, and fall on his Scioscialist sword, leaving the front office with a figurehead general manager in Bill Stoneman and some light finally shined on the dynamics between the intrepid Mike Scioscia, ruler supreme, and owner Arte Moreno.
But Mike Trout would remain hot, and then Albert Pujols would go into full on, vintage 2006 Machine mode; pitchers like C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards would begin to look like the studs we know they are. Runs would be scored like mini avalanches in stadiums across the MLB, completely burying teams and leaving them to be found by the St. Bernards. On their 9 game road trip before heading into the break, the Angels shifted into video game mode, while the vaunted, young and hungry Astros began to taste the reality of their long-held station, and the Angels slid past them into the promised land. For now.
So who could have predicted all of this craziness and excitement? Absolutely nobody. Who can even begin to predict what will happen in the second half? Absolutely ME. I know what is going to happen in the second half, as it all came to me in a dream last night; a lucid, lurid tome of events to come and to pass, all handed down to me from The Great Old Ones, and I’m going to share my visions with the world(or just Halos Heaven), for posterity’s sake. If you are one of those people who are deathly afraid of spoilers, then let me just warn you right now that there are MASSIVE SPOILERS about the rest of the Angels’ 2015 season to follow. Okay, if you’re still reading, then follow me into the future, as I predict what will happen to our beloved Angels, and more, over the next few months.
Garrett Richards is the Ace o’ the Angels
Richards has struggled at points in this season, his rock bottom being the disastrous game in the Bronx when he gave up a boatload of runs to the Yankees in the first inning, and was quickly pulled before making it to the second. Since then, GRich has become more of the dependable stud that we’ve come to know and love, and has regained his confidence from 2014. He sneakily has accrued 9 wins over the first half of the season, but his numbers pale in comparison to the likes of All Star Hector Santiago. I saw visions of a Hector that did NOT regress as hard as some predict, but still, it won't be enough to stop Garrett Richards from pitching lights out, and becoming cock of the walk in the Angels starting rotation once again.
Andrew Heaney shines, Matt Shoemaker humbled
Mike Scioscia is going to keep Andrew Heaney around, who has looked great in his past few starts and made the absolute most of his recent call up, in the starting rotation after Jered Weaver comes back, and Matt Shoemaker, who hasn't been too shabby himself, will be relegated to the bullpen. Jerry Dipoto will look like a genius in hindsight(and many will give him no credit), while Matt Shoemaker will become an excellent long relief guy, and be an invaluable piece down the stretch. Meanwhile, Heaney wins 8 games in the second half and has a 3.66 ERA, and we will officially be in the Hean-Machine era.
The emergence of a savior named C.J. Cron
No team can survive on Trout and Pujols alone, and the Angels are no different. They were starved for offensive support early on in 2015, and talks of trades were flying left and right before Jerry Dipoto even left. But with the Angels closing the gap on the AL West race, and eventually pulling ahead of Houston, the front office will double down on We Will Win With What We Got, and there will be no magical trades or front office flourishes to save us. No, it will be the emergence of C.J. Cron’s big league hitting ability that will give the Angels some swagger on the scoreboard. Cron will become more or less the everyday DH, while sometimes spelling Albert Pujols at 1B. Also, the fans will begin referring to him as Cron Royal, as he is every bit as strong, yet smooth, as his canadian whiskey counterpart(your mileage may vary).
Mike Trout wins second AL MVP in a row
"Pffft, yeah. Water is wet, too, idiot!" That’s what you all just thought in your heads, and you’re right(although you didn’t have to call me names, dude), and I apologize for going out on the shortest limb possible, but this was in my vision and I couldn’t NOT tell you about it. Trout is going to not only win the MVP, but he will lead the AL in HRs and RBIs and will have murmurs of a Triple Crown bandied about, but his AVG will ultimately have him falling short. The success of his team will make this a slam dunk choice for voters, and fans of Miguel Cabrera will pipe down and capitulate to Trout’s baseball superiority.
The Angels win the West, the pennant and the World Series
The Angels will win the AL West by 2.5 games, with Houston in close second. They will then have a rematch against the Royals in the ALDS, where they win in 5 games and literally the day after the series is over, everybody in Kansas and Missouri goes back to realizing the Royals are even a thing, forever. The Angels take on the Wild Card-winning Twins in the ALCS, and stomp them in a 4 game sweep. In the World Series, with home field advantage thanks to Mike Trout and the A.L. All Star team, they crush the city of Pittsburgh’s hopes and dreams of a title and beat the Pirates in 5 games. Mike Trout is MVP of the World Series, and he’s given another car, this time by an awkward, sweaty, car manufacturer suit who rambles on about "cool things that the car...uhhh...does...it’s got high tech features...I like turtles". There is then a parade in Anaheim 5 days later, and Arte Moreno announces to the world that he is actually an alien life form, from a never-before-seen planet called Andrewsfault, and mid-speech will be lifted into space via a magically-appearing space elevator, never to be seen again, until the year 2035, when he buys Pluto’s moon, Hydra, for 137 million Sxxxyadjkhek(this is the galactic currency of the future), only to re-name it the Los Angeles Hydra of Pluto.
Other visions rendered onto me in my slumber, for the second half and beyond:
-Michelle Jenneke becomes a member of Halos Heaven, and quickly gets banned for posting a gif of herself.
-Red Floyd meets Alex Curry at a car dealership meet and greet in Ventura. They shake hands, and immediately the fabric of spacetime is ripped to shreds and a blue vortex swallows up the universe. A future version of alien Arte Moreno, now just a sentient mustache, travels back in time to this day and stops the two from meeting, so as to not screw up the timeline wherein he buys Hydra. Nobody ever remembers the day that the universe imploded, but every now and then, Red Floyd looks down at his hand and has a strong sense memory of Alex Curry fill his body.
-Hotel Transylvania 2 is a smash hit, and will eventually lead to an Oscar nomination for Adam Sandler, who is only a voice in the movie. It will be a first for the Oscars, and after Adam Sandler eventually wins the award, we have the Great National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Riots of 2016. There will be no more Oscars after that.
-Mike Scioscia runs for president in 2024, on the Scioscialist ticket while he is the first independent party to get second in national voting, he ultimately loses to GOP candidate Randy Quaid.
-Baseball is eventually renamed Troutball. Troutball ends up having a similar effect on the world that Bill and Ted's music did in the movies, meaning it brings about world peace and creates the ultimate utopia society.