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Angels' First Semester Report Card

How did the Angels perform in the first half of the 2015 season? The standings don't tell the whole story.

Mike Trout. A+.
Mike Trout. A+.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Moreno,

Congratulations on a successful and eventful first half of the 2015 MLB season! I hope you are enjoying your well-earned and most likely very-much-needed All-Star break. No doubt, it's been an uphill climb to first place in the AL West standings, but as you know, the standings are only part of the story. There were quite a few playground issues that we had to address in the first semester. Josh Hamilton's departure from the team was not easy for anyone, and I hope that we learned from it and grew in the aftermath. The Orem Owlz' ill-fated attempt at levity was met with a small amount of full-blown criticism on a national stage. Now, as an organization, we would never want to stifle creativity, but some attempts at satire fall short. All part of the learning process. Then, just last week, we lost a valuable member of the team when Jerry Dipoto stepped down from his position as General Manager, only three-plus years after he had accepted the job. Opinions are divided as to whether this was a good thing. I'll leave that for the historians to decide. (See also: the Angels' grade in History this past semester.)

However, many, many great things were accomplished in the first half of the year! As I mentioned before, just before the break, the Angels made up a five-game deficit in the standings to take first place from their rival school in Houston, Astro Prep ("Where Youngsters Dominate"); Mike Trout is Mike Trout; and your prized possession, a gently used, vintage replica of Albert Pujols, is starting to look like the real thing. And he's having fun while doing it! It's amazing what patience and strong legs can do for a man. Speaking of patience, what happened to Chris Iannetta's approach at the plate? Oh, well, at least his pitch framing is excellent this year. And he needs that skill, catching C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Hector Santiago on the regular.

Below, you'll find the 2015 Angels' report card for the first semester. Hopefully, none of these grades will come as a surprise, as I know you keep a close eye on the Big A at all times. Someone has to make sure everyone's wearing those red polos!




Finance 101


Josh Hamilton is making $70M+ to play for a division rival. So, you know, that's not good. The + is for Mike Trout's contract.

Introduction to Arithmetic


48 wins and 40 losses is a winning percentage of .545. That's fine, but I think there's always room for improvement.

Advanced History 405


The Angels didn't sign any "big splash" types in the offseason, so the team is learning. However, you let the front office/clubhouse battle push Jerry Dipoto out the door. You know what they say: Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Doomed with a capital D.

Fashion Design 714


A lot of red, don't you think? How about some new alternate uniforms? And again, those red polos.

Team Chemistry


You may be paying for it, but Josh is gone, and that has helped the clubhouse atmosphere immensely. Remember the tear the 2014 Angels went on after Hambone slid into first and tore his rotator cuff or whatever? Yeah, that's now possible over the entire season. New students have fit in quite well, too, with Johnny Giavotella providing great examples of show-and-tell near the end of the day, when teacher gets tired and the other students start to daydream.

Intermediate Statistics 202


The use of defensive shifting is fantastic, but this is Intermediate Statistics, so ignoring opposing hitters' hot and cold zones, as well as forcing your own pitchers to throw more sliders, is a little basic for this class.



There are many physical specimens on this team. Like this guy. Or this guy. Or this guy. However, some points had to be deducted because of Mike Trout's weight. He just cannot get it under control.

Plays well with others: Johnny Giavotella, Andrew Heaney, Mike Trout, Joe Smith, Huston Street, Hector Santiago

Room for improvement: Matt Joyce, Chris Iannetta, David Freese, Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker, Taylor Featherston

Needs help with leadership: Mike Scioscia

So, there you have it, some areas of great accomplishment and some areas where a little more effort would be appreciated. While first place in the AL West is certainly an achievement, there is a lot of work yet to be done. Bill Stoneman, no doubt, is a capable GM, but I would strongly recommend hiring a candidate with a strong presence and the power to fully implement his/her own ideas. Here's to a successful, healthy and happy second half, in preparation for the final exam!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to write to me at