The unofficial second half of the MLB season is upon us and the Angels are on track to miss the post season for the 4th year in a row. Disappointing, definitely. But the Angels are still worth watching from now until the season’s end.
Here are the best reasons to keep following the Angels as they close out the 2018 campaign:
Mike Trout is a god among men. He’s clearly the best player of this generation and might be the best player of any generation. Mike is having another stellar year and is on track to win another MVP award. Plus he does it all with a beaming smile and the enthusiasm of a kid playing with his friends. Watching him play is a joy. Take it in.
The old man is making MLB history nearly every time he gets a hit of any nature (and every single time he hits into a double play). His next home run will break a tie with Ken Griffey Jr and place him 6th all time. He’s currently tied with Rickey Henderson in career hits and has Craig Biggio and Ichiro Suzuki within range.
1970 is probably close to his actual birth year and is also his career RBI total. Another 30 and he’ll become just the third player all time with 3000 hits, 600 home runs, and 2000 RBI.
The longest tenured manager in Angels history is in the last year of his contract. Is this it for Sosh? While in game strategy and talent evaluation would almost certainly benefit from a new skipper, Mike was in charge for the greatest era of Angels baseball. He has also been a great ambassador for the club, freely giving of his time at charitable and fan functions. It will be a little bittersweet if this is the end.
But is it?
Some guys do something to justify the price of admission on a seemingly nightly basis. Simba is one of those guys. The Angels shortstop makes plays that don’t seem possible look routine and his throwing arm is incredible. He might get overlooked on a national stage, but Angels fans should keep an eye on #2.
When Ohtani arrived from Japan he was slated to be a two way player with a decidedly weaker half. The general consensus was that the bat was far behind the arm. He should get plenty of at bats this year, more than projected at the beginning of the year.
How do pitchers adjust to him? Can he make adjustments back? Is this the developmental year so many scouts said his bat needed?
The Youth Movement(?)
The Angels have some interesting young players who may play a part in the future of the franchise. David Fletcher is already on the active roster and Taylor Ward could/should be right behind him. Throw in pitching prospect Griffin Canning and late August/early September could be a preview of 2019 and beyond.
Going to the Big A
The laid back atmosphere makes for a perfect night out with the family or friends. Tickets are cheaper to find on the secondary market when the team is out of contention and the opportunity to “upgrade” or simply mill around and enjoy the game from different angles is there.
The ballpark is one of the few places people still interact with each other more than their phones; where you can enjoy both a game and use the down time to catch up.
Vic and Gubi
In an age of homerism and former players talking about how much better it was in their day, we get the snark of Victor with the easy going Gubi. They call a fair game, give insights when they can, and have gone so far as to rock Lucha Libre masks in the early morning hours in an effort to spring a comeback.
What did I miss? What did I get wrong? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.