The Angels build all of their fans up, why do they build them up only to bring them down?
Just to mess them around and worst of all, really, worst of all, the Angels never win when they say they will, say they will.
Just a little while ago, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost in the most familiar of ways in this trying and oddly hilarious 2013 season, giving up a sizeable lead to the Toronto Blue Jays. This isn’t the biggest “shock of all shocks” with how this season has been going but it hurts just a bit more when it’s at the end of a series where the Halos won the first three. This season may very well be already over when it comes to qualifying for the playoffs in the American League but still, a four game sweep of a team of any team that isn’t the Chicago White Sox or Miami Marlins is a huge accomplishment to make. The Angels were right on the cusp of making the sweep happen and with one fateful blown call by the umpires and a lackluster bullpen, it was all for naught, the Blue Jays would go on to beat the Angels.
Right now, the Angels find themselves with a record of 51-59 and really, this season is most likely going to end up with a losing record, overall, after a huge offseason that saw the team sign many players, all of them looking like atrocious additions. Josh Hamilton has massively underperformed, Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson might as well not even be on the team and Joe Blanton is the one biggest reason why this season will end up in disappointment and fear of the future, fear of trying to find a logical way out of Jerry Dipoto’s misguided free agent signings. There might not be a playoff season on the verizon for the Angels in the near future and unfortunately, past that as well. Those days of Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, etc. might be it for a while.
There’s quite a few reasons why the Angels have been a disappointing team for a few years now, most of them are fairly obvious. The bullpen’s well documented problems, Albert Pujols and/or Josh Hamilton performing well below their usual output and Mike Scioscia’s questionable decisions, at times, are just a few. To me, the biggest problem with this team is one that could very well stick around for a long time, there’s no accountability (besides Ernesto Frieri’s surprising reaction to blowing a game against Texas, in the Triple Walk Off Bonanza series) and there’s a serious attitude problem. If this season is frustrating to all of us as friends and writers, imagine how frustrating it must be to the players. On one hand, frustrating can lead to a player playing harder than he usually does, because he’s playing angry and is out there with a chip on his shoulder. On the other hand, frustration can lead to a sense of giving up, especially prolonged and quite cruel frustration. When that happens, you get a Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that until recently, hadn’t even had a record above .500 since the early 1990’s. You get a Chicago Cubs, a Cleveland Indians, etc.
Even the Angels’ stadium’s music has the wrong attitude. Is it foreboding when a team basically screams over the loudspeakers that one of the players will “let you down” and they expect you to stay with them, like an abusive boyfriend? Worst of all (worst of all), the people in charge of the music are usually correct, this team will let you down, like a soccer mom who brings your team orange slices instead of Dunkaroos, there’s so much disappointment and acidity in the air, not to mention a sour taste in your mouth. Make no mistake, this is a horrible team and there’s no picking what is the most important subtraction the Angels must make but I’d like to think it’s a mental “thing”, something that’s generally fixable. Scary enough though, this may be how the Halos are for a long time, reminiscent of the Wally Joyner days.
I’m just going to say it, the Los Angeles Angels must get rid of their use of “Build Me Up Buttercup” as their theme song of sorts, aside from the always irritating Train song. It’s not “Hey Soul Sister” in terms of annoyance but once again, the song is titled “Calling All Angels”, which implies the team is not on the field or anywhere close. This team is self deprecating and with all of the egos on the team, the buttercupping is getting ridiculous. Little changes across the board could very well help the Halos and I’m instantly brought back to when the Anaheim Ducks changed their name from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to their current status along with changes all around the arena and their jerseys even, as well. It may seem like the smallest and most insignificant solution but honestly, I would bet it works. Call it ridiculous but look at the change for New Orleans in the NBA this year, I bet the New Orleans Pelicans contend and they’ll have a fully different attitude.
Call me superstitious and you wouldn’t be incorrect, I was a baseball player myself, in high school. I didn’t play for long but I was highly superstitious and when just a few little things changed around each field, glove, mound, etc., it had an effect on not only myself but most of the other players out there as well. In a perfect world, the Angels would replace “Build Me Up Buttercup” with something more like the following and perhaps some other changes as well.
There’s a lot of changes that need to be made with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and for now, there’s probably not much that can be done in 2013, unless we’re talking about the yearly Winter Meetings. Perhaps the Angels can get some great production out of Kole Calhoun’s bat, JB Shuck’s Glove and all of the rest of the team but for now, unless there’s wide and sweeping changes, this is the team that we’re getting, one that we may have for a while and unfortunately, we’re going to need to accept.