Yeah, my expression right now is very similar to the crowd in the beginning of the video.
I didn't grow up in Anaheim but I might as well have, as my real home was born as Edison and it grew to be the Big A, home to all of us Halos fans. It's more than just a professional sports club to most of Anaheim, the stadium and Honda Center (formerly Arrowhead Pond) are the epicenter of all that we stand for, what we have pride in. Otherwise, we've got peppers, Anaheim Peppers. Yeah, we'll stick with the sports teams.
In 2005, the team changed their name to the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim", causing a general state of anger within Anaheim, Los Angeles and Spanish translators. Lately, there's been quite a few rumors that the team will get rid of all ties to "Anaheim", sooner than later and aside from the Halos' struggles for the last few years, this is the most terrifying thought that could come along for most Angels fans.
Being twenty three years old, this isn't something I'm used to seeing. My father is still angry about the Rams moving from Los Angeles to St. Louis and I'm fairly sure that he'd throw any woman named "Marge" into a pool of crocodiles, alligators and needles full of the drug "krokodil". It doesn't take hallucinogenics to know that this move would eventually lead to the Angels moving out of Anaheim, leaving all of the history behind just for a dollar.
The dollars haven't made sense either and it is casting a nationwide doubt over the Halos. Normally, everyone would harp on Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols' contracts, agreements that look like they will cripple the team for a very long time. Most professional baseball teams go through a situation like this at least once every few years but not to this extent, with the amount of money and years pledged. To make a terrible situation even worse, the Angels will have to pay Mike Trout what he's worth and if they don't do it as soon as they can, there's a very real possibility that Trout will leave the Angels, which would be a backbreaker.
For most fans, paying Trout seems like something that should be obvious and it is, to a point. Unless we're speaking about Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, young players don't get an immediate contract full of stated years and money. In this case, possibly due to fan paranoia, there is calling for Trout to be paid, paid accordingly and paid now. Personally, I understand the reasons why a team wouldn't pay him immediately, especially with how the club is currently looking.
With so much money attributed to so few players, Arte Moreno is looking like an extremely gun-shy owner with egg all over his face. With a WAR of 10.2, a leaguewide opinion that he's the best player that the game has today and a stunning improvement over his record setting rookie season of 2012, there are a few players that you should break the rules for and Trout is the shining example. Moreno must pay for Trout, keep him here and don't let anger & frustration set in. For Mike Trout, Moreno himself, the team and the city.
Otherwise, it's fair to say that Mike Trout will eventually end up a New York Yankee or a Philadelphia Phillie.
With Mike Trout on the team, the Angels hold a trump card. No matter how bad their team may be (and definitely are, currently), they have the best player in the league and they cannot let him develop a controversy for the team, for it is already filled to the brim of white lies at the plate. Hamilton and Pujols haven't worked out for the team, risks that look to be collections for the blackjack dealer of baseball and when you've got a guarantee, you take it and you take it right there. As someone once said in a movie, the last team this needs is Mike Trout walking up to Jerry DiPoto and saying "F*** you, pay me!".
In terms of WAR, Mark Trumbo is the closest comparison to Trout and even then, it's a hilarious stretch. Howie Kendrick's WAR is 2.8 (in 120 games) while Trumbo's WAR is 2.4 (in 157 games) and it's really too bad that strikeouts don't make you a better player, seriously. If you include the pitching staff, CJ Wilson's mark of 3.3 is certainly respectable and he's got fantastic hair but Trout is still Head & Shoulders™ above the rest of the team. This is obvious to everyone except possibly Hellen Keller and even then, she could probably play a better third base than the options the team has had this year.
With all of the walk off losses to the Texas Rangers this year, this squad couldn't even play the role of spoiler. To the Rangers go the spoils, with tomorrow deciding who will be the Wild Card teams between Tampa Bay, Texas and Cleveland. Most of us were hoping that the Halos could put a kite in the Rangers' bike spokes and they couldn't even put the kite together in the first place. I love this team but I have to say it, what the hell happened?
Just to keep a list of everything that the Angels are/or will go through for the offseason, here you go.
- Mike Trout's contract issues
- Will Mike Scioscia be fired?
- Is the "Anaheim" soon to be just a memory?
- Is Josh Hamilton just not the player he used to be?
- Will Albert Pujols recover from plantar fasciitis?
- Is Peter Bourjos going to be traded with Kole Calhoun's emergence?
- Will someone mercifully kill "Build Me Up Buttercup"?
- Are Arte Moreno & Jerry DiPoto going to throw half a billion dollars at Robinson Cano?
- Is this team really going to keep Joe Blanton?
- Will Erick Aybar and/or Howie Kendrick be traded?
- Will the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series and make Angels fans miserable for the next year?
- Is it time to replace the Rally Monkey with the Blown Save Bear?
All of these questions revealed, with the next episode of Angels Baseball. Here's to high hopes and to a World Series victory in 2014. If the Giants could do it in 2012, why not us?