After the Angels' most recent loss, a calm washed over me. While frustration has been the emotion most apparent over the last few months and weeks, I've realized that this team is not going to make the playoffs without a near record-setting run and I can go back to being a more tempered fan. There is only one issue that I cannot get past quite yet...
Why are there lower acceptable standards of performance for higher paid players?
The last few off-seasons have led to the Angels locking up what we all thought were going to be long-term offensive studs like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton (I'm leaving out the pitching until next week). Reasonable people would think that adding these types of guys would result in more runs and more wins as compared to the previous years. After all, we did let Torii go from right field and watched Kendrys Morales go to a team within the division, so there must have been an expectation from management that this years' lineup would be better. I understand there are other ancillary reasons for signing some players like putting butts in seats. But the ultimate way for a team to make money is to be a successful team. I also just can't believe that Josh Hamilton is going to provide more attendance than a fan favorite like Hunter.
As of today, Josh Hamilton has 1 player below him in batting average. Albert, who is generally has a decent average, has 8 guys ahead of him, including ALL the younger guys. I would've guessed that only Trout or Howie would even be in the running to beat Albert in batting average.
I'm not going to get in to the specifics of comparing the salaries to the output, but you can see them here. That being said, I am more concerned about how Josh Hamilton can be striking out so much, complaining about how he can't concentrate very well, and is still put in the lineup every day. Albert, while having a better season than last year, isn't necessarily performing at a 16M level either. Yet, Scioscia rarely sits them. Why is this? I understand that people come to see their favorite players play, but people come to see the team win even more. Their current record is down right terrible for a high payroll team, so why not try to mix things up a bit.
While I generally understand that quick-to-judge fans are usually ill-informed and do not really understand baseball intricacies, I think we're far enough in to the season to start getting more judgmental. We like to give the guys we like some slack (I'm a huge Pujols fan), but it's time to start expecting they earn it. Maybe all the influx of TV money has completely skewed the top contracts, which has tainted expectations.
My last point here is that I am required to perform when I go to work. I make substantially less than even rookies in the MLB. Why am I required to perform when someone making 16M a year isn't?
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