Earlier today, we recapped the 10 best highlights of the Angels' 2010 year. But let's be honest, this last year pretty much sucked. Let's try and get a little closure on the year by recapping the worst of the worst and get them out of our system once and for all.
Let's get this over with and turn the calendar on 2010 once and for all.
- Vladimir Guerrero, All-Star DH for the Texas Rangers. Wound meet salt. Watching a rejuvenated Vladimir Guerrero find new life was one thing, but for him to do it in such grand fashion and as one of the ring leaders of the Texas Rangers' ascent to the top was downright torturous. Sure, Vlad eventually fell off in the second half, but by this point of the season, the Angels were barely treading water and most of us could tell they were about go under. Vlad was just the boot on top of their head pushing them down.
- Kazmir has the worst start in Angel history. Scott Kazmir's devastatingly awful season hit rock bottom when he was slammed by the Oakland A's for a whopping 13 earned runs, the most allowed in a single game by an Angel pitcher. EVER. Kaz then magically claimed to have a sore shoulder and was shutdown for several weeks, but it didn't really seem to help all that much other than allowing him to just barely get his ERA under 6.00.
- The Doc is not in. In what would turn out to be the beginning of a disturbing trend this season, the Angels set their sights on Roy Halladay as their chief off-season target going into 2010, but they didn't like the price the Jays were asking and Doc Halladay ended up landing in Philadelphia where he won the Cy Young, threw a perfect game as well as the second no-hitter in post-season history. I liked the Haren trade, but Halladay would've been so much better.
- Erick Aybar is not a leadoff hitter. The Angels made the tough, but likely correct decision, to let Chone Figgins leave via free agency. Figgy crashed and burned in Seattle, but his replacement at the top of the lineup, Erick Aybar, met a similar fate in Anaheim. Aybar tried to make himself into a patient leadoff-type, but only seemed to confuse himself in the process, looking lost at the plate for weeks at a time. The Angels gave him every possible chance to become a leadoff man, but they finally had to pull the plug. Alas, they never found a viable replacement and are still looking for one as we speak.
- Torii Hunter and Dominican impostors. Maybe we should've seen this disastrous season coming. Torii Hunter, long lauded as one of the nicest guys in all of baseball, got himself in some hot water before the season began when he declared Dominicans to be "impostors" and not real blacks. Hunter meant no harm and was trying to talk about the lack of African-Americans in big league baseball, but the damage was done and the tone for the season was set.
- Alberto Callaspo is back in a bad way. That Dan Haren trade worked out great, but the other significant trade the Angels made in 2010 is not looking good based on the early returns. Callaspo was supposed to shore up the hole at third base and give the Angel lineup more versatility and depth, but he seemingly forgot how to hit once he arrived in Anaheim and has the Halos actively pursuing Adrian Beltre to replace him after just 58 games of Callaspo's second stint in the Angel organization.
- Brandon Wood = Biggest Bust Ever. Where does one even begin to describe what a colossal bust Brandon Wood turned out to be? I think we had all stopped believing that he was going to be a superstar after his first few promotions to the majors didn't work out well, but nobody could have foreseen him being handed the starting job at third base and then turning in one of the worst offensive seasons of the modern era. Heck, even Jeff Mathis' numbers looked good by comparison. Now, Wood has to be hoping just to stick around as a reserve.
- Your new American League Champions, the Texas Rangers! Just shoot me in the head, seriously. This pack of upstarts definitely looked dangerous back in 2009 and I can't say I was all that surprised to see them win the division in 2010, but for them to make it all the way to the World Series?!?! Oy. The future is clearly now for Texas and it seems they've quickly evolved into not just a good team but probably the team to beat in the AL West for the foreseeable future.
- The Carl Crawford Catastrophe. This was a very nearly the worst moment of the year, but not quite. That doesn't mean wasn't incredibly painful though. For Angels fans, getting Carl Crawford seemed like our manifest destiny. I had even taken to referring to him in the blog as Future Angel Carl Crawford because I just thought it was a given he would wind up in Anaheim. Nor was I alone in that thought as every major media outlet reported a similar opinion all off-season long... right up until he spurned the Halos for the Red Sox. Making the situation even worse were all the stories that leaked out that showed just how badly the Angel front office bungled the negotiations. Quite simply, the Angels not only lost out on their top target, but they made themselves look like buffoons in the process.
- Kendry Morales and the worst walk-off homer ever. There is devastating and embarrassing, like the Carl Crawford Catastrophe, and then there is devastating and downright humiliating, just like the Kendry Morales injury. If you somehow don't remember, Kendry Morales created one of the all-time infamous bloopers when he smacked a game-winning grand slam, circled the bases, headed for home, jumped onto the plate and... DOWN GOES KENDRY!!! With one small leap, the Angels already weak offense to a giant step backwards, losing K-Mo for the season to a broken leg. But that was only the beginning. Angel fans were forced to relive the memory every time anyone won a game via walk-off as someone was always sure to replay or at least the Morales injury. And as if Kendry wasn't missed enough, the Angel front office did such a poor job of replacing him, that every day felt like punishment, especially the brief period where the Halos tried to replace Morales with Paul McAnulty's fat ass.