They just don't make players like Darin Erstad anymore.
I have a confession to make, despite being a prolific Angel blogger and a lifelong Angel fan, I do not have a favorite Angel player. For the last three years, I have been without a personal favorite on the Angel roster and have been searching for one since that fateful day the Angels let Darin Erstad walk away in free agency. The healing process has been long and painful, but I am finally ready to be a fan again, the only problem is I don't know which player to call my own so I am calling on you, loyal readers, to help me make my selection.
Now, I have been giving this some thought for quite some time now, so it isn't like we are starting from square one here. Obviously my favorite player must be someone who is actually important to the team in some way, so we can already rule out Reggie Willits, Gary Matthews and the middle relief corps (sorry, but watching Jason Bulger get a strikeout in the sixth inning just isn't going to get me fired up). Also, the player must not suck thus ruling out Jeff Mathis, Brian Fuentes, Fernando Rodney and Gary Matthews (I know I ruled him out earlier but I really just wanted to make it clear how much I hate him).
Personal preference rules out several other players: Juan Rivera (call me when he dives for a ball in the outfield), Ervin Santana (maddeningly inconsistent), Maicer Izturis (I just don't like his face) and Hideki Matsui (too old and too closely tied to beating the Angels in the ALCS last year).
There are still plenty of choices available, so now I just need you to convince me which player to devote my undying fandom to. Before you make your best argument, keep these criteria in mind:
- Personality counts. A guy's on-field performance isn't enough, he has to be someone a fan can relate to. This already puts Kendry Morales behind the pack since he seems to be about as expressive as a tranquilized hippo.
- I am in this for the long haul, so the older a player is or the closer he seems to be to leaving the team via free agency, the less inclined I will be to like him. I don't want to have to go through this again in three years (which is why I can't get behind Torii Hunter even though he seems like an obvious choice).
- Position players trump pitchers. Nothing against the Angel pitching staff, it is just that I don't see how I am supposed to be excited about a player who only plays once every five days. It isn't impossible for me to root for a pitcher, I'm just saying it is going to be a tougher sell.
So there you have it, make your case now and I will announce my decision at the end of the week along with the argument that won me over!