Common sense says the Angels aren't going to be very good this year. When all of the statistical projections come out for the season, I suspect they will confirm that notion. But you know what? I don't care. No matter what does or (more likely) doesn't happen this off-season, I am simply going to choose to believe that the Angels can and will be not only contenders in their division, but contenders for the World Series. Why, you ask? I just want to. I want to believe.
I want to believe... not in aliens, but that the Angels can be a contender in 2011.
OK, I am probably sounding pretty crazy or like some moron who is blind to the mountain of evidence in front of him (like a juror in the OJ Simpson trial), but I assure you, I am making this commitment with a sound mind and body.
I want to believe because it just isn't any fun to hate so much on a team that I love so much. Sure, I can be critical of the Angels from time to time... OK, a lot of the time, but that doesn't mean I have lost any faith in them. Any negativity from me towards the Angels is not born out of hatred, but born out of frustration and disappointment in something that I love and know has a lot of potential. Seeing the Angels squander this free agency period is like watching your child repeatedly get bad grades in school even though you know they are super smart. You almost can't help but be upset with them because you know they are wasting their gift and blowing their opportunity to be something special.
That is exactly what the Angels are doing this winter by not making major upgrades to their roster, but I'm not going to leave them in my doghouse forever. Much like that child who wastes its gift, no matter how mad you get, you still hope in the depths of your heart that they will find their way and make good on their promise. As for the Angels, my frustration is still very much present, but I'm doing my best to keep it supressed so that this season isn't ruined for me before it begins.
Do I really think that the Angel offense, as currently constituted, is good enough to win the AL West? No, not by a longshot but I'm not going to let logic and reason get in the way of rooting for my team. Did anyone really think the Angel offense in 2002 was going to be any good after they plated just 691 runs the previous season? No, especially since their only real addition was DH Brad Fullmer. Sure enough, the 2002 Halos found a way to take the same personnel and become a top offense the next year and win their lone World Series. Could lightning really strike twice with the 2010 Angels scoring an eerily similar 681 runs? Probably not, but at least we know there is a chance and until I see what happens on the field this season, I am going to go on believing that the Halo hitters can conjure up a similar turnaround.
If you don't want to join me in exhibiting a little blind faith in your favorite team, then so be it, but don't go calling me crazy or stupid because what I am choosing to believe in isn't some far-fetched fantasy and what happened in 2002 for the Angels is the proof. When, and I don't mean if, the Angels start the season strong and vault back into the forefront of the converstation of teams that can win the World Series, I'll gladly be the first to stand up and say that I believed all along (well, almost all along, December was a very trying month). Hopefully I won't be by myself and some of the rest of you will be able do as I have and find your way through the haze of disappointment and get to a place where you can once again believe in your team too.