The Angels are going to miss the post-season. There, I said it. It is an ugly thing to say, but falling short of expectations is an ugly thing. And with all ugly things in team sports, we should- nay, MUST find someone to act as a scapegoat for the Angels failure this year. But I say why just focus on one person or entity when we can blame everyone and everything involved with the Angels?
Blame C.J. Wilson for choking in August and September instead of October like he normally does.
Blame Vernon Wells for getting his stank all over this club for the second straight year.
Blame Albert Pujols for his wretched start to the season.
Blame Scott Downs for being old.
Blame LaTroy Hawkins for being older.
Blame Jason Isringhausen for being oldest.
Blame Mike Scioscia for his bullpen usage, reliance on sac bunts, mix-and-match lineups, sticking with starters too long and generally not being the wizard we all once believed him to be.
Blame Mike Trout for "only" having an .836 OPS in September, Jon Morosi and all the other WAR-deniers insist that this is a very important development.
Blame Dan Haren for his bad back.
Blame Ervin Santana for allowing all of the homers.
Blame President Obama for not having the economy recover fast enough, because if it did, the Angels could've spent another few million bucks and upgraded their awful bullpen before the season.
Blame Mark Trumbo for turning back into a pumpkin.
Blame Kevin Jepsen for not remembering how to pitch until too late.
Blame Chris Iannetta for getting hurt and subjecting us to lots of Bobby Wilson.
Blame Bobby WIlson for being Bobby Wilson.
Blame Kole Calhoun for being a soulless ginger.
Blame Howie Kendrick for being the anti-clutch King of the GIDPs.
Blame Tony Reagins for leaving too much of a mess for Jerry Dipoto to clean up in one season.
Blame Jerry Dipoto for spending first and thinking later.
Blame Arte Moreno for wanting it too much.
Blame the Texas Rangers for refusing to regress.
Blame the Oakland Athletics for proving that you can't predict baseball.
Blame the Baltimore Orioles for proving that the Mayans are right.
Blame Ernesto Frieri for that freaking Royals game.
Blame Ernesto Frieri again for that freaking Rangers game.
Blame Jered Weaver for not being totally invincible.
Blame Zack Greinke for not becoming an Angel sooner.
Blame Jerome Williams for not being the great comeback story we wanted him to be.
Blame Garrett Richards for not being able to make Williams obsolete before the season began.
Blame Peter Bourjos for allowing himself to become an afterthought.
Blame Jordan Walden for being a flash in the pan.
Blame Kendrys Morales for not recovering a year ago like he was supposed to.
Blame Alberto Callaspo for being just barely good enough in 2011 to not get replaced in 2012.
Blame Maicer Izturis for a whole lot of nothing
Blame Erick Aybar for his uncanny knack to make a mistake at the worst possible time.
Blame Torii Hunter for nothing tangible that I can think of, but as the leader of this team, the captain must go down with the ship.
Blame you and me for expecting so much and caring too much.
Blame life for being unfair.
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I agree with everyone's input. Trouble is, looking at this list, I can find very little of this that will change on it for next year. In fact, some things will worsen. I doubt Trout and Torii have as good years next year, I doubt Trumbo hits over .300 for 60% of the season, I doubt Kendrick realizes he can hit the ball in the air when there are runners on base, I doubt Richards blossoms, I doubt Jepsen and Walden blossom, and, unfortunately, for some reasn I doubt Zach comes back. Not being a total downer, I do see the bullpen improving becasue it can't get any worse, I do see being better than 6-14 through April, and I do see good ol fashioned luck being better than it was at times this year.
As for blame? I blame 22 blown saves. To finish within a few games of the lead in what, surprisingly, turned into the toughest division in baseball-and still have given up the lead 22 times during the year- is where the blame game begins for me.
Scioscia is a reason, he certainly isn't THE reason. The list above noted some of the best reasons i.e: our bullpen and April. To those that think it's Scioscias time to go, I shouldn't have to remind you how good we were before him. Besides who do we replace him with? Terry Francona? Ugh.... We'll be back next year all the wiser and ready to win the best division in baseball. Let's just enjoy the post season and watch Texas lose for a 3rd year in a row.
Scioscia is an underachiever as well. You think after all his years with this team that he doesn't have the front office's ear? He is complacent and comfortable. The team needs shake up to wake up. Scioscia has been great but now he is part of the problem.
Life IS unfair and no amount of legislation designed to ease discomfort will change that. There is a lot of blame to go around but I will not use Scioscia's bullpen management or sticking with his starters too long as part of it. Can you imagine having to work with the bunch of underachievers he was stuck with? With those guys in the bullpen and knowing all you could do was hope that someone might have the hot hand on any given night it's no wonder those same underachieving starters stayed in the game too long. They were just marginally better than the bullpen crew. Man, what a soul-sucking job managing the Angels must have been this season.