This too shall pass.
The season is just 14 games old for the Angels which translates to two and a half weeks in real time and the Angels are sitting at 4-10. That obviously means that there is only one thing for the vast majority of Angel fans to do:
I don't mean to totally mock that reaction here as I am prone to a bit of that myself, especially whilst watching Joe Blanton do everything in his power to make sure the he gives the Halos no chance of winning. I get it. It is frustrating and it is painful to watch.
We want this solved and we want it solved now. We also want to find someone to blame because that is just human nature. Something isn't working right, therefore some one must pay.
I even understand why so many Halo fans are committing the cardinal sin of reading way too much into such a small sample size of baseball. We spent the entire off-season being beaten over the head with the narrative that the Angels' poor April cost them a playoff spot in 2012. Now we are all reliving almost the exact same script. Some of the characters have changed, but all the plot points are pretty much the same.
Given all that, the panic, anger and frustration is understandable. I'm not saying that is how you should react, but I get it as I am not immune to it myself, even though I know better.
What everyone really needs to do though is calm the f*** down.
No, the Angels don't need to fire Scioscia. Like any manager, he has his shortcomings. Maybe he is part of the reason things aren't going well right now, but maybe he isn't. He has arguably been one of the most successful managers of the last 20 years and those are typically the kind of guy you give the benefit of the doubt to when things go sideways for three weeks, especially when he lost his best starter, two key relievers and the left side of his infield to injury during that span. Bad things happen no matter who is at the helm of a team. Such is baseball.
No, the Angels don't need to overreact and make a trade. This was a roster that the front office spent an entire off-season carefully putting together. Two and a half weeks of poor play doesn't merit tearing those plans up and rebuilding the roster on the fly. Frankly, if your GM isn't confident enough in the moves he made such that he feels the need to make major changes via trade, that isn't someone who should be GM. Did the Vernon Wells trade not teach us the evils of making a major trade strictly out of a panicked need to make a move for the sake of doing so?
No, the Angels don't need to fire Mike Butcher. OK, maybe they do. It is hard to say how much control a pitching coach has on anything so I can't really defend him or justify his removal. What I do know that making a head roll just to make an example out of somebody typically only serves to up the level of pressure and fear in an organization, not reduce it.
At some point some or all of those things might become necessary, but why not see if the Angels can't right the ship on their own like they did last season. Their start to 2012 was just as abysmal, yet they still found a way to turn it around and win 89 games, a total that in almost every season of the Wild Card era has been good enough to secure a playoff spot, 2013 happened to be one of the few exceptions.
There are loads and loads of evidence that suggest that things can only get better for our beloved Halos.
That much-referenced league-worst .469 OPS with runners in scoring position is so unbelievably horrible that it can't help but improve. There is too much talent in the lineup for that to continue. Besides, on an overall basis, the Angels actually have the 10th-best OPS in all of baseball. They can hit and are hitting, it just isn't happening in RISP situations, but it will soon. The laws of regression demand it.
The starting pitching has been so bad that I have had to petition the people at Roget's to come up with some more synonyms for terrible. The staff's overall ERA is almost a full half run worse than any other team in baseball but their rotation ERA is over a half run worse than that. A 6.07 rotation ERA just cannot persists, no matter what you think of Joe Blanton. The bullpen hasn't been good either, but they have settled into a the middle of the pack in ERA and can at least rest easy that help is on the way in the form of Ryan Madson.
Even with all of those things working against the Angels, their outlook is still fairly bright. Over at Baseball Prospectus, their current odds of making the playoffs are 39.1% with a 15.5% of winning the division. Those aren't great odds, but they are about 39 percentage points better than the generic Angel fan would probably give them right now. But a lot can happen over the next 148 games. For the Halos to win 90 games, they need to post a .581 win percentage from here on out, which is more than doable, something we should all be more than cognizant of since the Halos played at a .585 level last season after starting their nightmarish 2012 at 6-14.
It is going to get better. This team will not be this bad. Whether or not they turn things around to the point that win a playoff spot is a legitimate question. While some of their struggles scream fluke, there are some real, deep flaws that have been exposed in this stretch. But the worst team in baseball this team most certainly is not. So, please, for the sake of your sanity and mine just calm down for a little bit and give this team (and the powers of regression) a chance to get things right.
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