Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Think of your answer, write it down on a piece of paper, include your phone number, put it into an envelope and mail it to me. Why? Because I am going to put your assessment of your optimism/pessimism to the test while making you waste a stamp at the same time.
The test is very simple, I will tell you a few facts about the remaining schedule for the Angels and your reaction to said facts will determine where on the optimism/pessimism scale your really reside.
The Angels have 69 games left but are 11 games out in their division and 9 games out of the second wild card spot.
If you are an optimist, you believe that is more than enough time to close the gap especially with the Angels about to get Vargas, Hanson and Bourjos back from the disabled list.
If you are a pessimist, the Angels are dead and buried with too much ground to make up on too many teams. The fact that they are 44-49 speaks to their talent level not being good enough to turn things around.
If you are a 12-year old trapped in a 30-year old's body, you haven't stopped giggling to yourself about the number 69.
All but seven games of those games are against either AL West teams or teams ahead of the Angels in the Wild Card race.
If you are an optimist, you think that the Angels hold their own fate in their own hands. They basically play nothing but meaningful games, so if they go on a big run, they will do so at the expense of the teams in front of them, allowing them to make up ground quickly.
If you are a pessimist, you point out that part of the reason that the Halos have so many games against teams in better playoff position than them is that the Angels suck and are behind most of he American League, so this is really an indictment on their record and not a gift from the scheduling gods. Seriously, the Angels are not good.
If you are traditionalist, you are sitting on your porch in a rocking chair muttering about the existence of the Wild Cards and aiming your shotgun and those young punks in the neighborhood who keep walking across your lawn.
The Angels would have to play at a 108-win pace the rest of the season to reach 90 wins to put themselves in a good position to earn a playoff berth.
If you are an optimist, you realize that it is much easier to play at the kind of level over a shorter span of 69 games than it is a 162-game season, so it is a lot more plausible than it might sound. You also point out that in the highly competitive AL Wild Card race, teams are going to cannibalize each other, so it is possible to win a playoff spot with less than 90 wins, something that is proven out if you look back through historical records.
If you are a pessimist, you stare bitterly at the ERA of Joe Blanton, the lengthy medical records of Tommy Hanson, Jered Weaver's decreasing velocity, Albert Pujols' limp, Josh Hamilton's insane swing rates and pages upon pages of SciosciaFace GIFs realizing that this team was never ever as good as it was billed and almost certainly not capable of playing at a 108-win pace for more than two and a half weeks, much less two and a half months.
If you are a high school drop out, you don't understand the concept of pace and now think that the Angels need to go 64-5 the rest of the way and feel proud of yourself that you figured out the 64-5 math correctly. Totally nailed it, bro!
The Halos have 19 games left against genuinely bad teams (Twins, Mariners, Brewers and Astros).
If you are an optimist, you are overjoyed that the Halos have so many games left against cupcake teams that will only be worse after the trade deadline as it will help them towards their goal of finishing the season on a torrid win pace.
If you are a pessimist, you can't believe how stupid the optimist is in overlooking the fact that the Angels have already been swept by the Twins, Astros and Mariners this season and hope that the optimist gets impaled by a broken bat.
If you are message board troll, you don't understand why every player hasn't been traded, every coach hasn't been fired and every front office member publicly flogged.
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Angels have 3.9% odds of making the playoffs.
If you are an optimist, you are unironically thinking, "so you're saying there's a chance!" You also aren't sure if "unironically" is a real word.
If you are a pessimist, you are checking Baseball Prospectus' math to figure out how the Angels even have that much of a chance.
If you are Nate Silver, you already know how the season is going to play out and scoff at the inferior statistical projection systems of other. You are also a witch.
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