Hope you’ve had a great offseason. I’m sure you weren’t ready to leave work to go on break, but, hey, any opportunity to get some lasagna and watch some football right? Like all good times, Mike, this one must too come to an end. Our restful, baseball-less break is over. Now, it’s time to stash the ‘ol LA Extreme jersey (and the pyrex baking dish) and get back to work.
We’re really glad to have you back, Mike. There were... questions after last season didn’t end so well (There were even more when Trouty didn’t win the MVP, but that’s hardly your fault). A lot of things were in flux and we didn’t know if you’d come back to us. But we’re together again, and we, the fans, are ready to see what you can do with the boys this season. We’re expecting great things!
...No, seriously Mike. Great. Things. You have an all-star squad for the second season in a row. Gods willing, you’ll have Mike Trout playing from the very first game of the season all the way through October. You have acquired one of your greatest rival’s finest players in Josh Hamilton. Albert Pujols is fully acclimated to his new surroundings. CJ Wilson is ready to make a fresh start, and the bullpen walls are breaking down as middle relievers and closers are swapping positions as smoothly as cheerleaders performing The Fountain of Troy. The mistakes of last season have been washed away. Stigmas and bad habits are now barely a memory. You, and the entire team, have a clean slate! There’s no reason to believe we won’t make the playoffs!
...We will make the playoffs, right, Mike? I mean, the Astros came to the division. That’s almost 20 wins right there. There is also no chance Oakland repeats that insane late season run to take the pennant. As I’ve already said, our most hated division rivals, The Rangers, have been hamstrung by the loss of veteran slugger Josh Hamilton. And the Mariners? They’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. Did you know they invited Jon Garland to training camp? Yes, THAT Jon Garland! Part time 2008 Angels pitcher and cast off from the 2012 Cleveland Indians farm club. Given a complete lack of competition, there’s no way the Angels don’t take the AL West!
...Alright, Mike? Can I level with you? The reason I’m so excited to see the team make the postseason this year is because if they don’t, you’re gone. Oh, you may still be employed by the club, but for all intents and purposes, you’ll be outta there. You won’t be able to Sciosciaface your way into our hearts anymore. Those angry/confused/annoyed/hungry eyes and slightly ajar lips won’t be enough to keep the fans around this time. We love ya Mike and we don’t want you to go, but sometimes these things happen. People grow apart, and the fans desire to see their major market team in the World Series hunt is the wedge that will separate you from us. I don’t think either one of us wants that to happen.
But let’s not let things come to that, Mike. You are a surgeon with his instruments sterilized and ready to perform a playoff transfusion. You are an artist with his paint palette ready to create a masterpiece. You are a soldier with all of the weapons you need at your disposal and all you have to do is storm the postseason castle like the field general we all know you can be!
And should it come to pass that you fail and Mr. Moreno gives you your pink slip, you can stand confident in the knowledge that you can punch your ticket to Boston or New York and bring them a little Sciosciaface to help warm the cold New England winters.
Hope to see you in October, Mike.