The Angels preseason press is unequivocal. Mike Trout is the new Mickey Mantle. Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo are the new Murderer’s Row. Weaver could be the new Verlander, if it wasn’t for the fact that, annoyingly, every year some guy called “Verlander” keeps being that.
Spring training is winding up, and the Angels are a team of new promise. But one question remains.
Who will be the new number 2?
Personally, I was more surprised last winter by the Torii Hunter loss than the Josh Hamilton addition. Signing the biggest name on the market, despite most people not knowing he was on the market? Been there, done that, sold the number “5” T-Shirt. But dumping, arguably, the most consistent member of an evolving team? The steady hand who could simultaneously mentor a once-in-a-generation talent like Trout and punk a future Hall of Famer like Pujols (remember the clear dugout when he finally cleared the fences in 2012?) And letting him go to the Tigers, a league rival who seem to have everything in their arsenal except a sense of humor?
Well, it happened. And it left two glaring holes in the Angels’ lineup for 2013: a clubhouse leader, and a two-spot. The former should resolve itself – there’s no lack of experience in there.no comments