About one month ago, the following was written:
If the Angels are swept by the Astros at any point, let’s agree to ... start mainlining Prozac.
Well, good news for the pharmaceutical lobby: The Angels have seemingly turned from the winning ways that brought them an 8 game win streak and proceeded to screw the pooch, dropping four of four to the Astros. It’s not the end of the season, but it sure feels a like it. A team that, on paper, the Angels should have been able to beat turned into an unstoppable force that ripped 4 games from the Halos grasp, including one shutout. This was followed by a split with the Cubs, a team ranked 4th in their division with only two more wins than the Astros. Another blunder in a what should have been a winnable series. Follow THAT up with 1 for 3 against the Red Sox and things are looking bleak, to put it mildly.
So, what now?
Do we turn our attention to the All-Star game? To the surprise of no one, Mike Trout came out of the gate leading the AL outfielder race in all-star votes. If anyone was thinking of leaping off a cliff, that should be enough to at least make you take a couple steps back and pause a bit to take a picture for instagram before you jump. Other than that, we’ll have to pray some of the top selections are too jaded with the summer classic to accept their invites and we sneak some alternates in.
Do we start the blame game? It’s the pitching! It’s the hitting! It’s Scioscia’s coaching! It’s Butcher’s coaching! It’s the bullpen! It’s Jerry DiPoto’s fault for screwing up the roster! It’s Budweiser’s fault for not telling the Angels they can’t raise beer prices! It’s the groundskeepers’ faults for making the grass too springy! It’s AJ Pierzynski’s fault because he’s a convenient target of hate! Just a point a finger any direction and we’ll find the source of this culture of losing! (Although Pierzynski is the front runner on this one, just because.)
Do we prepare for next season? Trout and Trumbo are still in need of contract extensions and it’s time to start worrying about Pujols’s backloading as his salary goes up in year three and its a bigger problem than you may expect. With the way the current season’s going, the Halos can’t raise beer prices again to pay for the increase. The fans need SOMETHING to take the edge off, and if we comfort eat instead, we’ll all be Blanton-esque before you know it.
The answer to “What now?” is this: We endure. Baseball is 162 games. Some are gone and there are many still yet to play. Since the NBA and NHL are almost out and NFL opening day is an entire summer away, baseball and the UFC are all we have as sports fans (unless you count golf, which I don’t). While we all have ideas on how to make the team better, it can’t be helped. We’re not the ones in the office, we’re not the ones on the field and we’re not the ones in the dugout. We’re the ones in the stands. It’s our job to be pleasantly surprised should the Angels somehow right this ship and sail out into playoff contention. We should prepare for that.
Or we should start saving our nickels for $15 beers next season.