Prior to the 2011 offseason the Angels were geared up and ready to enter the 2012 offseason as the underdogs of the AL, yet 1 day and $300 million changed all of that. Not only have the Angels brought on two highly coveted players, one of them being the best hitter of this generation and a national icon, they’ve also strapped a giant target on their back. The number 5 used to be a symbol all Angel fans could rally around for some tasteful collective hate, but now that’s changed, it’s because a symbol for the rest of the league to hate and envy us. I can already hear thousands of fans from opposing ball clubs calling for our blood, but who can blame them? The Angels have just become that rich kid in school that drives his parades his fresh new Porsche around the parking lot every morning and shows off his trophy-girlfriend-of-the-week to all his “friends”. They’ll hate us simply because they can’t have what we have, and because of this they’ll jump at the chance to make fools of us. They’ll have 162 chances to do so (maybe more), and you better believe they’ll make the best out of every opportunity.
Is this what we’re bound to become? Oh god….
The Angels are essentially on the path to becoming the Yankees of the West Coast, just like Moreno had always dreamed of since he bought the team. The Angels now have a massive TV contract that will bring in mountains of cash for the next 20 years; they’ve secured their spot as a prime destination for free agents (unlike the past decade) with the combination of the TV deal and the Wilson/Pujols signings. Now all the Angels need to do is play some solid, consistent baseball and at the ABSOLUTE least make it to the playoffs. I don’t feel like these signings automatically entitle us a spot in the playoffs; however it would be rather embarrassing for both the fans and the organization. None of us want to see the Angels become a punch line near the end of the season like the 2011 Boston Red Sox, especially if their defeat comes at the hands of the Rangers. That would be bad to see, but if the Angels happened to fall flat on their face hard, and I mean really hard, so hard that I had to bold that THREE times, it would be knee’ slappin’ hilarious for the rest of the league. Everybody WANTS to see the Angels fail miserably, and that’s exactly what they’re going to try to make happen, and you know who wants us to fail the hardest? The Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and what a sneaky little coincidence, those happen to be the last two teams Angel fans would want to throw ammunition to, and I’ll be damned if it wouldn’t feel like a .44 Magnum straight to the heart.
In everyone else’s eyes, the Angels just rolled up out of nowhere throwing cash around thinking they can be time. They show up to the Winter Meetings publicly stating that they have around $15-$20 million to play with, and they us convinced, then WHAM-BAM OUT OF NOWHERE THE ANGELS SIGN PUJOLS. Now the Angels think they’re hot stuff for making the biggest splash in franchise history, well good for them right? Oh they weren’t done yet, because then they decided to take it completely overboard and sign the most sought after starting pitcher on the market, C.J Wilson for 5yrs/$77.5 million even though the Marlins had gotten desperate and offered C.J a 7th year and $100 million, effectively giving the Marlins a nice and firm slap in the face. Practically everyone in baseball hates it when teams think they can just buy championships, and that’s exactly what the Angels had just done. God, even I was disgusted by the morbidly obese, over the top spending far overshadowing anything the Yankees had ever done on the free agency market! (Just kidding, I loved every second of it)
I remember when the Yankees signed Teixeira, Burnett, and Sabathia, I (along with the rest of baseball) wanted blood to be spilled on the playing field every single time the Yankees and Angels played just because they thought they could buy rings, ESPECIALLY during ALCS (but also because I had money on that). I’ve always adhered to the thought of building up your organization with smart drafting and homegrown talent, and when the Yankees actually won that World Series I was destroyed. Now the Angels are practically going down that road, and this latest buzz of the Angels being in on Ryan Madson doesn’t help ease that notion. They’ll want the Angels to lose for using the money they have to buy free agents, just look at what was going on in the baseball world during that special day, people in St. Louis were burning Pujols jerseys; they absolutely hated him for “selling out”. They don’t just hate on Albert Pujols, its Albert Pujols and The Angels for signing him.
Nobody really likes seeing the big guys who can push everyone around win; the underdog has always endeared itself as the favorites. It’s unfortunate because we WERE the underdogs; in fact we still ARE the underdogs. We’re the underdogs who have finally managed to pull themselves to the elite level of competition; we aren’t the hoity-toity big suited executives throwing money around just because we have the cash to do so. What makes the Angels different is that they aren’t just throwing cash around; they had to set up all the domino’s and hope they would fall into place. We got to see the Angels start rebuilding their losing front office from the ground up, they worked to the bone setting up and executing this plan, this is the fruits of their endless labor. The Angels master plan was executed to perfection, but no, people will continue to hate on the Angels for tossing around cash pretending to be a big player, and for that they’ll want to see them kicked down.
It’s okay though, because while they’re getting themselves worked up in bundle over our success we’ll be sitting on our high horses laughing all the way to the World Series.