I believe in momentum.
It’s not that I don’t get “tomorrow is another day” and “one game at a time,” but get serious: we live in a crazy, competitive, capitalistic world. We play on the edge, and yes you might spot your niece a bishop here or there while playing chess but when the chips are down we all bring out the biggest hammer in our toolbox. Ask brother Romney. It’s better to be ahead, and the landscape changes drastically when you’re not.
Every April, May and usually partway into June I notice some Angel fans posting on boards that games don’t really matter yet. Bull. Every game counts, and the sooner a team gets a lead the better chance they have of winning the division. I mean, how can you argue that point? The “don’t panic till after the All Star Break” crowd must be doing something with peanuts I haven’t done in decades. Or was that banana peels?
Scioscia has demonstrated his belief that getting most of the 25 man roster in on as many games as possible in one week, preferably using six different lineups, is the ultimate in managerial style. It’s a long season, after all. Great, I understand 162 games is a tough row to hoe but how does that fit into playing to win every day?
How the Angels do in the first three series will speak volumes about the direction and quality of the team. For all you stat-heads 9/162 is about 5% or so of the season, although I like to see it as 1/20th. Or consider that with an average of three games per series and 162 games that gives 54 series per season. The schedule is three at home against the Royals, then three against the Twins and three against the Yankees away. We’re talking six games against teams that were a total 56 games below .500 last year and three against the Yankees.
What do you expect out of those nine games? Seriously would, 5-4 be OK with you?
The Royals are up and coming, but I expect two out of three is the minimum required against them. I think the Angels need to sweep and make a statement. For the Angels to win the Western Division of the AL they will need to take almost every series against teams that are under
or about .500. The Royals may do better than that group, but at home, two out of three would be a disappointment.
The Twins will do better than expected, as Joe Mauer gets healthy and does more time at DH with less at catcher, but last year they went 63-99. Ouch. The Angels will be playing in the Twins’ yard, but need to sweep if they don’t against the Royals. The Angels need to win two of three in this series.
I’m saying we need to be 5-1 after six games going into New York. Am I crazy here? I know the Angels play the Yankees tough, always. Makes me proud, I’m an Angel fan. But I don’t routinely expect two of three against them in New York. And if it’s one of three and the Angels don’t go at least 5-1 in the first six, the first three series sequence will be a failure. Five percent of the season counts, whether it’s in April or October.
Can you be optimistic and desperate at the same time? I want a fast start.