Keep calm and carry on, Angels fans

PanicBehold. The panic button. Looks good doesn’t it? Maybe you’re getting estimates to install one in your house. Maybe you’re looking at installing a second one in your bedroom for those lazy days. I get it, you’re probably mentally measuring the distance right now. Maybe if you take a flying leap, you won’t have to waste time standing and getting your bearings. It IS awfully tempting, all red and shiny and just begging to be pressed. Maybe make yourself a little countdown. Yeah, that’s it. You’ll count down your own personal Angels panic launch.

10…
9…
8…
7…
6…
5…
4…
3…
2…

WAITWAITWAIT!

Hold up for a minute. Doomsday can wait. The Halos aren’t in so dire a straights that you need to make a mad dash for the panic button just yet. As the Radio once said the the Brave Little Toaster: “Things could be worse.”

For example, what if we all get our wish and one of the Angels goes on a hot streak? What if, say, Peter Bourjos hits his stride? People were making up mental trades for him in the off-season, what happens if his bat starts speaking and he doesn’t need his greasy-fast speed to make a home run? He’s a young guy, an inflated ego is not out of the question. Soon, he’s showing off in the outfield a la Willie Mays Hayes. That’s just asking for an injury. An injury that, no doubt, you’re starting to visualize right now. You can see it, can’t you? Peter’s left leg all shaped like a backwards J after he tried to skip off the wall to catch a fly? Compared to that visual, Pujols’s hom erun wasteland seems like a warm blanket.

It’s not a secret that over the last decade the Angels have become quite the big payroll team. Has anyone considered what would happen if Arte Moreno is out of money? Just, all of a sudden, gone. Maybe he went crazy during a day trip to an Indian casino, maybe he blew it all on Mega Millions tickets, maybe he bet it all on Duke during March Madness. Regardless, what if he’s broke? He signed the checks to Pujols and Wilson and then spent what little he had left on a king-sized case of Ramen noodles and Hot Pockets. No more signings, no more extensions, no nothing. You want new blood? All you can hope for is that Arte begs well enough for Scott Kazmir to come back for peanuts (literally, pay him in bags of stadium peanuts) and that someone in Salt Lake discovers a new strain of undetectable performance enhancing drugs to turn rookies into superstars. Not a pretty alternative at all. I’d rather watch opposing teams take batting practice off the bullpen any day than live in that world.

Let’s go two-for-one and consider for a moment, the possibility that Scioscia completely loses his mind. In an effort to get Mark Trumbo more playing time as well as “shake things up”, we get a roster move not seen since the Cardinals visited Oakland in 2007. Trumbo moves from 3rd base to relief pitching. Unlike 2007’s outing with Scott Spiezio on the mound,  Trumbo’s release leaves much to be desired. It’s so bad, that fans actually start cocking their caps 35 degrees counter-clockwise in the hopes of somehow mystically summoning Fernando Rodney to take over. His poor performance is the final straw and Trumbo is dealt to Milwaukee before the trade deadline. The northern air agrees with Mark and, like many recently released former Angels, he suddenly begins to thrive and reinvents himself into a .380 hitter and a zero-error infielder. The only saving grace Angels fans are left with is that he’s in the NL and we are so far away from a World Series team that we don’t have to worry about playing him. Things look pretty dark there. Almost makes you beg for the days of an 0-4 Ervin Santana, right?

Scenarios aside, we all should be keeping an eye on the panic button. It’s always good to know how far away it is in the event of a complete meltdown, but the people furiously jabbing it right now have lost their minds. You can quote all of the early-season mantras you want, but the fact remains that there are plenty of games left to play. Think about this: There was a season in which, after 20 games, the Angels were a 6-14 team. That team ended up taking the AL Wildcard, the AL Championship and the 2002 World Series. Be concerned, be worried, be apprehensive, be vexed, but whatever you do, do not be panicked.

Besides, everyone knows you’re not REALLY ready to hit the panic button until you consider signing Jose Canseco. I’m fairly certain there are no fans among us that desperate.

…yet.

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