To say the Angels' season has been a rollercoaster ride thus far would be an understatement.
Indeed, there are few other ways to describe an eight game win streak snapped by a Houston Astros sweep. This was followed up by what optimists would describe as a "mediocre showing," where the team won only eight out of the next eighteen. However, the slump was shattered with sweeps of the Tigers, and a revenge sweep against the Astros. Put simply, if the Angels were any more fickle with their wins, Taylor Swift would write a song about their lack of commitment.
The label earned from the recent performances is one no team or player wants on their resume. The Angels are best described right now as "streaky". In these instances, a review of the entire team is necessary to find exactly what is preventing the squad from firing on all cylinders. This time around, It's not the bullpen's inconsistency. It's not Josh Hamilton's bat. It's not Jered Weaver's decreased velocity. It's not Peter Bourjos suddenly finding himself injury-prone, and it's not Albert Pujols' contract. We need to look else where.
It may be time to trade the Rally Monkey.
The Monkey has been with the organization for a long time. He came seemingly out of nowhere. He had no minor league experience, no college resume, no experience with baseball away from US soil, no birth certificate, nothing to show he would be the future of the franchise. Yet he's done very well since his debut, including a highlight-reel moment in game six of the 2002 World Series. That said, the old gent ain't as young as he used to be, but no one is quite ready to unceremoniously dump him by the wayside a la Scott Kazmir. There's no harm in testing the free agent waters though.
Maybe a Rally Possum is more our speed. It does seem like you have to hang upside down and let the blood rush to your head to see things as Scoscia does sometimes, and, like Arte Moreno signing a big name free-agent to WAY too much money, possums are notorious for bolting across dangerous roads without looking both ways. In addition, possums are marsupials, so when someone asks if the Angels can pull any runs out of their collective posterior, the possum can offer an alternative pouch from which extra runs can materialize. The only problem is that possums often end up as roadkill to be scraped off of the asphalt. This is not exactly the scene we want sticking in fans minds as the Halos try to climb the ladder in the AL West.
A Rally Alligator (Rallygator?) may not be the most lively of animals, but its ferocity is well documented. A modern day dinosaur (not unlike Alex Rodriguez), the alligator is generally the apex predator of its habitat, hunting any prey it believes it can consume. The Rallygator has also been known to attack humans in self defense, similar to how the Angels must attack to win a game when behind in the 6th inning. There are several issues with the Rallygator though. People may confuse it for the Lossodile and while they are in the same scientific order, the results they produce in a ballgame are very different. Also, should the Rallygator feed on a large meal like Prince Fielder, it may not be as inclined to feed again for several days. This is a setback the Angels cannot afford in a season of 162 games.
A final option to consider is the Rally Crab. In the grand tradition of sea creatures (like the noble Salmon and scintillating Trout) being a boon to the Angels, a Rally Crab may be just what the franchise needs to continue the trend of beneficial marine life. Clearly, a Rally Crab's greatest ability would be to grant the Angels the ability to rob home runs by engineering a "Deadliest Catch" up over the left center field wall. Seafood buffet patrons can vouch for the toughness of the Rally Crab's exoskeleton, and that hard hell may be useful in protecting a tenuous lead. We can also take into account the crab claws and a slew of intangible benefits to "pinch" hitters. The downfall of the Rally Crab is land. Unless Arte Moreno sees fit to install a Tampa Bay-like aquarium to hold our new aquatic assistants, they'll find life without their staple diet of plankton and algae to be in short supply in an environment where hot dogs and garlic fries are the common consumables.
This is all just hearsay of course. There are not many who truly want to get rid of the Rally Monkey. The old man puts a fire in the fans. He makes children stand and cheer, and a quick perusal of the fans will tell you the tykes would otherwise have their faces stuck in an iPhone playing Candy Crush. His theme song gives a second wind to fans that worked a day job from 9 to 5 and cheered their lungs out for their team for 7 innings or more. And, at the very least, he makes players smirk and shake their heads, relieving a bit of stress and offering a modicum of distraction for an opposing team. The Rally Monkey doesn't look to be going anywhere, and will hopefully continue to welcome fans for years to come.
But it couldn't hurt to keep the Rallygator's phone number in the front office smartphones, just in case.