It is Friday the 13th… which would mean something if were superstitious. But it just being Friday in general means it is time to monkey around with some of the stray thoughts and minutia that have been rattling around my brain.
One of this big annual milestones since Arte Moreno took over has been cresting the 3 million total attendance mark. The Halos have a good streak going, but they are going to cut it very close this season. Overall, per game attendance is down 616, which isn't a huge amount, but it is enough to threaten the 3 million mark. With six home games left, the Angels need to average 35,932.5 to hit 3 million. That is just below their season average of 37,125 so they should hit it (and if it looks like it might be close, expect some incredible ticket deals and promotions).
Another milestone that is much more near and dear to our hearts and not Arte Moreno's wallet is that Mike Trout has once again posted a 10 WAR season. Or at least he has in terms of WARP where he is at exactly 10. He should hit 10 wins in fWAR any day now (currently at 9.9). rWAR though is a different story as he is under 9 WAR right now and probably won't even reach that. Still, he is miles ahead of anyone else in baseball, so we can live with two out of three.
Speaking of Trout and WAR, he is now 10th all-time in Angel franchise history in WAR for position players. Yep, 10th all-time after just two seasons. At the clip he is going, he should be top 5 by the end of next year. Even if Trout slows down from this 10 WAR clip to a 6.5 WAR pace, he should easily become the all-time WAR leader for the Angels (position player and pitchers included) before he ever hits free agency.
What I was shocked to see is that right behind Trout on that list was Howie Kendrick. Part of that is longevity, but it goes to show how quietly and consistently good Kendrick has been in his career. In fact, he should crack the top 10 next season… assuming he is still wearing the Halo, which seems unlikely as of right now.
Since we are going down this rabbit hole, I should point out that Jered Weaver is now fourth all-time in WAR amongst Angel pitchers. The only people in front of him are Finley, Ryan and Witt and Weaver should pass Witt next season. Weaver has the ability to one day surpass Finley for the all-time mark, but that assumes he can stay healthy and not have his velocity drop into the high-70's.
In case you were wondering, the all-time worst career WAR for an Angel is… you know him, you love him… JEFF MATHIS! At -1.7 fWAR, he is just the worst. Alas, we have to take that with a grain of salt since the fielding metrics for catchers used in WAR calculations are suspect at best.
So as not to be accused of dwelling on the past, the current Angel with the lowest career WAR is Michael Kohn at -0.8. This is what happens when you have a 3.56 career ERA but a 5.02 career FIP.
I had forgotten about this for awhile, but stumbled across it again recently but the Angels were pretty close to having their franchise record go over the .500 mark. That obviously isn't happening with a losing record this season, but as of today they are 4212-4228, so it is still a reachable goal next season if the team is very good.
And finally… it has been noted in other spaces that the general tone of this site has become overly negative of late. This is something that happens to me now and again and each time it does cause me to step back a bit and wonder I really have just started being negative for the sake of being negative. I did that this time after the latest accusations and what was my conclusion? NOPE.
Look, I get it that you can take it personally when someone runs down a player you like or criticizes your favorite team, but that doesn't mean it is undeserved. This team isn't good and there are players on it that are bad or have major flaws. If I felt like I were pointing out these deficiencies for the sole purpose of insulting the player or team, I'd certainly apologize for it, but I don't think that is the case. The Shuck piece from earlier this week was certainly harsh, but it was in no way a personal attack and every single assertion I made was backed up with facts and statistics. My goal on this site is always to push the conversation forward and I think I succeed at doing that more often than not. If by drawing attention to how Shuck actually isn't very good or how Scioscia has lost his mojo managing the bullpen or how Tommy Hanson is a lost cause, I am do so with hopes of solving whatever the problem is. After all, the first step is admitting that you have a problem.
I'd love to write about more positive things too and have in the past, but it turns out that when a team is bad and playing below expectations, it is usually because there isn't much positive going on. If I tried to only be positive, this site would be one article after another fawning over Mike Trout. While that might be entertaining and draw page views, it would also be boring and trite and I am just not going to do that. Going negative is never something I set out to do, but sometimes it is necessary and I am never going to apologize for it.
So, if you don't like the tone of the site right now, my simple request is that you be patient. Things will brighten up before long, especially once the off-season starts and we can dive into that news as well as the player profiles and prospect countdown that we do each off-season.