Throughout the off-season I decided I wanted to track how you, the fans, were feeling about the Angels in the wake of their third consecutive playoff-free season. With the media trumpeting the Halos as the epic failure of 2012, I was curious if all of that had dampened everyone's spirits and outlook for the 2013 Angels. But beyond that, I wanted to see how the collective confidence of the fans shifted over time as the off-season moves of the Angels unfolded.
To do that, I ran the same poll three times: at the end of the season, just before spring training and Opening Day. In that poll I asked fans to declare their prediction of the Halos either winning the World Series, winning the AL West but not the pennant, winning the Wild Card and losing early in the playoffs, just missing out on the post-season again or finishing several wins worse than in 2012.
Here are the results of those poll:
|DATE||WORLD SERIES||DIVISION||WILD CARD||SAME||WORSE|
|End of 2012||61.76%||23.53%||7.35%||5.88%||1.47%|
|Start of spring||48.61%||41.67%||4.17%||1.39%||4.17%|
One thing that you can see as a constant throughout is that regardless of the timing, Angel fans were highly confident that the team would be pretty good. I guess all that "wild disappointment" didn't do much to discourage the fan base. Let's leave all the Chicken Little reactionary crap for Red Sox fans, right?
In the more micro level is where things get interesting. As the season drew closer, the opinions of you fans got more and more polarized. There was less predictions of championship glory than the first poll, but the fence-sitters in the "sneak into the Wild Card" area all but disappeared by Opening Day. In the first poll, just over 6% of people thought the Halos would miss the post-season, but that nearly doubled by Opening Day.
There was, however, less enthusiasm at the top range of the poll. I'll admit, I was shocked to see nearly two-thirds of you predict a World Sries just after the season ended. Maybe that was just trusting Dipoto to make the team over properly or maybe you were all just irrational in the face of defeat. Whatever the case, it went away awfully fast. Apparently the off-season machinations of the front office left your confidence slightly shaken. Sure, the team was still good, but just not quite championship good.
Frankly, I'd love to hear those of you that voted explain your shift in opinion in the comments. To be honest, when I hatched this little experiment, I expected the results to be much different. I never thought there would be such a positive response back in October. Generally speaking, I anticipated a lot more than 10% of you to predict a fourth straight season of missing the post-season. I realize most experts have the Halos winning the division, but fans tend to be more irrational and pessimistic, yet that didn't prove out here. It is enough to make me want to conduct the poll every month throughout the season. I probably won't do that, but it is tempting.
So good on you all for not being so cynical. Now let's see if you can keep it up as the season unfolds.