This is the time of year, when the Angels aren’t doing terribly well (or just terrible, which may be more accurate), that the fan and the saber-head inside me start to war a little bit. The fan inside me is shaking his head sadly, knowing this team is going down in flames and all we can do is watch while it happens. The saber-head inside me takes the time to calmly reassure fan-me that it’s only been five games, and literally anything can happen in a five game span. Just ask the 2006 Detroit Tigers.
The truth of the matter is that anything can happen in a five game span, including the team looking like a newly formed AA squad that is shocked to discover themselves playing major league teams.
There have been a few bright spots in the handful of games played so far, including Howie Kendrick’s OBP sitting at .450 (including 2 walks!!), Matsui with a .368/.400/.737 line (including 2 HRs), Jered Weaver’s solid Opening Day start, and Bobby Cassevah throwing 2.1 scoreless innings Friday night. After that… well, let’s just say the rest of the news isn’t as good.
Fernando Rodney only needed 2 innings to show Angel fans what an adventure his time on the mound will be for us. Palmer, Santana, and Saunders all have ERAs over 6.00. Bobby Abreu is hitting .200/.238/.200. And, inexplicably, Mike Napoli has exactly 5 ABs over five games. Clearly, you don’t have to look too deep on the Angels roster to find people not playing terribly well.
At this point, though, the saber-head fully takes over. It’s been five games. ESPN was running a story about David Ortiz’s struggles this season… after seven at-bats. Seven. That’s one fewer AB than John Lackey had last year. To say a lot of worry and drama in that time frame is too soon is to understate the point severely. To be fair, places like ESPN have to have something to report, and a player like Ortiz struggling (in seven AB’s!) is something to fill time, and saying simply, “The season has just started, there’s almost nothing we can tell about anything now, let’s move on.” only takes up about four seconds. It’s also not very captivating. Unfortunately, we end up with people vastly overreacting to seven bad AB’s, or in the Angels’ case to four bad games.
Worry is natural and normal when the team plays like this. We’ve just got to let the logic prevail in these cases, and remember that we’re in for a long ride still. 5 down. 157 to go. There’s still a ton of baseball left to play.
Except for Rodney. He does actually suck.