The Angels Are Banking on a Winning Track Record

By David Hill

There is the school of thought that winning breeds winning. That there are some players who, for unknown reasons, make a team better simply by being there, not because of any talent they have. Players that winning just follows around. A prime example of that is Jonny Gomes in Boston. While Gomes is not the most talented player, and actually is not an everyday member of the lineup, his teams just seem to win.

Mar 2, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Carlos Pena (77) singles during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Angels have brought in players with a similar track record. Carlos Pena, John McDonald and Chad Tracy were brought in, not just for any potential help they could provide in a bench role, but because of their histories of playing for winning franchises. Even David Freese, who was brought in to be the Angels primary third baseman, has plenty of playoff experience with the Cardinals. Along with Raul Ibanez, these players are also known for being good teammates and could help improve the Angels clubhouse chemistry.

While Pena, McDonald and Tracy are not promised anything, having joined the Angels on minor league contracts, just their presence during Spring Training could help. While the Angels are not to be confused with teams the likes of the Astros or the Royals in terms of the youth on their roster, they still do have several inexperienced players looking to make contributions on their roster. J.B. Shuck, Kole Clahoun, Grant Green and Hank Conger could all learn from seeing how these veterans prepare for each game and go about their business on and off the field.

Sometimes, the biggest additions to a team’s success are not the ones that grab the most attention. After failing to return to the playoffs despite grabbing the headlines with their signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, the Angels are doing something different. They are looking to bring in solid veterans who may not produce the biggest numbers, but could have the biggest impact on the field.

The players that the Angels have brought in have all been part of winning organizations. If track record means anything, they could help the Angels get back to their winning ways.