By Glenn McKee, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer -
Way back in mid-March, long before this season was in the crapper and there was still some optimism – Hamilton is gonna bounce back after and we’ll have four guys hitting 30+ HR this year! – I joked that it was never too early to give up on a season. After seeing the results of a dozen or so spring training games, I was already worried. It was that same worry long-time (as in, pre-2002) Angels fans know well, having lived with it for just about every season. A small part of me was already giving up on the season, knowing how it would end – the same was most of my seasons rooting for the Angels (since about 1979) have ended:
But I still maintained some optimism, some hope for the season. That gradually faded in the first two months, like the jubilation you get on vacation that dissipates exponentially the closer you get to back home. This season has been like a long drive back home from vacation, punctuated with randomness like an Indian attack that blows out all the tires on your car, a squirrel that gets under the hood and chews on the wiring, and everybody in the family getting Galactorrhea (Even the menfolk got it). I still enjoy watching the games during what’s left of this season to see what Mike Trout will do next, or what the next Aybar gif will be (Spoiler: it’s gonna be him swinging at yet another pitch that hits him, this time maybe even in his dome), or who the next relief pitcher is that I had no idea was even on the team. However, I have to confess that like many fans of this team I’m already thinking about what will be different next year and how this team will be better. Here’s my take on what will happen in the offseason, off of the beaten path.
The “Scioscia or Dipoto will be gone” soap opera resolution: First off, I have to be serious for a moment and say that this aspect of the season is particularly odious. As bad as this season has been, leaking something like this reflects poorly on the organization. I hope this team will be better than this in the immediate future. OK, back on topic: it has been leaked that either Scioscia or Dipoto will get the heave-ho after this season and we all want to know which. My money is on Scioscia being traded to the Reds for…you guessed it, Dusty Baker. Right now, those good years between 2003-2009 are faded memories and Dusty is the single person most responsible for our only WS title, so it only makes sense to bring him back to work his magic again. Scioscia will then get the Reds to sign Jeff Mathis and the Reds will dominate the NL Central for the next four years. Dusty will have us longing for Scioscia before we even hit the ASB. To wrap up this sordid saga, Jerry Dipoto will legally change his name to Jerry DiPoto just to screw with me.
Exciting promotions for next year! Yes, you can expect the usual Trout-based memorabilia spread out over the season, but there will be some surprises as well. There’s the “Howie Kendrick trade-watch calendar” giveaway, a calendar that only goes through July. There’s also the “Scioscia goes to the bullpen watch” freebie, a watch that is always either too early or too late – you can never set the correct time on it. Going to the games during those hot summer months? We have the promotion for you: the Angels Folding Hand Fan, with Josh Hamilton on one side and Mark Trumbo on the other. This fan is especially effective when the Angels have RISP. In what promises to be the most popular promotion next year (and possibly in Angels history, right up there with Snuggie Night), Erick Aybar Mask Night sells out the stadium and the next day those masks will be going for $75 “buy it now” on ebay. By the end of the season they’ll be selling for over $200, and a knockoff of it will be the top seller in the Spirit Halloween stores. Finally, when the Yankees come to town there will be a special giveaway: a mini-stature of Derek Jeter riding centaur A-Rod who is holding an oil painting of Mariano Rivera striking out Darren Erstad. It’s incredibly detailed.
More great commercials featuring Angels players. After the recent success of the Hamilton/Wilson Head & Shoulders commercials and the past greatness of the Howards/Howie spots, advertising agencies will be lining up to get some heavenly halos promotion for their products. Mike Trout is already off to a great start with endorsements, but next year he’ll pick up an odd one – endorsing the musical duo Garfunkle and Oates; something about being second banana to Cabrera. Joe Blanton will get in on the act, pitching (ha ha, the only pitching he’ll be doing for a while) Donald Trump’s newest swindle, and the commercial will end with Dipoto giving a rueful shrug. In what will be perhaps the most ironic advertisement ever, Mike Butcher will endorse http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/ and he’ll talk about all the pitchers he’s turned around for the better. This product will move zero units in Atlanta, by the way. Even Jerry Dipoto, previously very publicity-shy, gets in on the gravy train with an ad for http://www.dartboards.com/ - it’s a funny one, too: he throws a handful of darts at the board at once, and only one of them hits.
AngelsWin.com Fanfest stuff. Two years ago, the “F**k Yu, We Got Pujols!” shirts were a hit. We’re gonna pay for that hubris for years to come, and having learned our collective lesson next year’s shirt will be “Aww Hell CaNo!” for when the Angels sign Robinson Cano to an eight-year, $160 million deal. The reverse-whammy will work wonders and Cano will post a .318/.405/.920 line before accidentally tripping over Pujol’s monstrous contract in the dugout and shattering his ankle, ending his season and the Angels playoff hopes. Yes, I know that earlier I alluded that we’ll still have Kendrick, so it doesn’t make sense that we’ll also sign Cano. The future doesn't have to make sense. The other big thing at the fanfest will be the “Guess the starting 3B” drinking game, which results in a few stomachs being pumped and a collective ER bill that could pay for a few Tesla cars.
So there ya have it. It’s gonna be a great offseason and it can’t get here soon enough.