By Jason Sinner - Angelswin.com Columnist
Well, that was easy. Uh, um, ok, maybe not. The year began with the Halos top two starters on the shelf and many ‘experts’ clamoring over the improved Seattle Mariners. Predictions of a tight AL west race were made with many believing that the M’s would eventually come out on top. Those thoughts flew out the window after about a month as the paper tiger Seattle squad imploded early and often. Yet it was apparent that the Halos were not without their own holes to fill as they battled injuries, offensive woes, and the upstart A’s in what was turning out to be a fairly close battle nonetheless. After a July 11th loss and just two games prior to the all star break, the Halos found themselves with just a four game lead.
A month later, the lead was 15 games and everything was coming together. The pitching maintained its form, the offense started to click, and the front office rewarded the team with that elusive and coveted big bat in the form of Mark Teixeira that all had been pining for. From that point forward it was less a matter of if and more a matter of when the Angels would clinch their 4th division title in the last five years.
So on September 10, 2008 the Halos did just that. As I watched the guys celebrate and cover one another with beer and champagne while they jumped around with ear to ear smiles on their faces, one thing became readily apparent. This was a true team accomplishment with contributions across the board. There is no Cy Young or League MVP nor Rookie of the year but a collective effort by one and all.
Soon, the coaches, players, and fans will begin to talk about the next step of what is still a long, hard road to the ultimate goal. But, for now, let us all relish in the fact that tonight the Halo shines extra bright as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are division champions once again.