By Glen McKee, Realist
I’ve often (or occasionally, or maybe just once or twice) said that optimism doesn’t cost you anything. You can be hopeful, but the key is that you have to be realistic as well. For example, going into this season I was optimistic that the Angels would do reasonably well, but realistically I knew they were a sub-.500 team. Last week, the optimism was crushed by the realism and here we are, four games under .500 and without a realistic shot at the wild card. Since my optimism has been crushed, much like an alcoholic going back to the bottle I’m going back to what made everyone read this column in the first place: boobs. You’re welcome, gentlemen (and ladies, if that’s your thing, I’m not here to judge).
What the hell happened last week? In a week that could have gone 4-2 for the Angels, they instead went 2-4. That change was driven by Bud Norris giving up not one, but two walk-off grand slams, one in Cleveland (what a steamer!) and one in Toronto (also a steamer, but not nearly as funny for some reason). Bud decimated whatever trade value he had, which makes him the most annoying person of the week. He’s almost as annoying as, I dunno, Kim Kardashian:
You know else was annoying for almost all of last week? Albert Pujols. Going into Sunday’s game he was hitless but then on Sunday he suddenly found his bat again, hitting two HR and helping to give the Angels what looked like a safe lead. He’s still batting a woeful .233 this season and hit a miserable .107 last week. Did you know that according to his birth certificate, Albert was born in 1980, which makes him the same age as Macaulay Culkin and Gisele Bundchen? Yeah, you know who you’re gonna get the picture of:
Ah, I’m just screwing with ya, here’s what you were expecting (nice hat, Gisele!):
You know who else was terrible last week? Jesse Chavez. Much as with Bud Norris, the magic has run out with Jesse. We know he couldn’t keep putting up solid numbers and this week he crapped the bed. Two starts, 7.1 IP, 11 ER. That’s a 13.50 ERA and a 5.43 ERA for the year. Our injured starters can’t get back fast enough. Fun fact: according to official records Chavez is only three years younger than Albert Pujols, being born in 1983. You know who else was born in 1983? Jamie Chung. No, I don’t know who she is either but she’s acted in something, so here ya go.
So what went right last week? Glad you asked because despite the record there are still some reasons for optimism. Kaleb Cowart was finally called up and given plenty of starts, causing a collective orgasm on the board. He responded by going 8-18 and playing some solid D at 2B. I know, sample size, but I’m cautiously optimistic that he could stick this time. Kaleb was born in Georgia, and you know who else was born in Georgia? No, not Frank Stallone, but Kim Basinger:
Andrelton Simmons also had a great week posting similar numbers to Cowart, hitting .458 to bring his average for the year up to .302. Dude is on fire and if he was a Red Sox(k) or Yankee we’d be hearing about him like he was Aaron Judge. He’s the second-best player on the team next to…I know, the suspense…
Mike Trout. Trout posted a .360 average last week, bringing his season average up to .332 with a season OBP of .452. Mike Trout gets on base 45.2% of the time. That makes him the sexiest man in baseball, the male equivalent to…whomever is the sexiest woman alive right now. Look it up yourself, I’ve already posted enough pics. By the way, next Monday (August 7) is Mike Trout’s birthday, and he also shares it with another awesome person. I’ll keep you in suspense until next week about who that other person is.
Yusmeiro Petit had another solid week and he’s been one of our best relievers lately (slim pickings, there) which makes him the Guy Most Likely to be Traded Today, with today being the non-waiver trade deadline. We’ll miss you, Yusmeiro. I just barely learned how to spell your first name.
What’s next? A day off today, in which Brooks Pounders has to be optioned, right? Do we really have room in the bullpen for a guy with a 10+ ERA? After that, three at home versus the Phillies (38-64) (they’re gonna be really good soon, just you wait!) followed by three at home versus the Aths (46-59) (they’re gonna be…uh…maybe moving to a new stadium soon, just you wait!).
Predictions. This week could go one of two ways. Either the Angels play down to the competition or they play to their capabilities. I’m guessing one of each. 3-0 versus Mike Trout’s next team (the Phillies, not Oakland) and 1-2 versus the Aths.