EDITOR’S NOTE: The following post is a piece of satire, submitted from special guest writer known only as “Angry Mike” Scioscia, a parody of the real Mike Scioscia, so, you know, don’t sue us. You can follow Angry Mike Scioscia on Twitter at @Scioscialism. This post contains a fair amount of profanity, so please be aware of that before proceeding. I’m tired of writing disclaimers. Just read it, it is very funny.
Here we go, shitheads. The Skipper. On record. Let’s talk about it.
I guess the question on everyone’s mind is: “Gee skip, why are we such hot fucking garbage so far this year?” That’s a great question, stupid, and it will form the basis of this short essay on
poorly played baseball.
Firstly, let me consider the possible reasons for our recent ineptitude insofar as winning baseball games is concerned. Then grant me your charity as I select what I believe to be the likeliest candidate among the reasons posited. Finally, allow me to avail myself of your understanding as I attempt to explicate my belief as to why it is that we shall overcome this obstacle and foist ourselves into our rightful place as “One of the teams that plays for that final wild card spot,” (We’re not going to catch the Rangers).
The first of the reasons I’d like to consider here is one that has been floated around the Twitterverse and Blogosphere, and seems to have picked up something of a cult following. I will introduce it and dismiss it simultaneously by asserting that the marine layer is not to blame for our woes thus far. We have managed to suck on the road about as well as we have at home; and in domes, no less. Moving on.
The second reason is one that hits a little closer to home. A bunch of you assholes seem convinced that the management owns the lion’s share of the blame in this season’s failure. Firstly, kiss my ass. Secondly, thank you. Thank you for giving me so much credit and for overestimating my ability to influence the outcome of a Major League baseball game. What is it that you think I actually do in this little dugout? All this nose and ear touching – half the time I just have an itch. As far as everyone whining about the bumble-fuck manner in which I handle the lineup, you have to understand what’s loaded into creating a lineup each day. The case of Bobby Abreu should tell you something. Do you think that if my sole interest was winning that day’s baseball game, I’d be playing Bobby Abreu, given the other options at my disposal? It’s called “showcasing.” And it’s just one of the many things I have to consider before I put names on the chalkboard. In this case, it turned out that Alexi Amarista had more value in
getting us what we wanted than Abreu did. That’s back-office management. I know it’s a real bitch to watch in the short term, but some of us do have to think long-term. Not long-term like Arte thinking of moving us to L.A. – that’s total bullshit – but long-term like we need to whittle down a bloated roster while getting the most that we can out of the bits that we know we don’t intend to keep. You ever play Rummy against a really tough opponent? Try it against 29 tough opponents, and with much higher stakes. Shit’s a real bear. But that’s what I signed up for, I guess.
The last option to consider is that our offense just absolutely sucks. It’s not anyone’s fault collectively, the blame lies with the individuals. After all, these guys are paid a giant sum of money to do something very simple: hit a goddamn baseball with a goddamn baseball bat. And by and large the guys that we’re paying to do this…aren’t. Yell and scream at Mickey Hatcher all you want; at the end of the day he’s not the one in the box with the bat. Nevermind wondering how much attention a guy that makes 25 Bugattis a year actually pays to poor ol’ Mick. Maybe the blame really does rest where the bats rest: on the shoulders of our hitters. It’s not the unlikeliest candidate, that’s for sure.
What, then, do I think it is? If I’m honest, I think it’s the offense, but not in the same way that I’ve outlined above. I don’t think that our hitters are shit. I don’t think that they’re failing because of a lack of ability. I think they’re failing because they’re putting the cart before the horse. I don’t know that there’s ever been an Angels team that took the field with a presumption of victory laid so obviously upon them. Every batter in every game this season has stepped into the box to face a pitcher in a game in which victory was supposed to have been a foregone conclusion. What I mean to say is that our batters hit in games that have already been won in the minds of fans, media, and players, no matter the score on the board; and that is taking an enormous mental toll on our clubhouse. After all, what can a man help to feel but despair when he saunters out of a dugout to face a defeated opponent only to find that his team in fact trails, and not by a small margin? He’s beaten before he ever faces a pitch. This idea leads me to my next point: The problem with Pujols.
The fuck happened to Albert? What do I think? I think that the man is faced with a very unique problem. Very few people in the world can look at the next ten years of their life and tell you
that it’s going to be worth a quarter of a billion dollars no matter what they do. Very few people can tell you that their life’s efforts have been justified in such grand fashion; that they are the
machine that they’d always hoped to become. Albert is in just that position. So now what happens when the wheels come off? Where does he look for a cure? Can’t go back to the
drawing board, really, can he? I mean, the original game-plan has been so heavily validated by this monster contract, how could any part of it have been wrong? So he’ll say all the right things
in the media, he’ll shave his goatee, but he won’t change his approach. Not until he finds a way to reconcile all this justification with his passion for the game and his original means of success
he won’t, anyway. And that’s gonna be a tough nut to crack, especially here.
Big name free agents *cough Vaughn, Matthews, Wells, cough* seem to treat the Big A as a sort of baseball Boca Raton; it’s a pretty place to live out your last years. But you’re here
because you’re finished, so why try? I don’t think that this is genuinely the case with Albert, but I worry that it could become so. I do think though that he has a belief in his own infallibility that’s
getting in the way of his desire to be successful. And I’m not sure that I know how to fix it.
What’s more is that the big-money guy in a world where cash rules everything around me, like it or not, is the vanguard. And as goes the vanguard, so go the rank and file. The lone bright spots have been Torii and, to a lesser extent, Kendrys trying to assert themselves as the rightful leaders, and not doing a bad job at it. Unfortunately, in the long term, I feel too strongly that money justifies leadership, and not the other way around. It’s a sad thing, but that doesn’t make it less true. It also means that, for better or worse, Albert is this team’s leader, and if he continues to flounder, the rest of the offense will follow suit.
I suppose that I promised a solution, but in the end the best that I can offer is my idea of what a solution would look like. After all, I’m not a fucking psychic. Although I am certainly concerned about the future of this ball club. If we can right this ship, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t make the playoffs, especially with this year’s offering of the extra wild card spot. But I don’t think we’ll catch the Rangers without divine intervention. And, despite the benefit of our name, I don’t think God really cares about baseball. Otherwise, how do you rationalize a kind and just God with the existence of the Yankees? Exactly. You can’t. So stop praying, and just stick to hoping that we can turn this thing around. Hell, believe that we can turn this thing around. If there’s a bright spot in any of this, it’s that on the day that The Machine switches on, the Angels really take off. That, you idiots, is going to be a great day.