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Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Fan Strong": Twins 3, Angels 1

I really didn't like the Angels' "Fan Strong" marketing campaign when it debuted this year, not least because the implication was that — if the fans are strong, does that mean the team isn't? I guess we have the answer to that question now, though with the usual caveats about sample sizes and so forth.

Despite the loss, there was a decent amount of good news about the pitching: Shane Loux held it together for an unexpected and wholly satisfying three runs over seven innings, the longest start of his major league career. Dan Davidson didn't implode in his major league debut. Heck, the Angels even managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth against Joe Nathan. At this point, I'll take the victories where I can get them, even if they're not in victories.

Angels recapYahoo box

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Comments:
I'm hoping that this series isn't a forecast of what the rest of the season is going to be like. You mentioned it before, but the Angels lack of depth is really hurting them right now. We're one outfielder injury away from seeing Gary Matthews Jr. as a permanent fixture in the lineup.

I've said it before, but the Angels have had a few years of uninspiring drafts and I think it might be beginning to catch up. This upcoming draft might be a make or break kind of draft.
 
yeah, the slogan really sucks
 
Lack of depth? I don't know of another team in the majors who could sustain the injuries the Angels have dealt with already.
 
the angels haven't "sustained" them any any meaningful way, yet. they're not playing well, which is what most teams in the majors would do if they dealt with a similar injury situation.
 
Miles -- if GMJ is playing every day, I'll eat my Angels season tickets. I have to believe they'll call up Willits and he'll start ahead of GMJ.
 
I think that the intent was just with the "Fan Strong" motto, but it sounds too much like a 90s auto campaign.

Reading these comments, though, I think we should cut the org some slack. I feel like the fan blogs are headhunting right now, trying to blame the bad start on poor drafts and lack of depth, etc. I mean, really? Can we just put this in very clear terms?

We've lost FIVE starting pitchers, one to a tragic accidental death, plus the team's best hitter. That after letting the anchor of the bullpen walk in the offseason...a decision the majority of fans were cool with. The fact that we can even field a four-man rotation is a testament to the team's depth, not an indictment of its lack.
 
Maxwell -- you're absolutely right about the starting rotation; the Angels were thin in starting pitching to start the season. But nobody could have predicted four starting pitchers would be out to start the year, one by death. I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion I was headhunting; have I called for Tony Reagins' head anywhere?
 
I'm not calling you out specifically. I'm talking about fan comments spread between here, HH, and the MLB forums. I think fans are right to be depressed, but not cynical. The organization made reasonable off-season moves given the economic climate, plus the fact that several of their marquee players are in the final years of their contracts. I just don't think ANY team can sustain the loss of their best hitter and five starting pitchers and survive it.

This is more to call out Miles' comment and others like it, which I'm seeing quite a bit of. I really don't think the Angels entered this season lacking depth, and certainly not in the OF. If GMJ is the team's fifth or sixth outfielder, that's actually pretty good, especially when you still have Willits, Coon, Pettit and Evans behind him.
 

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