Searching for Identity: 6/11

The Angels departed Orange County for Motown shortly after the disappointing series with the Minnesota Twins which left them at 29-31 on the season, following a 3-4 week. With a welcome day off on Monday, the Angels got some rest in Detroit in advance of a three game set with the Tigers before moving on to Houston and three games with division leading Houston. With 102 games remaining in the long baseball season, the Angels are a team in search of identity. Mostly, they need to answer the question as to whether 2017 will be a year they take strides towards the future by gaining a birth in the post-season, or a year in which they hold together and regroup, while allowing their injured to heal and their front office to devise a plan to build something bigger and better behind their awesome superstar, Mike Trout. If the Angels can tread water while playing without Mike Trout, perhaps they can make a run at a 2017 AL wild card slot. But, should they slip in Trout’s absence, the Angels might be wise to decide to concentrate on building an identity for the future while forsaking the present. How they perform over the next month or so should give Angels fans a clue as to who the Angels are and where they might be headed.

Since 2013, when beloved Angel Torii Hunter transformed into Torii the Tiger, the Angels have met with success at Comerica Park, compiling a 9-4 record in that span of years. When Mike Trout entered the Major Leagues, he was mentored by Hunter who graciously moved to right field without even being asked to make way for Trout in center. Now two years since Torii’s good-bye, the Hunter-less Tigers no longer provide us with the special opportunity to reacquaint with an old friend, greatly missed. In hindsight, the loss of Torii Hunter turned out to be more painful and damaging than first feared. No doubt, the front office now regrets overpaying Josh Hamilton, and losing a beloved hometown hero. Our outfield would have been an interesting one had Hunter remained to team with Trout and Calhoun. Sadly, it was not to be and left field that was once the proud home of Garret Anderson has become a revolving door of futility, which has included Hamilton, Shuck, Robertson, Robinson, Campana, Joyce, Howie, Nava, Gentry, Victorino, De Jesus, Green, O’Malley, Ibanez, Murphy, Cunningham, Ortega, Buss, Marte, Kubitza, Navarro, Krauss, Petit, Boesch, Nieuwenhuis, and the Ji-Man. No doubt, left field has made for a situation that has left us out of the playoffs and deprived of memories that might have been. No doubt, Angels fans Across America would be happy to forget all things left field related. Actually, our current left fielder, Cameron Maybin was first drafted by the Tigers and has made his way to us many years after leaving Detroit as part of the trade that brought Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers. Might he be the answer to our prayers? The answer to date remains uncertain.

The three game set with Detroit went rather well as we split the first two before grabbing the rubber match. Standouts in the series included Calhoun, Cron, Simmons and Eric Young Jr. who continues to shine in his brief stint substituting for Mike Trout.

Even better, the three games in the Lone Star State went well too as the Angels outscored the Astros 22-13 in taking two of a three game set. With the exception of Albert Pujols, who now seeks to build on his 600 homers and pass the likes of Sammy Sosa and Jim Thome—and Danny Espinosa who hasn’t hit a lick all season, the Angel batters crushed the ball all week long despite the absence of our beloved Mikey, a/k/a, The Millville Meteor.