I never get tired of talking about the Los Angeles Angels. They are baseball's most extraordinary anomaly. As frustrating as they've been over the last several years when they've had the two best players of a generation and found a way to fuck it up, they've often tended to be bizarrely boring. Trout's incredible, and Ohtani is maybe the greatest baseball player of all time, but once you get past that, they have a lot of very generic players. I enjoy watching those two guys go to work, but after that, they're unwatchable. This current version of the Los Angeles Angels I find very watchable. They are the train wreck. You do not want to look away from it.
The Detroit Tigers are to blame for this. If the Angels don't sweep the Tigers right before the trade deadline, I don't know if they would've decided to go all out. I brought this up before, but in all the commotion that was the Angels' decision to buy at the deadline, nobody cared to mention that the players they got back were just OK. The teams above them in their division did way more, and neither one of those teams has to worry about losing the best player in the world in free agency.￼ But we all universally agreed that the Angels became infinitely more interesting when they bought at the deadline. We all figured it would lead to disaster, but falling apart in September at least means something. This team isn't going to make it to September. They can't make it out of the first inning of games without getting bludgeoned.
I would love to have gotten inside the mind of Arte Moreno during the deadline. I understand the San Diego Padres went nuts last year at the deadline. They struggled a little bit, but their true talent shone through once they got to October. The Angels felt like they could get themselves into a similar spot. The idea of catching the Rangers or Astros in that division probably wasn't a thing, but if they could've just snuck into the playoffs, they could make some noise. The difference is that the Padres got Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Josh Hader. Thinking that Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Randal Grichuk, and C.J. Cron would turn this squad into the 2002 Angels was a foolish mindset.
One thing I've never talked about is that when I was growing up, the Los Angeles Angels were viewed as one of the elite organizations in the sport. From 2002 to 2010, they were remarkably consistent. They only made it to and won the World Series in 2002, but they had several appearances in the ALCS. If you had told me in 2010 that the Los Angeles Angels would stumble into the two best players of a generation, it would've gotten them over the top and helped them win a World Series by now. To say that hasn't been the case is the understatement of the century.
I didn't expect it to be this early, but it's time to put in the gavel. This year's Los Angeles Angels are done. They have no shot of winning the division or making the playoffs. The Seattle Mariners, who did way less of the deadline than the Angels, are substantially closer to a playoff spot. There are bad front offices and owners across baseball, but this one is really special. The Angels' erratic behavior at the deadline will go down as an all-time fuck up. If you're going to be awful, be fascinating, no team fits that description better than the Los Angeles Angels. ￼￼￼￼￼￼