Monday, October 02, 2006

At the end of the day, there are a lot worse things than going 89-73.

That doesn't mean the team should settle -- and all indications are that they will not -- and they woulda shoulda coulda been better, but we hung in the race until the last week, and finished with a better record than three National League playoff teams. At the end of the day we had the seventh-best record in baseball, and did so playing in the tougher league.

While doing this, the Angels established Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick as major leaguers and possibly did so from Mike Napoli (assuming the streakiness is just part of the package, and that the slump isn't his true level of ability) and Joe Saunders (inconsistent and rarely dominant, he did show definite signs that he could contribute in the future). Doing that while remaining competitive ain't too shabby.

Most exciting, perhaps, was the performance of Tim Salmon. His making the team wasn't out of sentiment; he hit 265/361/450 in a reserve role, which is a nice little package off the bench. The Fish might not have gone out on top, but he went out on his own terms, contributing all the way -- he even hit 294/429/471 in his farewell weekend. It might not seem like a lot, but those are 200 at-bats that will have to somewhere next year. At this point, they're probably Juan Rivera's, but Timmy brought something real to this team.

I'll be continuing my discussion of what went wrong and what we can and should do about it this week. But as we examine what went wrong, we should also appreciate that quite a bit went right. The organization -- celebrating its first third consecutive winning season -- is in strong shape.


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