Trying Not to be the Angels
If there is one team that could set a great example for the Anaheim Ducks, it would be the Los Angeles Angels. They are in pretty similar boats, but the Ducks still have time to improve as a team. For the Angels, that ship sailed long ago. Let’s take a quick look at how the Angels are doing after being indecisive during a rebuild.
Last season, the Angels finished at 72-90 and that landed them at fourth place in the AL West. it was their worst season since 2016, and it marked the fifth season that they missed the playoffs. Luckily, they swapped from a general manager that ruined their farm system to a general manager that makes ridiculous trades and destroys the team even further.
After winning three AL West pennants straight from 2007-2009, the Angels were much like the Ducks in finding consistent success after their 2002 championship. They even drafted the best player in baseball, but it meant nothing. Former GM Jerry DiPoto depleted the farm system and made one of the worst free-agent acquisitions ever when he got Albert Pujols for ten years, and the Angels fell off hard after 2014. Despite their consistently bad play, the new GM in Billy Eppler has managed to trade for a bunch of duds to put a band-aid over a big bruise. From Justin Upton to Matt Harvey, it has been a disaster. The only bright spots for the Angels are a slightly improved farm system and the signing of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. On paper, the Angels have an explosive and exciting offense, but with a lack of any decent bullpen pitchers and a coaching staff that fails to offer any help, the Angels will stay in the basement for a while. It’s a shame to see the best player in baseball being wasted on a clueless team that is lost thanks to terrible management, but that’s the harsh reality for the Angels. For Murray to be making these random small trades for the Ducks to help their situation is the same as Eppler putting that band-aid on a big bruise like before. Just accept the tank and build for the future, because if the Ducks keep making these mistakes, they will end up with no future just like the baseball team that Anaheim used to be proud to call their own.
In closing, this early success for the Anaheim Ducks has been nice, but if the team wants a better future, they will have to start losing now. Getting back-end first-rounders has not worked and will never work, and making small trades to “fix” the team only hurts more in the future when those acquisitions leave and you are still left with a problematic middle-ground team. The Ducks need to give their star players like John Gibson a better future than the Angels have given Mike Trout. And take it from the Los Angeles Angels, being in denial of the tank will only land you with no future and a city that wants nothing to do with you anymore.
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