Purgatory Online

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Must...post...must...ignore...pain...

So the Angels lost again last night, 10-4, following yet another crappy start from Ramon Ortiz, who has gone from gifted but erratic to just plain bad in the course of the last few weeks. That makes 64 losses for the season, one more than they had in all of 2002, with 43 left to play. They're 6-21 since the All-Star Break, Darin Erstad is on the disabled list and may be out for the season, Glaus had a setback during his rehab assignment and won't play for several more days, Eckstein has a strained hamstring, Percival very nearly blew a six run lead the other night, and Bengie Molina, God bless him, seems to spend more time clutching various body parts in pain than he does actually catching the baseball (that's not Bengie's fault, but it seems emblematic of the season).

Whee.

The Angels are in a bind. Obviously, 2003 is over for them, but they're still looking to capitalize on 2002, and cement relationships with the new fans they made last year. So Moreno, Stoneman, and even Scioscia continue to pay lip service to the idea that they can compete this year, when the reality is that the next couple of months are going to be an extended preview of some of the excellent prospects that have made their way through the Angels' farm system.

The funny thing is, though, that given the number of injuries the Angels have suffered, there's absolutely no practical difference at this point between "playing to win" and looking ahead to 2004. It's not like Chone Figgins, Robb Quinlan, et al. have been brought up to help Sciosica decide which will make the team next year, they're up because someone has to fill those roster spots. And the guys who are playing well at triple-A are the guys who would be promoted regardless of whether it's to help the current team or to audition for a 2004 slot.

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