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'13 LA Angels looking a lot like the '01 Texas Rangers

5bdf40016b3d44238a48ad5122744b0aIf baseball's postseason began today, which I wish it did, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would not be in the playoffs.

The Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles keep losing. They are going to lose a series against the Double A Houston Astros, regardless of what happens in their three-game series finale tonight in Houston.

Continuing their season o' crap, starting ace Jared Weaver is not expected back from his non-pitching elbow ouchy for at least another two weeks.

Will manager Mike Scioscia be around by then?

There have been other high-dollar teams that flop around early, but the one that continues to spring to mind locally are the 2001 Texas Rangers, with one giant difference.

Caminiti_597141You may remember in '01 the Rangers brought in Alex Rodriguez, (10 years, $252 mil), as well as veterans Ken Caminiti, Andres Galarraga to complement a lineup that already had Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez. 

The team mascot was a giant syringe with a MLBPA logo.

On May 9, 2001 the Rangers lost at Detroit to drop to 12-21, and 12 games behind first-place Seattle.
The Rangers would eventually fall 44 games behind the Mariners that season, and just missed the playoffs.

It's May 9, 2013 and the Angels are 11-22, and 9.5 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers.

That '01 season, the Rangers had a team payroll of $88.5 million - so more than 25 percent of that went to one player. That worked out well. The Rangers ranked 7th in team payroll that season.

This season, the Angels' team payroll of $127.8 million ranks sixth. Three players comprise roughly one-third of their payroll: Josh Hamilton $17.4 million; Albert Pujols $16 million, Jared Weaver $16.2 million.

460xNow look at their production:
Hamilton: .205, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 132 AB, 40 K
Pujols: .240, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 125 AB
Weaver: 0-1, 4.91 ERA, 2 starts, 9 hits, 11 innings

Why the 2013 Angels are better off than the 2001 Rangers:
The Angels can still pitch. The '01 Rangers had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball.
Weaver injured his non-throwing elbow, and his return should make an immediate difference to a team that needs a stopper.

The Angels can't continue to screw around and lose any series against the Astros, or they do risk falling too far behind to catch anybody.

When you're best players are all at least 30 and older, you just never know when they are going to get hurt again.

The inclusion of more wildcards, and the fact this team is loaded with established pros on offense on the mound gives reason to believe they aren't going to suck this bad for the entire season.


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