ANAHEIM - The Wild West of the American League has a little wild and out of control in 2010 for the three-time division champion Angels. For the first time since '06 and the second time since '03, which sit at the big party in October.
Almost everything that could go wrong went wrong. There were injuries to key personnel before the season, early in the season, midway and end of the season. None rivaled the sheer impact of the loss of Kendry Morales on May 29 in arguably the most freakish injuries in franchise history.
Jumping on the plate after a game winning grand slam against Seattle in the arms of a dozen teammates at Angel Stadium, Morales landed awkwardly on his left foot and sat down for an uncomfortably long time.
Removed from the lawn as teammates froze in disbelief, Morales was taken to a nearby hospital where X-rays confirmed the worst suspicions. Morales had a broken left leg, and surgical approaches that have off-season. The forecast for 2011 is good for the bottom of slugging first, but the loss of his bat on the rise and meticulous work gloves at first base was devastating.
There were no other losses along the way - Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro to start early afternoon, catcher Jeff Mathis, relievers Matt Palmer, Brian Stokes and Jason Bulger, infielders Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis - but Morales was overwhelming. Manager Mike Scioscia nine athletes use different at first in his absence, hoping in vain to fill a void irreparable.
The offense took a short flight in June when the team went 18-9, but a 9-17 jul collapse was followed by the mediocrity of the balance of a frustrating season.
The starting pitching, are joined with the arrival of Dan Haren in a late July trade with Arizona, was first class. Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana were always excellent. The bullpen was erratic, with closer Brian Fuentes tried to Minnesota in August. The defense, like the relief agencies had its ups and downs.
The real problem, however, was a crime that never found his rhythm. Almost all hitters in the lineup less experienced one season after a remarkable number of hitters enjoyed years of career in 2009.
Torii Hunter, once again was the player the Angels' most productive offensive. and nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award gardener showed his team attitude first moving from center to right to accommodate the arrival of Pedro Bourj ultraswift and exciting, which is one of the building blocks for the future along with the likes of receiver Hank Conger, Mark Trumbo slugger and, by the way, outfielder Mike Trout.