Just because it was the end of the season, you didn’t think that news was going to be slow, did you? The Angels played a week full of fun games resulting in a mixed bag of highs and lows. The last week at Angels Stadium was an eventful one, so let’s get to the need-to-knows.
Best of the Week: Taylor Ward’s Walk-Off Walk-Off
The young gun who joined the Angels on August 14th had 14 home runs between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Salt Lake this year and five in the majors until Sunday, when he walked off the season with a two-run home run to give the Angels a season-ending victory over the Wild Card-bound Oakland A’s. This home run felt like a metaphor for the Angels distancing themselves from the disappointment of this season. As the ball sailed over the fence in left center, Angels fans looked to the sky to track it, and to see the hope that is on the horizon for their beloved Halos. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that deep, but Angels fans can feel safe having a lot of hope for an electric group of young players and prospects, one of them being Sunday’s hero, Taylor Ward.
Worst of the Week: Finishing Below .500
The Angels would have had to win out this week to finish at .500 and avoid a third losing season in a row, but an unfortunate loss in the second game of the series against the A’s sealed the Halos’ fate. Ward’s walk-off to end the year was encouraging, but hidden below the celebration and fanfare is the disappointment of a sub-.500 finish. This year it stings a little more, considering how this season started. It seems like a lifetime ago that the Angels were off to their hottest start ever, winning 13 of their first 16 games and keeping pace with the Boston Red Sox for the league’s best offense, but it’s key to remember that run and see what could have been had injuries and inconsistency not plagued the Angels in the months to follow.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: Why No Grand Send-Off For Scioscia?
After yesterday’s press conference that was broadcasted live on the screens in Angels Stadium following the game, I wondered why the Angels hadn’t announced this at the beginning of the week so that Scioscia, manager of the Angels for 19 years, could be sent off well by fans and staff alike. I would have loved to see a pre-game ceremony on his bobblehead night that brought together former players to say thank you to the legendary skipper. However, it may have been Scioscia’s personal decision to not have such fanfare. It’s also possible, I think, that Scioscia himself didn’t know what he was going to do until that walk-off win, a somewhat satisfying ending to a storied career at the helm in Anaheim.
Photo: Ray Carlin/AP