When I started Halos Daily my main objective was to discuss baseball with a focus on one team. I consider myself a fan of the game, and root for no team in particular. The reason I chose to start a site dedicated to Angels coverage was that I found the Halos to be the most fascinating team in baseball. They had new talent (Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson), rising young stars (Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Jordan Walden), a new (and really freakin’ cool) General Manager, bad contracts, a questionable manager, and a bevy of potential storylines (expiring contracts, conflicts over PT between aging veterans and up-and-coming veterans).
Thus far, I’ve enjoyed interacting with the Angels’ fanbase, and last night’s loss to the Tribe marked the halfway point in the 2012 season. So here’s a look back at the first several months of the grind that is a baseball season. Also, I’m going to describe things with respect to episodes of The Office, one of the best television shows of my life time.
I was first exposed to the analytical approach to baseball when I read Moneyball, but a blog called Fire Joe Morgan allowed me to sit back and laugh at some of the senseless things people wrote and said. Michael Schur is probably most famous for his TV writing (and occasional appearances as Mose Schrute in The Office), but he wrote for FJM under the alias Ken Tremendous. Consider this a tribute to FJM.
Manager Michael Scott was forced to adapt the way things were run at Dunder Mifflin Scranton when an influx of talent joined his staff after the branch in Stamford closed.
One addition to the crew (Andy Bernard) left the role of Dwight Schrute uncertain. While Dwight was far from perfect prior to Andy’s arrival, he had certainly done enough to earn Michael’s trust. Dwight’s one issue with Michael came when he made an attempt at power and failed. Andy had this great “energy about him” and seemed like a great fit for the branch.
Karen Fillipelli was another welcome addition, as she added stability to an already sterling sales staff. You might even say she turned in an all-star performance…
The youthful Jim Halpert, or Big Tuna, returned to Scranton for good. Big Tuna brought swagger back to the office and while his contributions were obvious in terms of sales numbers, the things he did outside of the bottom line were what rejuvenated the Scranton-based paper company.
Tony Gardner had a relatively brief stint with Dunder Mifflin Scranton. It just wasn’t a good fit.
Things were a bit rocky in the beginning, as Michael struggled to adapt to his restructured team. Michael started to figure out how to manage his team, but we were left with many question marks. Could Karen sustain her success? What about Jim–was he the going to continue to live up to his potential? How would everything work out with Dwight and Andy? Would the office be more efficient without Tony?
So it doesn’t fit perfectly, but basically “The Merger” describes some of what happened with the Halos early this season.
Mike Scioscia had to manage a very different team.
A previously successful Mark Trumbo (who had struck out a ton in his efforts for power) had no clear role with the addition of Albert Pujols. Yes, I made the Pujols the goofy Cornell man. Go Big Red!
CJ Wilson was the life of the party in his first semester on campus.
Mike Trout was awesome. He’s the obvious hero in this story. Young and full of potential, everyone’s rooting for Trout to succeed.
Jan Levinson isn’t cutting it. The company’s new Chief Financial Officer David Wallace (who replaced Randall McUnmentionedlastname, an incompetent pervert) had this to say to Ms. Levinson:
“Recently, you don’t even show an interest in your work! You smoke constantly in your office. You spend most of the day online shopping. You disappear for hours at a time, sometimes days. Always saying you’re visiting your sister in Scottsdale…”
It was time for Wallace to make a change.
In early May, Jerry Dipoto (who had replaced Tony Reagins) had had enough of the lackluster performance from his bullpen and made a trade for Ernesto Frieri. The fireballing reliever has been absolutely brilliant since joining the Halos and has helped plug a major hole. Oh, and he’s under team control until 2017.
Jan’s replacement, Ryan Howard, implemented a state-of-the-art website that helped Dunder Mifflin bring in numerous clients. Howard ultimately crashed and burned, and there’s a non-zero chance that the same happens with ErNasty, but we can cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
Dwight Schrute: It’s only Meredith.
Michael Scott: Yeah, it’s only Meredith, thank God. But did you see the way they looked at me? Like I was a murderer or something.
After discovering that Meredith Palmer was exposed to rabies, Michael organized Michael Scott’s Dunder-Mifflin, Scranton, Meredith Palmer memorial, celebrity rabies awareness, fun run Pro-Am race for the cure.
Meredith wasn’t a key part of the company, and in fact it’s pretty obvious that she impacted the staff negatively and was overpaid. Her absence from the office allowed others to shine.
Vernon Wells seems like a really nice guy, but so does my neighbor. I wouldn’t expect much from my neighbor in a major league lineup and I don’t expect much from Vernon Wells. The reality is that Wells being out of the lineup has helped the Angels.
This has been a very fun run, and the Angels are 27-12 since Wells’ injury.
We’re only half way through this season, and it’s been a blast thus far. There are tons of stories that haven’t been written yet. Players will regress, players will progress, and teams will change dramatically. The second half should be exciting, as Dunder Mifflin Scranton tries to hold its own against the giant that is Staples.
Hudson Belinsky can be followed on Twitter at @hudsonbelinsky.