Tough week for the Angels. They go oh-for-Kansas City, oh-for-Arlington, even oh-for-Midland, where their double-A team defeated a watered-down version of the Anaheim Nine. Many more trips like this and you might see a few of the Angels back in Midland . . . permanently.
Of course, Manager Doug Rader warned everyone that an Angel slump was on the way, that the road through a season is not always smooth. But he didn't mention anything about sink holes, which is where the Angels now find themselves. Even with Friday night's victory over the Detroit Tigers, the Angels are 1-6 since boarding their charter nine days ago. And that doesn't count the game they lost at Anaheim Stadium the day before they left. All in all, a miserable 10 days.
But Angel followers should rest easy. Help is on the way. To prove the point, here are 25 reasons why Angel vice president Mike Port has yet to limber up his finger for the panic button:
1. Rader hasn't thrown a single temper tantrum, publicly berated a player, kicked a single chair, heaved his clothes at a reporter, knocked over the postgame meal spread, destroyed an innocent water fountain or submitted his resignation. In fact, Rader has been on his best behavior. Any more understanding and he could be a Cub Scout leader.
2. The Angels have 48 home games remaining on their schedule. At last count, they were 21-12 at Anaheim Stadium.
3. And while we're on the subject of homestands . . . The Angels begin their next home series against the Toronto Blue Jays, a team they've beaten six out of six times this season.
4. Johnny Ray is not a .270s hitter, as his average indicates right now. Count on .300-something by season's end.
5. Chuck Finley has lost his past three starts and his earned-run average \o7 still\f7 is a scant 2.24.
6. Wally Joyner will hit more home runs in the next 63 games than he did in the first 63 games (a measly one).
7. Oakland Athletic slugger Jose Canseco, beset by injuries and off-field troubles, will retire from baseball and become a spokesman for the National Rifle Assn.
8. The Angels play Oakland only six more times this year.
9. Mike Witt, who leads the majors this season in home runs allowed (16), will fall short of Bert Blyleven's remarkable record of 50.
10. Junior Noboa is no longer in the Angel organization; Jack Lazorko is pitching for Edmonton; Mark Ryal is in Philadelphia and Donnie Moore is giving up home runs in Omaha, not Anaheim.
11. Opponents are hitting just .233 against Kirk McCaskill.
12. If history repeats itself, reliever Greg Minton won't allow another home run until June of next year. Also, as an added bonus, the Angels might hire someone to help Minton--the first person ever to injure himself while getting dressed--put on his pants.
13. The Angels have 42 games remaining against the pushover AL East.
14. Bryan Harvey has only seven saves and nine opportunities, thus far. Double those figures and that's what he'll have for the next 63 games. Count on it.
15. Claudell Washington looks most comfortable as the Angel leadoff hitter.
16. Devon White began Friday night with 22 stolen bases in 26 attempts. A green light never looked so promising. White will finish with 50 steals.
17. Former Angel Nolan Ryan can only beat the Angels twice more this season.
18. Former Angel Bob Boone only has six more games against the Angels to prove his point--that is, he should still be an Angel, not a Royal.
19. If seasons are divided into thirds, then the Angels are in great shape. Last year, they stunk at the beginning and the end (19-35, 19-35) and were wonderful during the middle third (37-17). This year, the Angels started out fast (36-19, at one point) and now are in a bit of a tailspin. If you believe in this sort of statistical mush, then the Angels should come on strong during the final third.
In short, a perfectly ridiculous theory.
20. Blyleven is on this team. If anyone can keep a clubhouse loose during a difficult stretch, it is Blyleven, an all-star practical joker.
21. The Angels kept Glenn Hoffman and Kent Anderson and released Dave Concepcion. As utility players go, the Angels couldn't be in better shape.
22. Jack Howell is actually beginning to hit a baseball with a bat.
23. Chili Davis is no longer the worst outfielder in the American League. That honor now belongs to Ranger Pete Incaviglia.
24. With Athletics dropping every day--Canseco, Walt Weiss, Bob Welch--the Angels don't have to worry, yet, about any one team running away with the AL West lead.
25. Witt can't possibly be as bad as his 3-7 record indicates. Can he?