This was going to be the season that things finally hit right for the Angels.
Disney was pouring money into salaries, and the team had what many fans thought was its best lineup ever: Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon in the outfield, Gary DiSarcina at shortstop and the $80-million man, Mo Vaughn at first.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
DiSarcina, standing too close to a coach during early spring training, was hit with a bat that broke his arm.
In the first game of the season, Mo Vaughn chased a pop-up right into the dugout and onto the injury list. Injuries also put Edmonds out for most of the season and Salmon for much of it. Counting the lost players and lost games became so frustrating that Manager Terry Collins, in tears, resigned. So did General Manager Bill Bavasi. For that matter, so did Disney, which began seeking a buyer for the team. Even some fans resigned; attendance fell.
It was not the worst season the Angels have suffered, but it was close. The bright hopes of spring became the long shadows of fall at Edison Field.