Angels Look to Have a Positive Clubhouse After Dismal Season.

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Updated: April 8, 2017

We won’t go too far into the kind of season the Angels had last season, as its well documented. When the Angels entered the offseason, their directive was clear: defense, speed, versatility. There was something else, though, that the Angels looked to add. A positive clubhouse presence. You’ve heard the stories of all the wacky things that Joe Maddon pulls to foster a positive environment for his teams. While Maddon takes them to an extreme, many of those antics were picked up from Mike Scioscia during his time as the Angels’ bench coach. Scioscia often pulls his own pranks to foster that positive clubhouse. There are the stories of bringing ostriches to Spring Training or making two rookies construct gloves from scratch. There are the stories of visits from the Harlem Globetrotters and John Lackey being forced to re-take an algebra he had failed in college.

All of these things are great, but having strong veteran leadership is important to carry those things through the season. Maybe, in some ways, the Angels have lacked that in recent years. Now, its easy to be happy when things are going well, and I don’t remember leadership being an issue in 2014. The Angels won ninety-six games that year, and the clubhouse environment at that time seemed just fine. Either way, after watching the first five games of the season, the newcomers seem to offer more than just solid defense and clutch hitting. Cameron Maybin, Danny Espinosa, Ben Revere, Martin Maldonado, and Jesse Chavez all bring solid veteran leadership to a team that is dead-set on bouncing back and contending.

Watching this team laugh, hug, and joke with each other in the dugout is a good thing. Watching choreographed handshakes after someone comes through in a big moment is great. Watching Chavez or Bud Norris acknowledge great defensive plays behind them is nice. Again, it’s early and the Angels have put together a few good games, so it’s easy to do those things when things are going well. That leadership will be necessary when the Angels hit an inevitable rough patch. All teams do during the long, arduous 162 game season. For a team that hasn’t won all that much in recent years, strong and positive veteran leadership during those tough times is a must. So far, the Angels are off to a good start in that department.

 

 

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