Ten years ago, the Angels started out as bad as they ever had, losing 14 of their first 20 games to end up way behind the defending division champions and the wild card representative. As we all know, that team went 93-49 the rest of the way before becoming a team of destiny in winning the World Series for the first time.
Alas, that fairy tale ending was not to be repeated in 2012, as the Angels were unable to overcome that slow start and shaky pitching, especially from the bullpen, and wound up with an 89-73 record, finishing third in the AL West and fourth in the wild card chase.
Despite the MVP-caliber season of rookie phenom Mike Trout and solid offensive years from Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols, the Halos could never get things going consistently, enduring a second rough stretch right after the All-Star break and never recovering, eventually falling back despite a solid September.
The culprits can be named in two ways: an offense that wasn't able to generate anything despite having some superstar names, and a retooled bullpen that was never able to find itself due to the lack of a closer to help define the roles throughout the relief corps.
Throw in yet another substandard year from on-again, off-again Ervin Santana and injuries to both Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson and you wind up with a formula that bleeds mediocrity regardless of the presence of both MVP (Trout) and Cy Young Award (Jered Weaver) candidates on the squad.
There is no doubt that the 2012 version of the Angels, at least on paper, had the offensive firepower and mound presence in the starting rotation to win the World Series.
Kendrys Morales rebounded nicely from the freak injury he suffered over Memorial Day weekend in 2010 to hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 484 at-bats as the team's designated hitter.
Mark Trumbo followed up his rookie campaign with another solid effort that finished at .268 with 32 homers and 95 RBI despite a deep slump in the second half that he never really was able to recover from.
Chris Iannetta missed a ton of time with an injury sustained while catching Weaver's no-hitter in May, but still managed to hit nine home runs and provide a much more stable presence defensively than the four-headed monster of Bobby Wilson, Hank Conger, Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis had been able to provide the previous two seasons.
Weaver had yet another tremendous campaign, winning 20 games for the first time in his career, and Zack Greinke had a solid stretch run after a slow start following his arrival from Milwaukee.
The 2013 version can also have that, but there are several decisions that will need to be made in the coming months in order for the team to have a much clearer picture.