There is no crying in baseball, but apparently there is plenty of warm and fuzzy feelings or so the 2012 Angels season seems to suggest.
After struggling mightily for the first month of 2012, the Halos have magically turned things around despite a still inconsistent lineup to get right back into the thick of the AL West race. And they did it not by calling up Mike Trout to give the batting order a leadoff spark or trading for Ernesto Frieri to beef up the bullpen or just being patient and waiting for Albert Pujols to remember how to hit. No, their resurgence is all thanks to C.J. Wilson and his "positive mental attitude."
Whether or not you think that statement is a little too touch-feely or not, there is simply too much evidence to deny its veracity. We all know PMA is the hallmark of Wilson's life philosophy. We know this because he never shuts up about it. We also know this because of the events of this season. Since signing with the Angels, he has taken an endless stream of crap from Texas fans for his general douchebaggery. He's also had to deal with that public fallout from his failed "prank" on Mike Napoli and that recent unfortunate survey of players that declared him the most overrated pitcher in baseball. Despite all this, C.J. is off to the best start of his career and been a central figure in the Halos weathering the early season storm by stabilizing the rotation while Dan Haren and Ervin Santana work to get themselves right and Weaver recovers from his back injury. How'd he do it? By following Peter Pan's advice of "thinking happy thoughts."
What's more though is that Wilson's "PMA all day" motto has infected the rest of the roster as the team started winning. That can't be a coincidence, right? Just look at the Twitter timelines of several Angel players.
LaTroy Hawkins, is having one of the best seasons of his looooooooooooooooooong career and has also been a heavy adopter of PMA:
The great thing in this world is not so much WHERE you STAND, as in which direction. You are MOVING #angels #PMA
— LaTroy Hawkins (@LaTroyHawkins32) June 18, 2012
The on-field results haven't been there for Bobby Wilson, but the optimism sure has been:
Rehab game tomorrow night in inland empire with the 66ers. When I was in the cal league IE was the mariners.#getright #angels #pma #oldman
— bobby wilson (@BW46) June 13, 2012
But the real clincher is that Mark Trumbo, arguably the team's MVP thus far, has chosen to become a disciple of PMA:
@Alex_Curry You are too nice! I'll take another winning streak and more positive energy! PMA
— Mark Trumbo (@Mtrumbo44) May 31, 2012
OK, that might be a bad example because I think he was just hitting on Alex Curry there, but you get my point. PMA has taken hold in the Angel clubhouse and these tweets are just that positivity leaking through. Even the casual observer can tell by watching the Halos that they are having a lot more fun on the field than they were during that torturous April swoon. All they had to do was buy into what C.J. was selling. They started thinking good things and good things began to happen or this is just a total chicken or egg argument and the team is acting happy because they started winning not the other way around which makes a lot more sense than some new wave self-help hokum.
The lesson: be more like C.J. Wilson, even if it means Texas fans declare the entire Angel roster "huge douchebags" or everyone on the team becomes part-time racers/rockstars/pilots/writers/chefs/photographers/stenographers/taxidermists/puppeteers/cardiologists/oil barons/cow inseminators.