After ruling the AL West for most of a six-year stretch, the Angels found themselves looking up at the Texas Rangers the last two years.
It was not a comfortable position for Angels' owner Arte Moreno, who had not missed out on the playoffs in consecutive seasons since purchasing the defending World Series champions in 2003.
Moreno reacted with the most tumultuous and transformative offseason in franchise history.
General manager Jerry Dipoto came on in a nearly-complete overhaul of the front office. And Dipoto went big, landing free agent first baseman Albert Pujols and left-hander C.J. Wilson in the span of a few hours last December.
The additions addressed shortcomings in the Angels' offense and depth issues in their starting rotation, making them a popular pick to return to the playoffs -- and possibly win it all -- in 2012.
"It's pretty awesome," outfielder Torii Hunter said this spring, his locker stationed next to Pujols' in the Angels clubhouse. "This is probably the...