Don't sleep on the Los Angeles Angels

The gap between L.A., Oakland and Texas is not nearly as wide as you think

Updated: March 2, 2011, 12:01 PM ET
By Matt Meyers | ESPN Insider
Vernon WellsNorm Hall/Getty ImagesSay what you will about Vernon Wells' contract, but he's still a solid player.

With the exception of the New York Mets, no team has been the subject of more punchlines this winter than the Los Angeles Angels. And while the Mets have given the world many reasons to be mocked, the ridicule directed toward the Halos is almost exclusively the result of their January trade for Vernon Wells and his exorbitant contract.

That acquisition set off a snarkfest across cyperspace that was extreme even by the standards of the baseball blogosphere, and the Angels' chance of contending in the AL West was quickly dismissed by many fans. But if there's one thing the Angels have shown over the past decade it's that you discount them at your own risk, as they consistently perform better than expected.