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Why is optimism so hard?

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As we all know baseball and being a fan is supposed to bring us joy, or at least that is why I pay attention to the Angels.  I just wonder, and I say this without judgement, why do people struggle to be optimistic about their favorite teams?  I don’t understand the phyche behind assuming the worst for your favorite team, which once again is supposed to bring you joy.  I am not even talking about the realists that say things like, “if things go right they will be fighting for a wild card spot”.  I am talking about the people that assume they have zero chance of doing anything right, and that is their go to emotion when dealing with the Angels or their favorite team.  I am talking about the people that assume the worst about the Angels and assume the best about the competition.  The guys on here that think the A’s are really good, but haven’t looked at how bad their starting rotation is going to be this year.  

Once again, what is the phyche behind being miserable or pissed off about something that you don’t have to follow.  If I hated something like riding a bike, I certainly wouldn’t make it my hobby.  If I hated collecting coins, I wouldn’t make it my hobby.  Why be pessimistic?  Is it to avoid future pain?  I don’t know maybe I have just matured and completely understand that only one team will be standing at the end of each season and chances are it won’t be my team.  Maybe 2002 just filled the early void and permanently solved pessimism for me.  I am not sure what it is, but I just don’t get the mindset.  

It would be awesome if any of you have thoughts on this in general.  

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I can only speak for myself.  I am not miserable or pissed off.

I am way less excited about 2019 than I could have been.

On a message board it is pretty natural to dig into what is right and what looks like an challenge.

But there is some fatigue over some problems (like for me the starting pitching).

The fact that people stick around through the fatigue is actually evidence of having long term optimism.

Otherwise I think they would just quit following the team.

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I've had seasons where I've been brimming with optimism heading into it and then seasons like this one where I just don't see it.   I try to be as objective as possible when evaluating the team.  I will admit that I am on the cynical side in general, but I don't really see the harm in trying to have an honest evaluation of where we stand. 

Fact is, the team has missed the playoffs a lot in the last decade. Haven't won a playoff game in a decade now. Optimism can only continue for so long before people start to look at things objectively and draw their own conclusions. Now are they headed in the right direction? Yes, for sure. Does that mean that we should all go into 2019 assuming things are going to be fine? That's entirely up to the individual

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2 minutes ago, Stradling said:

  I just wonder, and I say this without judgement, why do people struggle to be optimistic about their favorite teams?

I dont think that Yankee or Red Sox or Astros or National fans are struggling to be optimistic about their teams. Neither are Rays fans. Probably not Brewer fans or Philly fans or Padre or Brave fans,  either. Dodger fans might be, after losing two straight WS and the team is quite different. But, hey, they made it to two WS in a row. Those are successful seasons.

I think Angel pessimism is justified. We havent won a playoff game in 10 years;  all the while having a top seven payroll the whole time and the GOTG player on our roster. Whatever the reasons why we havent, that feeds into pessimism. 

But maybe the single biggest generator of pessimism, IMO, is..............the injuries! We've had such a bad run that we are beginning to EXPECT them.

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i think that overall I’m optimistic.  I think I’m probably higher then most on Harvey and Bour in particular.  Those 2 are on 1 year deals so.  We’ll see where that goes I guess.  I think that if you pay as much attention to the team as most of us here do, it’s difficult to not have some pessimism.  Bottom line is that the team is banking on a whole lot of things breaking right with players that don’t necessarily have great track records recently.  Or don’t have track records at all.  They have a lot of money tied up in an old player that basically shouldn’t be in the league.  I remain optimistic that they’ll sign Trout up long term, but he isn’t signed yet.  They have real problems.  That’s true of all teams I guess.  But the Angels have been pretty bad for a long time.  Worse I’d argue then several of the .500 seasons indicate because Trout floated the team.   

its just tough to get too enthusiastic before we actually see it on the field. 

I agree with you that there’s no point being a fan if your thing is just take a shit on everything no matter what.  Is there a lot of that here ? Maybe a couple of guys I guess.  

Edited by UndertheHalo
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If the team was competitive every season there would be more optimism to start each season.

But the team has not been good for several years. Fans are tired of losing, and there's a perception that the team's ownership is not taking the necessary steps to win.

In light of this, having false optimism would be to set one's self up for disappointment.

Hence, pessimism.


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It depends on what is at risk...

Being optimistic about my favorite baseball team really costs me very little.  It's not hard for me to be optimistic about my team most of the time.  Since every thing about my team is totally out of my control - I don't really have anything to lose by being optimistic.  If I end up being disappointed - so be it. That's life. 

I'm not judging anyone if they're not optimistic.  I just choose to hope for the best.

Besides... baseball is a funny game.  Just when you think you know what's going to happen - something else usually does.

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I'm optimistic about the long term health of the team and the direction it's heading even with the doubts about Trout's future..   But, I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm optimistic about this team making the postseason.   

Mostly, I'm looking for the systems that have been put into place over the last few years to begin to pay off beyond hitting pay-dirt with RPs off the trash heap.    If anything I'm feeling a bit anxious, I'm curious to see what an Ausmus led team will play like.   I'm curious to see how soon they will go to the farm if guys struggle -- they have talent there finally.  There are more unknowns than just the SP health this year, some of it is cause for celebration but there is always some trepidation when there is uncertainty.

Edited by Inside Pitch
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6 minutes ago, Stradling said:

This has been my opinion, but I think it must be deeper than that.  

it's the easy way out.

if we fail, they get to say:"I told you so!"

if we succeed, they get to celebrate because "My favorite team won!


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I think it is relatively straightforward: it is a method of self-protection. This can be summed up in the phrase: "I don't want to get my hopes up." Usually this isn't a conscious thing, more sub-conscious. If we assume the worst--or at least don't assume the best--we sub-consciously feel that we can protect ourselves from disappointment, and thus suffer less.

There's a view in psychology that people with low expectations tend to be happier, because they aren't as frequently disappointed. 

Or to put it another way, a lot of our suffering comes from comparing what actually is with what we wish was the case. It actually becomes absurd, because sometimes we're more unhappy when we get a lesser but still positive result than if we got nothing at all. For instance, let's say the Angels reach the wildcard but lose to the Yankees. On one hand, what a disappointment. On the other, we got meaningful September baseball and a chance to watch a wildcard game. Some would feel that it would have been better to not have made the wildcard at all.

(by the way, the word you want is psyche).

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It's easier and "safer" to be negative. That way you have less chance of being disappointed. It's such a fatalist mentality.

I'm definitely not an "optimist" but I realized a while ago that constant negativity gets you nowhere. This is a game to have fun watching. Who has fun when they're negative all the time?

Do negative people feel negative about everything? "We're going on vacation to the Bahamas but it's probably going to suck. The weather is going to suck and our tour guide is going to blow a hammy". 

Why not get excited about something for once? It costs you nothing. 

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9 minutes ago, fan_since79 said:

I was so optimistic about 2001, even went to Opening Day. My optimism was dashed in the early innings when GA let a fly ball off the bat of Ruben Mateo go over his head for a three-run double. The season went downhill from there. We were ten games out by the end of April.

So were you still optimistic in August?


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