In 2002, the Anaheim Angels won a thrilling seven-game series against the San Francisco Giants to capture their first World Series Championship.

In 2010, the Giants beat the Angels. No, not in the World Series, but rather back to it. In doing so, they also won a championship for the first time since moving out of New York.

Meanwhile, the now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finished the season with their first losing record in nearly a decade. Now they face a tumultuous offseason with plenty of work ahead of them.

General Manager Tony Reagins will have his hands and phone lines full trying to plug the holes of a ship on the verge of sinking into a sea of mediocrity. Most notably, he’ll be looking to patch up the leaks at closer, corner outfielder, and possibly third base.

Former Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Carl Crawford is rumored to be the favorite target of the Angels, though management has remained typically silent about any names floating around. And that’s fine, Crawford is a terrific player with game-changing speed, a great glove in the field, and a little pop in his bat.

But just because the Angels hail from Southern California doesn’t mean they should become starstruck with every big name that could potentially fill a need. Sometimes the lesser known players tossed in the bargain bin are really just struggling artists waiting for their big break.

Just look at the World Series champs.

The Giants managed to overcome giant opponents in both leagues, and with no true superstars in the lineup–save for a certain mop-topped pitcher.

Tim Lincecum mans a very important position, but only works once every five days. It was the rag-tag assembly of position players who shouldered the load and propelled their team to a championship.

Aubrey Huff suddenly lead the Giants in home runs and RBI. Juan Uribe was somehow sensational in place of Pablo Sandoval. Buster Posey didn’t even make the big club out of Spring Training.

At the trade deadline they failed to land a slugger like Dan Uggla, instead opting for aging veterans like Jose Guillen and Pat Burrell who couldn’t be traded away fast enough by their respective teams.

Not to mention, the transformation of Cody Ross from a no-name bench warmer for the Florida Marlins to a playoff monster and NLCS MVP.

Like the ’02 Angels who bested them before, the ’10 Giants put together a group of solid role-players with a little experience and a scrappy determination to never give up.

Now it’s the Angels’ turn to replace the halo that once donned that World Series trophy, and they don’t need Cliff Lee or Adrian Beltre to do it.

What about Pedro Feliciano? What about Uribe? What about players who don’t cost an arm and a draft pick to sign?

Don’t get me wrong, Crawford is on my wish list this holiday season, but his inclusion is unique. I’d also love Rafael Soriano and a 50-inch flat screen too, but it doesn’t mean I need them.

We’re in a recession, after all. The Angels should be looking at getting the best value for their money.

Throwing an exorbitant contract at an inconsistent run-producer like Beltre while surrendering two top-flight draft picks on both Crawford and Soriano is not smart holiday shopping.

Instead, let’s shop around a little and find those deals that richer consumers like the Yankees pass up and poorer souls like the Royals only dream about.

The Angels’ path to the promised land once ran through the Giants. Now, it runs parallel.  

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