May 6, 2010

Well, so much for that

I wanted to beat John Lackey in the worst way. The problem with that desire is that I had no control over whether or not the Angels would go out and do that for me. All I could do was listen on the radio and hope (be thankful for that).

By the time I got home to watch on television, Lackey had already exited the game and I got to watch Jason Bulger add to my anxiety by giving up a double and walk before getting out of the bottom of the 7th inning. Brian Fuentes would add to my angst by giving up one of those “no-doubt-about-it” homeruns to Adrian Beltre. It was the kind of homerun where you know from the moment its hit that it’s long gone and all you can say is “he got all of that one.”

As the Angels came up in the top of the 9th, I wasn’t holding out much hope. I had already begun to get that sick feeling in my stomach. Granted, it wasn’t as bad as when the Angels were eliminated in last year’s ALCS by the Yankees, but it was bad enough. I felt numb. I had gone beyond frustration and was entering into a mild form of depression.

You see this season has been a disaster so far. My favorite pitcher – Joe Saunders has had all of one good outing and his ERA is among the worst for starting pitchers.

It also doesn’t help that Johnny Damon (who I despise) hit a walk-off homerun and basically had his way with Angels’ pitching. To add to my misery Brandon Wood has struggled out of the gate and even worse, the hated A’s took a series from my Angels in the first week.

Now I believe better days are ahead and I know every season has its ups and downs, but the start of this season has been a drain.

Here we are on the 6th of May looking up in the standings at Texas and Oakland; and as bad as all of that is, today all I can really focus on is stinkin’ John Lackey. He won round one and I don’t like it much.

In some ways, yesterday’s game was about righting a wrong. It was about shutting up a guy who doesn’t have the common sense to leave an organization gracefully. Then again one could never really associate the word “grace” with Lackey.

And don’t think I’m not keenly aware that some of the traits I loved about Lackey as an Angel thoroughly irritate me now. I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy in that, but I’m not going to apologize for it. It is what it is.

You know, it’s funny - when I see highlights of Vladimir Guerrero hitting one of his own “no-doubt-about-it” homeruns, I can smile and say “good for him.” I can’t do that with Lackey. I just can’t. He ticked me off. He annoys me and even though I know I should let it go, I would rather see the Angels exact a toll on his butt and give us fans some revenge.

Well so much for that.

I need to get over this and I will. There are too many other things in life that are more important for me not to. And fortunately, there's a lot of baseball yet to be played.

My hope is that when all is said and done the Angels will find their way to the World Series and John Lackey will be spending some of his $80+ million on a nice vacation during that time.

I guess we’ll see about that, won’t we?

I’m not used to six game losing streaks; at least not since Mike Scioscia put his thumb print on the organization. I’m starting to recall what it was like to be an Angel fan for all those lean years and I really, really don’t want to go back to that place.

So what has to happen for this team to turn it around? I’m not sure. I guess I haven’t really given it much thought because I never thought it would come to this. I keep telling myself it’s early and there’s time and thankfully that’s all still true.

On the bright side (if there is such a thing); all of this gives me more to blog about.

Like all the wanna-be GM’s that are coming out of the wood work. These are the folks who think that just because they’ve played in a fantasy league or two they now have all the answers. You know the type.

Well, fantasy baseball has made fools of these people.

In the fantasy world, people trade and drop players on a daily basis. A guy goes 0-4 for and they get waived. A guy hits two homeruns in a game and it's time to pick them up. Fantasy Baseball is the play ground for those who are prone to knee jerk reactions.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they stayed in that world, but nooooo – they have to make their way to internet message boards and sports talk radio.

I actually heard a guy the other day suggest the Angels trade for Ryan Braun. Really? I admired Terry Smith for not laughing out loud. You see, in the fantasy world players like Braun are always available, but in the real world of major league baseball they’re not. Why would the Brewers want to trade Braun? Never mind. Let’s just say fantasy baseball is appropriately named.

We also have people believing that the Angels as an organization just don’t want to win bad enough and aren’t willing to do what it takes go all the way. That’s pure dog poop and I just have to wonder if these people actually believe the words coming out of their pie holes.

These are also the folks who will eventually stop watching/going to games and only come back when times are good again. Whatever. They have a right to spend their free time anyway they want. I can’t say that I’d want to be in the same stadium with them anyway. I suppose I should thank them now for not subjecting me to their nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand being frustrated. I also understand the need to vent, but let’s be somewhat rational (said the crazy blogger).

Winning a World Series isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. Every time the Angels fall short some fans go off the deep end. Heck, every time the Angels lose a single game some of them go ballistic.

All we can really ask is that the Angels put together a team that has a realistic chance of going all the way. I still believe they have.

Now, if they’d only play like it, I’d have a little more peace.

BallHype: hype it up!

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