April 23, 2013
The chill I felt in my bones last night was magnified by the achiness I felt in watching A.J. Pierzynski go yard against Ernesto Frieri to put the Texas Rangers ahead for good. Nothing is worse for a baseball fan than to see the player he likes least do something great and enjoy doing it in the process. Pierzynski’s go ahead homerun came complete with a fist pump as he rounded first base. He was in his element, that’s for sure. Watching it all unfold leaves you feeling helpless and adds to the frustrating of what have already been the longest 18 games I can remember.
The moment something bad happens, you start thinking of scenarios for your team to come back. As I looked ahead I saw Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols due up. Perfect; or so I thought. Bourjos gave the home crowd something to hope for when he led off with a solid single, but that would be all the offense the Angels would muster in the bottom of the 9th.
Texas dominated the game with 15 hits to the Angels’ 9. The Angels even added two errors for good measure. And yet; the game was winnable – it was there for the Angels to win. Ahead 6-3 going into the top of the 7th, I felt pretty good. Sure there was a twinge of uncertainty, but this team had just swept the Tigers and was on the right track, right?
You know what’s tough? The waiting. From the moment the team loses a tough, winnable game to the next time we’re in the stadium for the first pitch seems like forever. The time in between games is the toughest part of being a fan that lives and dies with every victory and loss. It’s agonizing and the image of Pierzynski rounding the bases triumphantly just makes it worse.
As I was getting up this morning, I thought about how expectations have changed so much for Angel fans. When I was a kid, I didn’t really think about whether or not my team was good enough to win it all; I just enjoyed each game as it came along. Oh to be 8 years old again.
Losing is never fun, but when you’re a kid you wake up the next day and you really don’t think about it. Instead you might think about the cotton candy you ate, or the autograph you got from a favorite player.
I’m going to try and not think about last night’s loss much today and just look forward to the first pitch of tonight. It’s probably easier said than done; especially if one of my pesky Dodger friends decides to needle me today. Never-the-less, there’s a lot of baseball to be played and hopefully the good times far outweigh the bad.
Let’s do this.