May 13, 2013

Yeah, we'll be there

For the 17th time this season, Cheryl and I will walk into Angel Stadium to watch a game tonight and even though the Angels have struggled mightily this year, I’m excited.  I hope I never lose that feeling. 

There are people who have never had the privilege or opportunity to go to a game and I don’t ever want to take it for granted that I can basically go whenever I want and to make things even better, I get to go with my wife.  I’m blessed for sure.

Some nights are thick with anticipation; like the night Mike Trout made his major league debut.  Some nights, you go and before you know it Jered Weaver is throwing a no-hitter.  That’s the thing; you just never know what’s going to happen.  Chances are nothing spectacular will occur and yet, every game there’s the hope that you will get to watch something special; maybe even something that’s never been seen before.

For me, there’s nothing like being at the ball park. I like seeing the whole field and not just the way television presents it from behind the pitcher, looking in at the batter.  I want to see where the infielders and outfielders are positioned and I want to watch them react to every pitch.  I like being able to look into the bullpen to see whose warming up and taking a glance at the out of town scoreboard to see who’s winning and losing.

I like talking baseball with some of my friends in the stands.  Sometimes we sit around and make up names for the players like Jeff “English isn’t my favorite subject, but Math-is.”  Sometimes we speculate about trades or question a move Mike Scioscia makes or predict what Howie Kendrick is going to do with the bases loaded.  We laugh, we high-five, and we cheer.  Every now and then, we whine, and moan and scream out in agony.  On a good night, we walk away satisfied with a win and we look forward to the next game.

We talk about ex-Angels who are doing poorly and lament about those that are doing well.  We notice the loud mouths cheering for the other team and hope that in the end, the scoreboard shuts them up once and for all. 

Some nights the game is in the background.  On those occasions, it’s usually because we are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.  Some games the mood is somber because we are mourning the loss of a loved one or even a friend from our section.  

Since we’ve been season ticket holders, we’ve had a lifetime of baseball experiences.  We’ve celebrated division titles, mourned the death of Nick Adenhart and embraced the wonderful smile of Torii Hunter.

We felt the joy of acquiring impact players at the trade deadline and the sadness of watching one of our favorites traded away. 

Being die-hard fans requires a huge investment of time, resources and even emotions.  We experience joy, sorrow, elation and even pain.  When we became invested fans and started coming to games regularly we had no idea it would be like this.  Now, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to not have baseball games to go to and enjoy.

We’re going to a game tonight.  It could be great.  Maybe you should be there too.

May 10, 2013

Misery loves company; not

I don’t know what’s worse; the losing or the Angels fans who weigh in on the losing.  I’ve said this before and I will say it again – the old line “Misery loves company” doesn’t hold water with me.  There’s nothing worse than listening to other Angel fans trying to explain what’s wrong with the team, who needs to go, what changes need to be made, etc.   It’s nauseating. 

Look, I understand the need to vent.  I love a good rant every now and then, but if you’re not bringing something new to the table – better to keep it to yourself because chances are we’ve heard it before and that was probably once too many.  Just saying.

I’ve read everything from “Mike Scioscia needs to be fired” to “It’s time to send Josh Hamilton to AAA.”  There’s even the occasional – “Let’s rebuild.  Let’s trade Pujols, Hamilton, Trumbo, etc., etc.”  Some people have even gone so far as to say it’s time to bring in a whole new coaching staff made up of former players form the 2002 World Series team.  I swear I’m not making this stuff up.

There’s a ton of finger pointing going on and a ton of angst for sure.  It’s almost like a feeding frenzy as one crazy idea begets another one.  There’s a lack of common sense in a lot of these rants.  Some fans believe the players don’t care, they’re not giving a 100% and that they’re just going through the motions.


I’m certain they’re even more frustrated than we are.   Nobody likes losing, least of all – professional athletes.  I see plenty of effort; I see comebacks that show plenty of desire even when they fall short.  This team is fighting.  They just happen to be losing the fight, but they’re definitely not giving up.  No way.

Some people have even decided to boycott games.  Good riddance.  Seriously, fair weather fans are showing their true colors.   I’m fine with them leaving until times get better.  Really, I am.  The way I see it, I’d rather not have them in my ear all game anyway and in most cases – the people saying this kind of stuff usually don’t even go to many games anyway.

Some of these people have the misguided impression that they’re being passionate.  Yeah, boycotting your team shows real passion.  Un-huh.

The way I see it, the off season is too long for me and I always look forward to the baseball season.  I know that my team isn’t going to win every year, but that doesn’t stop me from watching.  Its baseball and watching baseball is better than watching anything else on TV as far as I’m concerned.

As for Mike Scioscia – you can count me on the side that’s for him.  That’s right.  I’m not calling for his head.  I like him too much as a manager and as a man.  I appreciate the way he carries himself and even though fans get tired of hearing him say things like “we need to turn the page,” I appreciate his level headed approach to this game of baseball.

Fans aren’t happy that he hasn’t gone off the deep end and kicked a few butts.  Really?  It’s 2013 and Bobby Knight doesn’t coach any more.  I’m not a professional athlete by any means, but the last thing I need when I’m doing poorly is to have someone yelling in my ear.  That doesn’t motivate me in the least and I doubt it motivates most people in life.

Let’s all take a deep breath and relax.  There are more games to be played and more importantly – more for us to watch.  I know it’s hard to watch sometimes.  I really do.  There are times when I feel like I can’t take it anymore, but I get over that feeling by the time the next game rolls around.  I’m tired of the losing, but I would hate to miss a game if given the choice.   And that’s what it’s all about; choice.  What you do with your time and money is certainly up to you.  As for Cheryl and me – we’re still here.