August 8, 2014
It was bad enough that the Angels lost three out of four games in the Freeway Series with the Dodgers, but to have them pummeled in the finale 7-0 at home made it even tougher to swallow. What’s worse is that Angels Stadium was over-run with loud Dodger fans who made their presence known all night long.
As the game was getting out of hand and the Dodger fans grew louder and louder, I wondered what was going through the player’s minds. Their home stadium didn’t look like home at all – it looked like something of a cross between a Tattoo convention, Think Blue week and a Raider fan reunion.
Dodger fans had every reason to be overly happy. Their team had won their first series with the Angels since 2006.
As I sat with Cheryl and took it all in, I sort of felt sick to my stomach. Sure, I had been at the stadium when large groups of Yankee, Red Sox or Dodger fans had made their appearance before, but this was different. I felt like an intruder in my own stadium. It was demoralizing and disgusting and it was even embarrassing.
I’ve grown somewhat accustom to Angel fans not showing up for games like this. I’m used to the fact that they don’t typically vote their players into the All-Star game and tend to disappear when the going gets a little tough. It is what it is. But still… this was “our house” and no one should be able to do what the Dodgers and their fans did last night.
I felt bad for the players even though they had a big hand in all this by not playing well enough to shut up the Dodger crowd. I’m guessing Albert Pujols and David Freese never saw anything like this in St. Louis and Mike Trout probably never saw this happen to his childhood team – the Phillies.
I know that putting up with opposing team fans isn’t easy and that the idea of watching the game from the comfort of your own home is appealing for games like this, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed that Angels fans don’t feel the need to represent at games like this.
I’m probably going to get that “super fan” label (which isn’t usually used in a good way) because of my feelings on the subject, but I can’t help but say it just sucks when this happens.
It sucks that our team didn’t have the benefit of a real home field advantage. It sucks that young Angel fans had to witness a stadium being taken over by Dodger fans. It sucks that the loudest cheers of the night went to Yasiel Puig and not Mike Trout. It just sucks all the way around.
So… what happens if these two teams find themselves in the World Series?
Think about it.
Will Angel season seat holders sell out? Will the Dodgers enjoy home field advantage at both parks? It’s possible and what’s worse… the world will be watching.
I can hear the jokes and snide comments now… Angel fans went to Disneyland instead of the ball park. Anaheim is now Chavez Ravine South. Red mixed with blue still looks blue.
As much as the baseball fan in me would love to see a Freeway Series, I’m starting to hope that it never happens. I don’t think I could take it. It would be torture and I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of agonizing pain even if it’s just emotional or mental.
Even if the Angels were to emerge victorious (a most likely scenario) in a Freeway World Series – the journey would probably kill me. Every pitch would be filled with high anxiety. The distraction caused by loud fans dressed in blue would be all too annoying and the potential for being surrounded by in-the-stands-conflict would not be much fun. So, even though I would receive great pleasure in watching the Angels dominate the Dodgers, it just isn't worth the hassle.
I like my park to be cozy. I would rather exchange banter with fellow Angel fans than have to ignore rival Dodger fans. I like the park to be loud, but I’d like that to be in one voice all in favor of the Angels. I’m funny like that.
So… enjoy the victory Dodger fans. You had your day. Hopefully, this will end up being the highlight of your season and come October, you’ll be forced to watch the Angels on television while your team heads off to vacation and you all turn your attention to Raider football.
Here’s hoping for an Angels/Giants or Brewers, or Cardinals, or Reds, or Pirates, or Nationals or Braves World Series. Please, anything but a Freeway World Series.