A Killer Play by Any Other Team & Ugly Angels Weekend

I love my Angels, as you have all probably guessed by now. But I don’t think you can be a diehard fan of one particular team without being an equally passionate fan of the game itself. As such there is no disloyalty in admiring feats of greatness performed by teams and players other than your own, quite the contrary. Baseball is one of our favorite museums and every diving catch, robbed homerun, clutch line drive, wicked change-up to strike out the side, and perfectly executed six-four-three double play is a work of art we would be philistines not to appreciate.

But how do you react when the not-your-team’s oh wow, any true baseball fan can appreciate how awesome this is play/catch/hit happens in a game against your team? It’s a real conundrum. Of course, you always root for your team. But for me, the pure baseball fan side of my brain is thinking Wow! Wow! That was amazing! I can’t believe I just saw that! What a play/catch/hit/whatever! and wants my body to stand up and cheer. While the Angels fan side of my brain is swearing a blue streak and wants my fist to shake angrily in the air or pound on the table.

Usually the reaction that actually bubbles from my mouth is very loud, starts out with a tone of grudging genuine admiration, finishes with a tone of passionate anger and anguish and sounds a little something like this (Note: Sections in quotations have been edited to make my more sailor-like proclivities safe for a general audience.):
Great catch, “when two people really love each other”er
Oh, nice play, “notoriously stubborn beast of burden” hole
Great hit, you “I question whether your mommy and daddy really made everything official before you were born.”

I think it’s an understandable reaction, and a one I find myself having several times a week. When we lose because of situations like this, that censored part above gets louder, longer and more creative. Every once in a great long while, a lost game might have so many of this sort of play that there is nothing you can do but calmly accept defeat with an understandable explanation along the lines of: Okay, my guys really need to be better about RISP but what can you do? Josh Hamilton was a human highlight reel, that “when two people really love each other”er.

This. Was not. One of the those games. Nor was yesterday’s game. In fact, seriously, nor was this whole Red Sox series. Oh, I had a few Nice play, “notoriously stubborn beast of burden” hole moments, especially where Dustin Pedrioa was concerned. But even though the Red Sox swept the Angels this series, keeping us to a measly five runs in four games with back to back shutouts to finish things off, I don’t think they played unbeatable baseball by any means. This is not a sour grapes, poor loser post. I am not knocking the Red Sox at all. Everyone knows they started out the season on the wrong foot…or, like, five of them. But there is no denying they are heating up, as I always assumed they would. They played pretty good baseball during this four game series. Very good at some points, but never lights out. Prior to this series, after the debacle that was opening weekend in Kansas City, the Angels were playing pretty good baseball. Very good at some points and occasionally lights out. There was no reason we couldn’t have at least split this series if we’d kept that up.

It’s not even a question that the Angels can play better ball than we did the last four games. How many Angels highlights from the Texas series were in the MLB Tonight Plays of the Week this evening? A lot. And Peter Bourjos’ amazing dead sprint to jump up and rob Dave Murphy of a homerun at the centerfield wall was the #2 play of the week, and deservedly so. I think the Boston series play was the fluke, not the Blue Jays, Indians, White Sox and Texas series. So, come on Angels. Pick yourselves up. Dust yourselves off. Get it together. Wake up the bats. Make your pitches. Score some runs. And, pretty please with sugar on top, call the darned ball. There’s a lot more baseball left to play and you can do this.

6 Comments

Good news is that this can just be a small hiccup, rather than a cavernous hole, to overcome. Shake it off. Get yer aces back on the hill… go to town. I have faith in the Halos… it’s the only sort of “religious” entity (if you can call it that; by the way, you can’t but I’m playing with words here) I have faith in :-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Of course I was excited by the sweep, but I was as surprised as you were. Good perspective on the whole series. I hope all is well with you–nuts over here, hence my lack of writing and responsiveness to my friends in blog world.
Peace,
Michael

Jeff – I agree. If they turn it around now, they can even afford a few more hiccoughs through the season without major psychological trauma to the team. If not…well…I’d rather not think about that. Yeah, I assumed you meant it creatively. If you were suddenly throwing around religious references without irony, we would all have to worry that perhaps the Pujols situation has traumatized you more deeply than we knew.
Michael – Enjoy the excitement. You earned it after that scary start. I wasn’t surprised that the Sox won, but I was surprised by the sweep. I think most Sox fans would agree that the Red Sox are mid-upswing at the moment, not at the very top of their game yet, which is good baseball indeed but a sweep was unexpected. I sure hope my guys get over it before they go to Fenway in a few weeks. I would really love not to have another 9 and 1 season, LOL. I figured you’ve been busy. It’s nearly the end of the school year. But I love to hear from you when you have the time, thanks for dropping by.
– Kristen

How about Weaver? Gotta be happy about where he’s headed.

-Alissa
http://lookatthatpitch.mlblogs.com

I like to think that I always have an appreciation for any well-played aspect of the game, which is partially why the ChiTown skid has been so painful. Not only are they not winning, but that they have played some *terrible* baseball. I found myself watching a lot of the Tampa/Jays series last week to see if I could watch Sam Fuld make another amazing catch and to watch Jose Bautista reach base 11 consecutive times and smack a couple of long balls at pivotal moments. I am not going to lie, I am a happier camper (and there is a LOT less swearing) when the ChiSox win, but I’m just happy when they’re not actively attempting to LOSE. :)

Hopefully, you’re enjoying tonight’s show a little more – but I have to ask: What’s up with the 2 dudes dressed like the banana and the penguin? I saw them as I was flipping channels after the Sox/Yankees tonight. I appreciate the spirit, but is there some joke going over my head, or was it just silly boys being silly?

-K
Watching the Dandelions Grow

Alissa – Oh yes! I am seriously thinking of creating a phrase – like (wo)man crush – to describe exactly how ecstatic I feel about how Weaver is pitching and just how all around clutch he is this year.
Keleigh – Tonight’s game was much better! And I assume you felt the same about the White Sox? I think the dancing banana was just something silly and random. We’ve had fans come dressed as Where’s Waldo and Wilda before and an all green body stocking just to get on the Jumbotron. The peanut butter jelly time song played on the Jumbotron while the banana danced is one of the very first email/internet memes and I think it just fit the costumed antics in the stands so the video guys played it…then again, I could be missing something.
– Kristen

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