Saturday, October 4, 2008

day 6 at VCCA


I've been rooting for baseball's Angels for about 15 years.  I remember the Great Collapse of '95 as if it were ten minutes ago, and yet it also seems like something from out of the distant past.  I feel like I've been with the team long enough, through all the low lows of the 90s and the dizzying heights of the 2002 World Series, that I can now legitimately say that the Angels - and no longer The New York Mets - are my primary team. I place a lot of importance in baseball at a metaphoric level. Becoming an Angels fan has been an important symbol for me of the way I've put my New York upbringing behind me and become an Angeleno.  I know the Angels are from the O.C., but let's face it:  O.C. is really an extension of L.A.  Sorry OCers, but it happens to be true, and we all know it.

 I can recall when I first moved to L.A. and the Angels were The California Angels.  The club still shared the Big A with the Los Angeles Rams back then.  I liked the stadium better in those days.  After the Northridge quake, the ballpark was transformed into a Disneyfied Corporate Playground, and it lost whatever charm it might have had. ...The Halos were managed by the likes of Buck Rogers and Marcel Lachman when I first started following them.  Sparky Anderson would do the color commentary on TV alongside guys like Bob Starr, Ken Wilson, and Billy Sample.  I remember no-name players like Jorge Fabregas, Randy Velarde, Dave Hollins, and Matt Walbeck, as well as the few bright lights the team had in Mark Langston, Chuck Finley, Ramon Ortiz, Shigatoshi Hasegawa, Jim Edmonds, Chili Davis, and, of course, Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon, aka 'Mr. Angel.'  ...I decided to root for the Angels instead of the Dodgers because I was also a diehard Mets fan, going back to the '73 World Series, and I didn't want to have my loyalties split between two National League teams.  I also liked going against the grain.  The Dodgers seemed to be not only L.A.'s team but Southern California's team more generally, and I wanted to differentiate myself from the pack...

I've been telling friends and family all season that the Angels are gonna win the World Series this year, especially since they acquired Mark Teixera at the trading deadline.  The team won 100 games in the regular season and seem to have everything necessary to make a second championship a matter of course.  They have sluggers in the lineup (Teixeira, Guererro and Hunter make for  a pretty fearsome 3, 4 5 combo). They have great starting pitching (the Angels' #5 could be a #1 on a lot of teams). They have a great bullpen (Frankie Rodriguez broke the all-time saves record this year, plus Scott Shields, and Jose Arredondo, and also John Garland and Jared Weaver moving to the pen for the playoffs).  The Angels also had one of the best fielding teams in baseball this year, including gold glovers like Tori Hunter and Mark Teixera, and they have speed (structured around Mike Scioscia's 1st to 3rd philosophy and fleet footed players like Howie Kendrick and Chone Figgins.  Plus, let's not forget that the Angels have - or had - home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs...

But now the Angels are on the verge of getting swept in the first round by the Boston Red Sox for the second year in a row.  It hurts when you've been thinking all year that this is your year, and then you crap out in the first round.  Oh sure, they could come back and win three games in a row, but they probably won't.  So goes another baseball season.

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The good news is that I should be done with another chapter of my book tomorrow.  It's hard to believe that I've been able to write a chapter in one week.  It usually takes me two or three months.  That's why I love VCCA as much as I do...

1 comment:

Dan E said...

"It hurts when you've been thinking all year that this is your year, and then you crap out in the first round."

I have no fucking idea what you're talking about.

Congrats on the good writing progress, though!