In the words of Tom Paine, these are the times that try men’s souls. There is panic in the air and uncertainty is the order of the day. The outlook is grim and complete and total collapse appear imminent. To make matters worse we are all powerless to stop it. The only options left are to hope and pray. Yes, the Boston Red Sox have once again humiliated the Angels in October.
I got to my TV in the fourth inning of last night’s opening game of the Divisional Playoff series between the Angels and Red Sox, and the Angels were up 1-0. It didn’t last long. John Lackey pitched exceptionally well save for one horribly located pitch that Jason Bay sent deep into the Orange County night to give the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish. What is it about the Red Sox that turns the Angels from a 100 game winning Major League Baseball team into a bunch of cowardly little leaguers. Yes, Boston has good pitching, but it isn’t like the Angels haven’t seen good pitching before, including the guys they’re facing in this series. In the past seven post season games between these two teams going back to 2004 the Angels have been outscored something like 173-8. Ok, maybe its not that bad, but it might as well be. That’s what it feels like.
As I watched the game last night, in between holding my head in my hands after Vlad’s terrible baserunning and screaming unflattering things about Gary Matthews after his seventh inning error, which thankfully didn’t hurt them (Matthews should be buying Darren Oliver a new car for bailing him out), an unsettling fear crept over me. The fear that we will never beat these guys when it counts. We were 8-1 against them in the regular season and most of those were old fashioned woodshed beatings. But come October and these guys cower behind their halos.
I used to root for the Red Sox, as long as it didn’t interfere with the Angels’ plans, despite of their faux-underdoggedness. Now, I loathe them. I loathe them because ESPN can’t stop gushing about them, I loathe them because their “fans” are everywhere, I loathe them because of Kevin Youkilis’ goatee, I loathe them because Jason Varitek is a blackhole in the lineup and still manages to do something to hurt you, I loathe them for their smugness. But most of all I loathe them for runining two of my last four Octobers. And I fear their doing it again.