Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ten Things I Hate About The Angels

No explanation needed, just 10 things that have bugged the crap out of me, mainly since 2002, about the Anaheim Angels.

10. The “Experts’” Collective Hard-On
Out of 16 “experts” (they will always get quotations in my book) over at ESPN, 12 have the Angels knocking off the Yanks in Round One. And of those 12, half have them winning the World Series. I’m sorry, I just didn’t see enough dominant play out of Anaheim to warrant a World Series prediction. Sure, they’re a team well suited for a playoff run, but does anyone remember the division they play in? One competitor that was going through a rebuilding year (Oakland) and not much else.

I just don’t think they stack up with the Yanks when you go through the batting order. While pitching may be the cliched way to win ballgames, having a dominant one through nine is one way to win a short series.

9. Brendan Donnelly
It’s not so much the pine tar incident or his goofy glasses as his being overrated. Sure, his 3.78 ERA holds up well in a league with depleted bullpens, but his 1.21 WHIP and .273 BAA and .803 OPS against righties won’t bode well in the playoffs. We’ve seen this guy break down against the Yanks before, and he’ll surely be called on more than once this series.

Have I mentioned his goofy glasses? Yeah, they make him look like a ‘mo.

8. ThunderStix
What is this, a hockey game?

7. Owning Us (sort of) Under Torre
Okay, so their 49-48 record doesn’t exactly spell out dominance, but that’s the best mark by any team under the Joe Torre Reign. Not to mention the fact that they knocked us out of the ’02 playoffs, a year we were looking for revenge. We’re looking for revenge again this year, which doesn’t bode well, but remember the old saying: knock me out of the playoffs once, shame on you. Knock me out of the playoffs twice, shame on the pitching staff.

6. Bartolo Colon’s Cy Young Bid
He looks like a shoe-in, as he’s the only 20-game winner in the AL, and these sportswriters covet the almighty win. Isn’t this award supposed to go to the most dominant pitcher in the AL? If so, it should be handed to Mariano, hands down. Of course I sport a bit of bias, being a Yankees Faithful and all, but I don't think this opinion is jaded.

A common argument is that Colon’s 222.2 IP hold up over Mo’s 78.1, but just remember the situations. Colon started 33 games, meaning he had 33 pressure-less first innings. Plus all those innings in the middle that don’t carry the weight of, oh, say the bottom of the ninth. Mo has maybe two or three meaningless innings, if that, scattered throughout his 78. In fact, I could probably write an entire column on why Mo should be the Cy. But that’s for a later date.

5. K-Rod
See, his name is Francisco Rodriguez, but he throws heat and racks up the strikeouts – Ks. K-Rod! Get it? K rhymes with A, A-Rod, K-Rod. Hi-friggin-larious.

Yeah, I detest the nickname. In fact, I’m no fan of Alex being called A-Rod, just because of the complete lack of creativity. But I guess Blank-Rod just rolls off the tongue. Unless, of course, it’s F-Rod, which is just a complete mockery of the trendy nickname. But I digress.

So his nickname makes me hate him, but his heat makes me want to sit atop Angel Stadium with a Remington 700LTR and pick him off as he throws a 3-2 slider to Jeter. Oh, don’t get me started on that slider. It’s like a splitter that drops twice as far and twice as fast. Just devastating.

4. Chone Figgins
Yes, he’s a base stealing machine, topping Scott Podsednick for the AL stolen base crown (though he had 137 more ABs) with 60. And yes, he may go hog wild on the Yanks, who have a deficiency with holding runners on. But the most important aspect of this argument comes down to his name. I’m sorry, but I refuse to pronounce it “Shawn.” “Ch-own” is how it’s spelled, and “Ch-own” is how it will be pronounced. It’s like Andra Davis on the Cleveland Browns. Sure, it’s supposed to be pronounced “Andre,” but it’s “An-drah” to me.

Note to all athletes: I know your mothers donned you with these monikers, but you’re grown men. Isn’t it high time you realized that the spelling is friggin’ ridiculous?

3. Los Angels Angels of Anaheim
Where do I begin with this one? Okay, we’ll start with the obvious one: they don’t play in Los Angeles! But Art Moreno, marketing genius that he is, believes that he can create more revenue by dubbing the team “Los Angeles,” even though he has an agreement with the city of Anaheim for naming rights. So he bends the rules, adds “Los Angeles” to the name, and tacks on “Anaheim” at the end to fulfill contractual obligations.

Hey, the moniker “Manhattan Mets,” is deliciously alliterative, but you don’t see Fred Wilpon lobbying for a name change, mainly because the Mets don’t play in Manhattan.

In addition, the name is ri-friggin-diculous. Translated, it is “The Angels Angels of Anaheim.” And you only really need to translate one word to get to that. Even as it stands, the word “Angels” appears twice in a row, which causes Word to put a red underline under the second one. Why? Because a word is not meant to be juxtaposed with itself.

2. Vladdy Daddy
Do I need to list the reasons here, or is his go-ahead grand slam off Flash enough for everyone?

1. The Rally Monkey
Is it a mascot? Not really. It’s just the most inexplicable feature in baseball ever, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the folks in LA have the attention spans of a walnut. What does that mean, rally monkey? What does it have to do with the Angels Angels? What does it have to do with baseball? Why do 45,000 people worship this monkey nightly?

Maybe, just maybe we can get the creators of 28 Days Later to infect it with RAGE. That’ll shut up the fans in Anaheim, and hey, maybe it’ll spread down to LA, too!