The Angels have won the West for the second straight year. They appear to be peaking at just the right time, putting together a winning streak of 8 games while most other playoff teams in the American League are trying to back in. They have the best starting rotation in the AL, including this year’s Cy Young front runner. In spite of these reasons to celebrate, all I can say is, “Just don’t do me like you did me last year.” To be specific, don’t leave me trudging down Lansdowne Street being forced to give high fives to Sox fans holding brooms. That’s right Angel fans, if you thought last year’s playoff sweep ripped your heart out, how do you think it felt for this diehard living in the capital of Red Sox Nation?
For this reason, even though my team has already wrapped up their playoff spot, I still find myself scoreboard watching. Though I haven’t discovered why, the Angels match up very favorably with the Yankees and White Sox, but very unfavorably with the Red Sox and Indians. The Angels have looked like minor leaguers whenever they enter Fenway Park over the last two years, and although they’ve gone 5 – 4 against Cleveland this year, playing the Indians always reminds me of the days when Troy Percival had something in the neighborhood of 45 consecutive blown saves against that team.
So what exactly am I hoping for amidst all this scoreboard tracking? Since I can’t possibly bring myself to cheer for the Evil Empire, I’m pulling for Boston to knock out the Yankees this weekend, and for Cleveland to win just enough games against Chicago to take the wildcard. In this scenario, the kids from Anaheim start the playoffs in Chicago, where they recently swept a three game series. If this doesn’t happen, I’ve got a back up bracket all prepared. If the wildcard happens to come from the East, let’s pray that the Yanks win that division; because the Angels will have to start off in that team’s stadium. Yankee Stadium has been much friendlier than Fenway.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of the Red Sox; I’m just much more comfortable facing them in a seven game series. But more importantly, if I was afraid of them, would you have any right to judge me? Were you on the other side of the Green Monster at the end of last year? Like I said, just don’t do me like you did me last year.