Before last night, I can’t remember the last time I got that genuinely worked up over a baseball game that didn’t involve the Red Sox.Â Mike Scioscia replacing John Lackey with Darren Oliver (to face Slappy, Teixeira and Matsui!) could have gone down in baseball history as the worst managerial decision in an LCS since 2003.Â Â Thankfully, aside from Lackey possibly having already set all of Oliver’s (and/or Scioscia’s) things on fire, no long-term harm was done.
There seem to be a few Yankees fans reading my blog.Â Â One or two occasionally email me and actually have nice things to say (well, usually not NICE but at least they just want to discuss baseball not how fat, stupid, ugly or mean I am!) – last night I received an email from one, “Mike in Paramus” (I asked Mike if he minded my mentioning him today)…Mike wanted to know if I was taking “great joy” in Nick Swisher’s struggles in the ALCS since I had “dissed” him earlier this season by saying I didn’t think he was an all-star.
I like Nick Swisher.Â Â He’s one of those players I truly believe plays because he loves it and tries to get as much fun out of it as he can. I hate that he’s with the Yankees but they offered him a job and why wouldn’t he take it, right? Â Â I DID say earlier this season that I didn’t think he was an all-star…but he was definitely an important part of what got the Yankees to the post-season this year. Â In spite of that, I’m not reveling in his struggles. Â Â Hell YES I’m enjoying the Angels taking it to the Yankees and I hope to see more of the same Saturday night – but it actually annoys me a bit that so many in New York are choosing to stick Swisher’s head on a stick and parade it about so that the fans have their pound of flesh.Â Â (Incidentally, “Mike” thinks Swisher should be benched. Â Me? Â Â As long as it helps the Yanks lose, I’m good with keeping him in!)
So while the Phillies rest up, the Yankees and Angels have to head back to New York for at least one more game. Â In thinking about the World Series, it occurred to me that since 2000 all three teams in the hunt have won a World Series so there isn’t that much drama (for me, anyway) surrounding them. Â Â I have no emotional attachment to the Phillies, I admittedly can’t stand the Yankees…so that leaves the Angels.Â Â If I have to pick a team that I’d genuinely enjoy watching win it all this year – and these three are my only choices, I’m going with the Angels. Â After the ALDS, I didn’t think I’d be able to root for them.Â Â But watching them during this LCS, well, I like most of the guys on the team and their fans seem to be the least of the three evils…and I honestly can’t deny that Nick Adenhart is on my mind.Â Â I’m not a fan of the “they have to win because something bad happened to them” way of thinking, but it certainly has attached itself to me – at least it did last night.Â Watching last night I kept thinking about the team running over to his likeness on the wall in the park after they made it into the playoffs and the idea that the Yankees could have made it to the World Series in front of him upset me greatly. Â Sure it’s still a tough road for the Angels – winning two in a row in the Bronx won’t be easy – but I think they can do it.Â Â More importantly, I’m hoping they can do it. Â Everyone needs to root for something positive, right? Â It isn’t as much fun to root AGAINST a team as it is to root for them.
So Saturday night I won’t be rooting for the Yankees to lose (as I’ve been doing each of these games) I’ll be rooting for the Angels to win!Â Two more games, fellas, two more games!