California Scheming

Sox fans, here comes the bad news: You’re going to lose this week, and you’re going to lose badly.

See, your team might be right in it, but you’re just not that good. True, your hitting is atrocious, but you’ll point to Jim Thome’s Hall of Fame numbers as evidence of guaranteed greatness this season. Your pitchers are pitching way over their head, but you’ll somehow insist two nobodies and a card-carrying AARP spokseman/has-been are going to keep magically shutting down every team that stands in their way.
Angel Stadium

What you guys are about to learn is the difference between winning and being a good team. You beat up on a struggling Tigers team? Fine. We’re all happy for you. And look at that, you’re up there in first with the Twins. The Twins, who if memory serves correctly lost half their good players this winter including a certain outfielder who just happens to be RAKING for a certain team out of Southern California.

Do you want to know WHY and HOW the Angels stole Torii Hunter away from the seemingly obvious destination of Chicago? Were you shocked when that happened, when Number 48 realized that more money, a longer contract, nicer weather, a baseball owner that doesn’t hate baseball, hotter female fans, a kick-ass park and playing for a perennial winner were better than, uh, um, uhhhhhh wait, what exactly were the Sox offering?

Perhaps it was the lack of nearby Del Tacos and their $90 million worth of awesome that sealed the deal. Or perhaps it was something much more than that. Not too bad an offseason, eh?Perhaps the Angels showed they can win off the field the way the same way they stay on top on the field.

See, your manager, whose craziness and seeming obliviousness to what he’s saying are actually kind of endearing to us here in SoCal, likes to talk about speed and grit, and your general manager says all the right things about playing the game the right way. The thing is, you’ve never had a fast team and you’ve never played the game right, or at least not with any team assembled since the 1960s. Your guys play cheap and we’re all getting a good laugh around here about that Garland-for-Cabrera trade. It’s funny how with any other team, Cabrera’s a .275 hitter with Gold Glove defense, but once the White Sox get their hands on him he suddenly forgot how to play baseball. Thanks for ruining a great player while strengthening our rotation by leaps and bounds.

Mark it down, Sox fans: the Angels will take all four games this week. We’re a more well-rounded team and we play the baseball you guys only dream of. And I’ve only been wrong about this once before.


Joel Shafer is a freelance writer from Los Angeles who believes 2002 was the best World Series ever played and will never be convinced Josh Paul dropped that third strike.