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Robert's Realm of Redundancy
The 2002 World Series
Poetry Page

As I am a baseball fan, I thought it only proper that I comment on this year's world series. I am starting this a day after game 2. I will first post my general impressions at this point, but as the series progresses, I will probably add a few more thoughts.

Going into this series, I was thrilled to see the Angels in it for the first time. I always like to see that as I hate to see the same team every year. Though I have a few friends who are Yankee fans, I have to say that I can't stand the Yankees. I hate teams which win every single year as it makes the sport boring, especially when there is no struggle. The 98, 99, and 00 Series were about the worst I have ever seen as the Yankees just smashed the other teams. If the Padres, Braves, and Mets had at least put up a fight, it would have been one thing but they just rolled over and died. It is this fact which has made me detest the Yankees. True, the other teams failed to do anything but I grew so tired of seeing the Yankees in the Series each and every year when I wanted to see teams like Oakland and Seattle have a chance. For this reason, the 2001 Series was a relief to me as a team finally arose which could stand against the Yankees.
When the Angels defeated the Yankees in the first round, I can not describe how happy I was. The Yankees had failed to intimidate the Angels with their "mystique" and all that garbage. This was followed by laments from the media that the beloved Yankees were eliminated. I thought that this was just pathetic. A medium market team had defeated the Yankees with all their millions and all their forces of darkness and yet, the media was forlorn. Frankly, I think this saved the AL as it gave other teams a reason to keep hope. If the Yankees are just going to keep winning every year, other teams will collapse as their fan base will lose hope. This will leave the Yankees with no one to play. However, I have to be honest, some of my dislike of this team probably arises out of jealousy. I wish my Dodgers would be just as tough as the Yankees but at least for now, that is not the case. I respect the Yankees for what they have done. I know they are a good team. I just can't stand it though as I hate to see one team win year after year.
Anyway, though I am a Dodger fan, I was thrilled to see the Angels get in as I know they have been long suffering. My dad is an Angel fan and I know that 86 just broke his heart. This year, for the first time in a long while, I have seen him take joy in watching this team play. And for those who think that the appearance of the Angels is a fluke, I know that it is not. I have watched this team on the local station here which carries it through much of the summer and they have been playing this way consistently. They managed to win 99 games in a very tough division. Sure the Yankees won 103 games but they got to play Baltimore, Toronto, and Tampa Bay a bunch of times whereas the Angels had to play more games against Oakland and Seattle. My other reason for supporting the Angels has to do with their manager, Mike Scioscia, as he is a former Dodger. True, so is Dusty Baker, but he manages the hated ones so that is weighing heavily against him. This is my other reason for supporting the Angels, they are not the Giants. I root for just about anyone playing the Giants(maybe not the Yankees but everyone else is certainly included). Finally, I only live about 6 miles from Anaheim Stadium so this is a team which is right in my back yard.
After seeing the first two games of the series, I do not know why some say that the series is boring. Both teams have scored the same number of runs. Both games have been very close and played very tough. True the pitching in game 2 was lackluster but Rodriguez or K-Rod(or F-Rod as he is called in other articles, but in any case he is doing a good job) as he is being called was awesome. Frankly I think that anyone who is not enjoying this series is nuts. I think most of those who are angry are Yankee fans who just are not used to having to watch other teams play right now. But I acknowledge that this may not be represenative of true Yankee fans but those who are merely bandwagon fans who are upset that the favorites are long since gone from the scene. True baseball fans only want to see a good series and I think that this year, the Angels and Giants will deliver on that.
This evening, I watched a good part of game 3 as I worked on some hw assignments <grumble, grumble>. The Angels showed once again why they deserve to be in the WS. Their offense is highly explosive and unless the opposing pitcher is having a good game, the other teams have little chance. Again, I must reiterate that this is nothing new. I have seen the Angels do this all summer. This is just the way that this team plays. I am pleased that Rodriguez could take the night off so that he will be prepared for tomorrow's game if he is needed. He is the ultimate weapon the Angels have as he can chew up innings, shut the other team down, give the Angels a chance to rally, and place the ball in Percival's hands to end it. I have to wonder though why no one has thrown a knock down pitch or two at Bonds. Is he a great, no let me rephrase that, legendary hitter? Ofcourse but it is still tacky for him to admire his homeruns. One good message pitch might wake him up and make him realize that others will no tolerate his lack of respect for his opponents. Anyway, I hope the Angels can split the remaining two in San Francisco. If they win both of them, fine. However, it would be nice to win in front of their home crowd so that the OC fans could enjoy it.
Well, my commentary now continues as game 6 begins. Lets just say that game 5 was not enjoyable to me. Game 4 was well played, kind of like game one. I missed game 4 though since I had an evening class to go to. As such, I will comment on the top 10 memories. I have to say that I do not entirely agree with the order in which the events were placed. Cal Ripken's beating of Gehrig's record was certainly a great event in baseball history. However, I think Aaron's home run record or Robinson's rookie year were more memorable in that they reflected on societal changes as well. Robinson played almost 20 years before the civil rights legislation of the 60's, so he was really ahead of his time. That is why I had voted for that event as my most memorable. The other thing which bugs me is that the movement of the Giants and Dodgers to the west coast was not even a choice on the greatest moments poll. In my opinion, that was one of the greatest moments as it really opened up the game from a east coast sport to a national one. Oh well. I am glad that the "shot heard round the world" did not win. I am so glad I did not have to see that again. Lousy Giants. Heh!
All I can say about game 6 is wow! The Angels came from behind to win....again! But in any case, this makes things more exciting. Tomorrow, it will be all or nothing and as such, both teams will be giving it their all. I think that is all any of us really want as baseball fans. Though it might be fun to see our team trounce the opponent in four games, it is more exciting to see a back and forth series as this one has been. The Angels seemed to fall asleep in the middle games but they are back now and game seven will probably be an instant classic. I hope the Angels can pull it off as they will be at home and the Angel fans have suffered for so long. Oh well, I know some people who should be happy as they had tickets for game 7 and were planning on selling them for quite a profit. I won't be seeing any of this money but at least somewhere, someone is happy.
Game seven was awesome and not just for the reason that the Giants lost. Heh! It was a well played game as after the early innings, the pitching just shut everything down. I am really glad that the Angels margin of victory was not 4-3 as then fans would forever question whether or not interference should have been called in the third inning. That was when some over anxious fan decided to whack the Giants right fielder with Thunderstix as the the outfielder tried to retrieve Anderson's double. If interference had been called, the score would have been left at 3-1. Oh well, the actions of that one fan consequently had no impact on the final outcome of the game and that is a good thing as I would hate to have to hear Giant fans ranting about that for ages to come.
I have to say that when the Angels won, it was rather exciting as I could see that my dad was just overjoyed at their victory. All of the hurt which he had carried since 1986 had vanished. It was also rather neat to hear the fireworks going off in the distance as I live close enough so that I can hear the fireworks anyway. I don't know about the rest of the country but here in OC, everyone now seems to have Angel gear on, lol. I am glad people are now more supportive of the team but I know that many of them are bandwagon fans. Earlier in the season when the Angels were not doing well, they had about 20,000 fans in attendance a game which got up into the 30,000's by the end of the season as they played well. In addition, there were many late season sell outs. I guess the only thing I want is for people to admit that they really did not think that the team would make it. I respect the Angels as a fine team, and I have to say that they are a lot of fun to watch but I will not claim to have been a life long Angel fan as my loyalty remains with the Dodgers. I still enjoyed seeing a local team succeed and I wish the Angels the best next year but for me, the Dodgers will always be my #1 team.
But in short, congratulations to the Anaheim Angels on their first World Series title. They are a fine team, filled with players who show a great deal of heart. They refused to let anything stop them and they refused to listen to the experts who said that they stood no chance. I also want to give some recognition to one of their television announcers, Rex Hudler whose enthusiasm for the Angels and the game of baseball is refreshing and extremely encouraging. It is a shame that he was not given a chance to call one of the games as I have to confess that I find these network announcers rather lacking in quality. While Hudler would not be an unbiased announcer, his enthusiasm would have added much to the telecasts. Then again, my true wish would have been for the great Dodger announcers like Vin Scully and Ross Porter to have called the games as no one is better than them.
I guess my final thoughts would consist of predictions for next year. The Angels have many of their players under contract for several more years so they should be a strong contender in the West. As such, they could certainly contend once more. However, the A's and the Mariners have fine teams as well, and even the Rangers will be improved, meaning that the AL West will once again be a good race. Its really too early to make predictions for the other teams as there will likely be trades and players lost or gained through free agency so I will close with this thought-
Dodgers return to the playoffs in 2003 and AL, keep up the good work, keep those Yanks out of the series. Heh!