“In the darkest hole, you’d be well advised not to play my funeral before the body dies”- Alice In Chains
One of my favorite bands of ever is Alice In Chains. If you’ve never heard them then you are missing some great music along with one of the best riff writers out there (Jerry Cantrell) and one of the best vocalists ever (Layne Staley). This line from the song Grind, from the self-titled Alice In Chains album from 1995, started off with the line listed above and it reminds me a lot of what I’ve been hearing from Angels fans lately.
There are pretty much two cliques among Angels fans right now… The first is the group that has given up on this season for the Angels, the loss to Texas (August 1st, and the ensuing slide) and tonight’s loss to the Rays after being up by eight runs is just too much for some people to bear. While I don’t reside on this side of the fandom I can totally relate with that frame of thought also. I’ve seen this by multiple people I know and to be honest it’s a very frustrating thing to see. I figure that these would be the people that would boo a player when they are having a bad game (like Dan Haren the other night).
The second group of fans (two of my favorites on Twitter are Rally Monkey, @RallyMonkeySays, and our very own MLB Cave Dweller Ricardo Marquez, @iBlogBetter) is the group of fans that still believes that until the Angels are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs then they just might have a chance to get there, regardless of how awfully bad the Angels have looked since the all-star break. If you are on the first side of the fence you’re lying to us all if you say that when it appeared as if the Angels had beaten Texas on August 1st that the guys were back and were on the verge of taking the division and running with it. I know because I felt that way as well. I also remember thinking after Kendrys Morales got on base, why is Bourjos not out there pinch running?! I replayed the situation to my eight year old son the next morning and said Morales is on 1st base, now what? His first words were put in a pinch runner! I thought to myself, EVEN AN EIGHT YEAR OLD KNEW THAT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO THERE!
Anyways, when all the talk of the season being over and let’s look forward to next year and all that mess has been going on it has made me think of a few things. Last year the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox appeared to be a lock for the post season. Let me refresh your memory really quick:
2011 Atlanta Braves- The Braves were 10.5 games ahead of St. Louis on August 26th and on September 6th they were still up by 8.5 games. They finished last September with a record of 9-18 and were eliminated from the playoffs and Boston in the A.L. followed suit.
2011 Boston Red Sox- On September 1st 2011 the Red Sox had a 1.5 game lead in the East, on September 2nd they lost that lead but were nine games up on the wild card. Starting on September 4th they’d lose 18 of their next 24 games. We all know how this post season lock turned out.
This also has me thinking about are the 2007 Colorado Rockies and the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. Just in case you don’t remember what happened here’s a quick recap:
2007 Colorado Rockies- The Rockies finished off their 2007 season by winning 21 of the final 22 games! This incredible run took them all the way to the World Series which they ended up losing to the Red Sox.
2011 St. Louis Cardinals- This one is a little nearer to our hearts since a key piece of this team is now a key piece of the Angels. The Cardinals were 10.5 games back in the playoff race in late August and on the final day of the season they secured a playoff berth and took that all the way to the World Series where they won a memorable World Series against Texas.
My point here is don’t throw the body in the coffin when there is still a heartbeat here (however faint it may appear!). Also, remember that some St. Louis Cardinals fans left game six of the World Series and were on the way home when that epic comeback took place! They were one strike away, TWICE, from losing the World Series to Texas and they didn’t give up… So why should we??
“In the darkest hole, you’d be well advised not to plan my funeral before the body dies”