Wednesday, April 22, 2009
BHW In BTF On The Angels Looking Forward
As sports fans of a certain passion, we are used to deploying words like “disaster” and “catastrophe” where they don’t really belong. When invested in a game we react to each pitch and swing as though the Earth’s very rotation hangs in balance. Though the non-fan may not realize or appreciate our fervor, it serves a useful and very human purpose: we feel a part of something bigger, of a community of fans, players, and coaches. We identify with young men we’ve never met, men with whom we may share nothing in common but the color of a uniform, but men we’ve watched grow and mature and hone their skills to the point where they stand amongst the world’s elite. We cannot match that talent, but we can invest ourselves and our emotions, boisterous applause and righteous anger serving as our tools of participation. And in so participating we share the joys and disappointments of “our” players, and their failures affect us. And so we can freely use the words “disaster” and “catastrophe”, comfortably shielded in a world of metaphor.
On the evening of April 8 and morning of April 9, Angel fans were pushed from the disaster of metaphor into the catastrophe of the real.
The presence of Chone Figgins at third should also not block Brandon Wood, as Figgins is amongst the most defensively versatile players in the majors. He has also started the season drawing walks and stealing bases, though the rest of his offensive game is stagnant. Stagnant also describes to some extent Howie Kendrick’s start; Howie started the season hitting the ball on the button, but with few hits to show for it. He should, like many of his teammates, come around eventually. If he and they don’t, the team is in big trouble, as Torii Hunter will not be able to carry this team to the extent he has so far.
But with Vlad out and Lackey and Santana and Escobar still waiting to report for duty, “Looking Forward To” is really all the Angels have, barring the invention of a cosmic reset button. In many ways, it feels as though the season has yet to begin.