My mom always told her kids that hate is too strong a word.
Well, I hate the Angels. There, I said it.
The deacon at this morning's service urged the congregation not to hate, even calling upon the Beatles to drive his message home. And while I have no doubt that our dear deacon was speaking words of wisdom, when it comes to the Angels, I can't seem to lose that loathsome feeling. Don't get it twisted; this disdain I have for Disneyland's team isn't dangerous. I don't own a John Lackey voodoo doll. I do not wish for Vladimir Guerrero's arm to fall off just as he attempts to gun down an A's runner heading for third. No, this is a healthy hatred I have for the Halos. And lo, is it so wrong to hate? "Hate", Freud tells us, "is older than love". Well then, should we not uphold hate's place in history?
How do I hate the Angels? Let me count the ways:
1. I hate that stupid name they use to describe where they play.
2. I hate Mike Scioscia and that smug look he wears.
The kind of face that only a mother could love.
3. I hate Vlad's helmet.
4. I hate that "Angels in the Outfield" was filmed in our stadium.
5. I hate the Angels in today’s outfield: Matthews, Rivera, and Willits.
6. I hate the ones in the infield, too: Izturis, Kendrick, and Kotchman.
7. I hate Jered Weaver's flowing locks.
8. I hate Ervin Santana's facial hair.
9. I hate K-Rod's antics on the mound.
10. I hated Troy Percival before him.
11. I hated Don Baylor and his MVP season of ’79.
12. I hate that the A’s are 5-7 against the Angels on my birthday.
13. I hate that Reggie Jackson was once an Angel.
Words cannot describe how much this image pains me.
14. I hate that Joe Rudi was one, too.
15. I hate that I didn’t hate Nolan Ryan enough.
16. I hate Garret Anderson and his unassuming nature.
17. I hate Chone Figgins' name.
18. I hate Kelvim Escobar’s just the same.
19. I hate that when my dad celebrates a birthday, Erick Aybar does, too.
20. I hated 1978, our first losing season to the Angels since moving to Oakland.
21. I hate the Darren’s, O’Day and Oliver.
22. I hate the catchers, Budde, Mathis, and Napoli.
23. I hated 1997, when the A’s were 1-11 versus the Angels.
24. I hated Fred Lynn and his All-Star Game grand slam in '83.
25. I hate rookies Jose Arredondo and Sean Rodriguez.
26. I hate Bobby Valentine, who told me on my 7th birthday, "I don’t sign for A’s fans".
27. I didn’t use to hate Torii Hunter, but I hate him now.
28. I hate the Rally Monkey.
29. I hate Scot Shields and the missing "t" from his first name.
30. I hate Robb Quinlan and the extra "b" in his.
31. I hate John Lackey…just because.
That’s right, Jason. It’s healthy to hate the Angels.
32. I hate the Angels, yes I do.
33. I hate looking up at the standings at them.
34. I hate that they won a World Series this decade.
35. I hate that I wanted them to win (against the Giants).
36. And for that, I hate myself.