On the morning of Sunday July 13, I wrote this. On the afternoon of that same day, I witnessed this, a game that for all intents and purposes ended any chances of Dane Cook foaming at the mouth over our Oakland A’s in October.
Since my half-serious, but seriously ill-timed post that fateful Sunday morn, the hated Halos have played like the Chosen Ones, reeling off 13 wins in 17 contests. Meanwhile the A’s have taken on the appearance of a cursed club, managing just two victories in 16 tries over that same stretch. For those of you who have yet to down that first cup of Monday morning mocha, let me do the math for you: that is a whopping 10.5 game drop in the standings in a little over two weeks. Kind of like riding the "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror", except no one is saying, "Let’s ride that again!" If there is a silver lining it is that we mourners can stand before the grave of the 2008 A’s and say, "at least it was quick and painless". Well, it was quick. Sort of.
Was it just a matter of time before Los Angeles separated itself from the rest of the pack? Was it too much to ask of these A’s to stick around through the dog days of summer, despite its youth and yet another rash of injuries? Or is there something deeper working here? Did the People Upstairs think that "hating the angels" referred to those angels? Did they send Christopher Lloyd down to lend LA a helping hand (wing)? Did the Angels really need divine intervention?
Hey, that's our Outfield, Christopher Lloyd!
Look, I would not consider myself irrationally superstitious. But I do have my moments. Mentioning "no-hitters" while my pitcher is throwing one is an absolute no-no. Also, when keeping score of a game- which I haven’t done in eons- you shall not add up your team’s totals after the eighth inning of a home contest, with the assumption that there will be no bottom of the ninth. I learned that the hard way on June 14, 1980 when the A’s went into the ninth leading, 1-0. Rick Langford was throwing a three-hit masterpiece at the Yankees. But Reggie Jackson reached on a one-out single, and Bobby Murcer hit a two-out, two-run homer, while I proceeded to throw up all over my scorecard. Some scars stay with you a while, if you can call twenty-eight years "a while".
Murcer is gone, but the pain of his homerun in Oakland lives on.
I can’t really say that I have learned anything thing from this latest blunder. I really do hate the angels. The ones that play baseball (do I really need to clarify?). But let’s not beat around the burning bush. Let’s get down to core of this rotten apple. Did my post kill Oakland’s post-season chances? Was my hitting "publish" parallel to Steve Bartman reaching for that foul ball?
Am I doomed to live life like this guy?