Move Over, Donnie Moore

The reason the Donnie Moore game hurt so much was the absence of any contention on the part of Angels clubs in the years afterward. We were up 3 games to 2, I can recall when the team left for Boston thinking "Hey we just gotta win one game there." We lost two. Donnie Moore's 1989 suicide (after shooting his wife, by the way, who survived his assault) turned a bad pitch decision into a legend. The pain of Dave Henderson's 1986 ALCS HR grew as the dry spell extended. If there had been hope - and a few of us tried to manufacture some any way we could while the franchise was beaten into a medium-market pulp - Bob Boone's call for a forkball would not have weighed down on us for sixteen years, becoming more magnified with each passing season.

Since then...

Frankie's HR to Manny last year. Washburn's HR to Papi in 2004. Frankie's HR to J.D. Drew tonight. Doug Eddings in '05...

The simple presence of hope is the reason none of these terrible events has stung as sharply as Henderson's hit. We have a great hope in our franchise these days. Ownership has made a world-class commitment to maintaining a championship-caliber club. For years I had thought nothing could have hurt as much as 1986, but the pain of Wednesday's loss brought on a rumination... We were still up in that ALCS, we just had to win one game in Boston. There was all sorts of "We can do this!" and of course, "Yes We Can." We didn't, and so the pain is actually an amalgamation of hindsight understanding the crux of failure and the hellish direction toward which it turned the franchsis. The pain of 1986 unveiled itself slowly over the years and a lot of it was the memory of the pain, which again, had much hope intertwined at the every moment it occurred.

And so, Wednesday after the game and into Thursday's off-day and night and even this morning, establishing that the pain of the Donnie Moore HR was not the most acute pain, and thinking about previous painful escapades, I concluded that the pain of losing on Wednesday might be the most acute pain I had ever felt as an Angels fan. The '04 squeezing, the '05 umpiring and even the '07 straight choking were  distanced in their negative impact, maintained even, by the anesthesia of the 2002 World Championship. Knowing how rare 100-Win seasons are, this club was either going to be one for the ages or one hell of a disappointment. Wednesday's loss turned out to be a painful first piercing of the armor.

Friday's game was grueling, but I was so pumped at the comeback to tie the game tonight that I thought, consciously, that the pain was finally over. I was pain free for about 3 seconds. And then Frankie threw that pitch to J.D. Drew.

And now the pain is here and now the end is near and I am trying to write this as fast and furious as possible to avoid its intensity, the intense pain, I have given up the rah-rah as this is the most painful moment in the history of this franchise as we know we are beat and we know Teixeira is not coming back to a loser club and we know that it will never be this perfect coming into October in the next two dozen or more seasons and we know the Dodgers are moving on to the NLCS and Boston will have beat us again and we know we have to pretend that there is still hope, hah-hah, rah-rah, I am not giving up oh save it if you cannot admit to the brain-splitting pain I question your fanhood, you have to know the pain, the pain, the pain that is too acute, too intense, so tight in the neck, dry in the throat and sweaty on the wrists as I type this trying to ease the pain, hoping some of this blood-stoping numbness will take the pain with it but it will not and this franchise lost so many fans and so much of its future and I am melting, melting, meltin ... oh the world, the world... the world...

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