So I am in my season seats in Centerfield, we’re hollering to Torii Hunter and he is holding up a fist of solidarity for us. It is the top of the 9th, Shields is in and we are up by 4.
Backtrack two innings – Texas wins on a walkoff grandslam. I think – but do not say – “How 1995ish”...
So Shields leads to Frankie bounces off Teixeira’s glove and leads to a tie.
I scream “1995!”
Many of the regulars were gone. Comfortable with the lead, and the game had dragged on something fierce, they had left. The ones left were loud, boisterous and, well, the beers were at their maximum effect.
So when I yelled out, in frustration, that fateful number every Angel fan hates, well, quite a few of the faithful turned around and looked, aghast, in horror, in an agony that a slow-moving car wreck may just be happening.
It was kinda like the reaction on the blog here when I mentioned it in yesterday’s postgame thread. It was so terrified that it was adamantly disagreeable from the onset of my pronouncement.
But it lingered, a poison gas in the air as Frankie finally got the one out he was supposed to. The Rally Monkey video cam on and the crowd was into it. Perhaps I was the only miserable surrender flag in the whole stadium.
But then Torii Hunter hit a double to lead off the bottom of the 9th in this maddening tie ballgame. He is not on Jackie Autry’s payroll. He is not managed by a Lachemann. He was not drafted by Mike Port. Torii Hunter’s contract was not negotiated by a Bavasi. Torii Hunter was signed by Tony Reagins and is paid by Arte Moreno.
The die was cast with Torii’s double. We won. We are the first team in baseball to 70 wins. It is 2008.
I was a fool to mention that season on this blog and at the stadium. Torii Hunter put my neurotic nostalgia on ice. To make up for my ridiculous assertion that the 2008 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim carry any resemblance to the 1995 California Angels, I present our MAGIC NUMBER countdown in the left sidebar, to be updated daily on our march toward the postseason.