Before I sink into the big sleep
I want to hear, I want to hear
The scream of the butterfly
The tsunami, they say, may be caused by last month's flap of a butterfly's wing on the other side of the globe. As we stand at the low tide of the Scioscia era, it may be useful to look back (hey this is a reflective and heavily marketed fiftieth anniversary season) on the dominos that fell back in 1999 that revealed the very tsunami that flooded this franchise with everything we since have enjoyed, treasured and finally are lamenting as the flood of riches recedes. But the wind current that knocked over that domino might have started a few seasons earlier. When did the Anaheim butterfly scream for a new halo?
The shriek from Angels fans came in the spring of 1999. Much like today, the print media was a complicit lot, on bended knees practicing neck twitches - the same glorified publicists for the club who shill for pressbox access and avoid passion under the lie of "objectivity". There was no alternative media like the superior bloggers you all enjoy reading today. Jim Edmonds shows up to Spring Training and announces he is going to get some surgery that he could have and should have gotten in October. Fans are outraged. The shriek of contempt causes collaborators from the then-dominant press to turn on their superstar love child and blame Edmonds for not giving two sheets about the previous club's lamentable late season pennant chase. Those 1998 Angels were the only club with a winning record against the 125-win 1998 Yankees. They cracked, though, going down the stretch, and the fingers were suddenly pointing at chemistry cancer Edmonds, much like Tony Phillips smoking crack in August of 1997 had doomed that Angels squad's late season glimmer of hope. After the debacle of 1995, signs of rebuilding the franchise were everywhere, the club going so far as to shed its name as the California Angels. And yet the press found a sole Angel to sacrifice on the pyre of explication of why why why oh why...
Come back, baby, back into my arm
We're gettin' tired of hangin' around
Waitin' around with our heads to the ground
Have confidence in this franchise turning it all around. The exorcism of 1996 transcended the print media clowns pillorying one excuse here and a crackpipe there... the road toward perennial contention was not just a cycle started when Mark Langston gutlessly choked up a few runs in the Kingdome on the same October day that OJ Simpson's jury reached their verdict. The steps taken were small flaps from a screaming butterfly. A team renamed, a stadium revamped, a free agent signing, the whole house cleaned... 1999 was a sea change built on the Kingdome mound as solid and certain as Safeco Field stands courtesy of the 1995 Angels.
What appeared as a transformative tsunami of the sea king Scioscia remains a swirl of hope. High tide is not a peak to disappear, but a recurring inevitability for this franchise. Have confidence in the changes accelerated this team toward success serving as a foundation upon which solid success will built. There is a logic in our hope: the highs will come quickly because the lows resemble winds of change as they so instantly remind us of the butterfly's breeze...
And hey kids, the above Italics are from a guy named Jim Morrison...