Over five months ago, when the lovely Two Thousand and Eleven baseball season finally slumped to a horrendous close for us Los Angeles Angel’s fans, I sat in my chair in my office and was extremely bummed out. Indescribably disconsolate. Intractably melancholic. A pissed-off son-of-a-bitch.You know what I mean. Remember?
After all, we had just barely failed to make it for the one Wildcard spot, playing poorly towards the end of the season. Our General Manager had run amuck, traded away one of our favorite players, replaced him with a guy who quickly proceeded to have his worse year ever by far—all for a gi-normous bundle of cash. Our best hitter was still inexplicably out for another season and who knew if he would ever return. Our catcher was driving us nuts, as were the people telling us what a great catcher he was. And there went the freakin’ Rangers rushing off to the Series again (though at least they lost . . .eventually). Our favorite announcer in recent history and our top rookie pitching ace had passed on the year before. And just to add insult to injury, even Hud was gone for good.
I had to clear my head from baseball. I even had to depart from one my favorite communities of people—Halo Heaven. I had to take a break and deal in my own way with the depressing vision of the future of my beloved baseball team since 1982. It was there before me. It wasn’t just the Suboptimal/Turks Teeth/Stirrups/BlastedDave/et cetera’s profound and cautionary posts pointing like the gnarled claw of the Grim Reaper there before the rest of us: pointing at the shocking truth of our team’s bewildering deconstruction and the hated chasm of 4th place yawning in front of us there behind the banners of the Rangers, A’s and Mariners. No, it was obvious to us all that the future for Halodom was looking like one big ef-ing epic fail.
And then Arte, you went into gear and began your odyssey to re-vision and re-fashion this team and bring us back from the brink of that deadly yawning chasm, by performing—no doubt about it—some sort of freakin’ 21st-century miracle. First you bit the bullet and made the change in General Managers that was inevitable. A lovely man with talent, Tony Reagins had orchestrated what seemed to be (at least last year) one of the worst trades in sports history: trading away a dude we all dug—Mike Napoli, for a guy we found it hard to love due to his poor offensive performance—Vernon Wells. You brought in a sharper young talent in Jerry Dipoto. It appeared to be the magic move. We replaced a much maligned catcher, Jeff Mathis, with a serious talented one from the Rockies, Chris Iannetta . And that—my friends--was when we first knew that we were headed in the right direction. Then you guys brought in a top veteran reliever, LaTroy Hawkins.
And then it came: The Deals Heard ‘Round the World!!!
You pulled in C.J. Wilson and—no ef-ing way!—Albert Pujols all at the same time. Freaking Albert Pujols!!!!! You know--the freaking greatest player in baseball!!! The guy who plays virtually flawless first base, who averages 40 bombs, 173 hits, 29 2-baggers, 120 ribbies, .328 avg., .420 OBP, and .617 SLG and what like freaking +10 WAR a year?!!!. This is even a guy Rev Halofan likes!!!The guy we always joked about in our posts last year about wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get Big Albert, but f-no, we don’t have the bread anymore thanks to ef-in Wells…’Membr? YOU, Mr. Moreno pulled off this deal. YOU made it happen—with some help of course. But YOU convinced these guys to come out here and rock this place. YOU, and a shitload of money of course. We still don’t know how you pulled it off for sure, and where this money is coming from exactly (alright, we do know a lot . . .), but Jeebus, we don’t want to freakin’ know—We are just ecstatic about what you somehow were able to up and get accomplished. We are so beyond happiness with things right now. We just want to party and relish in our sudden new-found (as some say) “Halo Boner”!!!! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
Ok. Who knows what may happen. Maybe we won’t win the Series. Maybe this doesn’t work out well, right anyway, or even in the future. Nothing is for sure. But one thing we know already: you can tell right away things have changed with this team. They have more of a swagger. They know they are going to score a boatload more runs this year. Spring training or not, there was already something about their play and demeanor lately, like today’s 17-2 split-squad destruction of Cleveland, that was noticeable, that was pointed out several times in the radio broadcast by Jose and Terry, that augers that offensive on-slaught bombardment will often commence during the season (and this today without Fleet Pete, Kendrys, and others). Sure, nothing is for sure, by any means. But at least you, my brother, had the balls and chutzpah to go out there and make it happen for all of us. If things somehow don’t go as wonderfully as we may have hoped (but they will), like Ken Kesey and Jack Nicholson’s Randle McMurphy, you can say with full honesty: “But I tried, though . . . Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didn’t I?”
On behalf of all the old Halo fans; our young fans, recent fans, middle-aged beleagured big beefy beery dude fans (I’m thinking of Rexstolemystash here), lovely female fans, baby fans, became-a-fan-this-year-because-of-you-know-who fans:
Thank you for putting everything on the line and pulling this team together, Mr. Moreno,
and thank you—definitely!-- for Albert Pujols!