There comes a point where you lose hope and then when the opportunity to gain a little hope comes back you just reject the return of hope and say "I still got a little hope and that is either going to be enough or it isn't but the team is gonna have to do the heavy lifting".
If you think you have gone a few steps too far down the Less Hope But Not Hope Less Road, don't feel bad, look ahead, most of us are walking ahead of you, wishcasting for the best but moving forward. We are forecasting our wishes out for the universe to hear us. Reduced to new age blather by an underachieving team, the Los Angeles FanBase of Anaheim resorts to the simplicity of "Here is what needs to happen..."
Thank heavens for this newfangled Wild Card format. Entering play Monday the Angels would be 4.5 games behind Oakland for that lone non-divisional qualifier. The Athletics are closer to upending the Rangers (3 back) than they are to us. But we are only 2.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.
We're not catching Oakland. In fact, it would be humorous if they caught Texas. So the team to catch is Baltimore, currently a game behind the Yankees. The O's play three with the Mariners beginning tonight. They play six games against the Red Sox and four against the Blue Jays of the ten games that follow and finish with three against the Rays. We will get to the Rays in a minute but that is flat out the easiest schedule in all of baseball.
So maybe the Orioles take the Eastern Division and the Angels can catch the Yankees - we are only 3.5 games behind them. Their schedule? They have tonight off before hosting Toronto for three and then being at home for the visiting Athletics. See right here, the hot Oakland team could do some damage from which the Angels could benefit. Since we will in fact have a wild card opponent, why not root for the A's to get hot, take the west and we play a defiled, despondent Rangers squad for the Wild Card cage match? As Baltimore cruises through an easy schedule, they take the east and we surpass the Yankees courtesy of Oakland. Oh wait, then New York travels to play Minnesota. Okay this is bullshit. Folks, pray for rain. The Yankees than play four against Toronto and finish with three at home against Bobby Valentine's Red Sox. Crap.
RAYS - WHITE SOX - TIGERS
Meanwhile there are three teams behind us that we have to worry about. The Rays, Tigers and White Sox. We face the White Sox this weekend and that will be one necessary broom. The White Sox currently lead the AL Central over Detroit by two games. In fact, they have a worse record than us. But next weekend they play a four game series against the Rays. Like the Yankees and Orioles, the Rays have plenty of Boston and and Toronto games on which to feast.
So we want to sweep the White Sox coming up but hope they can sweep the Rays, that is, unless they are suddenly ahead of the Rays for challenging us for the Wild Card. The White Sox have six games left against the Indians and three this week against the Royals.
Meanwhile the Tigers have seven games against the Royals and six against the Twins. The four toughest games left in their season are tonight, Monday, against the White Sox to make-up a rainout and then hosting the A's for three.
SO HERE IS HOW TO WISHCAST FOR THE ANGELS:
We have six of our next twelve games against the Rangers - let's win those games so that the Oakland A's can win the American League Western division title as they beat up on the Tigers and Yankees. Meanwhile let's root for the Blue Jays and Red Sox to take care of their business and for the Twins, Royals and Indians to suddenly care. Here is to a one-game Wild Card match against the Rangers in Arlington with the winner facing the A's as the Orioles play the White Sox in an ALDS battle of division winners without the best record in baseball - you know, just as the preseason forecasters said would never happen. That is the difference between forecasting and wishcasting.
So plug your nose and root for Oakland and Boston. Nobody except the preseason forescasters said getting to the promised land would be easy.