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Angels Have a Big Weekend Ahead

The Angels will have a cool and overcast weekend in the Emerald City as they take on the division rival Seattle Mariners for 3 games. Many preseason predictions called Seattle the favorite, many called us the obvious choice.

We're both without our stud relievers. We are both scrambling to assemble decent bullpens. The Angels made mincemeat of the Indians' #5 starter but we will get the #2,3 and #1 starters sent to the mound against our (rotational) #3, 4 and 5 pitchers:

Jered Weaver V. Felix Hernandez ... Jon Garland V. Carlos Silva ... Joe Saunders V. Erik Bedard

Seattle has hit Weaver hard, although they are mostly older and on the wrong side of the baseball developmental curve now, age-wise, and Weaver is on the right side of the getting better buildup, age-wise and Hernandez is a dominant one-day/queen for the week the next day type of schizoid. Silva has dominated the hack-first, ask-questions-later offense of the Angels while he was with the Twins, so all "psychic predictions" about this game go out the window, as do the ability to foresee which Jon Garland will show up. Their supposed Ace, Bedard, is made of glass and Joe Saunders has been a damn solid arm.

I could avalanche out the spreadsheets and stats and try to prove my love of my team with biased numbers pretending to be objective science, but that tired jerkoff is available at every pop stand on the internet. I want the Angels to win and hope/worry blind me in the search for a glimmer of how the matchups might stack up in our favor.

And any real fan who tells you otherwise has themselves (but hopefully not you) deluded.

Since the 2001 steroid-scarred batflippers won 116 games, the Mariners have not been heard from, kind of in a cursed way, sort of like their presumptions that Edgar Martinez belongs in the Hall of Fame enraged the forces of nature. Maybe they have the Boston curse and their fans will just get more cantankerous and ugly over the next 80 or so years. Maybe we are their Yankees, although Oakland's 14 Divisional titles should have some say in that analogy. There seems to be a culture of asterisk in the fan base, of being an afterthought in the sports landscape. Were it not for the Donnie Moore game in 1986, Seattle would always have us by our 1995 nutsack, but even then they fall into a bland undefined 2nd - 4th place for being a team that did us in. Seems to be the way the town's fans conduct business.

But they are our rivals. It is too bad we couldn't have a sexier team to hate. The Rangers don't have any fans when a Mavericks or Cowboys game is on. The A's have a dilapidated stadium and math nerds chumming with Raider fans - just plain ugly. And the Mariners have people who post rage on the internet while it is raining and then are so nice to you in person that they do not let people walk in the aisle in their stadium during at-bats.

What I wouldn't give for a team with real fans to hate, television crews covering the parking lot on the morning of the games, big drunk guys who yell things to our faces, fights in the stands, a brawl and a bonfire on Katella with cops on horseback and tear gas. Ehh ... not gonna happen with the Mariners. Maybe they will put the Dodgers in our division one day and we can play Clash songs as the soundtrack to the postgame events. Until then, we get Paul Allen's part-timers chatrooming us with stats that don't matter. Call me underwhelmed.

So, Bottom Line: 3 + 0 = Sweep, 3 - 1 = Series win, there is your math, Go Angels!