The Flying Angel

Bryan Healey@Bryan_HealeyCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2008

Does Francisco Rodriguez think he can fly? He looks like he's trying to take off when he finishes his pitches. Someone should inform him that he's not actually an angel before he starts following people around offering whispered tidbits of advice and trying not to be seen. I'd hate to see his reputation tarnished because of such a simple misunderstanding.

Then again, maybe he could actually fly a little bit with what he must be feeling down in Anaheim right now.

Yesterday, the Angels beat the Yankees 4-2 to come within one Texas loss of clinching the AL West. On September 10th. At the same time, KRod saved his 56th game. On September 10th. And when Seattle beat division rival Texas (can a team who was 16.5 games back with 12 to play be called a "rival"?), the stadium erupted. Judging by the SportsCenter footage, they are all probably plastered like drywall from all the champagne and beer being thrown around in celebration. On September *!%#&$ 10th!

Yes, KRod and the Angels are on top of the world right now. With nearly a month until the playoffs begin, this team can basically just relax and drink some iced tea for the next few weeks. Don't be surprised to see lawn chairs in the outfield against Seattle tonight.

In fact, the teams job is essentially to not play too well the rest of the season. The goal now is for the team to enter the 9th inning with a 3-run-or-less lead at least 2 more times before the playoffs. That way, KRod can fly in from the bullpen and in one smooth... Er... hurky-jerky-painful-looking motion nab the all-time single-season saves record from the immortal Bobby Thigpen, a man so revered that he is known by practically no one, including his mother.

The big question is, what will KRod do when he reaches the saves record? Some people seem to want him to take it easy the rest of the way and prepare for the playoffs, but I want him to keep going. It's always a lot more fun when someone obliterates a record. Beating a record by 1 just seems so cheesy. I say "Go for it! Let's get 67 saves!" Then again, no one can hear me say that... But I say it anyway!

All the Angels need to do in order to accomplish this feat is to have the offense be very mediocre and their pitching be stellar every game for the rest of the season. The ultimate goal is to enter the 9th with a 3-0 lead each day.

This is not as easy as it seems. Imagine if the Angels have the bases load with a 2-0 lead in the 8th, and Vlad strokes a double into the gap. For the end result to be a 3-0 lead going into the 9th, each player needs to be coached well enough to know exactly where to stop and who needs to get caught in which rundown. One overzealous selfish player could screw up the whole plan.

With proper coaching and some luck, however, the Angels could enter the postseason with a man who has completely and utterly destroyed his pitching shoulder. There is nothing more terrifying to opponents than a man who can't lift a bag of sunflower seeds without the help of a pulley system.

Okay, so maybe having him throw everyday for two weeks isn't such a great idea, especially with that effortless, fluid delivery he has. But I still think he should at least go for 60. That shouldn't be too tough.

Then again, this line of thinking may be the reason why I was never allowed to coach a major league team. That and, of course, my lack of major league experience, coaching ability, and the fact that I would spend each day asking my players for their autographs.

No matter... Enjoy your victory, Anaheim. You now have plenty of time to go enjoy Disneyland while the rest of the league desperately tries to make the playoffs, many teams battling down to the final out of the final game of the regular season. I'm sure they will be happy to know that you have been spending the last few weeks eating cotton candy. I'm sure they hope you all get sick on Space Mountain.

Not that they're bitter or anything...