Before the season started, I wrote an article stating the Angels would be in the playoffs—so would somebody, anybody, please keep the Red Sox out of it.
Tampa’s having post-World Series blues, Toronto flamed out after a few weeks, Baltimore’s barely competitive, and the Yanks went and had themselves a season, so they get to face someone else.
Which leaves one team. One hope. One escape route to keep the Angels from a first-round matchup with their nemesis Boston.
The Texas Rangers.
That’s right, Angel fans, root for Texas to keep winning so that they can win the wild card. That would keep Boston out, and give the Angels a matchup with the winner from the Central.
For those of you who are saying, "What? No! We don’t want Texas to win!"
I say, yes you do.
The Angels are going to win the division. Texas is having a great year, but they’re not going to finish 30 games over .500.
But the Angels will. This team is built for the regular season. The question is, are they different enough from past teams to get back to the World Series?
Not if Boston is in the way.
Yeah, sure, maybe this is the year the Angels finally thump the BoSox, but why tempt fate?
Let’s remember what separates winners from losers at the top of the pro ranks: not physical strength, but mental. That elusive thing called "confidence."
Why do the Angels keep beating the Yankees? Because they know they can. This is the same reason Boston keeps beating the Angels. That, and the damned Green Monster. The Angels are a speed team, they need room to run. The Monster shortens the field.
Okay, what about competitive spirit, the "it’s our turn" chant? Hey, we WANT Boston, right? We’ll show them who’s boss?
Or maybe we should just beat the stuffing out of someone else.
There have been great one-sided rivalries over the years, where one team—or player—dominated the other. Of course, it’s only great if you’re the one winning.
The Dodgers versus the Yankees.
The Cleveland Cavaliers versus Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Pre-Magic LA Lakers versus Boston Celtics.
Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova.
Chicago Cubs versus the 20th century.
These are just a few. You can probably name ten more (sorry, hockey fans, not my sport.)
But do we really want the Angels to go down in history as the loser in a long-term rivalry?
Why go through a wall when you can go around it?
So I say go Texas, and let’s tackle a tiger in the first round.
Of course, if it is Boston—and let’s face it, is there really any way it won’t be?—well, let’s squeeze the life out of them.