Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three Times in Four Years

The Angels won three division titles in the first 30 years of my life. They've now won three in the last four. I know when it comes to blogging the Angels, I've kind of been a bit negligent this season, and I have no real explanation for that, other than apathy. But rest assured, I've followed this team as closely as all the others, and though the clinch was a bit anti-climactic (yet what we'd all hope for - a week without pressure before the playoffs), it feels good to be an Angels fan tonight, much as it has for the last five years.

We're all extraordinarily fortunate to be Angels fans at this point in the team's history. We're witnessing the era of an owner who, if not perfect, is certainly as close as a baseball owner can be to perfect. We have a GM and Manager, both with their flaws, but both incredibly well suited to running this club at this time. I grew up when Tommy Lasorda was managing the Dodgers, and it seemed like he was there forever. Before him, it was Walter Alston. All the while, the Angels were cycling through managers like there was no tomorrow. Gene Autry, God bless him, ran the team like there was no tomorrow as well, constantly mortgaging the future for the present. And while they almost succeeded, the success was always fleeting, ultimately leading to the dark ages between 1987 and 2001.

But fate has finally smiled on us, and today we get to root for an organization not only dedicated to winning today, but tomorrow as well. We have an owner dedicated to providing not only a quality team, but a quality entertainment experience. We have players we don't have to be ashamed of rooting for. At least 15 spots on the post-season roster will go to players who have never worn a different major league uniform. And the best part? No matter what happens over the next month, the team should be just as good next year.

So enjoy this one today. Relax for a week. Maybe pop open a bottle of this stuff like I just did, and gear up for October. Congratulations, Angels.