Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Long Delay, A Hard Goodbye

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm no fan of bloggers who apologize to their non-existent readers for long delays in posting. But, as I know I am one of this century's biggest hypocrites, I am going to apologize for a long delay in posting. It's been quite a tough week here for me and my family, as my father has been very ill and we had to check him into the hospital on Friday.

One of the reasons I have such ample opportunity to pursue a blog project like this is because I am, for lack of a better term, unemployed. That is, I have no job that brings income and the ability it gives to partake in American capitalism that comes with said employment. However, I do in fact have a job. My father is a paralyzed veteran, and has been in a wheelchair without use of the lower half of his body for more than 40 years. And I live at home and take care of him.

With him sick, as he's been for a few weeks, I lose interest in everything that normally occupies my downtime. With him in the hospital, while I gain a bit of personal freedom, I lose my sense of purpose.

He's OK, and should be home in a few weeks, but his lifestyle is going to have to drastically change. For the first time, his blood test results showed poor function of his liver. Considering that in the past five years he's developed a painkiller addiction like he's competing with Rush Limbaugh, I'm frankly surprised that it's taken this long.

With that, my sob story is over, and onto a bit of sad (if ultimately good) news.

God Speed, Brendan Donnelly
The ranks of the 2002 Championship team continue to thin, as this week the Angels traded Brendan Donnelly to the Red Sox for Phil Seibel, a local boy from Cypress High School and a left-handed reliever. And while it sucks to see Brendan Donnelly go, it is damn good to have a lefty in the bullpen.

There's a moment in recent Angels history which haunts every die-hard, obsessive Angels fan, though nobody outside Orange County remembers it. While everybody remembers the 2004 ALCS, where the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to spank the Yankees into the biggest choke in playoff history and went on to sweep the World Series from the St. Louis Cardinals, very few remember the 3-0 sweep the Red Sox handed the Angels in the ALDS.

And even fewer remember the way it ended.

In extra innings, David Ortiz came to the plate in Anaheim. Wanting to play the odds, Mike Scioscia wanted to bring in a left-handed reliever to pitch to the lefty Ortiz, which, considering how clutch Ortiz has been, was a smart managing move.

The problem?

The Angels had no left-handed relievers.

Not a one.

So, Scioscia brought in the only lefty he did have. Starter Jarrod Washburn.

Who promptly threw one pitch. Which Ortiz belted over the right-field wall.

So, needless to say, while our pitching has only gotten better since the 2002 World Series, our lack of lefties in the bullpen has been an Achilles heel to us for many a year. And while Siebel is a prospect (a 28-year-old prospect, but a prospect nonetheless), it's nice to have a southpaw when needed.

So, while I'll miss Brendan Donnelly and wish him luck, I think this was a smart move. Let's all cross our fingers, knock on wood, and pray that I'm right.


Anonymous said...

I remember that homerun Ortiz hit very well as I sat there in shock watching it go over the fence. I'm pretty sure it was hit in Boston over the green monster!

Take care
Charles Reider
Auburn, California

Sid McHenry said...

You know, I think you're right... I remember it as a walk-off homerun, which means it had to be in Boston, but I was a bit confused about the schedule in the ALDS in 2004. I did the math wrong and figured game three had to be played in Anaheim, going with my flawed thinking instead of what I thought I remembered. Thanks for the correction!