Let’s Go Angels!!!


I have almost never discussed baseball around here since launching Camels With Hammers last June.  But when I first began blogging back in 2006, baseball was the one of two primary topics that I would blog.  The other was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.  I also talked a little bit about Nietzsche but no atheism issues beyond those that came out of Nietzsche talk.

Anyway, I’ve been without cable for over a year now and so missed out on most of the 2008 season and all of 2009.  I didn’t watch a single game on TV.  The only two and a half baseball games I saw all year were live games.  My head just hasn’t been in baseball given the other academic pressures I’ve been under and the other interests I’ve been absorbed in pursuing.

But nonetheless, one cannot be a baseball fan in New York—even a barely aware sort—and not have a keen sense of how good the Yankees were this year.  As far as I was concerned the Twins had no hope against them.  Now, maybe that wasn’t true—I know nothing about the Twins’ current constitution.  But I know that a Yankees-Twins ALDS has always been a lopsided Yankee victory in the past and just assumed that we’d see a reenactment of past Yankee atrocities.  And we did apparently.  So, I didn’t bother to even hope or root in that scenario.  And, mercifully, I didn’t see a single moment of any of the games.

But now, even though I have hardly followed baseball at all this year and even though I am not connected to the games and even though I know barely the first thing about any of the emerging storylines, the old pit in my stomach is back.  It’s that time of the year when the Goliath emerges and threatens to take the baseball crown again and I have to desperately pin all my hopes to whatever Davids are sent their way with slingshots.   The day the Yankees get eliminated every year is an annual holiday for me the last 8 years.  I love watching with Schadenfreude as the Yankees suffer when their season ends.  It’s the little space in the universe where I let the dark hateful impulses play, since it’s only baseball and it doesn’t really matter.  Far better to hate and gloat over one’s enemies in a symbolic athletic contest, rather than in real things that matter. 

(Angels logo courtesy of http://lionheart-designs.com/)

But this year I fear the Yankees more than I have since 2003.   Maybe it’s because I haven’t been watching and they can grow to even more invincible proportions in my frightened imagination than they are in reality but they sure sound scary this year.

The Angels are one of my favorite teams in baseball, I fell in love with them in 2002 and have stayed rooting for them ever since whenever I pay attention.  They’re probably my third favorite team.  I have a team in every division who I root for every year.  In my heart I’m a Mets and Blue Jays fan.  In the other divisions, I root for the Twins, Angels, Padres, and Cubs.  After that my favorite team is whoever plays the Mets‘ closest rivals, and then whoever plays the Yankees, and then I root for underdogs, and then finally I root for whoever plays the Braves.

And fortunately, the Angels are famous Yankee killers.  The only team in the American League that exudes a strange power over the Yankees.  The only team that managed to play the Yankees to an even or better record consistently during the Joe Torre years.  The only team to dispose of the Yankees twice in their last 7 postseasons.

Unfortunately this means that if the Angels win, it will only heighten Yankee fan euphoria.  But it also means that if the Angels can pull off a third victory over the Yankees this decade, their mystique and legend as heroic Yankee killers will only continue to grow.

Let’s see the latter.  Let’s go Angels.


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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • BowserTheCat

    I grew up with the Angels, we could see the stadium from our back yard. But in those days the there was virtually no chance of them making the playoffs, it was a wonder they could make it to the stadium some years. Of course since I left SoCal they’ve improved (go figure) but I still am pulling for them. Go ANAHEIM Angels (screw this LA stuff, they’ve got the Dodgers anyway).

  • Jim

    The Angels might be notorious Yankee killers, but watch out for the Yankees, this wont be an easy series. We haven’t been this solid since the dynasty years. Also during the years where the Angels beat us a few times we were relying on awesome players such as…shudders…Kevin Brown.

  • Daniel Fincke

    yeah, like I said in the post, I am as worried about the Yankees as I’ve been in years. And since I’m not superstitious I don’t believe the Angels have special secret yankee killing powers. They’re not magic yankee kryptonite. They’re going to have to earn this the hard way.

  • http://lionheart-designs.com Richard Pulsifer

    The picture that you have of the Angels logo on a sort of grey swirled background is an original picture taken by ourselves. While we appreciate that you liked the picture well enough to display it, it must be pointed out that all of the pictures on our website are copyrighted. Therefore, you have 2 choices. Either remove the picture or if you continue to use the picture it must be attributed to us. A statement dire4ctly under the picture “picture courtesy of http://lionheart-designs.com” will be sufficient.

    • Daniel Fincke

      No problem. Thank you for being understanding about my mistake, I am happy to give credit where credit is due. The image had just come up on a google image search which featured mostly clearly generic material. I hadn’t realized this one was specific to your website, but I’m delighted to link to your site. If your Angels logo is any indication you do beautiful work.

  • Gregory

    Glad to have you aboard. I think the most interesting storyline this time around is the Abreu/Teixeira situation.

    Something about those two independent moves has really made a positive impact on each team.

    Last year the Angels were dead last in pitches seen. This year they’re the fifth most patient team in baseball. There’s no doubt Abreu’s approach at the plate and professionalism have rubbed off on his colleagues. Vladimir Guerrero even took two walks in the Division Series, for Christ’s sake.

    Teixeira’s effect on the Yankees’ is less quantifiable, but it’s hard to believe there’s no relationship between his arrival and their miraculous synthesis. It’s true these guys look like a real team for the first time in a dozen years. Not sure what goes on in the clubhouse, but his addition certainly didn’t hurt.

    I can’t say I’m angry Tex fled LA after only three months and a forgettable playoff run. He says he did it to be close to family, and that’s respectable. But I, like the Angel management, had considered his permanent addition on the corner a foregone conclusion at the end of the ’08 season. Hell, we traded away an excellent young first baseman in Casey Kotchman just to have the chance. Needless to say, I’ll take a special pleasure in watching Teixeira get left in Kendry Morales dust this Championship Series.

    • Gregorysmithjr@gmail

      Blew two apostrophes! Oh, hell.