The night I became an Angels fan again…

John Franz

To me, it was very hard to like the Angels after the 2007 season. They got rid of some of my favorite players, and it looked to me as if the Angels front office did not care about their fans. But that changed last Sunday. It all had to do with how they treated the newest Angel, Bobby Abreu. In the first inning, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett certainly threw at Abreu’s head when timeout was called by the home plate umpire.

What ensued after made for some high action drama. From where I was sitting, everything was clearly visible. I could see the benches clear and the bullpens come running in, but there really wasn’t any excitement, and Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia ordered his team back to the dugout.

They did indeed return to the dugout, and the bullpens started walking back. But then it got fun! Beckett said something to Scioscia, and the benches clear again. This time, three Angels get ejected. The Angels’ second baseman Howie Kendrick got some added workouts, as he had to hold both Torii Hunter and Justin Speier back from tearing someone’s head off after they were ejected by the umpires. The Angels’ batting coach Mickey Hatcher also got tossed and big ol’ John Lackey looked as if he was going to pull a WWF smackdown on someone. No Red Sox were ejected in the fracas.

Now I am at the game and had no clue what was going on or who got ejected. Text messages from friends watching the game explained to me who got ejected. I love the fact that Abreu is the new guy and his team backed him up on the field. I applaud that very much. It shows me that the Angels have got some guts and they won’t back down from the Red Sox, the team that has knocked the Angels out of the playoffs the past two seasons. To me, that shows team unity.

I found the whole incident interesting, considering that in Friday’s series opener, the Angels and Red Sox stood on opposing baselines honoring Angel’s pitcher Nick Adenhart and the other two victims that were killed in automobile accident the morning before. However, by Sunday it was back to business and playing the game of baseball. I think the Angels sent a very powerful message to the Red Sox that series. The Angels showed that nothing can break their spirit, and the Angels have united as one in the face of tragedy. They had shown what a true team is all about.

It is very sad given the circumstances and how quickly they had to unite, but for three hours on game day, the Angels were able to escape the tragedy that has stricken them this season. However, when they go back in their dugout and their clubhouse, they will see Adenhart’s jersey hanging in an empty locker.

The Angels, even though they unfairly had players ejected, had the last laugh. They beat the Red Sox in the game 5-4, and Josh Beckett got suspended six games. This Angels team is a team to root for this season. So much so that even the most die-hard fan of another team can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ballgame at Angel Stadium this season.

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