By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Columnist & Satirist -
Stevie Wonder said it best way back in 1972: “very superstitious, the devil’s on his way.” Now unlike Stevie I’m not superstitious, but you don’t have to believe in superstition to think that maybe the Angels are a bit snake-bitten. Sure, there’s 2002 but other than that, this team has had a handful of playoff appearances and lately appears to be settling comfortably into mediocrity. Why is that? What happened to the team from the first decade of the 2000s, that year-after-year had playoff and World Series aspirations and actually at least made it to the postseason? Since the joy of sweeping Boston out of the playoffs in 2009 this team has been a limp noodle. There has to be a reason for this. I don’t believe in coincidence so I had to further research this to determine what went wrong, and how it can be corrected.
What I found shocked me. OK, not really. I didn't really do any research and I’m just confirming what I thought all along was the problem, at least for the last two years.
This damn t-shirt (and its more foul-mouthed variant):
Yes, I know, it defies the logic of the space-time continuum to place the blame for the 2010 and 2011 seasons on a t-shirt that came out before the 2012 season, but karma is retroactive and not subject to the laws of physics. Or rationality. What I do know is that the first time I saw this shirt, while I chuckled at it I also got what a friend calls “that hinkey feeling” running up and down my spine. Yeah, it felt great (at the time) to sign one of the best hitters in the game, even though the end of the contract was gonna feel worse than eating a dozen egg-salad sandwiches from your local AM-PM. We were gonna at least get 3-4 good years out of Pujols, right? Those would make it worth it!
And then April of 2012 happened, and Pujols had one more HR than Reggie Willits. Meh. And then the rest of 2012 happened, and then Arte Moreno totally forgot history and signed Josh Hamilton, who like Pujols had a memorable first few months with his new team, but for the wrong reasons (also like Pujols). Fortunately, after the Angels signed Hamilton, AngelsWin.com didn't make any t-shirts once again mocking the Rangers, or else the team might have finished in last place. We sorta learned our lesson, and if there’s one thing we do well on this website it’s not learning a damn thing sorta learning our lessons.
However, sorta learning our lessons isn't enough, as the 2013 season illustrated. We have to do more. We have to almost learn our lessons, or actually learn them. I think the lesson we need to learn here, to set the team free, is some genuine humility and regret. Keep in mind that forced humility, like a forced apology, is not genuine. There needs to be something more. Fortunately, I know what is needed.
Monday, December 9, 2013 will be the day we once again set this day free. That day is the official “Day of Burning the “Forget Yu!” T-Shirts” day. For this to work everybody needs to participate. Everybody meaning “everybody who bought one of those shirts.” On Monday, December 9 all shirt owners will take their shirt to a location of their choosing, douse it in some flammable liquid, and set it afire. As the shirts burn so will the accumulated bad karma for them. These shirts are our Ruth trade, our billy goat, our new 1986. We need to be rid of them to be free. So I’m asking all of you Shirters to make that sacrifice. Come on, you know you haven’t worn the damn thing since spring training of ’12. I don’t care if you’re using it to wash your car, or clean up after the dog hurls. It needs to burn. If you’ve already thrown away or donated or otherwise banished the shirt, you still need to participate with a symbolic gesture – print a copy of the picture of it, and burn the copy. That’s how the rest of us can also participate. We need to do this as a group, but it is crucial for the Shirters to burn these foul cloths.
December 9 – never forget. Let’s do what we have to, to put this day behind us.