Thursday, September 18, 2014

By Glen McKee, resident grudge-holder - 

Karma is an interesting concept.  If you go by the Buddhist definition, what we do in this life is repaid to us in the next.  If you extrapolate that to baseball, it means that what a team does in the current season will be repaid to them in the next.  Not this one, but the next.  That seems pretty simple but it is apparently hard for fans and/or writers of/for some teams - let’s just call them Shoakland – to grasp.  That’s why I’m here, folks.  I have some ‘splainin’ to do.

There were two distinct instances recently where some people questioned if the Angels were messing with their karma.  The first was on July 21, when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols mocked the Mariners’ closer and annoying-hat-wearer Fernando Rodney, by firing imaginary arrows at him after he’d fired one into the dugout the inning before (Or in the stands, if you believe Rodney.  It’s possible, given that he can’t even get his hat on straight, but I still don’t believe him.).  Some people (as in at least one) on this very message board were certain that this taunting would doom the Angels.  Nope.  Enough said about that, other than watching the gif again because it’s right up there with the Aybar dance:

 photo Aybar.gif

The second incident was on August 29.  It was actually two incidents.  The first was the Angels, playing Shoakland in a tense game, encouraging the fans to do the light wave.  This was something that had been done before and nobody had complained about it, but suddenly Shoakland fans were as up in arms as if one of their many cats had knocked over their bowl of Coco Krispies.  It was a geographically-concentrated outrage!  Shortly after that there was a controversial play where Aybar was running to first and his path was blocked by two Shoakland players.  Rather than exit the basepath and be out, he decided to barrel through them, and was correctly awarded 1B.  More outrage!  It took about 10 minutes before Scarecrow Melvin left the field, and he filed a protest which he later withdrew.   It was a bold move, Cotton, but it didn’t pay off.

Now is when it gets personal, and where the instruction comes in.  If you followed me on Facebook you probably still wouldn’t know that at the time I was friends with somebody who does some writing for the A’s.  I’m not gonna name names, so let’s call her Judy Stormliquid, or Judy for short.  Judy had seen a piece I wrote for and liked it, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to have some writing contacts outside of the Angels baseball bubble.  We exchanged some posts a few times, nothing serious or even noteworthy.  However, after that game Judy went on a rant about how the Angels were cheaters and karma would bite them and their fans square in the keister.  This was in a facebook post, so I politely responded that there was no rule against the light wave and that it had been done before without complaint, and I mentioned why I thought the Aybar call was acceptable.  A friend of hers jumped all over me.  It was semi-polite at first but then she devolved into name-calling.  The whole time I was polite and respectful, while disagreeing.  That is possible, you know.  It was a back-and-forth between me and her friend that eventually stopped when both of us found something better to do.

Well, the next morning there was a message in the thread from Judy to me.  How DARE I talk to her friends and DISRESPECT THEM LIKE THAT!  I WAS A TOTAL A-HOLE!  Even though I was never disrespectful and I never stooped to name-calling.  It was a short but furious rant, with bouts of all-caps and promises that…wait for it…karma would bite me and the rest of the Angels fans in our hindquarters.  I wanted to get a screen capture but she unfriended me (insert sad trombone here).  Her ignorance of karma was matched only by her self-righteousness.

And here we are not even a month later.  The Angels, supposed future victims of karma, have just wrapped up the division and have their eyes on home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The team looks good, and Shoakland is fighting for their playoff life.  Since the karma game the Angels have averaged about 20 runs per game, and Oakland about -0.8.  The Angels look to be in a good position for an extended postseason run.  Hey, I get that this is baseball and anything can happen – I’m sure Baltimore fans and Washington fans feel pretty damn good about their teams and rightfully so, they are very good.  It’s not tempting karma to recognize how your team is doing and have high hopes for the rest of the season.  And even if that was tempting karma, it wouldn’t haunt us until the 2015 season, and that’s not even on my radar at the moment.  The point is: don’t invoke karma if you don’t know what you’re talking about.  It just might be bad karma to do that.  If you don’t believe me, let’s see what Erick Aybar has to say about it:

Yes, I know that’s from another celebration but Aybar don’t care.  He’s celebrating again, and so am I. Karma be damned.
Love to hear what you think!

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