A Trip Back in Time to the Wild, Wild, West, Can “Yu” Handle It?
Let’s close our collective eyes for a moment and travel back in time to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the desk is settling into place as it cradles the infant evening and puts the sun to sleep with a lullaby eerily reminiscent to that of the theme from the good, the bad, and the ugly. A showdown is about to happen, between the misunderstood yet respected outlaws with a halo and the supposed law men who call themselves the Texas Rangers. Indeed it is the wild, wild, west. However, instead of gun belts imagine that it is A weapon called A pitcher’s arm throwing bullets or in this case, baseballs at nearly 100 miles per hour.
Now imagine both C. J. Wilson and Yu Darvish who are both noted gunslingers in their own right, adjusting the brim of their hat squinting their eyes both cautious yet conscious not to be the one to make the first mistake; if they do it could prove to be lethal for their entire team. As they concentrate on the task in hand; and nothing more, ignoring the wind’s tired whistle of loneliness and despair. They both know that a mistake could bring the roar of the thunder stick and a flash of lightning that sends one of these bullets out of the ballpark and can very well send their entire team to an early grave, with no one to mourn them. The inscription on the tombstone reading: “Here lies the Texas Rangers who were unable to defeat the young upstart outlaws called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who carried a halo and the blessing of God, because of this; the Rangers were unable to repeat as American League West Champions.”
This is the imagery that the beautiful game of baseball brings me, especially in the American League West during an important series or a postseason matchup. Both teams are immensely talented. The Angels are now only 4 1/2 games back of the Rangers, and I strongly believe that the showdown will continue until the last day of the season. That’s what makes these head-to-head matchups that much more important; not only for positioning in the standings, but also to get an upper hand on the psychological warfare that these two teams put each other through.
The American League West has always had an aura akin to that of the Wild West, whether it’s with the Rangers or the battles that the Angels had with the Oakland Athletics nearly a decade ago. Both the A’s and Angels seemed to trade punches, much like the Angels in the Rangers do now with the glaring difference that both the Angels and the Rangers have never had this much talent and firepower at their disposal at the exact same time. The Rangers seem to do it with cunning and experience, after all they have made two World Series appearances in a row, both losing efforts, yet coming as close as one can to winning without winning, being one strike away.
The Angels also have the experience but they have the added bonus of youth, the young guns that rowdy outlaws need in Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Ernesto Frieri or as I like to call him “Ernasty” because of the filthy pitches he can throw at times.
The smell of burnt leather and burnt wood is in the air, Angel Stadium will be the site of this latest showdown, when the smoke clears and the dust settles a halo will shine brightly and above any Texas Rangers ‘remnants that is left. Man, I love the Angels! I also love baseball! Enjoy the showdown in Anaheim.