The Angels as a TV Show
By Virginia Todd
I love TV. One of my all-time favorite shows is Friends. My sister, Vanessa, and I have all ten seasons on DVD and can associate just
about anything with an episode or quote from Friends. Ask anyone who knows us well, or hit us up on Twitter and chat us up about it any time! We’ve watched them all so many times that we can finish the lines. No joke. Randomly, we’ll even begin to cite something and the other will finish it. If I’ve said something witty, chances are I heard it or some comparable facsimile from Chandler first.
I often either compare different situations to miscellaneous shows or make references to them in everyday life. I love the way shows have the ability to bring various people together and relish the discourse and debate that ultimately ensues because of contrasting views. It’s the same with sports and above all, the Angels. I might not agree that Miguel Cabrera deserved to be AL MVP for two years straight, but when the opposing view is intelligently thought out and articulated, I appreciate the discussion. At times, I find myself comparing the Angels’ seasons or things that happen either on the field or off to different shows.
Currently, the Angels offseason resembles Let’s Make A Deal—trying to use the pieces we have and make deals with other teams to fill the holes. We’ll trade you Mark Trumbo for a starting pitcher. Come on, you know you can use a home run hitter! You know what you’ll be getting, we just hope we won’t be getting a Zonk in exchange. We’ll even throw in Joe Blanton for a bucket of balls! Or, we don’t even need the bucket of balls, we’ll just toss him on in there for ya!
The two years before this year, the offseason was like watching The Price is Right. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, COME ON DOWN! You’re the next contestants on The Price is Right. Only instead of them being the ones doing the bidding, they’re being bid on and the prize is their services for the terms of their contracts. Another way to look at it is that the Angels won the Showcase Showdown, but so far they’ve won the less desirable of the two showcases. It might turn out to be better in the future, but, based on all available evidence, it’s the one you would’ve passed on if you had the choice.
During the season there are times I feel like I’m watching a comedy of errors, like New Girl. But instead of Zooey Deschanel’s adorably likable Jess with her kooky roommates Schmidt, Coach, and Nick and their adventures in friendship, dating, and life in general, it’s the Angels defense and the errors they make in the outfield. The leading cast includes Erick Aybar with 15, Alberto Callaspo with 11 in the 86 games he played with the Angels, and Howie Kendrick with 10. Those three alone accounted for 36 errors, almost a third of all the errors committed by the entire team. Only I didn’t feel like laughing watching this comedy of errors. It was more like watching….
A horror show, like The Walking Dead. Much of this past season I was glued to my seat witnessing with trepidation and dismay the
abominations that would unfold. Every time the Angels went to Texas this past year, it was like a train wreck. I couldn’t not watch. When the Angels manage to somehow blow a 5 run lead, I’m glued to my seat, much like I am each Sunday night at 9 when The Walking Dead airs. I have to see what happens even though it may be horrifying regardless of who we’re talking about, the Angels or The Walking Dead.
I’m compelled to watch the drama unfold both on and off-field. Grey’s Anatomy-like drama. When a report came out in August detailing a 2012 midseason clubhouse fight, the stir it created reminded me of the spectacle that is often depicted in the medical drama. But the Angels’ Dr. McDreamy, Mike Trout, couldn’t save the season alone and his supporting ensemble was unable to live up to the likes of Drs. Grey, Bailey, Yang, and Karev week after week.
Other times I’m reminded of reality TV shows where someone is voted off, like The Voice. Everyone wanted to vote Josh Hamilton off when he was struggling. The same for Albert Pujols. And Joe Blanton never would’ve even made the show if he’d had to audition and pitched the way he did. Just like on a reality competition show, nobody is safe and can evoke the wrath of the masses at any time, always in danger of incurring the ire of fans based on effort (or in some cases, lack thereof).
The awards season recently passed for baseball. The MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and all the other awards were handed out. Like the Golden Globes and the Emmy’s for TV, the judges arbitrarily decide who to bestow their assorted awards to. Even though the Angels have exceeded 3 million fans in attendance of their games for the last decade, it seems like they’re still what some would label a “cult classic”. They don’t get the recognition the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, or even the Los Angeles Dodgers do.
It’s like one of the cult classics going up against Mad Men for the Emmy for best drama, or against Modern Family for best comedy. Since the show is more recognized, so are the performers in that show. Max Greenfield was nominated for a best supporting actor in a comedy series Emmy last year for playing Schmidt on New Girl, but was up against four different characters from Modern Family, Eric Stonestreet for his role as Cameron Tucker (who won), Ty Burrell for playing Phil Dunphy, Jesse Tyler Ferguson portraying Mitchell Pritchett, and Ed O’Neil as Jay Pritchett. Modern Family also won the Emmy for Best Comedy, New Girl wasn’t even nominated. The same can be said of the Angels, being the cult classic. Miguel Cabrera, from the Detroit Tigers, who made the post season, won the AL MVP over Mike Trout, whose team didn’t have a .500 record.
Because of my love of TV and the Angels, I draw endless parallels between the two. Who knows how long I could continue since I’m constantly finding new comparisons. Do you ever find yourself comparing the Angels to something else you love? I’d love to hear your observations and correlations!