Another (yawn) Dodgers-Angels series is upon us
As a newspaper beat writer, I used to dread these crosstown matchups. First of all, I have pretty much hated interleague play since its inception in 1997, and now that the novelty has worn off, I pretty much hate it even more now. Second of all, whenever the Dodgers and Angels meet head to head, a beat writer who has spent all of spring training and all of the season thus far writing every story from either the Dodgers angle or the Angels angle (try typing THAT quickly, Angels angle) is suddenly asked to write a neutral, down-the-middle game story (it’s harder than it sounds, take my word for it).
That’s not to say these series don’t have some value to the media, especially columnists, who always seem to find it ripe with fodder. I remember a few years ago, when one of our columnists at the Daily News (I think it was Steve Dilbeck, but it might have been Kevin Modesti) found the exact midpoint between the two stadiums (I think it was Norwalk, but it might have been someplace else) and went to city hall and asked around town about whether the folks there were Dodgers or Angels fans. I don’t even remember what the conclusion was, but I do remember the column was a really good read. But my point is, there is always stuff like that that you can cull from a crosstown series if you are any kind of sports journalist OTHER than a frazzled beat writer asked to put on a different hat for three days.
Finally — and I would like to hear from all of YOU on this subject, as to whether you agree or disagree — I don’t think this thing carries much weight around town anymore. I don’t think there are that many Dodgers fans who are just dying to beat the Angels, and I don’t think there are that many Angels fans champing at the bit to beat the Dodgers. At least that’s the sense I get. This has gone from being a crosstown rivalry to a six-game scheduling quirk, an annual inevitability that allows each team the luxury of playing three road games without the hassle of getting on an airplane.
Other than that, it’s hard for me to see this as anything other than the next three games on the Dodgers’ schedule. The Dodgers would be well served, I think, to not see it as anything other than that, as well.
On another note, if you’ll pardon the personal aside, I would like to send out congratulations to Miss Taylor Jackson, who graduated from Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs yesterday while her momentarily unemployed father (i.e., me) watched proudly from the stands at the Air Force Academy’s Clune Arena. This day came way too quickly, seemingly in the blink of an eye. Also, a sincere thank you to her mother, Laura VanHees, for doing such a great job putting together the party afterward. I can honestly say a good time was had by all, and in our family, that is really saying something.