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Halo Goodbye

After an evening in the presence of what had been my nominal favorite American League team, I can confidently state that I hate the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as much as any garden-variety National League or Interleague opponent. Go back to where you came from if you can figure out where that is. And take all your highly skilled offensive players with you.

I'm not too crazy about Kaz Ishii right now either. What's with this guy? For five innings, he's Sandy Kazfax. He's Dr. Kaz. He's Jerry Kaazman. He kan do no wrong.

Then he spends a few minutes on the basepaths and goes loopy on the mound. True, this Southern California outfit can really fluff up your ERA, but still. He was matching the hell out of Bartolo Colon who, in the parlance of the scouts, is as bad-body a ballplayer as I've ever seen. But he makes it work. I'd look up at the scoreboard and see BALLS: 9 STRIKES: 187 or something like that. I remember Colon from the Expos. He was bad news on us then. He was worse news on us Friday night.

Befitting our .500 nature, the Mets won the first half of this game but lost the second half. Too bad this isn't boxing. We'd probably win a few contests based on rounds, at least until we were TKO'd by the likes of Darrin Erstad, Steve Finley and Orlando Cabrera. And Vlad.

Vlad! The Greatest Player Who Ever Lived as I like to call him. When he stepped in for the first time last night, he elicited a response: some cheers acknowledging his greatestness, some boos over his decision not to take the worst offer on the table and sign with the Mets last year. Funny. I saw Vlad at Shea maybe a dozen times as an Expo when he was just as great and he barely caused a ripple. Wasn't anybody paying attention then?

As is usually the case with Interleague games, there were opponently clad fans dotting the stands. I'm gonna assume because New York is big and has people from everywhere that every Orange County (excuse me, Los Angeles County) expatriate Angels fan in New York showed up last night. It felt the same way last season when displaced Cuyahogans came to Shea to see the Tribe. It must be a thrill for these displaced souls to get to see their team in a New York ballpark where idiots aren't threatening their very existence or insulting their intelligence.

Yes, Shea is paradise for many. Just not the Mets suddenly.