COMMENTARY | Road trips are as American as apple pie, baseball and watching an unhealthy amount of mediocre television. And leaving behind the problems of home could've been just what the Los Angeles Angels needed to get their heads straight.
But, like most road trips, what started out with such promise quickly turned into a tedious journey begging to come to an end. And it took a late-game rally by the Angels' offense to prevent their six-game trip from being a complete disaster.
On June 8, they beat the Boston Red Sox handily in the first game like a road trip that was going to be a smashing success with delicious snacks, fun driving games and uplifting singalongs.
Then everything went south in the second and third games as the Red Sox beat them soundly and the road trip's activities switched to chewing stale beef jerky, checking emails and humming songs while staring out the window.
There was still hope. The Baltimore Orioles were next up on the itinerary -- a nice matchup since their record is better than their performance would indicate. Things were sure to get better on this road trip.
Hope doesn't usually last long on a road trip and the Orioles were able to squeak out wins in the Angels' fourth and fifth games -- each by just one run, continuing Baltimore's luck in winning games (one of the very few times "Baltimore" and "luck" can be used together without "bad").
The Angels needed this trip to be a time for them to come together as a team and start playing better collectively. By the time the sixth game came along on June 12, they had reached that point of road-trip desperation where everyone just wants it to end but even if it did, there's still the drive home.
And then it happened. That special moment of magic that seems to find its way into every road trip and makes the dehydration, sleep-deprivation and abject boredom all worthwhile. In the seventh inning of the sixth game, the Angels rallied for six runs to take the lead and win convincingly against the Orioles.
It was everything this offense could be -- and should be. Yes, it would've been better if the offense had shown up a couple days earlier. But indeed it did and somewhat majestically at that.
Then, just as we can seemingly forget about a road trip's food poisoning, spider bites and rock-hard beds, we could look back at these few games and say, "2-4 record? Could've been worse."
And maybe that seventh-inning rally will be the magical moment the Angels need to turn the season around.
Jed Rigney is a Los Angeles-based award-winning filmmaker who also fancies himself a baseball writer. He is the lead humor columnist at Through The Fence Baseball.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Angels