Game of The Year: Rage Against The Angels

To summarize the misery that was 2010, the Angels Game of the year has to be one that illustrates the deep despair that formed among the Halo Faithful.

In a terrible season of dashed expectations, the Angels game of the year has to be one where the posters on Halos Heaven lost it in poetic fashion.

In 2010, the Angels had a game with a walk-off grand slam where the batter broke his foot celebrating at home plate. The next day a walk off homer occurred and the team had the good sense to give the batter some space around the plate. We had a walkoff bunt win a game, as well. In thinking back to the game of the year, though, running an Angels blog inseparably informs my perspective. I have to consider the Game Thread of the year; in looking back the game thread that I most recall was also a game that summed up the 2010 Angels pretty well (except that the Angels won this game).

In wanting to make Halos Heaven a place everybody visits, we have strict rule regarding the dropping of F-bombs. It is unreasonable to expect everyone to adhere to a G-rated decorum. But it is also a measure of respect that a community is built around avoiding the regular use of expletives. So posters on the site are allotted one F-bomb per month.

But when the Angels bullpen turned a 4-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead in the eighth and then a 4-4 tie in the ninth in their May 10 home game against Tampa Bay, the game thread was restless. The season was young, but something did not feel right. The team would get great pitching and then not score. They would score and the bullpen would give it all back. At the beginning of this 34th game of the season, the Angels were already five games below .500. When Brian Fuentes gave up a one-out solo homer to Willie Aybar, the grumbling and irritation started bubbling. When he surrendered two more runs it was about time to make the blog reflect what was really going on. For the first time since its adoption, the Halos Heaven F-bomb rule was rescinded. A flood of profane posts spilled into the extra innings contest and hardly abated when Juan Rivera's sac fly scored Kendry Morales in the bottom of the 11th inning. At 15-19, the fans sort of already knew that the Angels were not going any-effing-where. Three weeks later, Kendry Morales, pretty much the core of the offense, broke his foot celebrating his walk off grand slam at home plate and that was that.

For a scatological walk down memory lane, a peering into the heart of darkness that is a fan's rage against blowing a 4-0 lead in the 8th inning, go to the game thread and scroll down to the 10:28 PM post announcing the F-Bbomb rule was canceled for the evening. The game is going into extra winnings but it is the end of the world captured in all its glory. There is another game thread that follows carrying the sentiments of a fan base underwhelmed at the assembled throng of team spirit, effort and simple competence.

In a year of forgettable games, a year when the team was marketing an All Star Game without any Angels starring anywhere, a year when I made a list of season highlights and the minor league Futures Game featuring Angels prospects was the season's #7 highlight, the Angels game of the year was an extra innings win that did not have to happen and that the fans did not settle for with speaking their minds to match the gutter-position of their team.

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