Watching Jeff DaVanon

Watching Jeff DaVanon

A weblog devoted to #55 of the Anaheim Angels, Jeff DaVanon. How is he doing? Is he getting his due respect yet? Let's watch and see...

Monday, October 11, 2004

A dissection of possibility

Was it only one week ago that possibility lived? Have so few days really passed between this moment that I write in and the one in which the 2004 Angels still fought, still existed, still carried chance with them?

Was it only nine days ago that I stood in Oakland and celebrated? Was it only three weeks ago when it seemed nothing would ever come together? Was it ony one month ago when it seemed all hope was lost? How many weeks since I believed in the magic? How many since I was truly proud-- not that pride was mine to have.

Can I accept it as a victory that we came this far having lost so much? Down a Left Fielder. Down a Second Baseman. Down a Third Baseman. Down a Designated Hitter. Down a Bench Infielder. Down to only the skin and bones of what we had hoped the team would be. Down to only what we could manufacture with grit, and luck, and blind trust that a few good players would carry us the rest of the way.

They could not carry us any further. We could not fight anymore. Our luck turned, and our weaknesses gleamed brightly in the light of the new day. And how silly all that possibility seems now... how much a folly. We did what we could, but in truth, we were done.

That doesn't mean we were wrong to have believed. But it means I can't bring myself to feel sadness or shame over the losses. To have gone as far as we did now seems like a gift, a validation of the spirit of the team. I will cherish my Oakland memories.

It is now time to begin the measuring and dissecting. To count things using all of our fingers and twice using our toes. It is time to hack away at what happened using low-hanging statistics and fashionable acronyms. Let us now begin the autopsy, the "for want of..", the "if only...." Let us make lists of what we need and what we want and what will surely happen between now and later.

I think I will pass for now. I think I will skip the counting and calculations. I will trust my memories... although in the scope of a season so little is truly memorable.

Remember Tempe and seeing Josh Paul, a fellow Illinoisan, and being impressed.

Remember a spring home game where we stayed even though there was so little hope, and we twirled t-shirts above our heads, and worried as Shane Halter was brought in to pinch hit for Jeff, and Halter hit a grand slam, and the game was won.

Remember Jeff quietly hitting spectacular numbers through the month of June, but doing it alone, and his accomplishment seeming meaningless.

Remember the injuries, the grotesque epidemic of them, and still we played on, and won, and survived.

Remember Figgins hitting another triple.

Remember extra extra innings.

Remember the return of key players.

Remember Eckstein flying through the air.

Remember Jose Molina stepping up.

Remember Percy earning another save.

Remember Frankie chalking up another strike out.

Remember Vlad getting it done, even though he looked as if he could no long stand on both legs.

Remember Jeff hitting for the cycle.

Remember Guillen winning the game.

Remember Frankie making the play at the plate.

Remember Amezaga hitting a grand slam.

Remember Field 2. Remember "Wear it and Like it."

Remember ugly Russian Nesting Dolls, and lenticular cups, and visors, and t-shirts, and halo sticks.

Remember victory and loss and the smell of hot dogs and the magical feeling of possibility.

Remember Barry Williams. And remember to believe.

This is what I will remember. What will you take with you? Out of all of the games, all of the moments, all of the plays, what is it that ultimately matters? What pinpoints of time will come to comprise the season for you as the specifics fade and we move towards 2005?

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