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"Mike Scioscia, from Upper Darby, Pa., by way of Hell."

Oct 13, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that, had the Red Sox beat the Angels in the division series, I was prepared to write an extended post about just how miserable another Yankees-Red Sox series stood to be for non-Yankee and non-Red Sox fans.  We’ve seen plenty of it over the years in the playoffs proper, and the over-hype their regular season matchups foment makes it seem like they’re playing playoff games multiple times a year anyway.  There just wouldn’t be any new angles to explore of such a matchup, rendering the whole thing a rather dreary affair.

If the early chatter from the New York tabloids is any judge, such is certainly not the case with the Angels involved.  How fun is this?

HE HAS been a menace to us for damn near 30 years now, the thorn in our side, the cloud in our coffee, the bee in our bonnet, the fly in our ointment, the clouds on our sunny day. He has been our nemesis, our arch-enemy, our tormentor, our antagonist and our antagonizer. He inflicts misery for sport. He is a serial baseball sadist.

He is Mike Scioscia, from Upper Darby, Pa., by way of Hell.

And he will soon be back on our doorstep, back within our borders, back with a mission to continue his reign of terror. He is one of the nightmares that keep coming back. There is the one where you are falling, with no floor in sight. There is the one where you show up for a final exam in a class you haven’t once attended all semester. And there is the one where Mike Scioscia walks into a New York baseball October.

The evidence cited: Scioscia beating the Mets with a homer in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS, his presence on the 1981 Dodger team that effectively ended the Bronx Zoo-era New York Yankees, and his presence at the helm of the 2002 Angels which put a stop to the Yankees’ late-90s, early 2000s dominance of the American League.  Old beefs? Sure, but it’s not like you can’t find fans still ticked off about all of that stuff. 

I’ll grant that just about every prepackaged storyline like this is rather contrived, but at least this one is a fresh contrived storyline.  At the very least it will cause the writers and commentators and, above all else, the fans to talk about this series in new terms and ignore the usual autopilot we see when it’s the Yankees vs. the Sox.

Excited yet?

  1. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 13, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    the thorn in our side,
    the cloud in our coffee,
    the bee in our bonnet,
    the fly in our ointment,
    the clouds on our sunny day…

    This sounds a lot better when you sing it like the Burlesque House song from the Simpsons:
    We’re the sauce on your steak
    We’re the cheese in your cake
    We put the spring in Springfield
    We’re the lace on your nightgown
    The point after touchdown
    Yes we put the spring in Springfield
    God the NY papers are reaching for stories to fill before Friday.

  2. Ralph Buening - Oct 13, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    That’s the way to let ‘em have it Mikey! Rip their hearts out one more time!!!

  3. Ed - Oct 13, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    That 1988 NLCS broke my heart. 1 strike from going up 3 games to 1…the Mets were 10-1 that season against the Dodgers…
    For all the Yankee fans grousing – TFB! It pains me as a Rays fan to root for the Angels, but all of the other teams elicit venal anger from me. I can hope that Kazir gets rocked once or twice, right?

  4. Tom Hollinger - Oct 13, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    Mike Scioscia grew up and lived in Springfield, PA, not Upper Darby. He graduated from Springfield High school, a bitter rival of Upper Darby High School.
    (Is this, once again, a non-Philadelphian trying to make it sound like he knows about Philly?)
    Please people, let Philly be handled by Philadelphians.

  5. Dennis LeVasseur - Oct 13, 2009 at 8:04 PM

    Actually Tom Hollinger, Mike was born in Upper Darby and lived in Morton, PA. a small town on the edge of Sprinfield, PA. I went to school with Mike & played Football & Baseball with Mike @ Sprinfiels. And Upper Darby was not our bitter rival. That was Ridley

  6. Tom Hollinger - Oct 13, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    As a Penncrest Grad – I sinceley apologize. You’re right, Springfield Ridley was the big rivalry. But…won’t you agree, we all hated Upper Darby?

  7. Tom Hollinger - Oct 13, 2009 at 9:19 PM

    As a Penncrest Grad – I sinceley apologize. You’re right, Springfield Ridley was the big rivalry. But…won’t you agree, we all hated Upper Darby?

  8. Steve Johnson - Nov 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    As a Penncrest grad and former Penncrest athlete, RIDLEY was everyone’s main rival back then, especially in football. It was the heydey of Ridley Football, and everyone in the Central League hated them due to their arrogance (and the fact that they were good), we all wanted to beat them.
    Scioscia was known (and talked about) as a baseball player when I competed against him not a football player. His bio on the Angels website says he was an outstanding football player as well.
    Can anyone add some insight into what position he played, cause I never remember him across the sidelines from me in Lima or Springfield.

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