Confessions Of A Wreckless Schadenfreudist

My name is Bob, and I take pleasure in the misery of others…specifically, the Los Angeles Angels.

Even though my beloved Texas Rangers compete against 14 other teams in the American League (four of whom are in their own division) for one of five prized playoff spots, the only other one of those teams I really pay any attention to these days are the aforementioned Angels.

Going into this 2013 season, the Angels were already the Rangers’ most bitter rival, but that bitterness reached an all new level when Josh Hamilton left Arlington for Anaheim. For years, the team most hated by just about every Ranger fan has been the New York Yankees, but the Angels are now viewed with just as much vitriol – if not more.

It’s still very early, but so far this season the Angels have given those of us who view them as the enemy quite a bit to be happy about.  They have lost seven of their first nine games, which currently has them sitting at the very bottom of not only their division (behind the Houston Astros, who some claim may end up being literally the worst team ever), but the entire league. And even more enjoyable to the schadenfreudists among us is how big a role Hamilton’s poor play – both at the plate and in the field – has had in his team’s miserable start to the season.

Even the highest-profile of Ranger fans have been vocal about reveling in the Angels’ early-season struggles, including Jamey Newberg himself, who ends such schadenfreudic Tweets with the hashtag #gauche (since adopted by many @NewbergReport followers, including yours truly).

But simply enjoying the Angels’ failures isn’t problematic in and of itself. It only becomes an issue when letting that enjoyment become an obsession.  And I crossed that line Friday morning, when rolling out of bed and turning on my smartphone to see a brief alert from ESPN ScoreCenter notifying me that Zack Greinke’s collarbone had been broken during a bench-clearing brawl the night before.

Still groggy from having just woken up, my brain wasn’t focused enough to remember the fact that Greinke no longer plays for the Angels.  Plus, I was in too big a hurry to throw another log on the schadenfreude bonfire with some (what I thought would be) hilarious Tweets.  I immediately remembered an article Jonah Keri wrote on Grantland the day before, titled “Loss of Damaged Weaver Could Be an Angel Blessing

That article seemed to me such a ridiculous premise, I couldn’t help but reference it upon learning of Greinke’s injury.  Here is the extremely ill-advised (and ill-informed) Tweet I fired off without thinking:

  • Awaiting today’s Grantland piece from @jonahkeri on how the Zack Greinke injury is actually a great thing for the Angels #sequel #weaver

In my mind, I thought, “Boom! Roasted!” – but it turns out I wasn’t just mentally quoting Michael Scott…I was ACTUALLY BEING him.

Jonah Keri quite magnanimously chose not to issue the Twitter evisceration I so deservedly had brought on myself.  His response was simply this:

  • @SDIBob difference is LAD pitching doesn’t suck

Needless to say, I learned my lesson, and decided the only way to make things right would be to publicly throw myself on the sword via the following Tweet:

Sometimes, the rush to force a joke comes back and bites you in the ass. My butt cheeks have quite a few more teeth marks than most. #mark

So, let my schadenfreudic recklessness be a cautionary tale for all you other Ranger fans who enjoy seeing things go poorly for the Angels.  Focusing too much on the misfortunes of others can lead to misfortunes of your own.

Gauche, indeed.

Bob Bland is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at or on Twitter @SDIBob.
Bob Bland

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