California’s 10-5 defeat of Seattle yesterday not only denied the Mariners a weekend sweep,but it gave one prominent M’s blogger a chance to wax poetic about…a heavily disliked ex-Angel? From Lookout Landing, link courtesy Tim Cook :

Playing the Angels these last few nights, something’s felt off. They’re still good, and they remain a team I’d like to beat into the ground, but it seems to me that they’re missing something, something that previously made the Angels the Angels, the team I found myself hating more than the Yankees, the team that first spurred me to foster a murderous dislike of everything north of my house and south of LA. Playing them just didn’t feel the same, and for the longest time until a few minutes ago I couldn’t put my finger on what was different.

Orlando Cabrera.

As an Angel, Cabrera was everything that drove me insane. He always made contact, he’d fight off enough pitches to have those really long annoying at bats, he ran fast enough to beat out infield grounders, he’d hit bloopers into the outfield because he doesn’t have any power, he’d make flashy plays with the glove, he beat the hell out of the Mariners, and he had that Wizard of OC nickname that made me want to water my lawn with the blood from Steve Physioc’s wrists. Plus, just for good measure, he had the lingering stench of being a folk hero for the Red Sox. In short, with Darin Erstad and David Eckstein having long since moved on, Cabrera became the face of everything I hated about that team. For three long years, he practically took up residence under my skin.

Then they traded him for a pile of crap. And while guys like Chone Figgins and Francisco Rodriguez still make me crazy, it just isn’t the same. With Willits on the bench, there’s no regular capable of following in Cabrera’s stupid footsteps. The Angels traded away a big part of their obnoxious identity, and all they have to show for it is a guy who couldn’t even strike out Richie Sexson.

I like the new Angels.