In Friday’s loss to the Oakland Athletics, reliever Dane De La Rosa noticed a pigeon scurrying across the Angels’ bullpen. While the Halos’ hopes for victory failed to take flight, De La Rosa scooped up the wayward bird and, in a scene that couldn’t be more perfect for an ASPCA advertisement, walked through the dugout, into the clubhouse, through a tunnel and finally out of the stadium, where he let the bird soar far away from the 27,429 spectators on hand at the Oakland Coliseum.
It was a rare human (and animal) moment for Angels fans, who are desperate for distractions given their team’s chronic underachievement this season.
One could say the Angels haven’t quite found their wings yet, having been bogged down by injuries and unable to reach the heights to which they had aspired going into this season. The future of their nest is in doubt, too, as Mike Scioscia may be shown the door if Los Angeles misses the playoffs by a hefty margin.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, De La Rosa — his animal-loving duty rightfully performed — made sure to wash his hands not once, but twice after his encounter with the avian world.
Let’s just hope Randy Johnson doesn’t get anywhere near the poor beast. We all know how that could turn out.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.