The Time for Mourning is Over

"My father used to say that not playing to win is like sleeping withyour sister. Sure she’s a great piece of tail with a blouse full of
goodies, but it’s just… illegal."

-Topper Harley (Charlie Sheen), "Hot Shots"

Looking back on a post I made nearly two weeks ago, I want to kick my own butt.  I was praying and hoping that I was wrong, that I was a paranoid freak fan that worried too much and trusted too little in the brains and abilities of those whose job it is to get the Angels to win.

Unfortunately, I was a prophet.

I was right to be worried in the last week of the regular season.  I was right to doubt Mike Scioscia for his managerial choice of resting players rather than playing for home field advantage.  Mike Scioscia, as it turns out, was no smarter than I.

Wrap your noodle around this one:  After clinching the American League West title on Sunday, September 23 in Anaheim, the Angels went on the road against, well, horrible teams.  They proceeded to get swept in a three-game series in Texas, and lost 2 of 3 in Oakland to end the season.  The club got rest, some rookies got playing time, and the Angels finished two games behind Boston and Cleveland.

Consider this:  If the Angels had won a mere two more games, they’d have had home field advantage in the first round.  Not against Boston.  No, they’d have hosted the Yankees.

And we all saw how well the Yankees played in Cleveland.  Well, not that it matters, I suppose, because the Indians remembered to bring their bats to the ALCS, unlike us.

But nonetheless, by throwing in the towel, by playing to rest and NOT to win, this club was doomed to play two games in Boston to start instead of two in Anaheim.  The Angels had the best home record in baseball.

Would things have been different?  I don’t know.  No way to know.

But, seeing how New York played, I would have liked our chances.

Now, it’s on to 2008.  I’m pulling for the Indians in the ALCS and, hopefully, the World Series.  But my heart’s not in it, as my team gets to pay for not having any hitting to speak of in the playoffs.

Perhaps somebody needs to remind Bill Stoneman that you can win a weak division without any power, but you’re only wasting Vlad’s at-bats if you go into the playoffs without someone hitting behind him.

Wait ’til next year.

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2 comments

  1. Amanda

    If it makes you feel any better, I would have much rather the Tribe face the Angels in the ALCS. Not because I think we’d have a better chance, but because it seems like the Yankees and the Red Sox win everything in the AL. It’s time for the “underdog” to step up and show the world there is life outside of New York and Boston. But I do think the Angels will be a force next year. I was listening to ESPN today and there’s some talk A-Rod might be heading to the Angels. Have you heard anything about that rumor? Might be worth looking into because I think that’s the one missing link from the Angels club that will bring them a championship—that power bat. But don’t worry, I think the Tribe has a chance to take down the Red Sox and shock the media again.

    Amanda

    http://letsgotribe.mlblogs.com

  2. streetmedic@gmail.com

    I’m with you, Sid, in rooting for the Indians even though my heart isn’t in it. Still, I’m pulling for Kenny Lofton, he’s a guy that really deserves to go all the way this year. The Dodgers should have never gotten rid of him.

    Amanda: I’ve heard some rumors along those lines too, though I really hope that he’ll make the switch to the National League and that the Dodgers will have half a brain and fight for him. Heck, I’d love to see Joe Torre manage the Dodgers too, but Frank McCourt seems **** bent on sticking with Grady Little and Ned Colleti to the bitter end. Maybe he’s trying to resurrect the loyalty that team owners like the O’Malley’s used to have, but it’s one thing to stick by a guy like Tommy Lasorda, it’s another thing to stick by a guy like Grady Little that has straw for brains.

    In fact, I think that Mike Scioscia must have mistakenly taken a few classes at the Grady Little School of Management based on his managerial meltdown at the end of the season.

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