Gene Autry is in Cowboy Heaven singing a happy song.
The California Angels did the improbable. They beat the New York Yankees in four games to advance to the ACLS.
Why? I say it’s the uniforms, but more important is the gritty determination of the Angel players. They’re the kind of team you’ve got to admire. They aren’t intimidated by anybody. They play hard. They hussle. They do the little things that win games, such as managing the strike zone and advancing runners. The Angels hit nearly .380 in this series, which is a new baseball post season record. Amazing.
It was in the Angels favor that the Yankees probably approached the series with a little too much arrogance. It also helps that the Yankees pitching staff is aging rapidly. In fact, if the Yankees have a weakness going into 2003 and beyond, it is their starting pitching. They don’t seem to be developing any young arms and with guys like Jeter and Giambi and Williams sucking up a huge portion of the payroll, along with a bigger luxury tax in coming years, it’s not going to be easy for the Yankees to fix their pitching. The idea of an ongoing Yankee dominance is a lot less believable than it was even just yesterday. Sure, the Yankees are always going to be competitive, but at least for the next four years (the length of the current collective bargaining agreement), they may find it harder to reach the post season.
Congratulations to ultimate Angels fan Matt Welch. I happy for all Angels fans really. I know what it’s like to wait a long time for your team to win a big post season series. I may very well even root for the Angels over the A’s if the A’s make it to the ACLS. We’ll see where I’m at emotionally on the question at the time of the first pitch of that possible series. If it’s the Twins and the Angels, then there’s no doubt I’ll be 100 percent behind the Angels.
As for the NLCS, my money is on a series between the Giants and the Cardinals, with the Giants taking the NCLS in 5. Of course, part of that is just kind of disliking the Braves. I really don’t want to see the Braves advance. They don’t deserve it. They’ve blown too many previous chances.
Hurray! The Diamondbacks lost. Now we just need the Giants to knock off the Braves and all the evil teams of post seasons past will be gone.