You’ll forgive us for believing that this season ended prematurely for the Bombers. However unlikely it may have seemed in April or May or even June, this team should have been more of a contender in October. Looking at the rosters, analyzing the perfomances over the season, our feeling is that the Yanks were a better team than the Angels, if only marginally so, and for that reason their loss—perhaps the result of playing 10 of 12 games on the road, and their down-to-the-wire fight with the BoSox for the playoffs—hurts all the more. Though we begrudge the Angels nothing. They won it, and they earned their victory. (Even with a little help from the umps and from fortune.) No arguments. We give special credit to Garrett Anderson and Bengie Molina, who’ve been Yankee killers for years, and were the primary perpetrators in this series (along with A-Rod!). Also kudos to Chone Figgins and the entire Angels pitching staff.
Aside from a certain feeling of superiority to the Halos, this loss also hurts, for the WS crown this year seems eminently winnable—the Cards, the “class” of the playoff teams, hardly seem invincible—and because no matter how good the planning (and this year’s preseason planning by the Yankees was not good at all), the opportunity to win is a rare thing, even if we’ve become accustomed to it. Who knows what the future might bring–other teams (the Tribe, the A’s) appear on the rise. Another brilliant postseason by Jeter was squandered—and he’s not getting any younger. We lament the inevitable (?) and sensible departure of Bernie and Tino.
As for the future, we have all winter to debate it. The Yanks 06 rotation of Chacon, Wang, Pavano, Johnson, Wright, and Mussina seems dangerously aging and injury prone, if potentially solid. Center field needs fixing. The bullpen a wholesale makeover save our closer. God knows we hope Joe is back. And Matsui. And Cashman too. Or will he be heading down 95 to Philly?
ChiSox vs. Angels. Chicago and LA. Not exactly Yanks vs. Sox. NY and Boston. It just doesn’t seem….right.