Thanks, YF and SF

For having me by. And I echo congrats to the White Sox, who certainly earned their victory, not only for squarely beating the Angels (who did have the harder job with the umps obviously on the take), but in my view demonstrating that they really were a better team than their three competitors and that their record was not a fluke. Outstanding pitching, solid defense, unspectacular but consistent and capable hitting. They’ve steamrolled over everyone since the last week of the season, and I expect them to beat either NL team, neither of whom impresses me all that much. (As good as the Cards are, something about them just bores me to death. At least Houston has Clemens and Pettite.)

If the Angels last year they ran out of gas after winning their division, perhaps this year they did so after winning the ALDS. If this trend keeps up, they’ll lose the WS next year, and then win the following year. Then they’ll lose their division the year after that, lose the ALDS after that…

One last word: Damn you, Vlad. Maybe you and A-Rod should lay off the Pepsi.

5 comments… add one
  • A complete game in game 5 of the ALCS for Contreras? Makes me think more and more that it’s a good thing that Mel is gone.

    Joe October 17, 2005, 3:59 am
  • Great to have you here, Ivan. Thanks for the fantastic contributions.

    SF October 17, 2005, 8:44 am
  • There’s something we can agree on—and we suspect all of YFSF Nation (the Monaco of baseball blogdom?): Thanks Ivan AF for your contributions, and for the revelation that there are reasonable fans who actually root for other teams. (Who knew?!) Know that you’re always welcome here, and we hope you’ll consider chiming in to keep us honest in the future.

    YF October 17, 2005, 9:24 am
  • Thanks guys. I’ll be happy to take you up on it. You haven’t heard the last of me. (Or the Angels!)

    Ivan X (AngelsFan) October 17, 2005, 4:59 pm
  • It occurred to me that I figured out why the Angels lost: they won game one. Their postseason history shows that they have to lose game one in order to win the series.
    Joe Sheehan at Basebal Prospectus, who consistently impresses me with his overall smartness, claims this series was closer than it appeared — that the Angels played worse, but that the unfair umpiring should not be discounted. Excerpts:
    “The history books will record this as “White Sox 4, Angels 1,” but it was much, much closer than that. The two biggest plays in the series were an umpire’s miscall and a ball that was hit about 55 feet, and they swung two games the Sox’s way.”
    “The Angels were hurt by the umpiring in this series. They were hurt worse by their pathetic display at the plate. Unlike in 2002, when a team that was merely good offensively went nuts in October thanks to poor opposition defense and an over-their-heads slugging month, this Angels team saw two of its better hitters disappear, and no one pick up the slack.”
    “Again, I point out that the reasons the White Sox have had such a great season are their pitching and their defense. Their offense isn’t good, and it isn’t some shining example of how to win with bunts and stolen bases and the like. The pitching staff is driving this bus, and it’s four games from driving it into a very big party.”
    (On the issue of “character”): “Teams win series because they play better baseball and they get more of the breaks over a week’s time, not because they’re better people than the other guys. The differences between winning and losing–and my god, if people can’t see how thin the line is after this series, when will they ever–are so small that trying to attribute the difference to some kind of personality traits is just ridiculous. If Escobar makes the tag, or if Eddings gets the call right, or if Rodriguez gets the call on his 1-2 pitch to Crede in the eighth, are the White Sox somehow less and the Angels somehow more?”
    “Three postseason series are down, and we have two left to complete. We’ve seen some terrific performances so far, but the baseball has been marred by the worst umpiring in years. Nearly every single game in the LCS saw some kind of controversy, from the stuff we covered in this space to things I haven’t even discussed, such as the return of the randomly-generated strike zone. There’s nothing that will spoil a game faster than hitters having no idea of what is being called a strike, and I have more than a dozen notations of “???” next to some combination of a batter and a count, where the call made on a pitch was completely inexplicable. It is my sincere hope that MLB will address this issue immediately with its umpires, and work to ensure that the World Series is not defiled by the kind of decisions that will forever be part of the 2005 league championship series.”

    Ivan X (AngelsFan) October 17, 2005, 5:06 pm

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