The 2008 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just got screwed. Or at least I think they did.
If Jason Varitek had dropped that ball at third base in Yankee Stadium, and the Red Sox were moving on, to say, the World Series, there would by riots in the streets. The Governor of New York would have to call in the National Guard then appoint a 15-member panel to determine the accuracy of the call.
But it wasn’t in New York. And it wasn’t a Game 7, but it factored in the outcome of Game 4 of the 2008 American League Division Series — a 3-2 Red Sox victory over the Angels. The victory gave Boston a 3-1 series win and sent Los Angeles to an early October.
It’s clear to me that Varitek dropped the ball while it was still in play. It’s also clear that by baseball rule, Reggie Willits should have been safe and play should have continued. The Angels would’ve scratched out another run somehow and forced at Game 5 back in Anaheim!
Not that I think it mattered, in the long run. This was a flawed Angels team, with leaks all over the place and a flood in the bullpen. Mark Teixeira came in a trade at the deadline and was immediately their best player. Other than that…
Vlad Guerrero is old and crotchety. Try to make him understand that he’s a DH now. Use sign-language if necessary.
Gary Matthews is a bust. Trade him to Japan. Do it now.
Garret Anderson just needs to retire. Just retire.
Frankie Rodriguez… don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
The team was a shell. Big names on the outside, nuts on the inside.
To further illustrate my point, think about this for a moment:
Willits, a career Minor Leaguer and Erick “Inconsistant at Best” Aybar are deciding playoff games? They’re fine players but hardly even regulars. And though their spirit is commendable, I don’t want to see either player in that position again. Why wasn’t Torii Hunter at third and Teixeira at the plate? Baseball destiny, I suppose.
It’s good to see that the Angels players, Hunter and John Lackey especially, are upset about losing. As the team’s two biggest stars, it’s validating some how to see that they care more than I do.
Lackey says he felt like he wanted to put someone through “a wall.” That’s pretty intense and probably something I couldn’t be able to do. Unless truly motived by my hatred of all things Boston right now.