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It's Over

If you're an Angels fan, my condolences. Your team is cooked.

Unlike Game 1, the Angels actually made a cameo appearance in Game 2. But it's but a lousy consolation prize after a 7-5 loss that puts the Angels' season on life support. But with Josh Beckett slated to pitch Sunday, the prognosis is dire.

The 1993 Giants aside, has reaching 100 wins ever looked so worthless?

J.D. Drew will go down as the hero, as he should. Despite having only a handful of at-bats for the month of September, he smacked the go-ahead homer off this season's most dominant closer, Francisco Rodriguez. Yet the real culprit was the Angels offense, which masterminded this epic choke job

The Angels gave out thundersticks before the game. But after watching them butcher scoring chances all night long, perhaps a more appropriate giveaway would have been noseplugs.

L.A. was one hit away from multiple runs in the first, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. But the Angels never came up with the big hit, even after the bullpen did an admirable job keeping the Red Sox from pulling away.

The biggest crime was allowing Daisuke Matsuzaka to get away with murder, failing to make him pay the price for making the basepaths look like the line to the Matterhorn. Watching the game only reinforced it for me: You can take his 19 wins. Matsuzaka's a fraud.

(I'd elaborate, but I'll defer to my esteemed colleague, Tom Heleba.)

By Marc Carig  |  October 4, 2008; 2:53 AM ET
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Next: Leaving The Nation Weary


Yawn. For others who wish to read more about the Cinderella story of the playoffs (other than the AP story in the Post or the few crumbs offered here), may I suggest: (Tampa Tribune) (St. Petersburg Times)

Posted by: raysfan1a | October 4, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I am stunned. The Sawx could not beat the Angels in the regular season, and then jettisoned Manny. When the bases were loaded in the bottom of the 7th they bring in that mouth-breathing beady-eyed straight-from-Deliverance-country Papelbon and everybody pops out. Then 60 save K-rod serves a tater to J.D. Drew. What a night of baseball!

Posted by: flynnie | October 4, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

And many thanks to Boswell for this carbonated-like-an-old-style-"co-cola"-paragraph:

Please note this about Sweet Lou. After the loss on Thursday, he ate pizza throughout his news conference. Munch, grunt, mmmm-good, what was that second-guessing question again? Piniella claims his team has Cub Swagger. If you're 65, have a gut and are growing goat's horns, at least you can show your guys what a defiant bad attitude looks like by eating pizza in the electric chair.

Posted by: flynnie | October 4, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

K-Rod was not the most dominant closer in baseball! Blowing 7 saves and having an ERA above 2 (for a closer) isn't a sign of dominance.

Nathan, Rivera and Soria had better seasons, and that's just off the top of my head.

Posted by: Chris | October 4, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so little love for the defending champs! If Dice is a fraud, look at Boston's record when he pitches ... and I 'm pretty sure most teams would take the 19 wins. And Papelbon? I was unaware that having southern roots automatically qualifies you for goober status. OK, he's odd, but Geez, try to appreciate what you're watching! Boston has overcome ridiculous injuries, bad luck and the trade of the Bad Man to make it into the ALDS again. Oh, and Scoreboard! Sorry, Anaheim.

Posted by: oldchief | October 4, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

oldchief, the days of the endearing Sawx fan talking about Tony C., Yaz and even No-Mah are long gone. Your fan base has become a bunch of pink-hat wearing,know-nothing about baseball, self-entitled jerks who couldn't find Yawkey Way if you paid them. Why should anyone show love for the Sox? The rest of the country (those who don't consider themselves part of Pink Hat Nation) is rightly rooting against your team.

As for calling Manny the "Bad Man"? Please. The Sox fostered and even encouraged his attitude and behavior through years of doing nothing about it, glamorizing "The Idiots" and "Manny being Manny." What did he do this season that was so awful or so different from past seasons? Why wasn't he suspended by the team if he did something so bad? No, the Sox had their own agenda on that one, and they played the media and the public like a fiddle. There is nothing lovable about your team any more.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 4, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, lighten up, Coverage! Such hostility! Those of us of a certain age predate RSN (and even Yaz!) and still root for the Old Towne Team. I couldn't care less what the pink-hatters say, do or think. And, with all due respect, I think Scott Boras did most of the fiddle playing with Manny. I liked Manny and miss the fun and drama, but The Guy in the Gorilla Suit has done a pretty good job of sending old talent packing at just the right time ... It may have been a little early in the case Ramirez, but it has been fun watching him wreak havoc on the Cubs ... (not that I have anything against the Cubs ... I was sort of rooting for them).

Posted by: oldchief | October 4, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Boston and New York are the baseball capitols of the USA, with the most passionate, knowledgeable fans. The Marlins should move to New York - that market would support a third team that sold season tickets for 1/2 what the Yankees and Mets do. But in no sense is Boston the under-dog, and, when I have no team in the playoffs (Nats fan God help me! for the moment, but rethinking because of micro-managing billionaire owners), I root for the underdog - 2004 ALCS (Boz is right-greatest playoff series ever) I rooted for the Red Sox against the Yankees; 2003, for Marlins against Yankees; 2004 Angels v. Giants, Angels because they'd beaten the Yankees; 2001, Diamondbacks against Yankees (what a Series! I remember Costas saying what a privilege it was to call it). Then again, I rooted for the Tigers against the Cardinals in 2006, I guess because of that 103 loss season. It's irrational, but a common theme is that my heart goes out to the underdog. Rooted for the Rockies against the Sawx last year even though I loved living in Boston and going to Fenway. Rationally, all of us around here should be Yankee fans because of what George Steinbrenner did for Va. Tech, but I just can't do it.

Posted by: flynnie | October 4, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

CiL - The "Bad Man" reference is to a quote from Manny in last year's playoffs talking about one of his home runs, something like when you come up in a tight game and clobber the ball out, "You the Bad Man." It made news because Manny had not been talking to the press before the playoffs.

Oldchief - Anyone who has watched the Red Sox regularly this year knows that Dice-K is probably example #1 of why W-L and even ERA are deceptive stats when it comes to assessing pitching quality. Yes, 18-3 in the regular season with a sub-3 ERA, but would you say he pitched better than Lester at 16-6 and a touch over 3? Dice-K's game was typical last night - get a big lead, nibble, throw so many pitches that you have get yanked after 5. This guy averages over 5 walks a game! I'm glad for the win, and will take my mouth breathing closer over just about any other (not some of the guys Chris named), but I'm not going to say Dice-K is not a contributing cause of my baldness.

As for the rest of CiL's set of shots, I'm not sure he's done a survey of the front runner / hard core fan ratio that he suggests. I don't expect any fan who does not regularly follow the playoff teams to adopt the Red Sox anymore. There are plenty of reasons to like how the Red Sox play and run their organization, but if you are into the better story angle, it's unlikely they'll be your team.

I've said before (about a year ago), that if you like an ownership that invests in its ball club, that has a dedicated following, that drafts astutely, is willing to invest in overseas talent, doesn't waste outs or at bats, can score a number of ways, has quality starting pitching, etc..., you can be a neutral and admire the Sox. But if you end up backing another team, fine. I just hope I enjoy the playoffs more than you do.

Posted by: PTBNL | October 4, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Flynnie in rooting for the underdogs, though to me the Red Sox aren't that anymore.

PTBNL, I respect your long background with and loyalty to your team. Our opinions as fans aside, IMO the television networks think that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs are a better story angle than other teams because they are more likely to be shoved down viewers' throats on any given week than other teams (probably true of the Post as well - as Rays coverage is relegated to AP stories and the odd entry here). Maybe we have a bit of Yankee/Sox fatigue as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 4, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

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