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Friday, August 27, 2004

"It's Going To Be A Sweep"

Pessimist that I am, I was poking around through the Retrosheet data for the Angels in 2002. They didn't clinch a playoff spot until September 26, but the important thing to remember is that they were playing tough teams that September, too:
Team      Record
Baltimore   2-0
Oakland     4-4
Seattle     1-3
Texas       1-2
The Angels don't have anything like a commanding lead over Texas at this point -- and despite my earlier cynicism, Chan Ho Park pitched well in his first outing. It's hardly a given, and bad things could still happen. But Wash and Glaus returning could be huge. Or, what does Jeff Nelson know?
Nothing against the Angels, because they are a good team and deserve to be in the playoffs, but I think the Yankees are going to win the Division Series and it's going to be a sweep.

Yep, it will be three games and out for the Angels.

Of course, it could be worse: you could be the even more consistently wrong John Burkett, then-RHP for the Red Sox. On the Angels in the ALDS:
I guess it's time for me to make my prediction: I'll take the Yankees in four.
Burkett, just before game three of the ALDS:
I think the Yankees will take these next two. That's just my opinion. I'm not writing the Angels off or anything.
Well, actually, yeah, you were, John: that would have been the series. And again after the split at the Metrodome in the first two games of the ALDS:
Why am I still going with the Twins in seven even though the Angels have impressed me so much? Probably because of defense. I think the Twins are probably the best team in the league defensively, and that could prove to be big. Both of these teams are good, so it's hard to go against either one.
(Actually, Burkett was wrong there, too. Anaheim was the best defensive team in the majors that year -- but that's a legitimate area for concern this year, because the team's defensive efficiency is now among the bottom half of the AL.)

I won't bother to pick up the rest of his commentary (IIRC he picked the Giants to take the series), but you get the point. Call me overly optimistic here, but for some stupid reason, I think the Angels can pull this one off.


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