Thursday, October 02, 2008
Imagine Harold And Maude As A Sitcom, In Reruns: Red Sox 4, Angels 1
Harold And Maude was a movie, but imagine how much more viscerally hateful it could have become were it translated to the small screen as a sitcom: the basic premise doesn't translate well, and more, none of the characters are likeable (well, Maude, but she's not really enough). If you're going to have a sitcom, you'd better have people an audience wants to invite into their homes, and that was one reason why Donald Sutherland's acerbic Hawkeye Pierce M*A*S*H got radically altered for the Alan Alda edition.
The excruciating sameness of this game compared to the 2007 or 2005 (against the White Sox anyway) or 2004 postseasons was just numbing. True, the Angels went through so much this year, beating the Red Sox in the regular season both soundly and reliably, and yet when all was said and done, the Angels really didn't have an answer different from those other postseasons. Worse, they flailed incompetently, had an offensive cipher at leadoff, made stupid baserunning mistakes (Vlad erased himself in the eighth by running through a stop sign on Torii Hunter's single) and errors in the field (Gary Matthews, Jr. misplayed a routine lineout right at him in right field into a triple), and couldn't get an extra-base hit to save their lives (all nine of the Angels' hits were singles, and their only run was unearned). As the Rev rightly pointed out, Howie Kendrick was the fulcrum of blame in this game for his weak performances, bouncing out to end a bases-loaded threat and the inning in the first, and finally ending the eighth inning with a 6-4 groundout. This is not the time or place for it — Howie hardly had enough time to rehab from his late injury before the regular season ran out on him — but the tag of "injury-prone" becomes a real problem for him, as does "needs to learn to walk". Sadly, I wonder whether he ever will.
John Lackey pitched reasonably well, his only mistake being the two-run jack to Jason Bay in the sixth, but Mike Scioscia might start asking himself why he should be putting Scot Shields in against the Red Sox when they're thrashing him so consistently. Sure, Shields finished off the eighth, but not before giving up a rocket double on a 1-1 count pitch, also to Bay. It was obvious from the first batter he faced that Good Shields was on vacation. If ever there were a time to manage the postseason differently from the regular season, that was one of them.
When I saw Lester lost his command in early inning but we can't knockdown him, when I saw GMJ play RF after a lousy defense season, when I saw Figgins strike out again and again as a leadoff guy, I suddenly realize the angels doesn't change too much this year. The Angels is still a team has no plate discipline, running base blindly, cannot hit long ball.
Really Really frustrated!!!
Other than that, what to do? It's a good team and that's what's so maddening about all this horrible underachieving.
As far as I'm concerned, the Angels really lost the game in the first inning, swinging at yet another lousy pitch to blow a bases-loaded opportunity. Does *everyone* on the team think they're Vlad??
I guess he hasn't been on the team long ago to get all messed up by the Angel's management stylebook on hitting. It's a short stylebook and contains little more than a quote from "Signs":
"Swing away, Merrill! Swing away!"
Sorry for the rants, but I'm at the end of my rope here... I need some Ativan...
Let's just chill for the next 36 hours - this is far froma done deal.
That said, this is a critical weekend for the Halos: The pre-eminent Team of the Decade will depend on this weekend, as well as the City of Angels baseball's heart and soul. All Arte's good work and marketing genius the last few years is also on the line and could all be surrendered in a matter of days.
Hold the line, lads!
is also on the line
In the future, when people talk about this ten years, they will mention a Redsox Dynasty and every WS the Redsox won is starting from sweeping the Angels.