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Angels, Scioscia should be embarrassed

Oct 26, 2009, 12:47 AM EST

The Yankees didn’t overpower them. Just once in the series did the Bombers really come out to play and turn a game into a rout. No, the Yankees were the better team going in and should have won this series anyway, but the Angels served it up on a platter.
Most notable were the eight errors, all of them legitimate and several of them costly. Even uglier were the mistakes on the basepaths, none more hideous than Vladimir Guerrero getting doubled on a routine fly to shallow right on Sunday. The hitters got less and less patient as the series went on. Only the pitching remained solid, but it was given so little to work with.
And while the players lost the series, Mike Scioscia’s star definitely lost some luster. Given the chance, he practically always went against the percentages and he had several decisions come back to bite him. And while Scioscia can’t control what happens on the field, the fact is that the team that he had a huge hand in assembling went out and choked. The Angels play the kind of baseball that old vets and writers lap up, but the fundamentals went right out the window against the Yankees.
Oddly enough, it turned out that the player the Angels are all ready to phase out was the star of the series. Guerrero went 10-for-27 with a homer and five RBI against the Yankees. He previously delivered the series-clinching hit against the Red Sox, and he ended up collecting at least one hit in all nine of the Angels’ postseason games. Unfortunately, Sunday’s baserunning blunder might be remembered at least as much as anything else he did against the Yankees.
Many other Angels wilted. The team totaled just three homers in the series, and the running game was pretty much a non-factor, even if Erick Aybar did go 3-for-3 stealing bases (the rest of the team was 1-for-2). Scott Kazmir struggled mightily in his start and threw away the Angels’ chances of a comeback win in Game 6 with a careless toss in his relief appearance. Chone Figgins was the biggest goat on offense, but the Angels should have been prepared for that going in.
Because Guerrero and Alex Rodriguez shined in the ALCS, Figgins perhaps now stands alone when it comes to active postseason futility. He did score one of the team’s runs Sunday after a flare to left off Mariano Rivera that barely eluded Derek Jeter’s glove. That’s about as close to hitting with authority as he came all month. He hit .130 against the Yankees, and he’s at .172/.223/.246 in 122 career postseason at-bats. Scioscia refusal to move him down after so many awful plate appearances hurt the team.
But if standing by Figgins was Scioscia’s worst sin, he would have had a fine series. Scioscia was handed what was essentially a lifetime contract from the Angels prior to this year, and he’s certainly not going to lose his job over a poor series. However, the regular-season success will only go so far.
Scioscia loves ignoring the numbers and playing favorites, and because his clubs keep winning, he gets the benefit of the doubt. It’s something that could begin to change if the October results don’t turn around. Scioscia’s teams have averaged 95 wins the last six years, yet are 2-5 in postseason series. The Angels should have more than the steroid-fueled 2002 championship to show for all of their recent success.

  1. Jason - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    The Red Sox didn’t just lose to the Halos, they got SMOKED!! If you say the Angels are pathetic, what does that make the Sox?
    As far as that wise sage Roleston goes, yes, most Angels fans will be talking about bad calls, the Yankees spending 200mil on a team and steroids being eaten like altoids. THAT’S WHAT THE MAJORITY OF FANS IN ANY CITY ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL DO WHEN THEIR TEAM LOSES. I’m sick of all these snobs that look down their noses at people who can’t remember the starting lineup from ’88 or which player can claim turning the most double plays of all time during Tuesday day games. I consider myself to be pretty well versed when it come to baseball, and my team the Angels, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to condemn people in my community for coming together to support our team when they’re in the post season. The more people come together, the more money is made and the more money we have to spend on fielding a good team. Do you really think that every Yankee fan has their finger to the pulse of the team all season? Of course not. Does that stop the Yankees from being one of the most profitable sports franchises in the world and able to field a 200mil team that’s going to beat the piss out of people and allow all the “die hard” fans to walk around with a swagger? Once again, of course not.
    Roleston you’re an idiot… Taco you’re an idiot.
    See you all in April

  2. jonny5 - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    Phillies in 6!

  3. brooke - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    I hope and pray the Yankees take Philly out, and I hate the Yankees.

  4. JJ Jones - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Weak steroid shot pal.

  5. ManWithBrain - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    The story says “shallow right”.

  6. Jimbo - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    Typical baseball drivel about the steroid era. Its as if baseball is imbued with purity from the Gods and no one took steroids or performance enhancing substances before the 21st century. Hogwash!! All these so-called baseball/sport writers and former players who deride steroid users entrance to the “Hall” or a team’s success are either hypocritical blowhards or just plain stupid. Gaining hidden advantages in any sport has been part of competition since the inception of sports. If you think baseball is worse or that an era in the sport is more tainted than any other then you are the kind of person who probably got real disappointed when you learned the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. In that case, spare us all the blather and seek therapy! The rest of us will continue enjoying the sport for what it is.

  7. JP - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    This may be slightly off topic, but after reading this article, I find it funny that Bobby Cox – after so many failed post season attempts is still an icon with the fans and front office in Atlanta for the Braves. Think about how many chances he had to take home a World Series title, and his one time was in 1995. After that, how can you be hard on Scioscia? This article stated the Yankees were the better team anyhow.

  8. Paul - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:37 AM

    Matt, that’s the way the Angels play and when the things don’t work out it looks bad. They are an aggressive team at the plate and on the base paths. They force other teams to make plays and the Yankees made the plays while the Angels made some bad decisions. They don’t play station to station baseball. The only walk their hitting coach has ever considered is when he takes the dog out. The dog gets excited over the mere mention of walk but not the Angels. It’s a strategy that has obviously served them well over the years and if memory serves me correct they ousted the Yankees a few times with it.
    The steroid mention is something you can tar every team with. Heck the Cards are bringing back Mark McGwire and maybe he and Card’s 1st base coach Dave McKay can co-author a book on weight training as well to go along with McKay’s book he wrote with Jose Canseco.

  9. EBW - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Mr. Pouliot acknowledges the error and corrects it, probably before you read the article. Check Post number 4.

  10. bb - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    I think that saying the angels should be enbarassed is a little strong. its like saying the 2003 yanks should have been embarassed to sleep -walk their way throguh that world series (which they did).
    Like the 2003 yanks, this angles team came in overconfident. they had just beaten their post season nemisis and were now going to face a team that they had owned. problem was that this was NOT the team that the angels owned…it is a different yankee team. they hit better, they pitched better, they ran better and the fielded better and they took advantage of nearly every angels mistake. that is the defintiion of a champion.
    the pillies are tought but they actually look very much like the 2004-2008 yankees. a great line-up, shallow starting ptiching after their number 1, a jekyl and hyde bullpen.
    Yanks in 6.

  11. jimmy2x - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    Brooke – you sound fat. Typical Mutts fan.

  12. willmose - Oct 26, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    If the Yankees play in the World Series like they did in the ALCS, the Phillies will eat them alive. The only reason it may not happen is the umpires will keep it close. From the umpiring alone it was easy to see that MLB (and FOX) wanted this match up for the ratings.

  13. Rhapsodie - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    Are you kidding? The Bronx Banker’s lead the league in ‘roid’s use. Let’s see… there is the Rocket, Petite, Payroids, any number that have yet to be listed as yet. Thank the weak commissioner for the folly that is baseball. With a strong leader, a lot of this ‘cheating’ will be taken care of, and salary cap could demote the Banker’s to also-ran status.

  14. Jenn - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Couldn’t agree more. Cheap shot and no evidence to back it up. I’m sick of bloggers who throw crap up on the wall to see what sticks….
    Yes, the angels should be upset with how they played. Yes, mistakes were made, but throwing in that steroids line is just WRONG.

  15. hop - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Obviously a LOT of people forgot what the angels were “before” Scioscia started to coach them

  16. Bill@TDS - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    The silly little throwaway line at the end really ruins this entire article. Everything it says that’s in any way relevant to anything is dead on — the Angels made a ton of mistakes, and Mike Scioscia managed like he was trying to lose in the most creative way possible. But that line at the end is the single dumbest thing I’ve read on here. Why ruin all your hard work here by throwing that cheap shot in at the end? It’s just baffling.

  17. Steve - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Pitching wins, Yankees have better pitching-starting and a much better bullpen. The teams match up in the hitting department.
    Yanks in 6

  18. WallaceN - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    sri and Taco have it right. No Jason you’re the idiot. The Angel players were bad, real bad, in every aspect of the games, except for pitching, and they needed leadership and got none. Scioscia shares a big part of the blame.

  19. comeonman - Oct 26, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    I’m sure HAPPY the ANGELS didn’t play so GOOD, Thanks for the 4 wins
    I also want to thank the TWINS FOR NOT PLAYING GOOD AS WELL.
    Now we have to get the PHILLIES TO NOT PLAY SO WELL AND GIVE US 4 WINS.
    I’am so glad MLB TOLD Ron Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia to give Girardi a break and take it easy on the YANKEES AND LET THEM WIN.

  20. KimG - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    You know, it’s funny to me that Yankees fans are so obnoxious. You do realize that the Yankees are SUPPOSED to win every year since they spend more money than GOD on their team and the funnier thing is that it has taken THIS long for them to get back to the World Series! HA HA HA Yeah brag this year, because the last SEVERAL years were total embarrassments to the Yankees. They shouldn’t even lose a game with that juiced line-up. All of those All-Stars…it’s humorous to me that they didn’t even sweep the Angels. They will have trouble with the Phillies who will show up to play.
    Oh, and it’s even more humorous when my Indians beat the Yankees so many times in years past. The Indians are built to lose and still beat the Yankees. Yankees are the bullies…no one likes bullies in reality.

  21. EDDIE - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    IF THE YANKEES LOSE,THEY CAN BUY THE TROPHY FROME THE PHILLYS!!

  22. Renaldo - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Ok, first and foremost, congrats to the Yankees. I’m an Angel fan who can admit defeat and the Yankees won the series deservedly so. Their players came in and performed in the clutch and A-Rod and CC played like men possessed. Now, so many people are going to make ridiculous accusations about who lost the series for the Angels. Was it Scioscia, Kazmir, errors, bad baserunning, poor plate performances, etc.? Could it be that the GM and owner are to blame for not shelling out the $1,000,000,000,000,000 on CC Sabathia or other free agents in the offseason? (That’s not a cheap shot Yankee fans because if I was a GM, I would acquire anyone I needed to win a World Series) The truth of the matter is that the Angels lost the series as a team, from the front office to the field, everyone had their part. The pitching can’t win a game on its own and neither can the offense and the team can win PERIOD without the right personnel. Were mistakes made by the officiating crew? GOD YES! But those blown calls did not directly lose the series for the Angels. It was a best of seven series not a one and done series. The Angels have been my team since I was a kid. I was born an Angel fan and I’ll die one, but in the end, they lost the series because they didn’t perform and play October baseball.

  23. Don Dufo - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    Good article,Matthew Pouliot. On the Yankees? What $ 225,000.00 will get you. Nice. Yanks won and all that, but what a no-clutch hitting team they were last night. Gotta love Scioscia’s calmness under duress. One found it difficult to discern his own personal churning inside as his guys fell short. Nice demeanor for a coach. Very cool. I’d keep him as manager for sure. Girardi also did well last night. That he kept Pettite in as long as he did was noteworthy. He didn’t play Mr. Hook and attempt to fix something unbroken. He’s learning. Joba did well. Saunders was valiant. Hated to see him unrewarded. Good pitcher. An impossibly unrelentingly Yankee lineup for him to pitch against. The Yanks do have a lot of big bats. Wish Matsui would get hot again. Swisher? Better night! He’s excellent defensively in the outfield. He’ll be a force against the Phillies. Nothing like playoff experience to “veteranize” a player. Girardi’s patience in sticking with “the Swish” was a good thing. Guerrero was the most dangerous man at the plate throughout the series which just might have been the real World Series. Many great plays. Many heroes. Long live baseball. Can”t wait for Wednesday. Go, Yanks! Go, CC! Go, Alex! Derek! Tex! Melky! Kano!(sp) Mariano! Everyone!
    This old man is tired. Have a good one, folks!

  24. Don Dufo - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Good article,Matthew Pouliot. On the Yankees? What $ 225,000.00 will get you. Nice. Yanks won and all that, but what a no-clutch hitting team they were last night. Gotta love Scioscia’s calmness under duress. One found it difficult to discern his own personal churning inside as his guys fell short. Nice demeanor for a coach. Very cool. I’d keep him as manager for sure. Girardi also did well last night. That he kept Pettite in as long as he did was noteworthy. He didn’t play Mr. Hook and attempt to fix something unbroken. He’s learning. Joba did well. Saunders was valiant. Hated to see him unrewarded. Good pitcher. An impossibly unrelentingly Yankee lineup for him to pitch against. The Yanks do have a lot of big bats. Wish Matsui would get hot again. Swisher? Better night! He’s excellent defensively in the outfield. He’ll be a force against the Phillies. Nothing like playoff experience to “veteranize” a player. Girardi’s patience in sticking with “the Swish” was a good thing. Guerrero was the most dangerous man at the plate throughout the series which just might have been the real World Series. Many great plays. Many heroes. Long live baseball. Can”t wait for Wednesday. Go, Yanks! Go, CC! Go, Alex! Derek! Tex! Melky! Kano!(sp) Mariano! Everyone!
    This old man is tired. Have a good one, folks!

  25. awineguy - Oct 26, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    The same way Ralph is pronounced “Rafe”.

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