Yes, this is the same issue that just got blown to bits by the Angels in regards to Boston. Until the Yankees do to the Angels what the Angels did to the Red Sox, the Angels have the mental edge.
The Angels have too much of it. If the Angels run wild on Jorge Posada, the Yankees will be forced to play Jose Molina more than they want to. We all like Molina, an ex-Angel and all, good guy, but he was shipped out because he can’t hit (are you listening, Jeff Mathis?).
8. The three-game sweep.
The Angels demolished the Yankees in a three-game series in Anaheim prior to the All-Star game. You can bet they remember.
7. The only good thing about the Yankees is now in L.A.
That’s right—I’m talking about Joe Torre.
Okay, I hate bringing this into the equation, but the Yankees are such huge favorites it’s ridiculous. The Angels won 97 games, won their division, are loaded with talent, and have a formidable starting pitching staff, not to mention they had the best road record in the A.L. Nobody should be such huge favorites over them, not even the Yankees.
5. East Coast blinders.
New Yorkers can’t see beyond their own city, so they don’t know what’s waiting for them outside of it. Well, they’re about to find out.
4. The regular season.
Listen, the Yankees had a great year. They won 103 games. But it could be argued that the Angels would have matched them, or at least won 100 games, if not for the funk the Nick Adenhart tragedy put them in. Their 97 wins was an incredible feat.
3. Minnesota almost beat the Yankees.
What, you say? Minnesota got swept. Yep, they did. But they were in every game, and two of those could have gone their way if not for their base running blunders. The point is, Minnesota went toe-to-toe with the Bronx Bombers, and the Angels are not Minnesota. They’re much better.
2. Thunder Sticks and Rally Monkeys.
The thunder sticks give you headaches, and the rally monkey is annoying, but maybe that’s why they work: They annoy the other team and give them headaches. In any event, they have become part of the landscape of Angel playoff baseball.
1. The Angels are the better team.
Yes, the Yankees probably have the better talent. They certainly have the most expensive talent. But the Angels play as well as a unit as any team in baseball. Credit Mike Scioscia. Credit the coaches. Credit ownership. Credit the memory of their fallen teammate that helped bring them together. The bottom line is, individuals win awards, but teams win championships—and the Angels are the better team.
Prediction: Angels in six.