You Had Me at Halo: The Feel-Good L.A. Angels of Anaheim Clinch A.L. West

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIISeptember 29, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players douse the jersey of teammate pitcher Nick Adenhart #34 in beer and champagne as they celebrate after winning the American League West title in the baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Anaheim, California. Adenhart was killed in a accident by an alleged drunk driver during the beginning of the season.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

With their 11-0 whitewashing of the Texas Rangers last night, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clinched a spot in the 2009 postseason and their third straight AL West title.

If there was a year the Angels were going to stumble and not make the playoffs, this was it.

They had the horrific tragedy of Nick Adenhart in April, it seemed like their entire starting rotation was on the DL in April and May, Brian Fuentes is their closer, their bullpen has been a mess all season, Torii Hunter has spent time on the DL, and Vladimir Guerrero runs like Mark Eaton at this stage of his career.

But under the steady hand of Mike Scioscia, the Angels stayed the course, played great baseball, and proved once again why they are one of the best run organizations in baseball.

The Angels organization has gotten to a point where they can lose Mark Teixeira in the offseason, plug in Kendry Morales, and Morales turns in an MVP season. Next year, when they lose Chone Figgins to free agency, they will probably plug in Brandon Wood, and I am guessing Wood comes through with a big year.

My point is that the Angels have become an organization of interchangeable parts. No matter who they plug in, they believe that person will succeed.

That is the mark of a great organization.

Going into the playoffs, the Angels' biggest concern is their bullpen. Itโ€™s usually their offense that is the concern, but not this year. Their offense, led byย Bobby Abreu and the aforementioned Figginsย is just fine.

Unlike in past years, though, this year their bullpen is the Angels' biggest problem. I have a hard time believing Fuentes is a championship closer. I also have a hard time believing Darren Oliver can get a lefty out in a big spot in the postseason.

However, like past years, the Angels will play the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Can the Angels finally beat the Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs?

It remains to be seen.


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