When Joe Torre brought his Hall of Fame resume to the Dodgers, people were expecting him to bring his professional style of championship baseball to Los Angeles.
The strange thing is that style was already in Los Angeles.
Well… maybe not quite Los Angeles, but in Los Angeles of Anaheim.
(Please just go back to calling them the California Angels!!!)
Don’t laugh but Mike Scioscia is quietly putting together a case Cooperstown already. He’s not there yet, but assuming he won’t blow a 15 1/2 game lead in 37 games… his first 9 years will include at least one World Series title plus 4 more division titles.
Not a bad start.
And when you look at the team, they are built very similarly to the Joe Torre Yankees.
The Torre Yankees had a home grown core (Jeter, Rivera, Bernie, Posada, Pettite) and the 2002 Angels were almost entirely the product of its farm system.
Both teams had good but not great starting pitching, a solid bullpen, and had a lights out closer who earned a World Series ring first as a devastating set up man. (Rivera for Wetteland, Rodriguez for Percival.)
And both had a manager who were All Star catchers in the National League who brought a National League style of play to the AL.
And at this writing, you would have to consider the Angels to be the favorite to win the AL Pennant.
I hope you Angel fans appreciate it. Yeah Arte Moreno opens his wallet up and brings in the Vlad Guerreros and Torii Hunters of the world.
But he plays the free agent market correctly… the core of the team is in place. He isn’t hoping to save the team with wild spending (see Tom Hicks and Alex Rodriguez.)
So here we are… it’s August 21, 2008 and Scioscia can basically line up his playoff rotation. There’s more than a month to play and the Angels will be rested, ready and dangerous.
And Mike Scioscia will have the Angels ready to make their claim for “Team of the Decade.”
Keep in mind before he became manager the Angels had won a grand total of zero post season series and were best known for a few monumental October face plants (1982, 1986 and 1995.)
So, Angels fans… and I have met a few of you… let me ask you:
Are you appreciating it?
Hey Big A Baseball, have the memories of Donnie Moore and the charging 1995 Mariners all gone away?
How about you Gilbert Quinonez? Do you realize that the Angels finally have the edge of “best manager in town?”
Let me ask you, Rally Monkey. Do you just love Arte Moreno for making the Angels players for every big name out there?
Halos Heaven, you better not be jaded.
Hey Angels Win, who would you rather beat up this October? The Red Sox or the Dodgers? I guess why not both.
And finally, Anaheim Angels All The Way… do you call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or do you just call them the California Angels.
Either way, you’ve got some time to kill…
The playoffs are a given now… another typical Scioscia year.
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