Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back to Back!

The Angels completed their first goal in 2005: Repeat as AL West Division Champions. With a 4-3 victory over their arch rival, Oakland Athletics, the Halos clinched their second consecutive division title. Young Ervin Santana held the A's to two runs in 6.2 innings before Scot Shields came on in the with two out in the seventh with runners at second at third. Shields induced a ground ball to third baseman Chone Figgins for the final out of the inning and then retired the A's in order in the eighth inning. Closer Frankie Rodriguez gave up a solo home run to Marco Scutaro which brought the A's to within a single run with no outs in the ninth inning. But K-Rod sat down the next three Oakland batters to secure his 43rd save and send the Angels to the post-season for the third time in the past four years.

With the playoffs slated to start a week from tonight the Angels have plenty of time to set their post-season roster and rest weary players from the marathon season behind them. In particular, Bartolo Colon, Vladimir Guerrero, Garrett Anderson and Scot Shields have looked like some rest could in the past few weeks. Though Shields has come on strong over his past four appearances, pitching 5.1 scoreless innings helping the Angels to close out the 2005 campaign with a lot more authority than 2004 when the Angels did not clinch until the second-to-last game of the season.

A few notes on tonight's post-game:

*What was up with Rex Hudler's "interview" of Vlad Guerrero? He asked him to respond in either Spanish or English and Guerrero rambled on in speed Spanish while most viewers (me included) just watched with dazed and confused looks on their collective faces. For $12.4 million this season the big man can watch Bull Durham and learn his cliches. "I just want to do my best and help the ball club."

*Why was Tim Salmon getting interviewed? The big man did nothing but pull down $10 million to rehab all season and he gets on TV? Why not interview Brian Downing and Doug DeCinces while your at it?

* Props to Mike Scioscia for asking Hudler just before he doused his head with beer "will this hair stay on?"

Rock on Angel fans, time to party and enjoy watching those baseball snobs in the northeast panic about missing the playoffs while our spot is secure.


Anonymous Vecino said...

I think I can explain Hudler asking Vladdy if he wanted to say something in Spanish. You can still watch Kcal9's coverage of the festivities at the Angels MLB website. Watch it and I think you'll agree that Hudler only HESITATINGLY asked Vladdy to say something at ALL, and added "or in Spanish" as an after thought. I believe this is because Vlad has a reputation for being very shy about the camera and mic -- and particularly about speaking English when he has the spotlight on him. Another thing you'll notice if you review the streaming video is, even though Vladdy appears to speak comfortably enough, when it's over he lets out a huge "Whew!" of relief, seemingly glad to have it over with.

Also, no offense but I think it's goofy to complain about that VERY short exchange with Salmon. Why the hell would Hudler avoid him? He's as much an Angel as anyone, and he certainly didn't choose to be injured. Personally, I was glad to see him and hear a few comments.

Finally, I agree with you on Scioscia's funny remark to Hudler about his hair. He started to pour that champagne and then stopped to ask, "If I do this, is that hair gonna stay on?" Too funny! And Hudler took it in great form.

If you want to see that video again it's linked to one of those numbered, recent articles that keep cycling every few seconds until you click a number. You'll see the link as soon as you click the number -- as I write this it's at #3. The link is titled "Angels celebrate clinching AL West."

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