October 27, 2002

Congratulations, Anaheim Angels, 2002 World Champions!:

Much like my own New England Patriots this January, the Angels completed an Impossible Dream season by downing the Giants 4-1 in the deciding Game 7 of the World Series to win their first ever World Series. The Angels have shocked the world by not only beating out the heavily favored M's in the AL West this season, but going further than anyone outside of the Anaheim thought possible.

The Giants had the championship in their grasp last night, but let it slip away needing only 6 outs to take the crown. After that heartbreak on Saturday, they never really showed up to play tonight, and it's a shame the Big Guy didn't get a ring in what was probably his best and only chance to get that elusive championship- although he should have put to rest any doubts about his ability to perform on the biggest stage.

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 10:19 PM - 21 comments

Oh, lord, that image of the tearful Darrin Baker was not what I needed. I think I saw Bonds crying a little as well. Do we have an MVP yet?

posted by hincandenza at 10:21 PM on October 27, 2002

Er, cut that short accidentally. Meant to continue: as Rob Neyer has noted in his running diary as well, while it's never happened before Barry Bonds is the World Series MVP. It'll probably go to Glaus, but one could well argue that if Kent just hadn't been a complete Whitey McStrikeout, the Giants would have been in a pigpile on field. Even with the Angels win, was anyone a force in this series besides Bonds? Sidenote: Right now, 3 of the 4 major championship teams reside in the L.A. Area: the Lakers, the Angels, and the Kings. That fourth could prove elusive, however. :D

posted by hincandenza at 10:27 PM on October 27, 2002

The Kings? Um, not to be picky, but I think these guys would disagree with that one.

posted by grum@work at 10:30 PM on October 27, 2002

Oops! :D Hockey's not my thing... I really don't know where that came from...

posted by hincandenza at 10:33 PM on October 27, 2002

I asked this in the ESPN chat with the Baseball Prospectus folks, but I still wonder it: in a Game 7 situation, why wouldn't Baker have Reuter getting loose in the first inning at least- it seems to me that in the unique situation of WS Game 7, you might as well warm up two pitchers to start the game. If your first choice doesn't work out (Livan Hernandez), you don't have to worry about being able to pull him in a heartbeat and have a loose starting pitcher there to take his place. If Livan did pitch well, then you'd never need Reuter until at least, oh, April, so no harm done. I can think of no situation in which this doesn't make sense for Game 7. I have a feeling, though, the Angels will really hit the pavement hard in 2003; this season was improbable, and like the 2001 Mariners was a product of every player having a career year. I would be stunned beyond belief if the Angels win even 90 next year (the M's dropped from 116 to a still-respectable 94; the Angels' fans may be in for a shock when their team is a .500 ballclub in 2003). Although that said, the A's and Mariners are probably going to slip a bit too, both with new managers. I really do feel sad for Bonds now; as his, and the career of several of the greats show, you can never take a WS berth for granted- some people never get a shot at it, and it could be years before you ever get back. And you just know there will be some nasty articles by the Rick Reilly's talking about how Barry suxx because the Giants didn't win. Bonds had one of the 5 best offensive World Series in history; entering game 7 he had something like a 2.300 OPS, with records for most walks and intentional walks as well as post-season homeruns.

posted by hincandenza at 10:50 PM on October 27, 2002

My World Series notes: 1) Congrats to the Angels. I was cheering for Bonds and the Giants, but I'm quite content to see Anaheim win it all. 2) Glaus as MVP? That's also acceptable. Bonds would have won it hands down if the Giants had won, but Glaus was huge for the Angels and deserves it. 3) I hate seeing Bud Selig on my TV for any reason. 4) The World Series trophy is the worst looking one of the major trophies in team sports. 5) I told you it was going to be like this. That said, it was a fantastic series to watch (if you did). 6) I think this surprise championship ranks up there with the one just won by the Patriots. Both teams were not even expected to make the playoffs and surprised everyone by winning it all. 7) I almost cried when I saw Dusty Baker's kid and Shawon Dunston's kid crying. That would be such a scary/confusing/upsetting moment for the kids at that age. 8) These playoffs should absolutely shut up the "Bonds chokes in the clutch" malarkey the press likes to spout. 9) My favourite play is still of J.T. Snow having the presence of mind to scoop up kid Baker while crossing home plate, saving him from getting trampled by the hard charging David Bell.

posted by grum@work at 10:59 PM on October 27, 2002

It almost always happens like this: if a team goes into game six with a three games to two lead, and loses said game six, they tend to lose game seven. I don;t have stats on it, but it seems like it happens that way a lot. Its especially true if said team who leads 3-2 in series loses game six on the road, and has to play game seven on the road as well. Also, I think that Dusty Baker may lean more to staying in San Fran after this. They may lose Jeff Kent, but they still have a very good nucleus to build around.

posted by jasonbondshow at 11:26 PM on October 27, 2002

For me, it was a great series to watch until the Giants blew the lead in Game 6. From then on, it had the same kind of drudging inevitability as the 1986 series. I knew the Angels would win the whole thing when they closed the Game 6 gap to 5-3. At least the Giants had the decency to lay down tonight and not show any false hope. The Angels are a great team, every single person in the lineup contributed, they have no quit, and they definitely deserve to be World Series champions. Dusty Baker should be the goat for tonight's loss, because he should have pulled Hernandez the instant he showed any sign of trouble. If only he had started Reuter instead...Reuter did a good job, but it was too late. Hal Incandenza: actually, Rob Neyer notes that one losing team player, Bobby Richardson of the 1960 Yankees, was the series MVP. Bonds was great, and he would certainly be the MVP if the Giants had won, but I feel that the MVP has to be on the winning team. It's sad because this was the last chance for Bonds, Santiago, Dunston, Lofton, and some of the others. But they had their chance last night and they blew it.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:27 PM on October 27, 2002

Way to go, halos! Incidentally, has someone from the non-championship team ever won the MVP for the series in any sport? Too lazy to google right now.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:28 PM on October 27, 2002

NHL Playoff MVP winners whose teams did not win the championship (award first given in 1965): 1966 - Roger Crozier (Detroit Red Wings lost to Montreal Canadians) 1968 - Glenn Hall (St. Louis Blues lost to Montreal Canadians) 1976 - Reggie Leach (Philadelphia Flyers lost to Montreal Canadians) MLB World Series MVP winners whose teams did not win the championship: 1960 - Bobby Richardson (New York Yankees lost to Pittsburgh Pirates) Someone else will have to look up the NFL and NBA.

posted by grum@work at 12:10 AM on October 28, 2002

grum: Ron Hextall also won the Conn Smythe in 87 for the losing Philadelphie Flyers. That was against the glory day Edmonton Oilers, which could be described as an all-MVP team. Good job, Angels! And I agree wholeheartedly with grum's #3 above.

posted by qbert72 at 12:39 AM on October 28, 2002

qbert: Sadly, I was going to list JUST the Hextall one but decided to do some research and forgot to add him back in. D'oh! From Baseball Prospectus 2002: If everything that broke wrong for the Angels in 2001 breaks right in 2002, and if the pitching staff continues its good work, this team could surprise people. Of course, even if that happens, they'll have to make it past the Mariners and Athletics.

posted by grum@work at 07:00 AM on October 28, 2002

I'm just happy the game was over before 12. And that Barry didn't win. Except for game 6, I thought the series was quite boring, I prefer better pitching and less offense. Congrats Halos.

posted by corpse at 08:25 AM on October 28, 2002

Thanks for the info, grum.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:33 AM on October 28, 2002

Sidenote: Right now, 3 of the 4 major championship teams reside in the L.A. Area: the Lakers, the Angels, and the Kings. That fourth could prove elusive, however. :D Maybe you are thinking of these guys (though it's pushing the number to 5).

posted by trox at 08:40 AM on October 28, 2002

I wonder if it was a good idea to bring the little kids into the dugout for the World Series -- they probably felt a lot of pressure. There was that whole thing about the Giants being undefeated (until game 6, at least) when Baker's kid was a bat boy; I wonder if, when they did lose, he felt like it was because of him. Baseball players are superstitious and all, but maybe they should keep their kids out of it.

posted by ajax at 10:34 AM on October 28, 2002

there are two pictures i'm dying to find online: dusty's three year old son crying after the game and reggie sanders getting beaten like a mule by the thunderstick. any help out there?

posted by cubfan at 12:22 PM on October 28, 2002

J.T. Snow definitely deserves MVP for that scoop. And the Giants need Mary Poppins and a goddamn playpen for the dugout. If Barry can get a recliner and a big screen TV, why not set up Monopoly and let the kids and bench players go at it right in the dugout? It's not like there's a game going on.

posted by yerfatma at 04:51 PM on October 28, 2002

The picture of Sanders getting whacked on the back with that red thingy while he's trying to field a ball can be found here: http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/projects/2002series/photos/ It's a photo gallery; the one you're looking for is number eight. As for Dusty Baker carrying his crying son, the only one I can find is here: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/sports/baseball/mlb/san_francisco_giants/ I don't know what's more heartbreaking: that picture of the kid sobbing, or the fact that there will be a lot more pictures just like it if Baker goes to the Cubs....

posted by Jaquandor at 05:39 PM on October 28, 2002

the fact that there will be a lot more pictures just like it if Baker goes to the Cubs.... Or the Mariners! :D Baker's spoken fondly of our little emerald jewel here in the Pacific Northwest. [sarcasm] And the Mariners management certainly isn't tight with the pursestrings when it comes time to make that crucial decision to guide the club towards winning ways! [/sarcasm]

posted by hincandenza at 06:38 PM on October 28, 2002

Thank god mlb is going to do something about the dugout being used as a 'daycare'. I thought the series was pretty entertaining, especially considering the yankees were absent. I also hope and pray that bonds doesn't get a ring until he stops walking halfway to first base everytime he hits a homerun, regardless of score or circumstance.

posted by justgary at 06:39 PM on October 28, 2002

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