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Not Just Angels in the Outfield

Angels in the infield. Angels in the bullpen. Children in the San Francisco dugout, but Angels everywhere else.

Whew. Wow. I'm breathless. I'm at a complete loss for words. Drawing a blank. Speechless. Can't think of a thing to say. What could possibly measure up a to World Series like this one?

Just awesome. The play and the outcome. 1986 in reverse. I've never been so glad to rip up an article and start over.

Yep, I'd buried the Angels at 5-0 in game six. There I was, resigned to the fact that for the first time in my life, I was going to have to live with the San Francisco Giants as the last team standing.

Not just for one winter, mind you, Dodger fans were going to have to live with this forever. A really really long time.

Just a sickening thought. Nothing worse. Turning my stomach. The only acceptable thing is 0 for San Francisco. No championships this side of the Mississippi. Never ever. I was hurting so much, I think I had started the piece with "Oh, the pain, the pain," ala Dr. Smith, from "Lost in Space."

But David Eckstein and Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon and Frankie Rodriguez and John Lackey and Troy Percival, in no particular order, changed all that, thank you very much. Those guys, plus in no particular order, Mr. Erstad and Mr. Spiezio and Mr. Glaus and Messrs. Scioscia and Black and Hatcher and an entire cast of players, coaches and trainers. And oh yes, Bill Stoneman. A total team.

The Anaheim Angels are the World Champions of baseball, circa 2002. The sport's best team, without question. Go crazy Orange (Red?) County. 2002 is all yours...

So Barry Bonds' postseason career is finally over. Done. Jeff Kent's Sharpie is poised and already out of his sanitary sock, with perhaps Dusty Baker right behind him. The Giants have shot their wad. They won't be back with Bonds. This was his last go round, and while he was great this one time, it doesnt erase the past failures. The error in game six didn't help either.

The comparisons to Ernie Banks, especially prior to this fall, were misguided. You know, the two baseball greats who never won anything. The difference is, Banks' teams were so bad, they couldnt win no matter what he did.

Bonds' earlier teams were good enough, and lost because of his bad play in October as much as anything. Those NLCS averages of .167, .148 and .261, and the NLDS averages of .250 and .176, along with the Sid Bream throw being the cause, elimination the effect.

It's a big distinction, however moot it may be now...

Benito Santiago had a nice run, but can we stop falling all over the man for his actions while prone? Enough with the announcers screaming "From his knees!!!!" Why does Santiago get so much credit for being lazy? Just stand up and throw the damn ball...

The popular opinion that the Baseball's Greatest Moments promotion turned out lame is pretty much right on. The selections were about as good as a typical All-Star tally, and I don't know about you, but I've had more than my fill of Cal Ripken. They left some of the best stuff completely out of the equation, and threw stuff in that didn't belong.

More importantly, is Pete Rose banned or what? Does Bud Selig ever have a clue? Ever!?

Selig dropped the ball a couple years ago with the 100 best players promo, another MasterCard contrivance which thanks to Jim Gray opened the door for the wave of sympathy Rose still rides, and Bud dropped it again this year. Then he kicked it, picked it up and booted it some more.

We'll debate the Rose in the Hall thing another time, and if you read my column you know how I feel, but the guy is banned from baseball. Banned players don't participate. Period...

I still don't get the nostalgia for Jackie Autry. I'm not so sure about the sentiment for Gene either, but Jackie? These aren't her Angels, not really. And to be perfectly honest, she's just a smarter version of Georgia Frontiere. Read that any way you want to

To review, these are the deserving 2002 award winners:

AL MVP: Miguel Tejada; NL MVP: Bonds; AL CY: Barry Zito; NL CY: Randy Johnson; AL ROY: Eric Hinske; NL ROY: Jason Jennings; AL Manager: Art Howe; NL Manager: Tony LaRussa; AL Executive: Billy Beane; NL Executive: Dan Evans.

Meanwhile, Steve Phillips has gone the Leonard Tose route...

The luster is off of Billy Beane. He took all the credit for Oakland's regular-season successes and handed Art Howe all the crap for losing in October. Wrong on both counts. Lou Piniella miscalculated too, to say the least. Bad decision making by those two guys.

Come to think of it, Piniella's an idiot. He should just sit out a year and spend time with the family if that's what he really wants. Forget about managing in Tampa...

There's still time to invest in BaseballSavvy.com before it's through the roof. Shoot, the BS merchandising is worth major league minimum all by itself...nearly. Investment inquires are more than welcome...

I miss baseball...

Remember, glove conquers all....

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