by Eric Denton - Senior Writer
Ooooh... Fenway Park and it's ghosts are supposed to scare Angel fans into submission. Our Halos couldn't possibly over come the Fenway crowd and their stadium with it's ludicrous dimensions. The ALDS is over before it begins.
Granted, the Angels do not have the best record playing in Fenway since Mike Scioscia took the helm. Still, this is the team that went into Fenway during August and split a four game series.
The baseball media has decided it's a foregone conclusion that the Red Sox will roll over the Angels during the ALDS.
Why is this ? Because they're the Red Sox ? Apparently that's all the media needs to know.
Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn wrote on Yahoo Sports that the Sox have the edge pitching wise because "Beckett, Schilling and Dice K have experience". Oh really ? How many MLB post-season games has Matsuzaka pitched in during his career ? Certainly not as many as his Game 2 opponent Kelvim Escobar. And I'm sorry, the World Baseball Classic doesn't count.
In ESPN's preview, they wrote "The Angels use a "Moneyball" approach to the game, trying to manufacture runs. The Red Sox are primarily a team allergic to giving away outs and thrive on the big inning. Which approach is better in the post-season?"
This statement is so wrong in concept that it's laughable. The Angels are the antithesis of a "Moneyball" team. They runs the bases with abandon, they don't walk a ton and they certainly do not rely on the 3-run homer as their sole source of run production.
The Red Sox, and their Billy Beane protegee, GM Theo Epstein are the definition of a "Moneyball" team.
Now that that is straightened out. They do pose a good question. Which approach is better?
I say the Angels approach is the winning one. Making the starting pitcher nervous knowing every player may run on him is an advantage for the Angels. Going first to third like no other team is an advantage for the Angels. The Halos do not rely on the homerun like the Red Sox. If Angel pitching can keep the ball in the park, they have an excellent chance of winning.
Guess what punditry. It's not Fenway that should be feared, it's Angels Stadium with their rabid fans, their Thunderstix and a primate ready and willing to spring into action when the team needs her the most.
The Angels had the best home record in the American League this year not the Red Sox. All the Angels need to do is split in Beantown and they will be the ones with home field advantage unless the series goes a sudden death fifth game.
Just like in 2002, the Angels are being overlooked. They were to be no match for the all powerful New York Yankees. Well, they weren't. They bounced the Yanks with ease and went on to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
Just remember, the so-called experts can be wrong. It would seem that that media is already hoping for yet another Boston vs New York ALCS. The proof is in these preview articles where it is noticeable that the writers do not even have the correct concept of the "Angel way" or their accomplishments during the 2007 season. There is no reason to get worked up, or demoralized before the games even start. The game is played between the lines for nine innings. Not on the internet and not on the set of "Baseball Tonight".
Will history repeat itself ? Can the underdog overcome ? You bet they can.