Tuesday, December 18, 2007


By Jason Sinner - Angelswin Columnist

We wanted Miguel Cabrera. It would have given every Halo fan that warm fuzzy feeling inside. We would have been able to say that we match up with the big boys......on paper. Maybe!Now we are left with debating the pros and cons of what we have or have not done. Many are left with the notion that regardless of whether we win the AL west, we will not stack up come playoff time. In a previous article, I hypothesized that if we could win it all with the team we had in 2002, then we could easily do the same in 2008, as we may in fact, have a better team than we did that year. The main counterpoint to that being the other 2008 teams are better equipped that those we faced in 2002. So I got to thinking, which is always dangerous. What's the real reason for the perceived inadequacy some harbor?

Let’s start with a side by side comparison of our playoff squads in the MS era:

Lineups

Year

2002 (99-63)

2004 (92-70)

2005 (95-67)

2007 (94-68)

2008

Lineup

Eck SS

Eck SS

Figgy 3b/2b/CF

Figgy 3b

Figgy 3b


Erstad CF

Figgy 3b

Erstad 1b

Cabrera SS

GMJ LF


Salmon RF

Vlad RF

Vlad RF

Vlad RF/DH

Vlad RF


Anderson LF

Anderson CF

Anderson LF/DH

Anderson DH/LF

Anderson DH


Glaus 3b

Guillen LF

Finley CF

GMJ CF

Hunter CF


Spezio 1b

Salmon DH

Cabrera SS

Kotch 1b

Kotch 1b


Fullmer DH

Erstad 1b

Molina C

Kendrick 2b

Kendrick 2b


Molina C

Molina C

DMAC/Rivera/JD

Napoli C

Napoli/Mathis C


Kennedy 2b

Kennedy 2b

Kennedy

Izzy/Willits DH/etc.

Aybar/Izzy SS

Runs

851

836

761

822

?????

*in 2004 we had Glaus at DH for 29 games but lost Guillen for the playoffs.

Pitching

Year

2002 (99-63)

2004 (92-70)

2005 (95-67)

2007 (94-68)

2008

Starters

Appier

Colon

Colon

Lackey

Lackey


Wash

Escobar

Lackey

Escobar

Escobar


Ortiz

Lackey

Byrd

Weaver

Weaver


Sele

Wash

Wash

Santana

Garland


Lackey

Sele

Santana

Colon

Saunders

Bullpen/6th

Schoeneweiss

Ortiz

Escobar

Saunders

Santana


Percy

Percy

Krod

Krod

Krod


Weber

Krod

Shields

Shields

Shields


Levine

Shields

Donnelley

Speier

Speier


Donnelley

Gregg

Yan

Oliver

Oliver


Pote

Donnelley

Greg

Boot

Moseley


Shields

Hensley

Peralta

Moseley

Boot


Cook

Weber

Woods

Carrasco

Bulger

Runs/ERA

644/3.69

734/4.28

643/3.68

731/4.23

????

From an offensive standpoint, Figgy and GMJ can easily equal that of Eck and Erstad. 3-4-5 hit 81hrs in 2002 and I think the 2008 version can come very close to that and hit for a higher AVG. 6-9 are pretty similar with the 2008 squad having a great deal more upside. Overall, the '08 team will have quite a bit more bench depth and the edge in speed. From a pitching standpoint, the 2008 starters are far more dominant 1-5 and a top 3 of Lackey/Escobar/Weaver would be a very strong playoff rotation. The 02 team has the bullpen edge although I think the 2007 pen underachieved and could certainly be quite a bit better in 08. Last years team dealt with a ton of injuries, but if the 08 team stays healthy as the 2002 team did, then watch out.

What about the competition in those years?

2002 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2004 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2005 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

2007 Playoff Teams Runs/Runs Against/ERA Stat Link

Halos (99-63) 851/644/3.69 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2002.shtml

Halos (92-70) 836/734/4.28 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ANA/2004.shtml

Halos (95-67) 761/643/3.68 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAA/2005.shtml

Halos (94-68) 822/731/4.23 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAA/2007.shtml

Oakland (103-59) 800/654/3.68 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/2002.shtml

BOS (98-64) 949/768/4.18 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2004.shtml

BOS (95-67) 910/805/4.74 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2005.shtml

BOS(96-66) 867/657/3.87 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2007.shtml

Yanks (103-58) 897/697/3.87 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2002.shtml

NYY (101-61) 897/808/4.69 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2004.shtml

NYY (95-67) 886/789/4.52 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2005.shtml

NYY (94-68) 968/777/4.49 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2007.shtml

Minnesota (94-67) 768/712/4.12 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2002.shtml

Minnesota (92-70) 780/715/4.03 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2004.shtml

CWS (99-63) 741/645/3.61 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/2005.shtml

CLE (96-66) 811/704/4.05 http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CLE/2007.shtml


2008 outlook

Potential AL Playoff Teams

Halos

NYY

BOS

CLE

DET

Starters

Lackey

Escobar

Weaver

Garland

Saunders

Wang

Pettitte

Hughes

Chamberlain

Kennedy

Beckett

Schilling

Dicek

Lester

Wakefield

Sabathia

Carmona

Byrd

Westbrook

Laffey

Verlander

Rogers

Bonderman

Willis

Robertson

Bullpen

Krod

Shields

Speier

Oliver

Santana

Moseley

Rivera

Igawa

Farnsworth

Mussina

Proctor

Bruney

Papelbon

Okajima

Delcarmen

Lopez

Snyder

Timlin

Borowski

Bentancourt

Kobayashi

Fultz

Mastny

Lee

Jones

Rodney

Zumaya

Seay

Grilli

Byrdak

Lineup

Figgins 3b

GMJ LF

Vlad RF

Anderson DH

Hunter CF

Kotch 1b

Kendrick 2b

Napoli C

Aybar SS

Cabrera CF

Jeter SS

Abreu RF

Arod 3b

Giambi DH

Matsui LF

Posada C

Cano 2b

Mientkiewicz 1b

Pedroia 2b

Youklis 1b

Ortiz DH

Manny LF

Lowell 3b

Drew RF

Varitek C

Ellsbury CF

Lugo SS

Sizemore CF

Cabrera 2b

Hafner DH

Martinez C

Garko 1b

Peralta SS

Lofton LF

Gutierrez RF

Blake 3b

Granderson CF

Polanco 2b

Ordonez RF

Cabrera 3b

Sheffield DH

Guillen 1b

IRod C

Jones LF

Renteria SS

Bench

Morales

Rivera

Willits

Izturis

Mathis

Damon

Phillips

Molina

Cairo

Betemit

Cora

Crisp

Brown

Moss

Shoppach

Marte

Barfield

Michaels

Dellucci

Thames

Inge

Wilson

Rayburn

Infante

Keep in mind that I, personally, take nothing for granted. The team still has to go out and win. This is just a comparison based off of what we currently have on paper.

Going off the raw team numbers, the '02 team had a differential of over 200. Clearly the sign of a damn good team. That year the Yanks also had a similar differential and Oakland was solid top to bottom with a power filled lineup and real good pitching. The outlook for the above teams in '08 is similar. BOS, CLE, and NYY are similar to last years teams and therefore we can assume that on paper they will post a similar differential. Meaning near 200 runs for both NYY and BOS and about 100 for CLE. Last years DET team has made some offensive upgrades adding Cabrera, and Renteria, their pitching is slightly better with the addition of Dontrelle Willis and loss of Miller. They had a power packed offense last year that will likely be even better, but is that enough to turn a 90 run differential into near 200? I doubt it.

Come playoff time one of the above teams obviously cannot make it. The Halos, Boston, Cle and Det certainly have the edge in terms of starters, and the Halos and Boston have the bullpen edge. The Yanks and Det are the offensive minded teams. So let's play a little more 'what if'. What if we perform where I think we can in 2008. None of the above teams are head and shoulders above the Halos, and they are certainly not apples and oranges compared to the playoff teams of 2002.

Now let's tackle the real reason why there is the perception that we are a tier below any of those teams mentioned. It's the giant pink elephant in the middle of the room. The Boston Red Sox! That's right, I said it. The only time we develop a sudden inferiority complex is when our arch nemesis has a team good enough to make the playoffs. Our franchise has made the playoffs 7 times in their 46 year history. We have lost in the playoffs six of those times, and three of them to the Red Sox. Once in extremely dramatic fashion and the other two via old fashion whoopings. We don't fear Oak, or NY, or Det, or Cle. If, in 2008, the Yanks won the East, Det the Central, LAA the West, and Cle the wild card, there wouldn't be even a remote hint of fear in any Halo fans' eyes. But if Boston squeezes in as an 85 win wild card team, all of a sudden we magnify every deficiency our team has.

Let's all recognize this for what it is. Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. Nothing more. We are not a second tier team. If we can come close to the numbers we put up in 2002 then on paper we are better than the Cle's and Det's of the world and on par with Bos and NY. We just can't beat the Red Sox in the playoffs. Recently, we haven't even come close. But, we changed our playoff mojo in 2002, so who's to say we can't do it again.

Love to hear what you think!

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice post and good call... faceing boston again would put a knot in my stomache i think you are on to something there.

AngelsWin Media



AngelsWin.com Website Store

 photo t_zps6af139fc.gif
Copyright © 2013 Los Angeles Angels Blog | AngelsWin.com

AngelsWin.com is the unofficial website of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Our comments and views do not express the views of the major league club or anyone affiliate with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  AngelsWin.com blog content, articles and opinions are provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind.  We disclaim warranties, express or implied, including warranties for a particular purpose, accuracy, completeness, availability, security, compatibility and non-infringement.  Blog material, articles and other information furnished or supplied by you to AngelsWin.com become the ownership of AngelsWin.com for use at our discretion.  Your use of AngelsWin content is at your own discretion and risk. We do not warrant that any content here be error free that access thereto will be uninterrupted or errors will be corrected. We do not warrant or make any representations regarding  the use of any content made available through AngelsWin.com  You hereby waive any claim against us with respect thereto. AngelsWin.com may contain the opinions and views of other members and users. We cannot endorse, guarantee, or be responsible for the accuracy, efficacy or veracity of any content generated by our members and other users. The content of AngelsWin.com is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Such content is not intended to, and does not, constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used for such purposes. Reliance on any information appearing on AngelsWin.com is strictly at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in, or accessible through, the AngelsWin.com without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer or professional licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.