Pardon a smallish digression from the world of games to something truly important ... baseball. With painful memories of the '04 and '05 postseason meltdowns acid-etched into my mind, I've not been able to summon the intestinal fortitude to watch either of the first two Red Sox/Angels games. (And postseason Angels games really take a toll on one's stomach.)
Now, with the Halos up 2-0, I'm wondering if it's safe to peek between my fingers as the series repairs to Fenway Park. My gut-twisting gut-level feeling is that this series goes the full five games, which is my recipe for pure torture. But ... Angels pitchers seemed to have conquered their fear of BoSox hitters and shut them down.
Besides, I've been wrong before about this team -- 1,000% wrong about Bobby Abreu, who's been a tremendous influence for the better. His superb plate discipline has been worlds away from the bizarre flailing of Vladimir Guerrero (which you can only get away with if you're Vlad and can lift a far-outside pitch over the fence in straightaway center). Patient at-bats were the key to the Angels' '02 World Series run, which made up for less-than-dominant starting pitching. If there's an Angels/Yankees ALCS, it'll be a contest to see who can take more pitches: a real tortoise-and-hare match.
At least the Angels and BoSox share a common adversary: the umpires. "Country" Joe West and C.B. Bucknor are showing yet again why they are two of the worst in MLB ... although seemingly every American League playoff game this year (including the Metrodome miniseries that finished the Detroit Tigers) has been plagued by truly craptacular umpiring and amazingly poor calls. If this were the NFL, these clowns would be relegated to working late-season Rams/Raiders games or some purgatorial equivalent.
Speaking of the Yanks, I can't hold out much hope for my old home team, the Minnesota Twins. All the Homer Hankies in the world aren't going to do it for a pitching staff that can't hold a lead against the Bronx Bombers, and it pains me to type that.
Thanks for your indulgence. We now return to our irregularly scheduled blogging. As soon as I find my Rally Monkeys, that is.
P.S.: It's a damnable shame that our server won't load previously unused images into the blogs. 'Cuz I've got a great Philly Phanatic photo that would be perfect should they make it to the Fall Classic.