Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Preview A Day Keeps the Winter Away

No joke. As soon as I typed this the weather outside went from a white-out-ish snowstorm to a bright blue sky.

Anyway, as I said last month, for the month of March I will be doing a season preview, with a new team each day, going in alphabetical order by team so I can save the Yankees for last, because I am, in fact, that devious.

As this is a Yankees' blog, the previews for AL East teams will be more detailed than those of AL Central and AL West teams, and any AL team previews will be more detailed than NL team previews, save maybe for the Mets. Each preview will involve consideration of how much 'threat' a team is to the Yankees, for fairly obvious reasons.

Today, up first: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels, we know, are a bit of an irksome pest to the Yankees. They ended the Yankees' October in 2002 and 2005, and in this blog's very first poll, 55 out of 57 voters wanted not to face the Angels in the postseason. Of all the teams Joe Torre managed against, on the Angels had a winning record against the Yankees.

Of course, it doesn't need to be said that this isn't Joe Torre's team anymore.

Anyway, the Angels are good. If they stay healthy, they are easily the favorites to win the AL West. The addition of Torii Hunter in the outfield makes them solid at every outfield position (again, if they can stay healthy) and while they might not have the best pitching rotation in the American League, they certainly have best rotation in their division.

Keys for their 2008 season:

Stay healthy. The injuries and wear-and-tear they had by the end of last year no doubt dealt them a serious blow in October. If they stay healthy, their line up is as potent as the Tigers or the Yankees.

Have a pitcher outside of Lackey and Escobar step up in the #3 role. The Angels might have the good Weaver, but the name still gives me jitters.

Threat to the Yankees:

Orange: Exercise extreme caution.

The Yankees only play them six games in the regular season, so the Angels are unlikely to have a major impact on whether or not the Yankees get to October, but in October, it's another story.

They've been a pest in years past; hopefully, if it comes to it, Joe Girardi can figure out Mike Socsia better than Joe Torre ever could...


Back later with some notes from today's exhibition game against Philadelphia. It's not on YES, but you can catch the game on, or, if you're like me and you like to keep your cash, on radio stream here. We should get a "look" at some of the young guys--Gardner, Porter and Woodward are starting in the field and Albaladejo, Phillips and Giese are going to get some innings on the mound.


  1. Hey Rebecca - you forgot the Angels biggest threat to the Yankees - the rally monkey!

  2. Fran--Yes, but we have Scooter

  3. Im not so sure the Angels have a better rotation than the Mariners. Bedard, Felix, and Carlos Silva are pretty solid. Outside of Lackey, the Angels aren't so great. Garland is solid, but Escobar is hurt and Ervin Santana is inconsistent. I guess Jered Weaver is the x-factor here, if he can stay healthy, that rotation may be better than the one in Seattle.

  4. Rebecca - I can't believe that I forgot about Scooter!

    I do think that the Yankees will do better against the Angels this season. Part of the reason the Angels give the Yanks such a hard time is that they do a lot of running and small ball. I think that the Yanks will do a lot more of that this season under Girardi.

  5. Nate--Of course, stupid me completely forgot about Bedard on Seattle...

    However, there's a reason Seattle utterly collapsed last year, and as much as we might want to, we can't ignore it =)