(ALCS MVP Paul Konerko celebrates his price going waaaaay up this winter)
As it turned out, the League Championship wasn’t much of a coming out party for Bobby Jenks — the White Sox bullpen was surplus to requirements, an incredible 4 complete games in a row being thrown by Mark Buhrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras.
(The Chairman and manager share a giggle as security asks Michael Jordan for his laminate)
Vlad Guerrero’s ALCS : 1 for 20, not counting all the street lights he and A-Rod smashed in the Pepsi commercial.
For losing pitcher Kelvim Escobar, next year’s spring training can include a refresher course in tagging a baserunner with the ball, as opposed to an empty glove. Had the umpiring crew gotten this particular call wrong, it really would’ve justified a LaRussian meltdown.
We’ll see a different Angels in 2006 — it’s doubtful ownership will stand pat with this punchless lineup. Bengie Molina might well be displaced by his younger brother (and perhaps Flushing bound). Unless Steve Finley hires Greg Anderson as his personal trainer, this might’ve been his last game in a big league uniform.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for our beloved, well-heeled boys from the Bronx, the American League Championship Series started. If they were watching, the Yankees (aka Team Moneybags) found out two things.
The first is that the Angels, the team that knocked them out in the Division Series, could have been had. The Yankees probably realized this at the time. But maybe they didn’t realize just how vulnerable Anaheim could look.
The Angels have a nice manager (Mike Scioscia), mascot (Rally Monkey) and bullpen. But they’ll swing at anything, if pitched properly, and generally not hit it very far. They don’t walk (nine in 10 playoff games), and sometimes they don’t even run that hard.
The second is that when it came to Jose Contreras, they mucked it up (and we’re being kind using that phrasing.)
Contreras was ranked somewhere between a reject, a giveaway and a discard when he was a Yankee.
Then he came to Chicago, and experienced a complete turnaround, which is the operative word for the South Siders’ pitching rotation.
We suspected there had to be a reason the Yankees paid $32 million to sign Contreras. And why also the Red Sox people threw a fit when they didn’t get him, and the Yankees did. The reason is obvious now. The man can pitch.