Never mind the results of the Red Sox’s 3 games to 1 ALDS series triumph over Lanaheim ; Angels starter John Lackey ignores Boston’s postseason ownership of his ballclub, declaring to the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett, “We lost to a team that™s not better than us.
The feelings in the clubhouse after this year™s elimination were nothing like those a year ago when the Red Sox beat them, Lackey said.
œTotally different, he said. œThey were better than us last year. They™re not better than us this year.
When asked how that made him feel, knowing it was the Red Sox who were advancing to play in the ALCS, Lackey said, œLike I want to throw somebody through a wall.
Though he referred to the Red Sox as œthe better team in a TV interview following the loss, Angels outfielder Torii Hunter let his true opinion out a little later.
œHonestly, I feel we™re better, Hunter said. œWe are better. Those guys don™t feel the pressure. They love pressure. In Boston, these guys are under pressure every day.
Hunter said he felt this year™s Angels gave them œour best chance to get to the World Series but wouldn™t call the season a failure since it ended far short of that goal.
œFailure? I can™t say ˜failure.™ That™s kind of harsh, he said. œBut it was tough walking off that field, knowing you should be the one moving on (to play Tampa). We™re a better team than those guys. But they got it done.”
“[Sunday] night they scored three runs on a pop fly that was called a hit, which was a joke,” Lackey said, referring to Ellsbury’s pop that fell between center fielder Torii Hunter and second baseman Howie Kendrick in Game 3.
“[Monday] night they scored on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball that anywhere else in America is an out, and he’s fist-pumping on second base like he did something great.”
The frustration is understandable, and Lackey cannot be blamed for the Angels’ third consecutive playoff exit at the hands of the Red Sox. But who exactly is he taking issue with? The official scorer? Should Boston’s baserunners not been in motion with 2 out and the bags juiced when Ellsbury hit his blooper in Game 3? The ball was nothing if not catchable. What part of being the better side involves Vlad Guerrero running his team out of an inning?
Corey Patterson reportedly will not be resigned by the Reds. Let this be a lesson to Natosha Baker’s future suitors.