Cut4 Postseason Primer: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
From 30 World Series hopefuls, only a few remain. In case you haven't been following every contender, here's a catch-up on what you missed and what to expect next. In this edition: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Angels became the first team to clinch a postseason berth last Monday night, breaking a four year October drought. Mike Scioscia's squad ran away with the AL West and will now look to duplicate their World Series glory from 12 years ago. Let's take a quick look back at how they got it done.
5. Quick hands.
Things started off on a hopeful note in May, when infielder Luis Jimenez defeated David Price in a pregame cow-milking contest:
4. Expert trolling.
The Angels played stellar offense and defense, but were also able to get into their opponents' heads this season. In July, Mariners closer Fernando Rodney sent off a premature eighth-inning bow-and-arrow into the Halos dugout. L.A. mounted a comeback in the ninth and sent their own arrows right back at Rodney:
And last month, Albert Pujols surprised everyone by tagging up from first base on a fly ball to Yasiel Puig:
The veteran followed it up with a fantastic impression of the Dodgers outfielder:
3. The Machine
Oh, and speaking of Pujols, how about his resurgence? After an injury-plagued 2013, the first baseman connected on his 500th home run earlier this year and topped the 25-homer mark for the 13th time in his career. Even Big Papi likes what he sees. The Angels just hope that he (along with Howie Kendrick, Eric Aybar and Mike Trout) continue to mash over the next month.
The Angels have a lot of good ones -- from Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker in the rotation to Joe Smith and Kevin Jepsen in the late innings. They also traded for closer Huston Street midway through the season. Guy is nothing but good luck.
1. The Fish God.
Oh, there's also that Mike Trout guy. The 23-year-old has put together another incredible season, setting a new career high in homers and leading the AL in runs and RBIs. He's also hit mammoth home runs:
made unbelievable catches:
and helped high schoolers ask their dates to prom.
We're excited to see what he'll bring to his very first postseason.
So, what can we expect from the Angels this October? A few predictions:
The postseason will be changed so that the victors are determined by rally animal wars. The Rally Monkey will make a triumphant return to Angel Stadium, defeating the A's Rally Opossum in the ALDS, the Tigers' Rally Tiger in the ALCS and the Cardinals' Rally Squirrel in the World Series.
Ballboy Dave will enter Game 7 of the World Series as a pinch-runner and steal home (and all of your hearts) en route to a dramatic Fall Classic victory.
A Mike Trout fly ball will punch a hole through the atmosphere, releasing a flurry of actual angels, who will thereby guide the team to postseason glory. Oh, wait ...