Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ready For Philly Phlight After Angel Dive

For the Los Angeles Angels, it’s a murderers’ low.

The Yankees simply exposed the Halos as hollow.

The Angels as the wrong angles.

The city as Loss Angeles.

So much for my prediction: Angels over Philly in six.

For this World Series, I couldn’t be serious.

New York sure is after ousting L.A. in the pennant series.

So now the Yanks and Phils are about to swing away in baseball’s championship round.

As for old news:

What happened to the Angels?

How could the Halos look like such zeros?

The short answers:

Yankee pitchers fired strikes. Halo hurlers lobbed balls.

New York’s batters hit the damn ball. L.A.’s lineup imitated the MLB logo — all stance, no swing.

So what does Disneyland’s neighborhood team do now? Suit up new guys.

Say bye to this costly quartet: Vlad, Figgy, Abreu, Lackey.

Say hi to these famished four: Wood, Sandoval, Evans, Bell.

You’ll need an iPhone to ID next season’s Angels. And time to brood if you’re a Halo fan. The 2010 bunch will hardly win the American League West by 10 games, as this year’s version did.

Which sets up the Halos nicely for 2011 heaven. Meaning a leap into the World Series.

Here’s saying they’ll have to rise that year on the wings of another manager. Mike Scioscia has to wear his Dodger blue one day, so he might as well get that move over with.

But enough about the locals. On the World stage, the Phillie-Yankee show was last set to open in 1964 — until the Phils phlopped horribly in September, handing St. Louis the National League pennant.

Forty-five years later, Philly-New York is a go. Minus Johnny Callison and Mickey Mantle, those teams’ stars back then.

Now we’re about to watch Ryan Howard slug it out with A Rod.

My call minutes before the first pitch: Philly in phive.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California who runs

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Angels Winging It All; Favre Packs A Viewing Punch

Baseball playoffs full of Dodger and Yankee stunners.

College football jammed with Bama and Texas charges.

The NFL packed with Brett Favre.

Is this fall heaven or what? With an apt team riding these clouds: the L.A. Angels.

Yea: The Angel bats, speed and arms broke Boston. Nothing like a sweep to answer the Henderson homer of 1986. And to draw a snappy rallying cry from R.J. in Riverside, as called in to Jeff Biggs' Angel radio show: Create Your Fate.

Boo: Joe Nathan's job title is closer. The only thing he closed Friday was Minnesota's series shot. As soon as he surrendered A Roid's rope, the Twins were done. As was my upset pick.

Yea: Chone Figgins has a funny first name. And he's one fun guy to watch at Angel Stadium. Glove, gun, bullet fast. The third baseman is pure entertainment. Especially on one night this summer. Between innings, the Angels ran their promo with a kid dashing to pick up the third base bag. But he couldn't lift it. So Figgins pulled it up for him, and the little buddy carried it across the finish line in time. Now that's a prize moment.

Boo: NBA teams playing games on consecutive nights. Baseball players chatting with guys on the other team during games. Both are drags, as spelled out by Jeff Biggs on his KLAA radio show.

Yea: Dave Campbell of ESPN radio. No better analyst in baseball.

Boo: Yankee fans. Can they come up with something more original? Their sense of entitlement will take a beating once the Angels whip them on the way to the championship.

Yea: Being an L.A. fan. The Angels and Dodgers could meet in the World Series. The champion Lakers could win 70 games.

Boo: Being a St. Louis fan. The Cardinals didn't exactly have a Holliday in the playoffs. The Rams look worse than their pre-George Allen days. And Mizzou. Playing in the downpour against Nebraska Thursday night, the Tigers looked downright poor. God help us when we go to Texas Oct. 24.

Yea: James Loney’s hustle in that miracle Dodger triumph in Game 2 over St. Louis.

Boo: Juan Rivera’s hustle. It slows in the field and on the base paths too often for the Angels. Mike Scioscia better get Rivera flowing fast in this title run.

Yea: Good to see Manny stiffening up his bat again. Must be back on those pregnant pills.

Boo: The L.A. Times sports section predicted the Cards would sweep the Dodgers in three. What? Bad enough to knife the local lads. Horrible when you're dead wrong.

Yea: Patrick Cain was dead on. He's an office colleague, sports nut to the max. And he predicted the Dodgers' ditching of the Cards when no one else saw it. Nothing new from Cain. He called the Arizona Diamondbacks' division title of 2007 and the Seattle Mariners' rise from the depths this year.

Boo: Someone at Angel Stadium please fix the typo atop of the visitor-side dugout. It reads: ANGELS BASEBALL '09. With the apostrophe turned the wrong way.

Yea: Jim Tracy. He dropped off the map after managing the Dodgers to the playoffs and directing Pittsburgh to nowhere land. The minute he popped up in Colorado at midseason, I sent a text to a pal in amazement. Now everyone's amazed at how the Rocks rolled under him.

Boo: So Obummer wins the Nobel Prize for piece of what? Considering his girly toss ahead of last summer's All-Star Game, the best line came from the guy behind me at work: He was more deserving of the Cy Young trophy.

Yea: Harold Reynolds. He's as smooth on MLB Network as he was as an MLB second baseman. At least as smooth as he was with the ladies at ESPN, which booted him for exactly that trait. Glad he's been back on the screen a couple of years now. He's the main reason to flip to channel 213.

And one more yea: Favre. You knew his stare-down of his old Green Bay gang would bust ESPN Monday night records. And when he chatted during that usually boring postgame press conference, you couldn't change the channel. That's one quarterback who has it. Period. Paragraph.

Bucky Fox is an author and editor in Southern California who runs