This was suppose to be their year. They had a lights out closer who destroyed the single season saves record. They added pop to what had been an anemic line up in the off season and at the trade dead line. They won 100 games and their division by 21 games. So how is John Lackey taking his team’s early exit form the playoffs? Uh, not well.
Lackey, who won a World Series his rookie year with the Angles but has had to watch the Boston Red Sox celebrate a trip to the ALCS three times in the last 5 years, made these comments in a Grimlock-like tone while hopping up and down so much that Torii Hunter was embarassed:
"We lost to a team that's not better than us. We are a better team than they are. The last two days, we shouldn't have given up anything"
This was followed by:
"[Sunday] night they scored three runs on a pop fly that was called a hit, which was a joke,"
"[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."
Lackey has had his own personal struggles with the Sox. He is 0-2 with a 3.67 ERA in the playoffs, but has struggled mightily when he has gone to Fenway over the past 3 seasons; 2-2, 5.11, 24.2 IP, 31 H, 14 ER while the Sox were hitting .295 off of him. This only adds to the frustration that the Angels lost to a Sox team that was, this time, without Manny, Lowell, a healthy Beckett and had numerous first and second year players make key contributions.
However, for Lackey to say anything about another team, or division for that matter, being a joke is far off base. The Angels played in the weakest division in baseball. While the AL East sported 4 teams that won 86 games or more, the Angels were the only team in the AL West to reach 80 wins. Further, excluding their 4 game series with the Twins, the Angels played a whopping 9 games against playoff teams in the second half of the season, none after September 7th. So perhaps the joke was the Angels 100 wins being legit. Perhaps the Angels coasted into the playoffs on the strength of an Ohio State like schedule. Perhaps the Sox, in the midst of a pennant race with the Rays while fending off the Yankees for the better part of the season, were ready to play.
Anyways, I always find it funny when someone from a losing team declares that they were the better team. Really? Does it matter who is the perceived "better team"? Is John Lackey going to grab Dr. Martha Jones and the TARDIS and time travel back to the start of the series to prove that his team was the better team? (Editor's Note:I cried reading that last line, tears of joy)
John Lackey's last hope....where are you Tom Baker and your 13 foot scarf??