October 05, 2009
Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe tweeted it best on Monday afternoon:
"Boarding my flight to Anaheim for the ALDS. This feels very familiar."
Ah, don't we all feel that way? For the the third straight year and fourth time in six postseasons, the Red Sox are packing up and heading west to start the playoffs against the Angels. You'd think that the shared history would make for a highly-anticipated session, but I'm willing to bet that baseball fans without a horse in the race would rank it as the least intriguing matchup of the four opening series.
I mean, at this point, Angels-Red Sox has become the "Desperate Housewives" of the postseason (ie: you see ads and ask "Why in the world are they still going through with that?")
But you can't blame the Red Sox for the nation's collective yawn.
Or, if you look at it another way, maybe you can. Over the past three series, the Red Sox have won nine of 10 ALDS games against the Angels, sweeping in 2004 and '07 and taking four games to seal the deal in '08. They won the first two games in Anaheim on all three occasions and were in control before heading back to friendly Fenway.
Would we feel differently about the battle of the two bicoastal megapowers if they had mixed in a few Game Fives or replicated the drama of the Red Sox's seven-game win over the Halos in 1986? Of course we would. Red Sox-Angels might have become the equivalent of Royals-Yankees in the late '70s/early '80s had Los Angeles simply shown up.
But until the Angels prove they're game for a knock-it-out, drag-it-out series, we're going to remain skeptical. The potential is there, but after continually being let down, I don't think you can blame anyone for being a bit guarded right now.
More Angels-Red Sox coverage to come ...