Superior Firepower

Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers in 2002. He’s one of the many mercenaries acquired by the New York Yankees to build a roster of future Hall of Famers.


Sage philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Although the Angels are down 3-1 to the Yankees in their best-of-seven series, they still go to the World Series if they win Thursday then go to New York and win the last two games there.

Which brings up another quote attributed to Berra, “It gets late early out there.”

It’s very late for the Angels.

I’m a fatalist when it comes to the post-season. Three layers of playoff series add so much unpredictability that I don’t see the point to getting all worked up about what happens.

Watching this series, though, I’m grateful for any games we win because the Yankees have a roster laden with future Hall of Famers.

Among the position players, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter are slam-dunk inductees. A-Rod has 583 career homers at age 34 and, barring injury, should be the all-time home run king by the time he retires. Jeter at age 35 has 2,747 career hits and should easily top 3,000 if he doesn’t get hurt.

Arguments could be made for other Yankees players.

Mark Teixeira doesn’t turn 30 until next April but has hit over 30 homers a season every year since his rookie campaign, when he hit 26. He hit 41 in 2008 and 43 in 2009.

Jorge Posada won’t be a first-year inductee, but certainly will be considered. He has 243 homers, has gone to five All-Star games and won five Silver Slugger awards for the best hitting catcher in the league.

Johnny Damon won’t get a Hall induction, although early in his career he was certainly headed in that direction. He hit 24 homers this year, matching his single-season high.

Robinson Cano probably won’t go either, but at age 27 (tomorrow) he hit 25 dingers this year, a personal single-season high.

The so-called “fans” who bash the Angels’ pitching for giving up runs to this lineup are not living in the real world. There’s no pitching staff on the planet that could shut down this modern day Murderers’ Row.

The pitching staff also has its Hall of Fame candidates.

Andy Pettitte will be inducted. He has 229 career wins and a lifetime .629 winning percentage. His career ERA is a little high at 3.91 but he’s pitched in an era where anything below 4.00 is considered pretty good. He’s averaged 6.7 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings over his fifteen-season career.

How’s about A.J. Burnett? He’s been on some mediocre teams, which has kept down his win total, but he has a career 3.84 ERA in 11 seasons, averaging 8.4 strikeouts and 3.8 walks per nine innings. At age 32, he still has several good years left in him, and playing in the New York limelight might be enough to get him Hall votes.

C.C. Sabathia has showed in this series why he might be a Hall candidate when he retires. He’s only 29 but already has 136 career wins; 300 used to be the gold standard for Hall of Fame pitchers but now 250 is good enough and C.C. has another 8-10 years to notch 114 more to reach 250. His career ERA is 3.62, averaging 7.6 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings.

That’s the three-man rotation the Angels have faced in this series — Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte.

And I don’t think we need to argue whether closer Mariano Rivera will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s a slam dunk.

So on this 25-man roster, you can pretty much assume that Rodriguez, Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera are a lock for the Hall. Teixeira, Posada, Sabathia and Burnett certainly are possibilities.

That’s eight guys, or about one-third of their roster.

The best team money can buy.

The Yankees had an Opening Day payroll of $201 million, according to USA Today. The Angels were at $114 million, a little over half of the Yankees’ payroll.

And for that, we have at least the second-best team in the American League.

I can live with that.


  1. yankees139007

    I must agree with you 100%,The Angels don’t have any chance of coming from behind in this ALCS and will Loose in 5 games to the best team in Baseball.

    The Yankees will advance to the World Series to face the Phillies and the Yankees will beat the Phillies in 4 or 5 games.

    I am glad the Angels are loosing and I hope to see the faces of all those fans with they get eliminated on Thrusday.

    This is finally going to be the year when the Yankees return to glory and win it all.

    They are playing the best ball ever and have the best team i have seen in a long time.

  2. halomike

    Hey yankees139007,

    That’s exactly Angel Fans we felt when we knocked “the best team money can buy” out of the division series in 2002 and 2005.

    The Yankees are stacked ….no question. Excellent pitching and great hitting. Should they make it to the World Series, there should be no problem eliminating the NL champs in 5 games.

    Congrats on a good series so far….but you still have one more game to play.

    Don’t be a typical Boston/Yankee fan and assume that since you have great teams that you will win it all.

  3. midhudsonbomber

    I do have to agree with halomike; I’m a die-hard Yankee fan but I respect the hell out of the Angels. They have a solid team and the first three games we played were battles. Yes they did commit errors that were uncharacteristic and we took advantage of that, but if the roles were reversed and it was the Yankees who made mistakes this series could have be a whole different scenerio.

    The Yankees may have put together a $201 million team, but more importantly than the price tag we put together a team of great hitters and pictures that sync up well. The Angels did that with half the payroll and had an amazing season including a ALDS sweep of the Red Sox, putting an exclamation on ending a post season losing streak to that team. I expect the Angels to have much success in the future, including a World Series win at some point.

    However, I don’t think this is not going to be the year. I’m not saying that to be a “typical” Yankee fan, but the odds are not in their favor and New York is playing it’s best baseball right now. Regardless, whether the series ends tomorrow or at a later date at Yankee Stadium I do not expect the Halos to go quietly into the night.

    It was a great series thus far, nail-biting for the most of it, and I’m expecting that tomorrow night to be the same. Thanks for an incredible ALCS and win or lose good luck tomorrow!

  4. yanks32190

    I would disagree with you about Pettitte going into the Hall of Fame. Sure, he has a great winning %, but that’s mostly a product of being on good teams. His 116 ERA+ is good, but it isn’t HOF worthy. His 1.361 WHIP is a little on the high side, he doesn’t have a ton of strikeouts, and he just never really dominated opposing hitters. Andy was a good pitcher and consistant throughout his career, but a kid with straight B’s doesn’t get into Harvard.

  5. halomike

    Well said midhudsonbomber. I understand that we are all biased when it comes to our teams…and you are right the odds are against the Angels.

    These are definitley the two best teams in the AL.

    Good Luck to you as well….I hope this series gets back to New York!

  6. ck1twinsfan

    Well said about the “it ain’t over till it’s over”!!! Let’s not be too quick to count the Angels out!!! I say, Go Angels…give ’em a run for their money, however many millions they might think they’re worth!!! Any team is beatable on any given day!!!

  7. erika34

    i know yankee fans will start bashing me, but the only reason the yankees are beating the Angels in the ALCS is because the umpires are handing it to the yankees. and yes i am a diehard red sox fan, but i just watched john lackey throw strike 3 to jorge posada which would have made the 2nd out of the inning and it was called a ball. lackey then recorded the 2nd out, which should have been the third out of the inning. he would have gotten out of a bases loaded jam, but thanks again to the wonderful umpiring, the yankees went on to score 6 runs to take a 6-4 lead. this had to have been the fourth or fifth bad call that went against the angels. is anyone else noticing this, or is it just me??? john lackey should have had a win tonight, but thanks to the umpires he gets a no decision and the Angels will probably lose the series. someone needs to investigate this.

  8. midhudsonbomber

    I do agree the officiating in this post season as a whole has been terrible. I would disagree that the Yankees are solely winning this series because of the umpires, but I will agree in this game (Game 5) the call against Lackey that gave Jorge the walk was horrible and gave the Yankees a chance to come back. Games 1 and 2 were won because of errors committed by the Angels and the Yanks just being able to take advantage of that and edge a good team out, Game 3 was a dramatic come from behind win for the Halos, and despite all the bad calls in Game 4, the Yankee bats woke up and that was the reason they won.

    Although Game 5 will have it’s share of controversy and the umpires do need to be investigated, in the end it didn’t cost the Angels the series and there will be a Game 6. I know it’s the principle of the matter, but for right now it has to be taken for how the game ended and not how it could have ended. Hopefully, Game 6 (and if necessary Game 7) will be without controversy and the umpires will get it right.

  9. midhudsonbomber

    Side Note: Remember that the umps mad a bad call with Johnny Damon as well in Game % when he was clearly safe at first and they called him out.

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