This team is, for lack of a better word, dumb. Maybe this year, while the pitchers and catchers are going through early spring training, they can send the position players to Baseball 101 classes, because these are the stupidest mothefuckers I've ever seen on a baseball field. Stick Orlando Cabrera in the front of the room, because he needs the most help. He essentially salted the game away for the Red Sox in the top of the 7th when he tried to beat Alex Cora to second base on what should have been an inning ending double play. With the catcher at the plate, a simple flip to Kennedy would have started an easy double play which would have ended the inning and kept the Angels within one run. But Cabrera was beaten to the bag, Cora was called safe, and the Sox doubled their lead.
Of course, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, because these guys decided about half way through last night's game that they were no longer going to try to score runs. One good chance came in the bottom of the sixth, with two runners on, one out, and Vlad at the plate. He promptly ended the threat with a 6-4-3 double play. Only slightly less dramatic than Tim Salmon's statue routine with the bases loaded last night.
But the coup de gras of stupidity came in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on second and third and none out, Howie Kendrick laced a single to left. I remind you, there were none out. Anderson scored, and despite the fact that there were none out, Rivera was sent, and was too stupid to understand the situation. He was promptly thrown out. Did I mention that there were no outs? Because it's important to know that there were no outs in order to guage the full moronitude of this play. No more runners would cross the plate, making the shithead play by Cabrera in the top of the sixth that much more painful.
This is without a doubt, the stupidest collection of players in professional baseball. They prove it again and again and again. With average intelligence, they'd be ten games up on the A's right now, but their utter contempt for knowledge, from the amateur psychologist in chief right on down the line, has doomed them to failure this year.
The bottom line is that they simply can't afford to lose close games in which they have opportunities to win. They don't have to cash in every runner, but they need to bring those guys home in the big situations. It's August 25th, and their down by a week. There aren't that many weeks left. Despite numerous opportunities, I haven't bailed on this season since May. I'm doing it now. The Angels are done for 2006. Even assuming they could mount a challenge the rest of the way, they're far to stupid to get over the hump.
Oh well, at least Oakland will choke it away in the first round again.