Successive song titles used for my posts? As Gov. Sarah Palin would say "You betcha!". Anyway, I was a bit off on the scores, but correct on the picks as both the Red Sox and Rays pulled out series clinching victories on Sunday. What I want to talk about comes about because of what one Angels player said after the Game 4 loss to the Red Sox. Cue Angels Game 1 and 4 starter John Lackey:
"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."
I was discussing this quote with a friend of mine today, and he said that it was a classless thing for Lackey to say. I don't necessarily dispute this claim, but what I do think is that it's understandable. This is a fierce competitor who just lost to the Red Sox for the third time in five years, and is predictably a bit bitter. He also wasn't completely off base in his comments. The Angels had a 100-win season under their belt, and while you may say that comes against weaker divisional opponents they had also won 8 of 9 against Boston this season. Judging from a larger sample size, i.e. season series and the season as a whole, can you blame Lackey for thinking his team was better?
He is justifiably upset at getting bounced from the playoffs in the Divisional around once again, however he does need to realize that the Angels didn't play better this series. Additionally they had a mediocre run differential (+68 to Boston's +150) working against them. I don't hold anything against John Lackey for voicing his frustration, in fact, I empathize with him and I like that he feels his team should win whenever it takes the field. The only issue is, in this case he was wrong. The Angels weren't the best team, and they did not match up well with a Boston team that looks primed for another run to the World Series. So while it might not have been respectful or dignified, I don't think it's classless so much as misinformed.