I’m changing things up a little bit with the Game Countdown today. Instead of the usual opinion piece, I decided to see what the enemy is up to by way of an interview with our Fanball Blog Network Yankee affiliate TheBlogThatRuthBuilt.com. Craig Williams was nice enough to answer a few questions about the Angels and the ALCS from the Yankee perspective.
Q: We all know no other team has handled the Yanks better than the Halos have this century. As far as Angel fans are concerned, the Yankees are our bitch. Do Yankee fans really feel that way too or is that just wishful thinking on our part? If so, just how scared of facing the Angels are the Yanks and why?
A. We see the Angels more as a thorn in our side, a very annoying thorn that we can’t reach and just keeps on stinging and itching. Or maybe like some gnats that just won’t ever go away. That sort of thing. The worst part about it, in the past, was the Angels would always seem to forget how to play baseball and get curb stomped by the Red Sox. I can only speak for myself and maybe a couple of other Yankees fans that I know but we are well aware of how stout the Angels are this year. With that said, if the Angels can get over their hump I don’t see any reason why we can’t get over ours.
Q: Convince me why the Yankees will win this series because, to be honest, I just don’t see it. The Halos have beat Sabathia’s fat ass all season long and I don’t think it is possible for me to be less scared of AJ Burnett. Why should the Angels fear the Yankees (aside from the horror factor of A-Rod’s purple lips)?
A. Well, A-Rod’s purple lips are somewhat interesting, huh? Maybe that is part of our plan, get the opposition asking themselves, “Why the hell does this guy have purple lips? Is there grape Kool-Aid in their clubhouse? I want some grape Kool-Aid…” Next thing you know, A-Rod hits a big bomb off of someone. As far as CC goes, his extra girth is going to come in handy in Game 1. While those Angels, used to playing in beautiful Anaheim weather, are cold and frigid and wet, CC will be nice and insulated from the elements. Burnett’s job is to keep the games semi-close so that we can receive a nice break on a bad call from an umpire and hit a walk-off.
Q: New York has homefield advantage and was the best home team in baseball this year. But I have heard that new Yankee Stadium isn’t nearly the intimidating stage that old Yankee Stadium was. Is that true or should I stop trusting Bill Simmons as a source for Yankee facts?
A. During the regular season, I’d say yes, that is true. But I think any home stadium can be an intimidating environment in an LCS match up. Trusting Bill Simmons with Yankees fact is probably like trusting Britney Spears with parenting advice.
Q: A-Rod finally came through in October, I’m sure that is very exciting for Yankee fans because we just went through that same thing with Vladimir Guerrero. Do you think that was just a fluke in the ALDS or should the Angels be worried about Alex Rodriguez going all roid rage on them this series?
A. The Angels and the fans should definitely have that fear ready and handy at the very least. In 2004, A-Rod also torched the Twins and then played well for the first three games of the ALCS. After that game, up until Game 1 of this years ALDS, he was almost invisible. If everything he says is true about him not feeling any pressure then it could be a very long and exciting series.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ New York Yankees (Series Tied 0-0)
Starters: LAA – John Lackey NYY – C.C. Sabathia
Game Info: 4:57 PM PT TV-Fox, Radio-ESPN Radio, KLAA 830 AM, KFWB, KWKW 1330 AM
- Will the weather cooperate? The game may not get rained out totally, but there is a good chance that there will be some mid-game delays which would almost certainly mean the starting pitchers would come out early and turn the game into a battle of the bullpens. Nobody wants that.
- Can C.C. Sabathia keep the Angel baserunners under control with his slide step without losing his pitching effectiveness?
- Does Big John Lackey have another big performance in him? The Angels will need Lackey to be every bit as effective as he was in Game 1 of the ALDS if they hope to beat C.C. Sabathia tonight.
- Vladimir Guerrero keeps the momentum going from his series-winning hit in the ALDS with a big fly tonight.
- Time for my series prediction. Everyone thinks this is going to be a tight series, but I don’t just have the feeling this will be one of those series where all sorts of whacky things happen and they will all be detrimental to the Yankees. I predict the Angels win in 5 and move on to the World Series to face the Phillies.
- I wish for the Angels to send an early message to the Yankees and not only beat their ace pitcher but beat him on his own turf.
ZERO Tolerance for… the cold weather slowing the Angels down. The Yankees may not have to worry about aggressive Halo baserunning if the Angels let the cold get to them and make them sluggish on the basepaths.
Leave your own questions, answers, predictions or wishes as a comment or just hang out with us during the game or even chat with us on twitter (@MonkeyWithAHalo).