Hard to believe it’s over

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I really hate for it to end like this. I could have sworn we were going to The Show, the Fall Classic. One-hundred percent, I thought we were going to The Show.

This has been such a great season, and this was such a great team, it makes me sick to think that it’s over and we didn’t go all the way. I really thought we had the team to get it done. Walking away is so hard when you’ve gone through so much with a team for eight months.

It’s really hard to swallow. I thought we were taking it back to Anaheim for Game 5. We came back, and when I got that single to drive in the two runs to tie it, the guys were going crazy. I was trying to go the other way like that, hit it hard. He threw me a fastball that I was able to drive, and it was an awesome feeling to see Tex and Vlad score. Tying up the game in that situation, with two outs and two strikes on me, that was a thrill. I felt like we had all the momentum, that we’d be coming home for the decisive game.

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And just like that, we didn’t make the squeeze play work, they got a couple of hits, and our season was over.

The thing now is, you don’t know who’s coming back next season. You can’t say you’re going to be in this position again and have a team like this. This was the chance. This was the team. Unless everybody comes back — and we all have no idea how that’s going to turn out — we won’t get another chance with this team.

In a perfect world, I would love to have Mark Teixeira back, Frankie Rodriguez, Garret Anderson, Darren Oliver, Juan Rivera, Jon Garland — all those guys. But that’s out of our hands. That’s the business side of the game, and you never know what’s going to happen there. We have to trust our management people to make good moves and keep us strong and competitive.

What hurts for all the guys in this room is that we feel we’re a better team than those guys, but they’re moving on. That’s hard to take. It was little things here and there. Maturity. Some guys probably learned a lot this postseason that will help them in the future. You have to be 100 percent mentally committed to getting it done.

For me there are two seasons — the regular season and the postseason. I’m happy about what we did in the regular season. We made it to 100 wins, the first team to do that for this franchise, and that’s something we should all feel good about. We hung together and made a lot of great things happen. The fans were great, and I think we gave them a good show.

But the postseason, that’s a big disappointment. I’m just really upset about October. Maybe in time we’ll all be able to understand what happened, why we didn’t get it done, but right now, it just doesn’t make sense. We had so much talent on this team, so much camaraderie. I’m so proud of these guys, what they accomplished.

I think we all just need a little time to get over it. Before long, we’ll be back at it with Mike Scioscia and the staff, bringing big hopes and expectations to 2009. But right now, it’s a little too painful to put into words.

56 Comments

Before long, we’ll be back at it with Mike Scioscia and the staff, bringing big hopes and expectations to 2009.

Fixed.

Extremely tough loss to watch tonight. I was all over the place pacing back and fourth in my living room watching tonight. I pulled a play from your book and jumped up and messed my ankle kneecap when I came down after you got that hit to tie it up. The second Willits was out at third I had a horrible gut feeling that that was the game changer, momentum wise, for the Red Sox that time. Sadly, turned out to be true and the rest is history…

Who knows what next year’s opening day roster will look like. I don’t know when the next time the Angels will have a lineup and depth chart as deep as it was this season… just a heart break ending to what was such a stellar regular season.

At least we know you’ll be back next season, so there’s some hope there. Thanks for showing up this post season though instead of choking like some others on the team…. Better luck next year.

Well jeez, Mike was supposed to be struck out since you could (supposedly) do html in these comments…

It was such a tough series and it was hard for me to believe as well. Angels were sooo close!! I almost cried.. it was very heartbreaking to see…
Very disappointing indeed, Boston is a real good team but i really thought that this team was gonna go somewhere. I have no idea who’s gonna be on the team who’s not.. makes me sorta nervous.. I’m still proud of the team though!
Thanks Torii for a brilliant season and that hit that kept us in the game :)I feel bad for our pitchers they pitched their hearts out..
I hope you have a nice off season you deserve it ^^

That hit that drove in Vlad and Tex had me jumping up and down. And right as the Red Sox fans were taunting your name. That was definitely a roller coaster of emotions that I was feeling those last few innings.

It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how good the players are on your team, just how well you execute. Look at the 2002 team…nobody would’ve imagined them to win the World Series that year, no big names, no Tex or Vlad. They did it by getting the big hits and good defense.

I have faith that the Angels management will put together a solid team next year. Have a great offseason and I’m counting down the days until I can buy tickets for spring training!

Torii, you were a class act all season and real pro in the postseason. No reason to hang your head at all. Tough losses to be sure. But we do need to look at all the small mistakes we made in the four games. Fielding, baserunning, situational goofs, like the muffed squeeze tonight. While the sox made just one real goof: elsbury being tagged after over sliding second. Not sure how much better a team we need. we have some parts that are getting older. The top priority must be to sign Tex, without a doubt. But we need to learn from the mistakes, which seemed almost predictable after a while. see you next season.

I’m more disgusted than heartbroken.
You just can’t leave 42 men on base and make errors and expect to win. I’m sorry. This only forces Scoscia to make decisions like the one that killed us. Why? Why wasn’t Sean Rodriguez
or Brandon Wood utilized can someone please tell me?Were they on the post season roster?
I also feel Garret Anderson should have been pulled for a pinch hitter. He gave us 14 great years but cmon let’s face it he was a no show this post season. He showed no intensity what so ever.

A great season ended with a loud sickening thud.

I still can’t believe the season is over. When you hit that two run single and Kendry had that lead off double I honestly thought you guys were coming home for game 5.

Frankie will be gone next season, but aside from resigning Tex we really need nothing more. Nobody played Angels baseball during this series. It was not the team we saw all season long and thats what sucks the most. I didn’t recognize the team that played this series. All those errors and struggles at the plate just isn’t the team we saw all season long.

It sucks that once again we lost in the first round to Boston when we really had the better team. Whats funny is even though Manny wasn’t there this time, the guy he was traded for killed us w/ those two HRs. Hopefully Joe Maddon has more success than we did against Boston.

I thought you were all class Tori until I read where you and others on the Angels insist “the better team lost”. Hunh?
Let’s review a few things before the facts become vague with time. First of all, your overall defense was incredibly sloppy all four games. The better team defensively? No. Secondly, your starting SS can’t get a bunt down on a fastball right down the middle, KNOWING IT MEANT THE GAME! I would think if you and your (now golfing) friends really, really think you were better, then performing executing fundamental baseball tasks would be better. You played in the weakest division in baseball, boasted of this inflated 100 win season, and curiously thought you were the “better or even best” team in the playoffs. While east coasters knew that the the Rays and Sox were much more balanced, posessing more power and certainly equal to if not better pitching.
The Angels are delusional because of this weak division. Lackey can never win the big game, and Soscia is indeed the MOST OVERRATED manager in the game. For him to think Aybar was reliable in the squeeze situation only points to his lack of deep knowledge in who he is asking at such a critical time. At any rate, the Anaheim Angels will be forgotten in a few hours….let the real teams begin to play!

Im a Angel fan from Australia. Torri you did great man. We just got unlucky that Aybar missed the bunt. But, with the count 2-0, he really should have been swinging as any ball in play would have probably scored him.

Of course im heartbroken, same thing happened last year. Also my lakers lost to the Celtics this year, so the city of Boston has me really pee’d off.

hey torii, great season brotha. Such a heartbreak, i was at the game when u hit that grandslam and from there i was thinking some magical things were to come. But hey it happends. Hey anyway you can talk to GM tony about getting rid of aybar? Man did he choke, and kendrick to! 15 runners left on base by himself??? thats not good. Package kendrick and aybar for a strong third baseman, move figgins to second, have wood play short and resign tex there u go! Alright torii take care my friend.

Tori, I am a Red SOX fan from a very young age, and we had our ups and downs especially with the Yankees all those years. You are a great player, but your team is overall average. Like you said in your blog there are 2 seasons in this game, the regular and post season. If you don’t elevate your play and your intensity as players how can you win?? If your manager does not elevate his skills and do something unscripted how does he expect to win??
The make up of your team will change for next year maybe only then can the Angels head in the right direction, when it really counts. Be well and have a nice summer.

It’s a drag that only one team can move on but, that’s hardball. Congratulations to The Angels on a teriffic season. All Sox Nation knows we just eliminated a great team, one who maybe didn’t quite play up to their potential. I thought Scosia’s squeeze play was a brilliant idea, the perfect situation, especially since there were no fresh arms left in either dugout for going extras. If Aybar gets the bunt down we’re probably going back to LA and that would’ve favored the Angels. Boston struggled through adversity all season, but has held together due to people stepping up (like Jed Lowrie). Losing hurts but the Angels and their fans should hold their heads high; you got squeaked out by the defending Champs. See you next year.

After going down 0-2, you guys had to go to Fenway; the heart of Red Sox Nation; enemy territory. And you pulled out a victory in Game 3. That alone was more than many said was possible, and you did it. The curse is broken; the “monkey is off your back.” We weren’t swept! This just shows they CAN be beaten and we can bring it to them next year.
Thanks Torii for an amazing season. The Angels are lucky to have you, that’s for sure. You’ve made great plays in the field, been a consistent hitter, and provided spirit in the clubhouse. I have no doubt that we wouldn’t have even got this far without you on the team.
Hopefully the GM will make some important decisions over the offseason (regarding Mark Teixiera) and we’ll come back rearing to go in 2009.

Torii, you and Tex were amazing, and no one can deny that you both showed up to do your job during this series. I do, however, have to agree with one of the other comments in that you can not leave as many men on base as this team did as well as make ridiculous little league errors and expect to win against Boston. It is absolutely heartbreaking to have just watched the team that I swore was going to go all the way fall so short. What kills me the most is that we (you guys) didn’t loose because Boston played great baseball, we lost because we played bad baseball. I don’t like typing this anymore than anyone likes to read it, but the fact of the matter is that the baseball that was played in the last 4 games was bad. It would be so much easier to let the loss go if I could say “we had no chance”, but the truth is we did and we should have won every single game, and we would have if it weren’t for all of those little mistakes adding up. I would like to end this by thanking you for doing such an amzing job during both the regular season and postseason, you showed up to play and do your job everyday and I thank you for that. I am very sorry for the disappointment you and your team are facing, and I am just as sorry (if not more) to all of the fans who were let down by this too.

Thank you ALL for a GREAT season! Thought my neighbors would call the cops on me last night ’cause I was yelling so loud. All your fans are hurting with you, believe me. The best team DID NOT win! We’ll all be counting the months before we can try it again. Rest, heal & have some fun until we meet again next year.

Torii and the rest of the guys – thanks for an amazing season – I enjoyed every nail biting moment.

It’s really tough to see it end this early – I knew in my heart we could go all the way. And my heart breaks for you guys not to enjoy more of this ride.

When you tied it up last night I was screaming and yelling so loud I thought the neighbors would think someone was being killed and call the police – I felt the hope come surging back and I could see it in your faces that you knew we could bring it back here for game 5. But it wasn’t meant to be this year and I too don’t understand why. We’re hurting right there with you guys. Take some time – have a good cry (I know I did), get some rest and we, your fans, will see you at Spring Training. Don’t do anything dangerous and get hurt this winter cause we want you all healthy for 2009.

We love ya and again thanks for the great season.

Torii, Please don’t listen any negative thing someone says. You came to play and you played amazing. Thank you so much for this GREAT season. I have been an Angel fan for many many years and this season is full of so many amazing memories. THANK YOU TORII!

I can’t wait for next year – we will make big things happen again. No one has heard the last word from our Angels yet.

Anaheim Loves You Torii Hunter!

Here’s a thought, Tori: Maybe when you spend the bulk of your season playing AAA teams like Seattle, Oakland, and Texas, you’re lulled into believing you’re better than you really are.

Come play in a real big-league division like the AL East and see how many wins your team would have had this year. You’d have been lucky to take the Wild Card.

Bottom line, Tori, is that it’s the height of poor sportsmanship to lose 3 games to 1 WITH HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE and insist that you played for the better team. The better team doesn’t put on a show rampant with defensive shoddiness and base-running stupidity. The better team doesn’t have its offense shut down by a kid who only pitched half a season last year. The better team doesn’t choke with painfully poor execution when it has the go-ahead run 90 feet from home plate.

You were outplayed and out-managed. Stop the whining and accept your loss with some grace and dignity–and a tip of the hat to the team that WON.

Hey Torii,
That was a tough game to watch last night. When you were up to bat in the 8th inning with 2 outs it was hard for me to watch because I was nervous for you, and when I saw you hit that ball into right field for a 2 run single I was so exciting I could hardly even stand. It sucked to see what happened in the 9th with the squeeze play going wrong and the bullpen not hanging in there. I thought for you guys were going to win for sure after you tied it up and the momentum changed. I really hope the Angels can keep guys like Texiera, Vlad, KRod, and many of the others. If everyone gets another year or more to play together I think you guys are going to do great year after year. It was unlike the Angels to have fielding errors like they had in the playoffs, but I guess that is just how the game of baseball worked. You did everything you could, especially at the plate, so don’t hang your head. I guess from here you can only look to what 2009 is going to bring. It sucks it had to end this way and I’m not sure if you continue putting blogs up, but thanks for the memories and I will definitely be seeing you next summer. Great job this season. Hope number 8 for the golden gloves is coming your way!
Trisha – from MN

Torii wanted to tell you that I am very proud of you guys…you guys did a great job…you fought until the end and I am very proud to be a Angels Fan. Thank you for all the wonderful moments you gave us during the season. I was heartbroken when I knew it was over…but we move ahead and I know 09 is your year!! Right now even thinking about it gets me emotional since I have been an angels fan since I was 12 years and I am 27 now and when you came to Anaheim was one of the happiest days for me since I followed you with the twins but I was not lucky enough to meet you this year but hopefully next year. But just know Torii you got loyal fans and you know what Lil wayne says Keep your head up just like your nose is bleeding!! Love you guys!!!

Torii & Halos’ fans,

Great series. I’m a lifelong citizen of Red Sox Nation, and I’m used to some of the hyped-up villifying of oppoents’ teams (it all goes back to the pinstripes’ Evil Empire).

Anyway, I never thought I’d think the way I do, but after these past several games, I tip my hat to your team.

I’ve followed this blog during the series, and I love the way Torii characterizes his and his teammates’ work ethic and never-say-die attitude. I only wish my comrades who were there at Fenway last night shared some of my respect. How dare they try to taunt you? While I’ll never trade our victory, I was impressed with how Torii responded. A two-run, game-tying single? Are you kidding?!!

Well, have a great off-season. Congrats on a great 2008 regular season, too. And, similar to your attitude during the playoffs, don’t give up on your team – from front office to batboys. It’s a formula that helped turn around a woefully-cursed franchise (I’ve lived through the heartaches of Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner) to an annual championship contender.

Go Sox!,

mm from BoSox Nation
Madison, WI

Torri and the boys…
A very sad ending to a wonderful season…..time will heal all wounds and WE WILL be ready again next year!!! We love you all!
ALWAYS AND FOREVER an ANGEL FAN…no matter what, Sandee, Canyon Lake CA

I just have 1 question why didn’t Scioscia take out Kendrick from the postseason after he saw he was NOT HITTING AND THEN MAKING SOME ERRORS THAT COST THEM THE POSTSEASON?? After the lost I could feel the heartbreak the Angels were feeling.

To Torii, and Angels fans everywhere:

I’m a long-time Red Sox fan, but stumbled upon Torii’s blog last week. His posts have been outstanding, and I’m a little surprised at the negative posts by many Angels fans. It’s easy to armchair-manage a Major League Baseball team the next day, isn’t it? But that’s not what I’m hear to do. I’m not here to lecture or gloat. I’m here to say I was never so moved at the opponents’ losses to my team — not ever. It’s not like beating the Yankees, and gloating and enjoying watching them in the dugout with their long faces. It’s not even like beating a team I respect; even then, I’m glad to see them beaten.

But it wasn’t like that with the Angels during this series. I certainly respect the Angels and the players who made their great season possible. But I truly felt an admiration for this group of guys that I have never felt for another team before. These Angels have heart. They played fiercely and powerfully. The gave the Red Sox a serious run for their money, and had us all sweating bullets. That’s something we didn’t do much of the past couple times our teams met.

And when we finally won it, I was happy for my team and all, but every time those cameras showed us the dejected Angels, I wasn’t gloating. I didn’t have a secret glee that they were suffering in their loss. I felt a kinship for them, because as a Sox fan, man, I’ve been there. I’ve always respected Mike Scioscia, and my admiration for the Angels is at a new level.

I know, none of this means much to Angels fans… but with Angels fans posting mean rants on Torii’s blog just incensed me. You can’t be fans only when your team is winning, folks–you have to be fans all the time. The motto of Sox fans has always been “Wait ’til next year!” and that you shall. And in the future, when the Angels are in the post-season and playing anybody other than my Red Sox, I’ll likely be rooting for them.

Best of luck next year, Angels fans! You’ve got an impressive team to be proud of.

-David M. Fitzpatrick, Bangor, Maine

Thanks for a great season Torii. It is heartbreaking, I know. The emotional roller coaster last night was crazy, but I know you guys will be back next year for another successful AL West campaign. Hopefully, the team has learned from this and won’t make the same mistakes next October. I’m really pulling for the Rays and Madden to win it all now. Enjoy your offseason and come back strong.

Torii thank you for an awesome season! When you came up to bat I told my husband and son if anyone can do it he will!!! When you got that amazing hit we danced and screamed all around the living room! It breaks my heart the way it ended and yes the (potential) better team didn’t win. The Red Sox played great baseball and The Angels struggled…no room for that in postseason. It is heartbreaking but just know all your fans are here waiting for 2009!!! Lets give them all another run for their money! Have a great off season! Thank You and your team mates 100 wins is nothing to be ashamed of.

Andrea, Anaheim, CA

Tori, you had a superb year, and I honestly thought that this was the team we had in 2002…. But sadly we got beaten, it broke my heart sooooo bad it was like seeing my wife with another man!!!! But I still love this team and I hope and pray that all of you stay…. I really do! But I know it’s not possible due to buisness issues but how I wish to put aside the money and see what a great team you all are!!! I don’t think there will be anyone to replace you guys!! Thanks for a great season!!! your biggest fan… Miguel A.K.A Dj Mickey!

It’s not about maturity, it’s about guys doing their jobs. Everyone wants to blame Howie Kendrick and Aybar, but lets look at the 2-6 hitters in the lineup haveing a combined 1 extra base hit in the series, 1 less than our leadoff hitter. That same leadoff hitter who had zero walks and 6 strikeouts. If you are blaming a lack of offense on maturity, I think you need a long hard look in the mirror. Hunter got some hits with risp, but only two of them were solid hits. Everything else was a bloop or a squib, which is probably why Vlad and Teix got pitched around. Next to Kendrick, Tori Hunter left the most runner stranded on base in the series, and like every other outfielder on this team, cannot catch a flyball when it matters most. Is it mature to call out vlad guerrero’s base running gaffe, and then turn around and do the same thing in game 3? Is it mature to jump up and down after being out, replays showing you out too, only to hurt your ankle? Look in mirror Hunter, if you could have mustered an extra basehit once during any of these games, the Angels would still be playing. You can pass that same sentiment to Teixeira and Guerrero. As for Garret Anderson, he dropped a flyball and went 3/19, 1 walk and 4 k’s. Great job as a #2 hitter meat.

Why did your homerun totals dip so much this year Tori? Spending too much time making rap tracks and youtube clips? Over paid singles hitter who dropped 6 flyballs this year, but only got called for 1 error? Is that how you win gold gloves?

Torii,
As an Angel season ticket holder and fan since 1968 we have had our ups and downs for sure. 2008 was a great season for which you had a great deal to do with. Win or loose the Angels do it with class. Continue to do what you do with your head high. As an Angel fan I am committed to do the same. Set your sights on next year. Enjoy your time off with your family and friends. That is what is truly important. We all hope to see most of the team back next year. In our troubled economic times I also hope that the players put it into perspective when contracts are up and salaries are determined. Many Americans are hurting and keeping the stands full is very important for the support that the team needs to succeed. Empty stadiums just do not work! Baseball is still the most affordable sports venue in America. It brings families together to enjoy quality time which is much needed these days. Thank you for being a part of that and we look forward to another great year in 2009! GO ANGELS! We love you Torii!!!

You’re absolutely right, it IS hard to believe it’s over. I’ve never felt so much excitement, nerves, adrenaline and let down all in the same hour.

Anyhow, enough of that said. I’m not going to pick apart the game and/or place blame. It’s not right, other than the players and management, nobody should. Until you can SAY that you HAVE taken the field or stepped into the batter’s box in an ALDS game you should NEVER criticize what each player brought to the table. I have total and complete respect for Scioscia, his coaches and the players….all but one, but I won’t even go so far as to mention his name.

You all gave us an AMAZING season and an action packed post season….though it ended a little pre-maturely. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for bringing such class to this ball club. Torii….you frightened me every time you stepped into the box when you played for the Twins because I KNEW what you were capable of. Now you’re ours and you have to claim that Rally Monkey!! I couldn’t be more proud to have you as part of my “extended family.” We’re looking forward to Spring Training ’09 already….and who knows what next season has in store. God is good and after all we are the ANGELS, right??? ;)

I’m 33, a wife and a mom of two boys (1.5 & 2.5) we’re a loyal Angels family. I’ve been coming to the “Big A” with my dad since I was 4, and my husband and I have been season seat holders for years…..despite the trek we have to make from our home in Temecula. California Angels, Anaheim Angels and now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim run in my viens. I have had my share of ups and downs with this organizations…..belive me, until the last decade it’s certainly been more downs. I’m grateful for Arte Moreno and what he’s done to our club. Thanks for the entertainment this season…..WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

Melissa Mayorgas, Temecula, CA

Hi Torii, I think we lost because Scioscia over-manages. When he constantly shuffles the lineup around like he did prior to Tex’s arrival, when he plays for one run with nobody out, these types of things appear to show a lack of confidence in his hitters. And thus the players have a lack of confidence in themselves that leads to very few clutch hits and tons of runners stranded on base, not just in this series but all year long.

We need to stop the small ball during the regular season and work on hitting with men on base instead of bunting. Mike needs to adjust his system to fit the players we have, not force the players to be interchangeable cogs in a machine and perform a role that might not suit their particular talents.

I disagree with whoever said the squeeze play was a brilliant call, I thought it was awful and a horrible responsibility to put on Aybar’s shoulders. With no outs and Willets on 2nd you guys should have been swinging away and playing for a big inning and putting the game away, instead of playing for one little run. I don’t think you can develop a killer instinct or let the dawg out when you’re always being forced to play small ball.

Anyhow great season Torii, it’s a pleasure having you on the team. Good luck next year, and please keep blogging, even though I won’t be watching any more baseball this year.

Torii-
as I told Lackey on his barker site….THANK YOU! Words can not describe the excitment that we had as Angels fans this year. The addition of you, and Tex in July, WOW!

I will not critisize the calls made by Scioscia, because that’s the way Angels play ball. As for playing in a division that is “Triple A”…., we play all three divisions during the course of the year, and we still had the better record. I would love to see the critics out there play as many games as you all do and not listen to them whine!

Have a wonderful winter….okay it’s California….not so much winter…and we will see you during Spring Training!

Always an ANGELS FAN!!!

Torii,

Round ball, round bat, playing a game that’s scientifically impossible, anything will happen. Don’t get down now, this team was built for years to come and this year was just the start. Here’s a look at what we start with next year:

1)Figgy-LF-healthy with 50+ bags.
2)GMJ-RF-50+ extra base hits.
3)Morales-1B-multi, multi extra base hit games
4)Vlad–DH-it’s for his own good.
5)Torri-CF-Doing what you do.
6)Howie-2B-Batting title and a full season of work.
7)Wood-3B-hitting the slider for a full season.
8)Napoli/Mathis-C-team MVPs for the 2nd season in a row.
9)Aybar-SS-Gold glove and best bunter in baseball.
/
Pitching:
1)Escobar – Comeback player of the year
2)Lackey – 20 wins and ERA title
3)Saunders – All star again
4)Santana – Strike out leader
5)Weaver – Closer?…kidding… 15+ wins and a perfect game
6)Arredondo –
7)O’Day – Innings eater
8)Mosely – unbeaten in spot starts.
9)Spier – Leader of the pen.
10)Shields – 50+ Saves
/
Bench
1)Willits – Fastest guy off the bench.
2)S. Rod – no errors at 3 positions
3)Q Tip – Killing lefties.
4)Maicer – Clutch hitter of the year.
5)Matt Brown – Big Pop off the bench.
6)GA – Greatest Angel in history.

I have forensically analyzed this team and I can guarantee you that you will be better next season and every season after for the rest of your contract.

Now let’s go fishing…see you in October 09.

Hey Torii… tough loss, but take a look at baseball history and you’ll find that no matter how good a team is, when it comes to the playoffs the chances of advancing past a given round is almost exactly 50/50.

All you can do is hit the ball hard and hope it finds a hole.

I do disagree that the Angels are the better team… I sincerely believe that the Red Sox and Angels are about as evenly matched as is possible. Everyone makes mistakes sooner or later (even the Sox) and the Angels had a few that came at unfortunate times.

You guys had some great comebacks that didn’t pan out, and although we don’t know what the team will look like next year, I think I can say with confidence that we’ll have a good shot at making the playoffs next year and trying again.

Thanks for this blog, Torii. It’s so great to hear personal stuff from the inside. You are amazing – I met you in AZ this year and you took the time to talk to me & my friends and gave us an autograph, and, you were excited to do so. I almost cried last night after that game – It was so disappointing but my love & loyalty of this team will never waver!! It’s time to move on and get over it. You, your teammates and Scioscia are the best!! Keep in touch with us!! GO ANGELS!! Such a great team to be a fan of!!

Thank you Torii for again for giving it your all, showing your love of the game, and great season of baseball. Like you, I knew when you hit that single to tie up the game the Angels were going on to a victory. That game is just proof . . . there is crying in baseball. See you in the spring.

Hey Torii…

Great Season! You and the whole organization are a bunch of class acts. Nothing made it more clear to me last night than when Scioscia was interviewed and asked about the botched bunt on the squeeze play. He didn’t say one negative word about Aybar but only built him up. I can’t say enough about how awesome it is to see a team that supports each other like you do. That is why this organization will be in contention for YEARS to come.

I do have to say that you should ignore the haters (Sox Fans) who believe in kicking a man while he’s down. To that I have a few replies for those who speak words of hate yet filled with ignorance…

“On Mike Scioscia being overrated…” I’ll stick with what just about every manager and player in baseball says about his incredible leadership ability, knowledge of the game and the fact that he is one of the best managers in the game over the idiotic opinion of some fat-bellied beer drinker who shows no intelligence in stating otherwise. As for the squeeze play… every Angel Fan knew it was coming… it’s Angel’s baseball. 9 times out of 10 it’s succesful and you go home crying. It’s unfortunate our young players choked… but you can’t blame Scioscia.

“On Boston being better and if the Angels played in the AL East we wouldn’t even be the Wild Card”… HEY BOSTON… 1-8. That’s your regular season record against this year… I don’t think you could have handled more. And we own the Yankees… get your facts straight.

“On John Lackey never being able to win the big game”… Can someone please remind the idiot that wrote this what John Lackey’s line score for the series was. And could someone please remind him of his overall ERA and record for the season. Speak facts… don’t be a hater… it just makes you sound ignorant.

INCREDIBLE SEASON… Unfortunately some of the guys on the team didn’t come ready to play or let the nerves get the best of them… but they’ll all be better for it next time. I look forward to another great year of Angel Baseball in 2009!

hey eddie from brazil here

seriously torii, after hearing all the lame excuses of some players (you included) i’m glad you’ll be watching The Show in your couch. When you’re in the bottom that’s when you need to act like a champ. How the heck the best team lost? Boston came through the same obstacles your franchise endured last season, and somehow they won, executing almost perfect defense (even though they were using youk in 3rd and heck kotsay at first. btw both made impressive catches in the series) and clutch hitting. But the worst was hearing Lackey… this dude is ridiculous… he was even mocking on red sox plays like dusting pedroia’s RBI… lol seriously lackey, you sux

angels couldn’t take down a banged sox.. stop the lame excuses! Last year was “yeah we were so banged”, now the “we were the better team attitude”. that’s just not right.

thats just my 2cents

btw: what’s gonna be the excuse in 2009?

Yes it is hard to believe it’s over and tough to stomach. I guess in reading the other comments on the message board, you realize that everyone always has their own perspective. We did fall short. There are plays that really stand out that you know are turning points and leaving a lot of guys on base was killer. The truth is…they just beat us. Thanks Angel players and management for putting such a great team on the field each year. Even though there’s no ring this year, it’ll happen!!! I’ve enjoyed the last 5+ months of Angels baseball. Now that the season is over, I really hope a majority of the team stays in tact. It sucks to have to deal with this disappointment, but it would really suck more if we had a team that didn’t even have a chance each year. Imagine being those fans right now. Scioscia is a great manager and 8 or 9 times outta ten, we’re headed to the clubhouse with a win. He took chances to manufacture runs and who can fault him for that. Finally, I know Frankie comes at a price, but I really feel like we don’t win nearly the amount of games we did with a different closer on the mound. I’m looking forward to 2009 season!!

To Angels Fans,

My name is David, and I, too, am a Red Sox fan. In fact, I am the best friend of the above-mentioned David Fitzpatrick, also from Bangor, Maine.

I wanted to echo my best friends comments. We both watched the Angels play this year, in awe of their heart, determination, and skill. We were both pleased to see the Angels make the post-season, and we were both concerned when our own beloved Sox were going up against the Angels in the ALDS. We were rooting for our own team, don’t get me wrong. But we both knew it would be a good series, and whichever team came out on top, would have to earn the win; that it wasn’t going to be a walk-in-the-park for either team.

My best friend is right. Neither of us felt joy or glee for the Angels defeat last night. We were sympathetic. We’ve been there. We’re both in our early 40’s, and we both remember the 1986 World Series, the early 90’s, the heartbreakingly predictable losses to the Yankees, and let’s not forget the 2003 ALCS, when one swing of the bat put ALCS in the hands of the Yankees, who went on to the World Series.

The Red Sox have had heady times indeed the last few years, and for that we are glad. And just as we know our time is now, we know the time for the Angels is coming.

We respect the work your Angels have done this year, and look forward to more great games with the Angel’s next season.

Till then, we hope you wish your fellow American Leaguers the best!!!

Best Regards,

-David Reed
Bangor, Maine

Hey Torii

First I would like to say your the big game CLUTCH hitter this team has needed for a longitme. Down 0-2 with 2 outs late in a must win, just isnt in most. I was there the night you hit the walk off grand slam and since then you have filled the much need shoes for big time plays- defensivley too.
Watching game 4 on TV I said to myself “come on Torii set your place in Angels history we need you! Bang the other way in a big way- . You have become the go to man.

Your energy is contagous and I would hope the veterans in the club house have accepted that fact and will allow you to take on a greater leadership roll next season.

Unfortunaltey we just dont seem to have enough of that going around- at least in the post season.

Boston knows this series was handed to them by the Angels- the Sox’s did not win it. Boston batting .250 as a team 9 out of 10 does not equal a single win let alone a series.

Your right, I was at game 7 in 2002 and I told my son then- “enjoy this you may never see it again”. When you get there you gotta win it- there is no guarantee youll be back.

Lets hope that we can get the core guys back and at the same time make some upgrades ( lets not name- names).
Tex is a must- just doesnt seem like this is where he wants to be? could be what Boras has had told him to do and imply.

Your opinion- what are the chances – $$$ of course, but does he even want to be in So Cal? With a healthy Vlad -Tex and the rest of the middle – yourself included will be one of the most feared line ups in the majors.

Thanks for the therapy – right after Bay slid into home the TV and all connection with the baseball world was shut off.
I will not watch any post season baseball – the season is now over and once again will be left with a dream of another year and hopes for another chance.

Thanks for a great season

Torii:

Even though the season didn’t end the way we all would have liked, the Angels are to be commended on a great season. I remember the many years of bad seasons and not even making the playoffs. For me, a 100 win season even in a weak division and a season where we set the MLB save record and broke the post season curse of the Red Sox is a decent season and one to be proud of when we hang another division banner in our yard next year!

I think Scoscia is a fine manager. Yes, he makes bonheaded moves sometimes, but what manager doesn’t? But I do wish I knew why he insists on batting Teix before Vlad instead of after him. Didn’t we get Teix to protect Vlad?

Oh well, in any event, loved having you for your first season here and hope for many more with you as an Angel.

Torii, what a pleasure it was having you part of the Angels organization. This was a great year! We ended the regular season on such a high, which is why it was such a long way to fall at the end. Don’t worry about the negative comments… shock, anger, blame are all a natural part of the grieving process. All of us fans share your grief along with the rest of the team. But eventually, we’ll all move on and we’ll be talking about the 2009 Angels. I have faith that our management is committed to make us the best we can be. Look at what they did for us this year! I’m a season seat holder and although I live 15 minutes from Dodger Stadium, I will continue to drive 1 1/2 hours through horrid traffic to see you and the boys play! Thanks for the great season and the memorable moments. GO ANGLES!!!
Holly – LaCrescenta, CA

Torii,
Thanks for another exciting year.

Man that was a hard game to watch but exciting none the less. It seemed the harder i shook that rally monkey the hits started rolling in. But hey thats the game, man willits has a huge heart out there and wants to get it done but the last 3 times he has tried out there to make a big play he comes up an inch short but at least he has that going for him and if he works on his glove then i have a feeling hes going for some gold gloves in his years. well it has been exciting watching u guys out there and cant wait till i can see A GAME IN PERSON!!! Well we all love u out here hunter and will for years to come. AWSOME SEASON i can go on all day about the amazing plays u make out there every game… hope to meet u guys one day. David Brown

I’m so sad that this season is over!! I’m 24 and been an Angels fan for as long as I can remember, even though I grew up just down the street from Hall-of-Famer, Tommy Lasorda. Torri, your blogs have been a blessing to read! I’ve also enjoyed the comments of the fans (including Boston fans), and just seeing how differently we all viewed this playoff series. Like many other fans, I have cried many tears, jumped out off the couch screaming for joy after a good hit or a strike out, frustrated with some of the umpires calls, and PRAYING that the Angels would beat Boston this year. I think the Angels had an amazing team this year, especially with the recent addition of TEX! Torri, I heard you were showing Tex around the OC trying to encourage him to stay here. I love it! Way to go…you really are a leader for this team, and I’m grateful to have you on the Angels!! I’m so nervous about the off-season and to see who gets signed. My husband and I have been saying for the past few months….spend the $ on TEX and let Rodriguez go. Rodriguez did a lot for the Angels, but I think we can get someone a little more consistent for less money than what he wants. Tex is the man and I will be just as disappointed about the Angels not making it to the ALCS if the Angels are not able to sign him next year! I KNOW there is a God and I KNOW he cares about baseball because he cares about each of us, his beloved children. I will be praying for Tex to return! GO ANGELS!!! 2009 is our year!

hey tori when you say you where better than the red sox you are right- translation you guys tightened up and didnt play up to your capabilities. please dont allow this to create more preasure next time . get a sports psychologist and get the team to lighten up in the playoffs- I guess the angels miss joe maddon he probably helped keep the team grounded. keep your head up have a great off- season- god bless and thanks for being a great person and a super entertaining ball player over the years- vince

Torii,
I was a first time Angel fan in the playoffs. In past playoffs I have been a Twins fan and a Torii fan. But then I have been a Twins fan since 1961, and a Torii fan since you came up with the Twins. You are fantastic example to the kids in the way you play the game, and a very classy man on the playing field. When you came up to bat in the ninth inning, trailing 2-0, I said to you “come on Torii get one of those hits to right field you always got in Minnesota” and bam you did it. So sorry that you guys were not able to pull out the win, maybe next year, but not against the Twins !

Twins fan in Wisconsin

Hi Torii, Angel fans and others…We had a GREAT season. Nothing to be ashamed of…we set and broke a lot of records this year. Yes, an AMAZING year. I am and will always be a PROUD Angels fan. I’m the one in the crowd clapping and cheering for ANY player wearing the ANGELS name across their chest. Win or lose, gold glovers or rookies, you will always be an Angel. They deserve to be cheered on every time their name is announced. What the fans need to know is that no team will win EVERY game or EVERY post season. Sometimes I’m ashamed of how the fans react to a pitcher having a bad inning, or a player causing an error or a blown save. I wouldn’t blame Tex or K-Rod or GA for choosing another team. Win or lose, the team needs your support! See you all next season! I’ll be the one cheering you on! Love you guys!

we’ll get boston next time. when we get your friend sabathia on the band wagon. were going to win the world series in 2009. and have mike scocsia manage in the all star game at angels stadium.

Well Torii, all I can say is that you worked hard this year, so you really deserve to take the rest of the season off !!! I guess the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, or maybe it is with $90M in your back pocket. Anyway, we were better off without you or Johan’s services in ’08 (no offense) & we’ll be back ready to hit the turf running in ’09!!! See ya then…A Twins FANatic.

i’m really excited for 09. i’ve heard rumors that the angels might trade for prince fielder or dan uggla. perhaps both. (if we don’t resign teix)

I’m still in utter disbelief that a team **** incredible could go down to a team that bad. they must have a horseshoe up thier ***** because what they are displaying vs the rays, makes me sad to even watch. (despite that comeback victory they had). the better team lost, and ill wallow in that until 09 when they go on to win the world series.

Get over the shock Kennedy; just because a team is great on paper doesn’t mean they have the heart of a champion. The Red Sox may get banged around at times but they NEVER stop believing they can win until someone shuts the lights off. Sometimes they don’t hit, but they never start committing errors all over the field because of a tight collar, as the Angels did and as the Rays are beginning to do. I wouldn’t bet your next paycheck on Tampa if I were you.

Hey Torii,
This is the first time that i have signed on to the angels site and read this blog but i just wanted to come write on here. Personally i have loved you forever i watched you when you were on the twins and the homerun you stole from Barry Bonds at the All Star game was phenomenal. I have been an Angel fan since I can remember and I will ALWAYS have love for the team. I love this team so much that i cried three seperate times when you guys lost. I go to school right by Angel Stadium and it kills me to drive by everyday and think about this depressing post season. But on a lighter note i still have a TON of faith for next year. I know that some people arent gonna be on the team but i truly believe that if the Angels and the fans can all group together and believe WE CAN DO IT! Thank you so much torii for that amazing hit in game 4 i screamed my head off but im not worried i know that you and the rest of the guys are gonna pull through next year! ANGELS WORLD SERIES 09!!
Love you Torii and the rest of the Halos. YES WE CAN!!

Hey Torri,
I hope your doing ok by now, am worried about you since you haven’t bloged and you probably won’t until spring and that’s ok, just take a nice vacation, be safe and we’ll do it in 09’!!! Believe in the Power of the RAllY MONKEY!!

I really enjoyed reading the blog from David Fitzpatrick and his friend David Reed from Maine, and was really touched by their comments……. I remember the way The Red Sox won, I think it was in 04′ they were down and then they came back up to win it all, absolutely Amazing!! It makes me have hope for my team and everyone should for that matter for their own teams because you know what, never say never you can do it and DO IT The ANGELS shall in 09’!!
Thanks Torri and Mike Scocia and the rest of the Angels staff for A GREAT YEAR!!!!

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