The Angels have won a World Series in this Century; for the Dodgers, the last one was 1988. Neither team has even been in one since last winning. But seven ex-Dodgers and ex-Angels are busy this October, checking out ring sizes.
As we’ve mentioned a time or two, trading away Mike Napoli was the reason the Angels have been sitting at home watching the playoffs and World Series from the comfort of their expensive couches and not actually playing. Baseball’s best hitter since July 4 has been, as of tonight, the leading performer in a staring role, in this year’s series. As also noted, the Angels trading Napoli for the over-the-hill Vernon Wells was horrible, but Toronto then trading Napoli to Texas for the never-was – never-will-be Frank Francisco, was the textbook definition of stupidity. Where would Texas be with Francisco in their bullpen, and no Napoli? Watching the Angels on TV. Well, actually they’d be watching the Tigers, but, the principal is the same.
But, it doesn’t stop with Napoli. Tonight’s winning pitcher for Texas was former Angel set-up guy Darren Oliver, and of course, playing third base and hitting key home runs, even one while falling onto one knee, is former Dodger Adrian Beltre. In case you’ve forgotten, Shawn Green is the only Dodger in history to hit more home runs in a season than Beltre’s 48 in 2004.
And that was just the Ranger’s group. St. Louis would never have had their great second half run to the NL pennant had they not acquired Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers at the July 31 deadline. A healthy Furcal – something the Dodgers only infrequently saw in a Dodger uniform – is as good a shortstop as there is, and the possessor of as great an infield arm as theHoundDawg has ever seen. His Johnny Evers for much of the pennant run and playoffs has been former Dodger Ryan Theriot.
Two additional pick-ups who contributed to the Cardinals second half run were former Dodger pitchers Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson. Not key guys I would give up a bundle to get, but contributors to the teams success.
So, seven former Dodgers and Angels have had key roles with the teams fighting for the World Championship, as Angels and Dodgers alike sit home, secure in their respective second and third place finishes, knowing, hoping, that next season, that could be them, playing on Fox TV, playing for the World Championship, before hundreds of millions of people watching around the world. But, for which teams will they be playing?