"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem III: Jobber Edition

Untitled A “jobber,” in pro wrestling terminology, is a no-name wrestler whose primary purpose is to give the popular heroes and villains someone to beat in between hyped-up grudge matches. At this point in the 2008 season, the Yankees are nothing but a jobber. Of course, the jobber can’t let on that he’s only in the ring so that the more famous wrestler has something to do, so they strut about and flex their muscles just the same as the other guy. Joe Girardi has become quite practiced at this, but much like Iron Mike Sharpe or Leaping Lanny Poffo, he’s not really fooling anybody.

In this week’s three-game series in Anaheim, the Yankees could be the jobber against whom the Angels clinch the AL West. Our own Bobby “The Brain” Timmermann believes that could make the Halos the first team to clinch a division against the Yankees since the Blue Jays did so in 1985 (though, unlike those Jays, the Angels won’t be eliminating the Yankees in the process). The Angels magic number entering this series is three. Any combination of Angels wins or Rangers loses totaling three will give the Angels their fourth AL West title in the last five years.

The Yankees could also be the jobber against whom Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez ties or even breaks Bobby Thigpen’s 18-year-old single-season saves record. Thigpen saved 57 games for the White Sox in 1990. Rodriguez has 55 saves so far this year. Heck, it’s entirely possible that Rodriguez could tie the record and clinch the division all at once against the Yankees. That’s pretty special. It’s a good thing MLB sent one of their most talented jobbers to take the fall.

The Yankees remain mildly interesting because of their starting pitchers. Carl Pavano will make his fourth consecutive start tonight facing Jon Garland. Hot prospect Alfredo Aceves will make his first major league start tomorrow against Jered Weaver, who was pushed back a day after accidentally cutting his hand in on the bench in the visitors dugout at Comerica Park last Tuesday. Wednesday will find Andy Pettitte, whose Yankee career could be winding down, back on the bump against Ervin Santana.

The Yankees’ primary interest, however, will likely be in scouting pending free agents Garland, first baseman Mark Teixeira, and perhaps even left fielder and former Yankee Juan Rivera. I don’t expect the Yankees to show much interest in Garland, though he could be useful as a league-average innings eater if Pettitte doesn’t return, or Rivera, who is yet another former Yankee farmhand whose reluctance to draw walks undermines his other talents, but they’ll certainly be in the mix on Teixeira, a Gold Glove defender and switch-hitter who has hit .360/.441/.610 since being acquired from Atlanta. Of course, given those credentials, his $12.5 million salary this year, and his agent, Scott Boras, the Yankees may have to take out a second mortgage on the new Stadium to meet Teixeira’s price.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2008 Record: 86-56 (.606)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 77-65 (.544)

Manager: Mike Scioscia
General Manager: Tony Reagins

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Angel Stadium

Who’s Replaced Whom:

Sean Rodriguez (minors) has replaced Howie Kendrick (DL)
Brandon Wood (minors) has replaced Maicer Izturis (DL)
Darren O’Day (minors) has replaced Shane Loux (DL)

25-man Roster:

1B – Mark Teixeira (S)
2B – Sean Rodriguez (R)
SS – Brandon Wood (R)
3B – Chone Figgins (S)
C – Mike Napoli (R)
RF – Vladimir Guerrero (R)
CF – Torii Hunter (R)
LF – Juan Rivera (R)
DH – Garret Anderson (L)


S – Gary Matthews Jr. (OF)
R – Robb Quinlan (3B/1B)
S – Reggie Willits (OF)
S – Erick Aybar (IF)
R – Jeff Mathis (C)
S – Kendry Morales (1B)*
R – Ryan Budde (C)*


R – John Lackey
L – Joe Saunders
R – Jon Garland
R – Ervin Santana
R – Jered Weaver


R – Francisco Rodriguez
R – Scot Shields
R – Jose Arredondo
R – Justin Speier
L – Darren Oliver
R – Darren O’Day
R – Moseley, Dustin*
R – Jason Bulger*
R – Kevin Jepsen*

15-day DL: R – Howie Kendrick (2B), S – Maicer Izturis (IF), R – Shane Loux
60-day DL: R – Kelvim Escobar

*September call-up

Typical Lineup:

S – Chone Figgins (3B)
L – Garret Anderson (LF)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Vladimir Guerrero (RF)
R – Torii Hunter (CF)
R – Juan Rivera (DH)
R – Mike Napoli (C)
R – Brandon Wood (SS)
R – Sean Rodriguez (2B)

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread  Series Preview

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver