To answer the above question, no, it’s not a showdown. The A’s three-game series with the Angels this weekend is important, but even a three-game sweep either way won’t be earth-shattering. Don’t get me wrong, the A’s don’t want to fall 6 1/2 games behind (and losing three to the Angels would put them there), but the sky won’t be falling if they do.
The A’s will have their work cut out for them in the opener, because they face John Lackey, who simply owns them.
Somebody asked manager Bob Geren before the game if he considered the A’s-Angels rivalry one of baseball’s more underplayed rivalries, and he said it doesn’t even compare with some of the more traditional ones such as Yanks-Red Sox and Dodgers-Giants. Agree with him to a degree, in that the A’s-Angels lacks historical value. But that said, it’s still one of the better ones today. The AL West has come down to these two teams for each of the past six seasons, and it looks like 2008 will be no different. Add to it that nearly every game is decided by a run or two, and it’s often riveting theater.
That should be music to the ears of the A’s bean-counters. Large crowds are expected for all three games this weekend, and then the Yanks come to town Tuesday.