Whether or not John Lackey belongs among the elite pitchers in baseball lies in the eye of the beholder. He is without question the Angels horse in 2009 and has competed admirably in big games both before and since he started Game 7 of the 2002 World Series.
But perhaps Lackey is the quintessential Angel: He is neither overwhelming talented when compared to several Yankees, but he is not intimidated by them either.
“I’m not going to get intimidated by anybody,” Lackey said, cutting short the question. “That’s why I’m throwing the ball tomorrow.”
To a man, the Angels were respectful of their ALCS opponent on the eve of Game 1, saying good fortune had as much to do with their supposed head-to-head dominance than anything. Yet they appeared loose and unafraid heading into Friday, saying, to paraphrase, that they have a pretty darn good club, too.
Here’s the manager Mike Scioscia, who spoke for about 20 minutes about, among other things: Teixeira; his closer situation; how the weather will affect his club; Jeter; Lackey; the Yankees; his postseason experiences; what Girardi can expect managing in the playoffs; and how the weather will affect his club’s notorious aggressiveness. I asked him about the last topic and surprisingly he said much of what I tried to convey yesterday, that they are better in the batters box this year than every before.
After Scioscia came Lackey, who talked a lot about his experience in big games. He also said the weather won’t have an impact on how he pitches. “The last thing on my mind is going to be the weather,” he said.
And lastly, here’s the always entertaining Torii Hunter. The clip is broken into two short parts, but Hunter touches on the big, bad Yankees and why regular season heroics are meaningless come October.
Don’t forget that Sam and Chad will be doing a live chat tonight to talk about the roster decisions, the rotation and everything else as the Yankees get set for Game 1 of the ALCS tomorrow. The wait is almost over! Join them here and feel free to stop by early and submit questions ahead of time.