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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Angels in the stratosphere

I usually don't brag when a sports team I root for is doing well — for fear of jinxing a good thing — but it's hard not to gloat just a little about this year's Los Angeles Angels.

It's Aug. 9, and the Halos are a mind-blowing 30 games over .500, they have the best record in the Majors and they hold a staggering 14-game lead over the second-place Texas Rangers in the AL West.

And the icing on the cake is the Angels have absolutely owned the Boston Red Sox this year, winning eight of nine meetings with the defending World Series champions. That's significant because Boston is the one team that consistently has given the Angels fits — in the regular season and, more importantly, in the playoffs. (You might recall the Red Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS in both 2004 and 2007 en route to World Series victories each year.) Having Boston's number this year is huge, given the possibility that the two teams will meet in the playoffs.

The only downside to how well the Angels are doing is that baseball has become boring for me. There's no pennant race to be concerned about, wins don't really matter, and losses don't hurt very much. Put another way, it's not much fun to watch a movie when you know how it's gonna end.

But then, only the outcome of the regular season is assured at this point. The playoffs and the World Series are another story altogether. And any number of runaway favorites to win a national sports title — did someone say New England Patriots? — can tell you that nothing is assured once the slate is wiped clean at the beginning of postseason play.

So I'm not making any bold predictions.



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