Phillies, Red Sox collude to Screw LA Angels – AP Reports

[[Story: From the AP news wire.]]

featured: Roy Halladay

Philadelphia, PA: 12/14/2009 – A year from now, upon the conclusion of another heartbreaking campaign, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County, California baseball fans may well look back on this day and ask whether or not their season was lost today, some four months before opening day.

A little over two months ago the Angels were facing the Yankees for the right to represent the American League in what many Americans refer to as the World Series (though only North American teams are eligible to contend).  Today, two of the pillars of the team have departed with another, almost certain not to return.  The team’s lineup was menaced by the physical decline of it’s former star, Vladimir Guerrero, was then virtually crippled when the dynamic Chone Figgins left to sign with the division rival, Seattle Mariners two weeks ago.  Guerrero’s next stop is unknown, but so is his successor in the meat of the Angels’ batting order.

But today, perhaps the biggest blows of all fell upon the Angel’s once-vaunted pitching staff. After having lost star closer, Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez in the 2008-2009 offseason to free agency, reports today seem to have confirmed that the starting rotation’s resident ace, John Lackey has been snatched up by the Boston Red Sox, a perennial post-season foe.  The Red Sox, for their part, will add Lackey to a veritable stable of aces which also includes Jon Lester and, former World Series (there it is again) Most Valuable Player, Josh Beckett.

This presumably left the Angels high in the market to acquire Toronto’s Roy Halladay – the only other comparable arm on the market to that of Lackey – a dream which lasted all of fifteen minutes when the Philadelphia Phillies announced that they had a deal in principle which would allow them to acquire the former AL Cy Young Winner.  To completely twist the knife into the hearts of Los Angeles/Anaheim area baseball fans and seemingly indict the Angels’ management team as grossly incompetent and overpaid losers, the Philadelphia Phillies were only able to complete the Halladay trade by involving the aforementioned Seattle Mariners and shipping their own staff ace and former AL Cy Young Award Winner, Cliff Lee, to Seattle.

One senior Los Angeles of Anaheim club official said on condition of anonymity: “I mean, that’s it, we are like, totally – totally – screwed.  I mean, I thought (team ownder Arte) Moreno had a plan for the money we’d be saving off of Figgins, K-Rod, and Vlad, but it’s turns out, uh, that, uh, he didn’t.  So we’re pretty much shit out of luck.”  Concluded said team official, “I mean, I’m already making plans for the proverbial ‘next year’ if you smell what I am cooking.”

A report from Red Sox HQ indicated that while the team had expressed an interest in acquiring Halladay by trade that once they caught wind of a possible three-way Phillies-Mariners-Blue Jays transaction, it was simply too “badass of a move to screw over the Angels by signing Lackey” before “the [Angels] knew what had hit them.”  According to a team trainer who examined Lackey, “basically it was like eff-you for knocking us out of the playoffs in three straight.  [Red Sox GM] Theo [Epstein] from what I can tell, actually got a call last night from the Seattle front office saying they had spoken to the Phillies and they were all laughing like, ‘yo that would be MAAD funny, dog, I hate LAAofA, those poseurs’ and ‘totally dude’ and then every one seemed to be ready to hunker down and get the deals done.”


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