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Behind enemy lines

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  October 3, 2008 11:56 AM

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Our daily look at what others are saying about the Red Sox-Angels matchup.

While the Angels' Torii Hunter takes this morning's Master of the Obvious award with this statement . . .

"It's a must-win," Hunter said of Game 2. "You don't want to go to Boston down, 0-2."

. . . within the same article, the LA Times's Mike DiGiovanna actually gets to the root of the Angels' problem in their Game 1 loss to Jon Lester and the Red Sox: their hitters' inconsistent approach at the plate.

There is a fine line between relaxing at the plate and playing with a sense of urgency, and the Angels seem to go back and forth across it, being aggressive when they should be more selective and letting some pitches go by.

"You want to come through in the clutch," [slugger Mark ] Teixeira said, "but at the same time, you can't be scared. You can't be out there playing to not fail."

It will be interesting to see if they are too aggressive tonight, which would likely play into Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka's hands. According to the Times's Bill Shaikin, the Angels don't intend to work the count.

  • At least one Angel -- albeit one who isn't on the active roster for the ALDS -- managed to remain loose in the aftermath of the Game 1 loss:

    Justin Speier didn't provide much bullpen relief this season -- he went 2-8 with a 5.03 earned-run average and was left off the Angels' division series roster -- but the veteran righthander, in an attempt to ease the playoff pressure, provided some comic relief Thursday.

    As teammates dressed for practice, Speier walked into the clubhouse wearing a full wetsuit, swim fins and carrying a boogie board, shouting, "Is there practice today? Is there practice?"

    Said Scioscia: "Your next set of flippers are going to be made out of cement."

  • Instant quiz: Can you name the last Angel to hit a home run in a postseason game. Hint: You probably like him. Grant Balfour probably doesn't. (The answer is in the fourth paragraph.)

  • CNNSI's Tom Verducci references the long-forgotten Storm Davis in a nugget about Dice-K.

  • The OC Register's Mark Whicker tips his cap in appreciation of Jason Varitek, and notes that the Sox captain's post-playing-career destiny has been obvious for many years:

    Catchers become managers. Jason Varitek is baseball's purest definition of catching.

    So when will Varitek start managing?

    "I haven't even started to think about that," Varitek said. "I want to play 10 more years."

    That would take him to age 46.

    Somewhere, Scott Boras just laughed maniacally.

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