October 3, 2012 |

Dodgers, Angels: Too Little Too Late

Well, they made it exciting anyway.

The Dodgers won six straight games before losing to the Giants, 4-3 Tuesday night to fall out of playoff contention.

The Angels made a gallant late season rush, only to be eliminated when the Oakland Athletics, a team in their same division, did even more spectacular things and took the playoff berth the Angels sought.

Both the Dodgers and Angels waited too long to make their serious runs and that’s what they should think about this winter.

But let’s go back to the beginning. The Dodger season began with Frank McCourt still owning the team and the roster was clearly deficient.

Only later did new ownership arrive to pour money into the operation. Only next season will we see more of this.

Only next season will we see Carl Crawford, one of the players acquired from the Red Sox in a helpful deal that was too little, too late to save this season.

Crawford was injured and couldn’t help the Dodgers this season but it’s likely he’ll play left field instead of free agent Shane Victorino in 2013.

Overall, 2012 was a nice start on what the Dodgers hope to be with the new owners, but only a start.

Meanwhile, the Angels will have more explaining to do.

Fuming after division rival Texas reached the World Series the last two years, Angels owner Arte Moreno showed just how angry he was by signing free agent Albert Pujols to a 10-year contract.

What a lineup the Angels would have with Pujols joining Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo and several established major leaguers while phenom Mike Trout came up from the minors.

Moreno, an owner who is savvy about baseball, realized pitching would be vital, even with a lineup of sluggers.

So, on the same day the Angels signed Pujols they also signed free agent C.J. Wilson away from Texas.

But the Angels fell a little short, due primarily to a stretch when the starting pitching faltered.

When it was over Wilson revealed he pitched most of the season with an injury, and he’s scheduled for surgery soon.

Moreno did everything right to show how serious he was about winning, in this regard being the opposite of McCourt. But there’s no guarantee in baseball that you’ll finish first if you do that.

It turned out to be a season that featured two storybook accomplishments – Oakland and Baltimore coming from nowhere to make the playoffs.

The Angels’ late rush resulted in Moreno saying manager Mike Scioscia will be back next season, and how can you argue with that decision? The Angels responded to Scioscia down the stretch.

Pujo;s got off to a slow start but exceeded 30 home runs and 100 RBI as he had done so many times before leaving the Cardinals. Jered Weaver was a pitcher who won 20 games and merited Cy Young award consideration.

We won’t have playoff baseball in Southern California this season but we were treated to a lot of interesting games from April through September.

Some years that’s all we get.

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