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From 2002 to 2014: The Parallels

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An eerie compilation of similar things of both the 2002 and 2014 postseasons--and how the Angels relate to it.

These guys knew they were part of something special. But 12 years later, there's something so similar going on that Rod Serling ought to be narrating it.
These guys knew they were part of something special. But 12 years later, there's something so similar going on that Rod Serling ought to be narrating it.
Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

It's deja vu all over again, folks.

Sometimes things look familiar that haven't happened before. But sometimes...they actually HAVE happened before. Let's give this comparison a look.

2002's postseason obviously holds a near and dear place in our hearts. To anyone that paid attention to that postseason, there ought to be some things that look familiar. Rather than doing a side-by-side comparison, I'll first list the elements of the 2002 postseason that I've noticed reappearing this season.

IN THE 2002 POSTSEASON...

  • The Anaheim Angels won the wild card spot in the final week of regular season play. It was their first playoff appearance since the 1980s.
  • For Angels manager Mike Scioscia, it was his first-ever major league postseason as a manager.
  • These Angels went on to oust the New York Yankees, the team with baseball's best record, in relatively quick order in the American League Division Series.
  • These Angels had a three-headed bullpen monster in the postseason, and seeing these three relievers typically meant game over after the sixth inning. (Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Troy Percival)
  • Also in the Angels' bullpen was a relatively unknown rookie who was leaving his marks all over the opposition (Francisco Rodriguez).
  • Over in the National League, the San Francisco Giants, also winners of the wild card spot, defeated their National League East Division opponents in the NLDS (Atlanta Braves).
  • The St. Louis Cardinals, winners of the National League Central Division, defeated their NL West-winning opponents in the NLDS as well (Arizona Diamondbacks).
  • When the Giants and Cardinals met in the National League Championship Series, the Giants won the series quite handily in five games, winning the last game of the series on a walk-off hit to right field.
  • The walk-off hit came from a journeyman outfielder acquired midseason (Kenny Lofton).
  • As the Angels and Giants met to begin the World Series, the American League held home-field advantage for the series.
Now, those are all great things, fine and dandy. But let's look at 2014's postseason thus far, and take note of the parallels.
  • The Kansas City Royals won the wild card spot in the final week of regular season play. It was their first playoff appearance since the 1980s.
  • For Royals manager Ned Yost, it was his first-ever major league postseason as a manager.
  • These Royals went on to oust the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the team with the league's best record, in relatively quick order in the American League Division Series.
  • These Royals have a three-headed bullpen monster in this postseason, and seeing these relievers typically means game over after the sixth inning. (Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Greg Holland)
  • Also in the Royals' bullpen is a relatively unknown rookie who is leaving his marks all over the opposition (Brandon Finnegan).
  • Over in the National League, the San Francisco Giants, also winners of the wild card spot, defeated their National League East Division opponents in the NLDS (Washington Nationals).
  • The St. Louis Cardinals, winners of the National League Central Division, defeated their NL West-winning opponents in the NLDS as well (Los Angeles Dodgers).
  • When the Giants and Cardinals met in the National League Championship Series, the Giants won the series quite handily in five games, winning the last game of the series on a walk-off hit to right field.
  • The walk-off hit came from a journeyman outfielder acquired midseason (Travis Ishikawa).
  • As the Royals and Giants meet to begin the World Series, the American League holds home-field advantage for this year's series.
Now, the World Series is yet to be played, but it begins Tuesday. And I know the above parallels have some minor tweaks in the EXACT details (for example, the Giants beat the Braves in 5 games, but the Nationals in 4 games; their walk-off to right field in 2002 was a single, and this year's was a home run). BUT, it is pretty uncanny the resemblance this postseason bears to that of 12 years ago. The glaring difference, of course, is that our Angels are missing.

However, at this point, I will proudly say that I'm rooting for the Kansas City Royals. Not just because of their own story, but because of their great resemblance of the 2002 Angels.