The Los Angeles Angels go for victory No. 100 tonight. Even if they lose and lose again tomorrow on the final day of the season, they’ll still have the best record in baseball with 99 wins. No matter the record, no team is a lock to advance even past the first round of the playoffs. But such is the playoff system, where a team that gets hot in September can sneak in as a wild card and win it all. That’s happened four times, including the Angels’ 2002 defeat of the San Francisco Giants — who were the NL wild card winner, incidentally.
Even back in the pre-playoff days, the best record did not guarantee a World Series triumph. The 1954 Cleveland Indians racked up 111 wins in a 152-game season, yet got swept by the New York Giants. So good luck, Angels. It’s been a great season — but a new one starts in a few days.
This Angels cap, by the way, was the one my son wore on his team three seasons ago. Technically, it was an Anaheim Angeles cap at the time, but I won’t quibble. The Angels caps have evolved over the years to this red model, which I like. Disney undertones notwithstanding, I actually preferred the previous “winged A” version of the Angels’ cap. The expansion club’s original LA with the halo circling the crown was also pretty cool. I did not care much for the “CA” logo during the “California Angels” era.