Yanks, Halos both seeking redemption
Division Series foes hoping to erase bad memories of 2004
ANAHEIM -- The New York Yankees and the Rand McNally Angels of Los Angeles/Anaheim, two teams with clashing pasts but surprisingly similar presents, have been called back on the October stage for make-good appearances.Both teams have made postseasons a recent habit, but not a very good habit. They didn't leave the best impressions last year. While the Angels staggered into the postseason disarrayed and couldn't get in even one Division Series lick against Boston, the Yankees folded out of a 3-0 Championship Series lead against the same Red Sox. So they have obsessed over a common revenge for 12 months, persevered through a season's obstacles to have redemption within reach -- but only one's mission will continue, at the expense of the other. It's a best-of-five test of expectations, the Division Series starting Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET when Game 1 will light up Angel Stadium. The Yankees, in the playoffs for the 10th straight October, embark on their quest for a 27th World Series championship behind Mike Mussina, the veteran right-hander truly at a you-never-know-what-you'll-get stage of his career. "I feel the same I did the last couple of times. No difference," said Mussina. No clue there: After taking a one-month time-out with elbow tendinitis, "Moose" pitched six innings of four-hit ball; next time out, he was rocked for five runs in 1 2/3. The Angels, making their third playoff appearance in four years in search of a second World Series trophy, counter with Bartolo Colon, who gets another shot at backing up his big-game reputation with an October splash. Colon battled a balky back on his way to 21-win status. "There's some discomfort," he said, "but there's no time to think about it."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.