Angels vs. Athletics

Best Rivalry

American League West

April 03, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

The Angels and A's have been going after it on the West Coast for nearly 40 years, which passes for a long tradition in the AL West.

Though newly renamed Los Angeles lost big-hitting Troy Glaus to free agency, the Angels still appear to be the class of the division. The Mariners, however, muscled up with the acquisition of free agents Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, and the Rangers can slug it out with anybody.

This just might be a put-up-or-shut-up year for Oakland, which was the model of small-market excellence when Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito anchored one of the best pitching staffs in the game. But Hudson and Mulder were traded during the winter and general manager Billy Beane has to hope that he has enough organizational pitching depth to keep his team from falling off the map.

- Peter Schmuck

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