Dan Haren is not happy about “source” saying Angels will decline his 2013 option

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Earlier this week Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com wrote that the Angels were likely to decline their 2013 options on Dan Haren and Ervin Santana while focusing on re-signing Zack Greinke to a huge long-term deal.

Gonzalez cited “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” and … well, Haren thinks whoever that source is has “dumb timing” and “stupid timing.”

Here’s more, via Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Whatever source familiar with the Angels’ thinking said it, I think it was probably dumb timing for them to say something. We have 10 days left, two weeks left. I think the last thing myself or Ervin are thinking about is our status for next year. We’re focused on the task at hand. I thought it was really stupid timing for something like that to come out.

He’s right, of course, although it’s important to note that “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” doesn’t necessarily mean someone in the Angels organization and in fact the phrasing actually suggests the person isn’t in the Angels organization. In which case they probably don’t care about the timing and what impact it could have on the Angels’ playoff chances.

Haren also made it clear that he wants to remain with the Angels beyond this season, saying “of course I want to come back” and “of course I want to stay.” He went on to say that he understands how the team may have lost confidence in him this season, but cited his strong track record and added: “If I don’t come back, I’ll go somewhere else and help that team out.”

Based on that track record choosing his $15.5 million option instead of a $3.5 million buyout would be a no-brainer, but based on the 32-year-old’s 4.32 ERA and back problems this season the decision on Haren is much tougher.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.