"It's great for us because we've been knocking on the door for a while," Moreno said on Sunday afternoon after the Angels had rallied for a 7-6 victory in Game 3.Vladimir Guerrero delivered the game-winning hit with a two-out, two-run single off of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Red Sox manager Terry Francona, with runners at second and third, intentionally walked Torii Hunter to get to Guerrero. "I was so surprised when they walked Torii," Moreno grinned. "All you've got to do is watch Vlady taking BP to know he still hits the [tar] out of the ball." Moreno and Guerrero have something in common. They both weren't with the Angels when they won the World Series in 2002. They missed out on that. Moreno bought the Angels from Disney in 2003 and then signed Guerrero to a five-year, $70 million contract on Jan. 12, 2004. This is only the second playoff series victory in six tries for Moreno as owner. They were swept by the Red Sox in the 2004 ALDS. They beat the Yankees in the 2005 ALDS but lost to the White Sox in the next round. They were swept by the Red Sox in each of the last two seasons before this. Moreno enjoyed every moment on a crisp New England afternoon in baseball's oldest ballpark. "I was watching this game, and you look across and you can't tell if it's 1920 or it's 1950 or not, with the backdrop," Moreno said. "It's just a great place to play. I looked up into the sky, and the flags were blowing, and I felt so lucky to be here. I'm thinking this is a great place to be, if you're a baseball fan, you're soaking it in. "Boston is such a great, class organization. They've got great fans. For us, it's our turn." Moreno said it wasn't poetic justice that the Angels beat the Red Sox. "For us, you just want to win," Moreno said.
Moreno wasn't the only one soaked with champagne. So too was general manager Tony Reagins, who is in his second year on the job."This is the culmination of a lot of hard work in a season that has been going up and down for us emotionally," Reagins said. "We've had some clubhouse leaders really step up and Mike Scioscia has been huge. And Arte Moreno has given me enough to work with and have fun and put this thing together." The Angels now advance to the American League Championship Series. "It's exciting to be able to move forward," Reagins said. "We had a goal in Spring Training and this is step two toward that goal." And that goal is... "We're not talking about that yet," Reagins said as the champagne flowed in the clubhouse.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.