DeRosa got it right. In the wild-card era, history shows that the best team in the 162-game marathon often can't make it through the one-month October sprint.
In fact, in the 13 years of the three-tier playoff system, only three times has the team with the National League's best 162-game record represented the NL in the World Series. The Braves did the double in '95 and '96, and the Cardinals made it in '04.
Meanwhile, the "best team" has been knocked out in the first round four times.
The story is a little different in the American League, where six "best teams" have made it to the World Series in 13 years (counting the '07 Red Sox, who tied for the best record with the Indians). But even there, four "best teams" have lost in the very first round.
Who knows why this is true? Maybe it's that a short series is too much of a crapshoot. Maybe it's that the "best team" is often the first to clinch (as the Angels and Cubs were this year), and loses its edge through too many meaningless games leading up to the playoffs.
It is unusual for the team with the best record to exit the playoffs in a three-game sweep, which both the Cubs and Angels are in danger of doing. It has happened, but only twice. The 2000 White Sox (95-67) were swept by the Mariners, and the 2001 Astros (who tied for the best record at 93-69) were swept by the Braves.
As for a 100-win team like the Angels losing in the first round, that's surprisingly common. The Angels would be the ninth 100-win team in the last 11 years to fail to make it out of the first round.