Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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By Steve Haston - AngelsWin.com Contributor

Brian Fuentes knows he isn’t having his best year. Sitting down today for a candid interview in foul territory just outside the Angels dugout, he looked confused. After all, a closer with an ERA approaching 4.50, four blown saves and a trip to the DL under his belt on the season usually doesn’t garner all that much All Star attention. Then, he shared with me, something strange happened.

At about 9AM his phone began to ring. Calls came in rapidly, from those already in the All Star Game to ex-teammates, to personal assistants. “I woke up this morning on the couch like always,” He shared. When I asked him why the couch he replied “Ever since I grew this mustache my wife says I look like a bad guy from a spaghetti western, she keeps calling me Tuco and won’t let me in our bed.” I fought back a giggle as he looked genuinely upset at his wife’s behavior.

After a brief digression into the work of Sergio Leone we got back on topic. “The phone just kept ringing and ringing. First I saw Matt (Holliday) had called. I haven’t seen him since ’08 when we both left Colorado… I thought he was just setting up lunch for when he was out here next week. He asked me what I was doing on Monday (The 12th).” Then, he started scrolling through the list of other missed calls. Robinson Cano’s assistant, David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera. This was not his usual crop of messages, and they all seemed obsessed with his schedule on Monday.

Then, mercifully, Matt Holliday came through “He told me he needed a pitcher for the home run derby,” Fuentes grimaced as he said it. “They ALL need a pitcher for the derby,” he said stone faced looking through me. Just like walking the leadoff hitter in an inning, though, Fuentes is turning his lemons into lemonade. “The bidding is up to $5,000 a home run. I plan on donating it to charity.”

No one knows yet who Fuentes will be behind the screen for on Monday, but one thing is for certain, the victims of CCDES (Child Car Door Ear Syndrome) will be walking away with a healthy check thanks to Brian Fuentes.
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