Wednesday, August 3, 2011

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

Reporting from the Press Box at the Big A -- We all know that Angels manager Mike Scioscia preaches the philosophy of one game at a time. The players seem to live that, focusing on the game at hand every day. They have a job to do and they know that it's up to them to control their fate. They have to win in order to make the playoffs.

But, up in the press box, it was a different story. For the press and the Angels staff, the focus is on the drama of the American League West.

From the moment I arrived in the stadium, 4.5 hours before game-time, the out-of-town scoreboard was running. Texas was playing an afternoon game in Detroit. From the staff who checked out my media credential to the elevator operators, to the staff inside the press box, they all knew what the score was. They knew that Detroit had a lead against Texas, and the mood was light. The thought of owning a slice of first place made for good conversation around the stadium.

By the time I got down to the field, the score had changed and the mood had changed. Players pointed to the out-of-town scoreboard which showed that Texas had tied up the game. As the players stretched they looked over at the board to see if the score had changed.

By the start of the game, for the Angels media, the mood was light again. Detroit won, Texas had lost. The Angels again had a chance to own a piece of the A.L. West. That thought carried out into the crowd as they too sensed that the chance to regain first place. From the press box, the cheers were louder. The thrills more palpable.

The players will tell you that they are taking it all in stride. But, like the fans, they know the standings. Just like us, they're scoreboard watching. And they want to win.
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