Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By Joe Haakenson, Contributor - 

Programming Note: These will be brought to you regularly for the rest of the season daily. This past week was our Summer Fanfest so we stalled our Classic Rewind Series till today. 

AUG. 21, 2002

NEW YORK -- A few of Scott Spiezio's Angels teammates have given him a hard time about his home run total this season, especially how 5-foot-7 shortstop David Eckstein had hit as many as Spiezio (seven) going into Wednesday afternoon's game against the New York Yankees.

Maybe that's why Angels manager Mike Scioscia had Spiezio bunting with Brad Fullmer on second base and nobody out in the 11th inning. But after fouling off a bunt attempt, Spiezio got the go-ahead to swing away and on a 0-2 pitch hit a two-run homer. The Angels added two more runs in the inning for a 5-1 victory before 46,423 at Yankee Stadium.

``One thing I've learned over the years is that when you mess up, you've still got two other chances,'' Spiezio said. ``I wiped the slate clean. I was just trying to flick it over to second to get (Fullmer) over (to third). I didn't take a very aggressive swing with it, I just happened to catch it on the perfect spot on the bat.''

With the win, the Angels remain in first place in the American League West, tied with Oakland and Seattle, both who also won. At 75-50, the Angels have their best record through 125 games in club history.

Spiezio actually had a sacrifice bunt in his previous at-bat in the ninth inning, his second of the season. But it was the lack of a sacrifice in the bottom of the ninth that cost the Yankees.

With the game tied at 1, Jorge Posada led off the ninth with a double. Raul Mondesi, who has zero sacrifices this season, swung away and hit a grounder to shortstop. Mondesi was out at first and Posada had to stick at second. Two outs later, the game was headed for extra innings.

After Spiezio's homer in the 11th, the Angels added two more on an RBI fielder's choice by Darin Erstad and an RBI single by Garret Anderson.

In the bottom of the 11th, the Yankees put a scare into the Angels, loading the bases with nobody out against closer Troy Percival, who got a rare appearance in a non-save situation.

``I was just clueless, I had no idea what I was doing out there,'' Percival said. ``When I don't have adrenaline going I just try to throw quality pitches, but I can't do that if I don't have adrenaline flowing.''

Suddenly facing the tying run at the plate in Mondesi, Percival's blood got pumping. He got Mondesi on a popup and struck out John Vander Wal and Rondell White to end it.

``I just told myself, whatever (catcher Bengie Molina) calls, I'm just going to throw it and throw it as hard as I can throw it,'' Percival said.

Percival was the fifth and final pitcher for the Angels on Wednesday, following starter Ramon Ortiz (7 innings, 1 run, 4 hits) and relievers Brendan Donnelly, Scott Schoeneweis and Ben Weber (5-2). Combined, Angels pitchers allowed the Yankees seven hits.

``Pitching is why we won today,'' Scioscia said.

Ortiz seems to have regained the form he had early in the season before falling into a mid-season funk. Tuesday's game was his best since he held the Devil Rays to one run and three hits in nine innings on July 7. But that was the Devil Rays, this was the Yankees.

``It's night and day from five starts ago,'' Scioscia said of Ortiz's turnaround. ``You could see the progress from the last three starts. He was ahead in the count, he threw his fastball extremely well and he didn't overthrow his slider. Ramon needs to re-establish himself the way he did early in the season and today he took a big step towards that.''

The Yankees scored their only run in the first inning after Alfonso Soriano led off with a double and scored on Bernie Williams' two-out single. The Angels scored one run off Yankees starter Orlando Hernandez in the third inning when David Eckstein singled and later scored on a single by Orlando Palmeiro.

It stayed that way until Spiezio got ahold of a Jeff Weaver (7-11) fastball in the 11th for home run No. 8. Even though Spiezio's power numbers are not impressive, his teammates are happy to have him.
``He's awesome,'' Percival said. ``If he doesn't win a Gold Glove, something's wrong in baseball. He's saved us so much defensively, whatever he does offensively is a bonus.''


NEW YORK -- Pitcher Aaron Sele was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a partial tear of the supraspinatus muscle in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder. With rest and physical therapy, Sele is expected to miss two to three weeks.

After coming out of Tuesday's game, during which he gave up seven runs in five innings against the Yankees, Sele told manager Mike Scioscia he felt ``discomfort'' in his shoulder. It's something that has bothered him all season, but not to the degree he felt it when he came out of the game Tuesday.

Sele (8-9, 4.91 ERA) visited Dr. Andy Rokito in New York on Wednesday morning and had X-rays and an MRI, which revealed the injury.

``Surprised? A little,'' Sele said when asked about the diagnosis. ``I know it's been grinding and barking and I found out why.''

Said Scioscia: ``Naturally you're concerned about a rotator cuff, but we're confident he can come back 100 percent.''

It will mark the first time this season an Angel starter is unable to make a start because of an injury. Only six pitchers have started for the Angels this season, and the only change came when John Lackey replaced Scott Schoeneweis in the rotation because of Schoeneweis' inconsistency.

The Angels called up left-handed reliever Mark Lukasiewicz from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Sele on the roster, but he could return to Salt Lake on Sunday, when Sele's turn in the rotation comes around again. The Angels have a number of pitchers they're considering to take Sele's spot, including Schoeneweis and fellow relievers Al Levine and Scot Shields.

But Scioscia hinted the replacement probably will come from Triple-A so the bullpen is not disrupted.

``The thing about Schoeneweis is he's been very effective in his role (in the bullpen),'' Scioscia said. ``We don't want to hurt our overall balance.''

At Salt Lake, Matt Wise is injured, leaving Lou Pote and Mickey Callaway as the most likely candidates.

Pote spent most of the season as a reliever with the major league club before being sent to Salt Lake July 26 to make room for Troy Percival, who was coming off the DL. In five starts for the Stingers, Pote is 2-0 with a 6.15 ERA. Callaway has been with Salt Lake all season, and is 9-2 with a 1.68 ERA, in 17 games (14 starts), though he has missed time because of an elbow injury.


First baseman Scott Spiezio was spotted by reporters in a New York City Police van in Manhattan late Tuesday night, but Spiezio's smile indicated he was not in any trouble.

Spiezio attended a concert put on by a band made up of policemen in the park across the street from Yankee Stadium after Tuesday's game. Spiezio, who is the lead singer/songwriter of his own band Sandfrog, was invited to play with the band but he declined. However, he did need a ride back to the hotel, and the police obliged.

``I was thinking, `What if my teammates see me coming out of that van?' '' Spiezio said. ``I was hoping somebody would see me.''


Today's game against the Yankees is the last regular-season game between the two teams this season. With the two teams having split the six games so far, the Angels need to win tonight to win the season series. The Angels haven't lost a season series with the Yankees since 1998.

AUG. 14, 2002

ANAHEIM -- It was something one might expect to see in a little league game, but all the commotion early in the Angels' game against the Detroit Tigers turned out to be nothing more than a lot of hot air.

The Angels played the game under protest after a bizarre set of circumstances in the second and third innings when the Tigers batted out of order, but the protest was dropped because the Angels rallied for a 5-4 win before 23,391 at Edison Field, completing a three-game sweep.

The win moved the Angels to within one game of first place in the American League West behind the Seattle Mariners, who lost to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. The Angels' lead in the wild-card race remains at two games over the Red Sox.

Angels starter Ramon Ortiz (10-9) became the third Angels starter to reach double figures in victories after going 6 1/3 innings. Scott Spiezio drove in three runs with two hits and Darin Erstad drove in the game-winner with a pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth inning. Troy Percival closed it out with a scoreless ninth inning for his 28th save.

It had to be good news for the commissioner's office, which won't have to deal with the headache all the paperwork a protest can create.

With one on and one out in the top of the second inning, the Tigers' No. 7 hitter, Shane Halter, flied out for the second out. No. 8 hitter Brandon Inge was due up next, but No. 9 hitter Chris Truby batted instead and struck out.

Because Truby struck out, Angels manager Mike Scioscia did not appeal the Tigers batting out of order. Then in the top of the third, the Tigers sent out leadoff hitter Hiram Bocachica, which got Scioscia out of the dugout and onto the field for a lengthy conversation with all four umpires.

Because no appeal was made after Truby batted, he became the legalized batter in that spot in the order and the Tigers were correct in sending Bocachica to the plate to begin the third inning. But the Angels' protest was based on the charge the umpires assisted the Tigers, citing Rule 6.07 (d): ``The umpire shall not direct the attention of any person to the presence in the batter's box of an improper batter.''
Tigers manager Luis Pujols realized his mistake and went to the umpires to figure out what to do.

``He said, `We batted out of order, who's supposed to hit,?' '' crew chief Gary Darling said. ``We said, `Well, who's after Truby?' which was Bocachica. Mike was upset because we told them who to bat. That was his first protest, that we told the Tigers who was supposed to come up. His protest was that we were coaching them, basically.''

Scioscia said another reason for the protest had to do with the Tigers being able allowed to skip their No. 8 hitter in the lineup the first time around and get to the top of the order more quickly.

``If there's a way you can gain an advantage with a mistake in the lineup card, there's something wrong with that,'' Scioscia said. ``They should be penalized, and if anything, they should not be able to gain an advantage by it.''

In the fourth inning, Inge followed Halter in the order and finally got his first at-bat of the game -- an RBI double to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. That brought Scioscia out of the dugout again, claiming Truby was established as the hitter after Halter.

``After Inge hits the double, Mike wants to say they should always bat Truby in front of Inge,'' Darling said. ``But the lineup card is still the lineup card. You can't change the batting order just because you batted out of order once.''

Truby followed Inge and hit a sacrifice fly to put the Tigers up, 3-0.

The Angels began their rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting one run on Spiezio's RBI single. After Spiezio's single, the Angels had runners on first and third with nobody out but failed to score again as Garret Anderson struck out and Troy Glaus grounded into a double play.

Halter's homer in the sixth put the Tigers up, 4-1, but the Angels scored four in the bottom of the inning to go ahead, 5-4. Orlando Palmeiro started the inning with a walk, David Eckstein singled and Alex Ochoa walked to load the bases.

Spiezio drove in two with a single to center and Anderson singled home a run to tie the game at 4. Two outs later, Erstad's pinch-hit double scored Spiezio to five the Angels their first lead of the game.


ANAHEIM -- Right fielder Tim Salmon was not in the starting lineup Wednesday for the fourth consecutive game as he continues to feel pain in his left hand. But it could have been much worse.

Initial X-rays taken Saturday after he was hit by a pitch in Toronto were negative, but when improvement came slowly, the Angels ordered a CT scan for Tuesday to get a more detailed look at the bone.

Second baseman Adam Kennedy faced a similar situation in the spring of 2001. After being hit by a pitch on his hand in a Cactus League game, Kennedy had X-rays that were negative. But a CT scan performed a few days later revealed a break and he missed four weeks.

Salmon faced a similar possibility, but the CT scan showed no break.

``I was pretty (happy) when the first X-rays were negative,'' Salmon said. ``Dr. (Craig) Milhouse said hopefully the pain goes down. He told me about A.K. and I said `Woah.' It was a similar situation. I didn't sleep well, I was pretty nervous.''

Salmon, though, said his hand is feeling better. He took soft toss swings Wednesday and hopes to take live batting practice before Friday's game against the Cleveland Indians.

``Ideally, I'll take batting practice, see where I'm at and then it's up to (manager Mike Scioscia). The biggest thing is I don't want to keep aggrevating it. I need to rest it. It just needs time.''

Center fielder Darin Erstad could have played Wednesday, but he too was not in the starting lineup. Erstad likened his injury to a pitcher going through a ``dead arm'' phase, only with Erstad it's his right leg.

Erstad worked with a muscle therapist and had his hips checked for problems with his alignment. He's expected to return to the lineup Friday.


Third baseman Troy Glaus seems to have worked his way out of a slump that lasted all of June and July. Glaus went into Wednesday's game against the Tigers hitting .296 in August with three homers and 11 RBIs. In all of July, Glaus hit only two homers with 10 RBIs while batting .217. In June, he hit .182 with four homers and 11 RBIs.

``The last two weeks he's swung the bat with much more authority and a lot more confidence than the previous two months,'' Scioscia said. ``Hopefully he's getting back to where we know he can be. But you look at the dry spells over Troy's career and it's nothing unusual. You look at the end of the season and he gives you numbers with incredible production, and he's still on pace to do that.''

With 20 homers and 79 RBIs, Glaus is on pace for 27 homers and 108 RBIs.


Outfielder Julio Ramirez, on the disabled list since June 18 with a strained left calf, will leave today and join Triple-A Salt Lake to begin a rehab assignment. ... After taking a day off today, the Angels begin a three-game series Friday at Edison Field against the Cleveland Indians.

AUG. 15, 2002

AUG. 16, 2002

ANAHEIM -- Angels player representative Scott Schoeneweis presided over a players-only meeting in the Angels clubhouse before Friday night's game against the Cleveland Indians to fill them in on the day's events concerning the labor situation.

Minutes later, the Angels were on the field conducting business as usual.

Angels starter John Lackey pitched a strong seven innings and the Angels had 10 hits in a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians before 41,356 at Edison Field, the Angels' sixth win in a row.

It's the third time the Angels have won as many as six straight this season. The other two were eight-game winning streaks.

Because the Seattle Mariners lost to the New York Yankees, the Angels moved to within one-half game of first place in the American League West. The Angels' lead in the wild-card race is 2 1/2 games over the Oakland A's.

Aware that all of their success this season could become meaningless as soon as Aug. 30 if no labor agreement is in place and the players strike, the Angels conducted themselves as though nothing happened.

``We're not putting a sense of urgency on this, you can't look at it that way,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. ``There are so many variables. You try to win every game you play. Our approach is the same. Our focus is the same.''

Angels assistant player representative Jarrod Washburn has a chance to become the first Angels pitcher to win 20 games since Nolan Ryan in 1974, as long as there is no strike. So he's trying to keep his mind on the mound.

``Everybody's goal at the start of the season is to have a great year and make the playoffs,'' he said. ``Nothing's changed.''

Lackey (5-2) won his third consecutive start by throwing one of his better games of the season. In seven innings, he gave up one run and six hits, leaving the game with a 5-1 lead in the capable hands of the bullpen, which went into the game ranked second in the A.L. with a 3.81 ERA.

But the bullpen made things interesting.

Brendan Donnelly, who went into the game having allowed one earned run in his previous 20 innings, faced four batters and couldn't get any of them out. The first three singled to load the bases, and Jim Thome walked to force in a run.

Ben Weber replaced Donnelly and got Karim Garcia to hit into a force play, driving in a run to make it 5-3.

Matt Lawton followed with an RBI single to cut the Angels lead to 5-4.

But Weber got what he needed when Travis Fryman hit one-hopper back to him, and Weber started a 1-4-3 inning-ending double play, giving the ball and the 5-4 lead to closer Troy Percival for the ninth.

Percival struck out the side to end it and earn his 29th save.

Lackey went 8-2 at Triple-A Salt Lake this season before his promotion to the Angels starting rotation on June 24. He's just 23 but has been as poised as any Angels pitcher.

``His maturity on the mound was better than anybody could expect,'' Percival said. ``He doesn't get rattled.''

Catcher Bengie Molina is equally impressed, even though he nearly hit Lackey with a throw to second on a steal attempt.

``More than anything it's the toughness he shows out there,'' Molina said. ``His composure on the mound. He's in trouble, he steps back, takes a breath, comes back and gets it done.''

The Angels got a jump on the Indians and starter Ryan Drese (9-9) in the first two innings to go up, 4-0.

In the first inning, David Ecksten singled and went to third on Darin Erstad's double. Orlando Palmeiro drove in one run with a grounder to second and Garret Anderson drove in a second run with a grounder to first.

In the second inning, the Angels again got the first two batters on base and both scored. Brad Fuller led off with a single and Scott Spiezio walked. Bengie Molina sacrificed them to second and third, and Adam Kennedy drove both home with a ground-rule double to right for a 4-0 Angels lead.

``The guys getting runs early made it easy for me,'' Lackey said.

Meanwhile, Lackey threw strikes and made the Indians put the ball in play. Through three innings, the Indians had two baserunners, both coming on singles In the fourth, Ellis Burks led off with a home run to cut the Angels lead to 4-1.

The Angels got the run back in their half of the fourth after Fullmer singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Eckstein.


ANAHEIM -- Despite news that a strike date has been set by the players union, Angels players are optimistic an agreement can be reached before the Aug. 30 deadline. But Angels player representative Scott Schoeneweis said the union believes there doesn't need to be a major overhaul of the current ecomonic system in order for teams to survive.

``How do you explain Minnesota, Oakland, us (Angels) and Seattle and their turnaround?'' Schoeneweis said. ``Cleveland and Atlanta were up for contraction years ago. But you put a product on the field and you spend money when you need to. It's been done. The precedent has been set that teams can survive and compete.''

The biggest sticking point in the negotiations between the two sides has to do with a payroll tax. The players say it's effectively a salary cap and they have been steadfast in their opposition to one, even though it has worked in the NBA and NFL.

``Basketball and football players didn't want a salary cap either,'' Schoeneweis said. ``But they didn't fight the fight. They didn't stay together and stay united. It would hurt certain players, squeeze some guys out. And the next time, it's something else (the owners) want. We, as players, don't feel (a lack of a salary cap) is that big a problem in baseball.''

Winning the public relations war with the owners isn't on the players' agenda, according to Angels assistant player rep Jarrod Washburn, because it's not possible.

``Nobody's going to feel sorry for us, nobody's going to take our side,'' Washburn said. ``We just want the game to stay the way it is. (The owners) are asking for all kinds of changes.''

Even though the deadline for an agreement is now less than two weeks away, many players believe there is a different feeling this time around, compared to when the players walked out in 1994.

``Last time it was more of a bluffing game, it was both sides flexing,'' right fielder Tim Salmon said. ``Now it's about getting a deal done. Setting a strike date is a mechanism to get a deal done. It seems like deals are always done in the 11th hour.''

If the season ended today, the Angels would be in the playoffs as the wild-card team and would face the Yankees in the first round. But manager Mike Scioscia said he won't alter the way he manages in order to make sure the team is in playoff position on Aug. 30 in the event of a strike and baseball later decides to use that date to determine who's in.

``We're not going to look at Aug. 30 as the end of the season,'' Scioscia said. ``We're not going to put (closer Troy) Percival in the fourth inning of a game because it's do-or-die. You try to win every game you play. Our focus is the same.''


Even though the Angels dropped their protest from Wednesday's game in which the Tigers batted out of order, Scioscia plans to meet with Ralph Nelson, head of the umpires, when the team is in New York next week.

The Angels won the game, but Scioscia is still looking for clarification on the umpires' ruling. The Angels' protest was two-fold: First, that the umpires assisted the Tigers by telling them which batter to send up after the Tigers realized they batted out of order.

The other issue is the batting order. Chris Truby, on the lineup card as the No. 9 hitter, batted in the eighth spot. Because Scioscia did not appeal after Truby batted, the rulebook says a new order was established. But the rulebook is unclear as to what that order should be. Scioscia said Truby should have batted in the eighth spot the next time around, but the Tigers sent up Brandon Inge, the No. 8 hitter on the original lineup card and who didn't bat the first time through the lineup.

``There's a lot of gray area in the rulebook that needs adjusting,'' Scioscia said. ``We want an interpretation so we know we did everything we could in that situation.''


Salmon was not in the starting lineup for the fifth game in a row Friday because of a bruised right hand suffered last Saturday in Toronto when he was hit by a pitch. Improvement has come slowly, and Salmon said if he's not in the lineup again by the end of the weekend, Dr. Lewis Yocum will re-evaluate the situation.

That could mean a trip to the disabled list, which would be retroactive to the last time Salmon played. Salmon, though, was a pinch runner in Tuesday's game, so he wouldn't be eligible to come off the DL until Aug. 29.

AUG. 17, 2002

ANAHEIM – The Cleveland Indians broke out with six runs in the seventh inning, breaking open a tight game and going on to a 9-4 victory over the Angels before 39,866 at Edison Field.

Angels starter Jarrod Washburn had a rare bad performance, but not until the Indians got to him in the seventh. The game was tied, 3-3, after six when the Indians put up a six-spot on four hits, two walks and an Angels error.

The crushing blow came after Washburn was out of the game, a three-run homer by Travis Fryman off Angels reliever Al Levine.

The Angels got home runs from Troy Glaus and Adam Kennedy in a nine-hit attack, but were just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

With the loss, the Angels missed out on a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the A.L. West, instead remaining one-half game behind Seattle. The Angels lead Oakland by 1 ½ games in the wild-card race.

AUG. 18, 2002

ANAHEIM – Kevin Appier gave up only one hit in six innings, and three relievers combined to shut down the Cleveland Indians for the final three innings in the Angels’ 4-1 victory before 41,059 at Edison Field.

Appier gave up a single to Ellis Burks and a sacrifice fly by Jim Thome in the first inning and that was it, improving to 11-9. Brendan Donnelly (seventh inning) and Ben Weber (eight) each retired the side in order, before Troy Percival (30th save) closed it out with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit.

Shawn Wooten and Alex Ochoa each had two hits to lead the Angels offense, which scored all four runs on eight hits off Indians starter C.C. Sabathia (8-10).

The enabled the Angels to keep pace with first-place Seattle in the A.L. West, one-half game out.

AUG.  19, 2002

AUG. 20, 2002

NEW YORK -- The Angels and New York Yankees are in first place in their respective divisions, which created a playoff atmosphere Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Angels pitcher Aaron Sele certainly pitched like it was a playoff game against the Yankees, getting hammered in a 7-5 Yankees win before 41,619.

While pitching for Texas and Seattle, Sele was 0-5 with a 5.00 in five playoff starts against the Yankees in his career. Appropriately enough, Sele lasted only five-plus innings, blowing a lead after the Angels scored five runs in the third inning against Yankees starter Andy Pettitte.

Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi drove in three runs with two hits, including his team-leading 31st home run of the season. Bernie Williams chipped in with three hits.

With the loss, the Angels missed a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the American League West. Instead, they are in a three-way tie for first with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's, though the Angels are ahead by percentage points.

``I've been in some races where three teams were separated by a couple games going into the last week of the season,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Depth of a club is important down the stretch. You want to execute the way you've been executing all year. And health is certainly important.''

Health became in issue with Sele after he left the game in the top of the sixth inning with two on and nobody out. It was then that he told Scioscia that he felt some discomfort in his right (pitching) shoulder.

Sele, who will have the shoulder examined today, refused to use it as an excuse.

``When you step on the rubber you've got to make pitches,'' said Sele, who tied a career high with seven walks. ``I didn't make pitches, so it doesn't matter. You get aches and pains all season, it's part of the game, but you've got to go out and pitch. I walked seven guys. That's my main concern. ... The guys went out and got five runs for me, and I spit it back up. When you suck, you suck.''

Scioscia also indicated that he didn't think Sele's shoulder would be a serious problem.

``There was no huge red flag that went up with Aaron that said this is going to be an issue,'' Scioscia said. ``Hopefully it's something he can get through.''

The Angels got all of their offense in the third inning when they scored five runs on six hits against Pettitte (8-4). Singles by Alex Ochoa and Darin Erstad set up Scott Spiezio's RBI single, followed by Garret Anderson's three-run homer.

With two outs and nobody on, Shawn Wooten singled and scored from first on Benji Gil's double to left-center, which gave the Angels a 5-2 lead.
Sele, though, couldn't hold it.

The Yankees tied the game with three runs in the fifth, all three coming with two outs. Jorge Posada singled home two runs and Raul Mondesi singled home a third.

In the sixth, the Yankees took the lead and knocked Sele out of the game. After Sele walked Alfonso Soriano to open the inning, third baseman Troy Glaus' throwing error on a force play at second gave the Yankees two baserunners with nobody out.

Sele was lifted in favor of lefty Scott Schoeneweis, who surrendered RBI singles by Giambi and Williams that put the Yankees ahead for good.

Sele pitched well in his only other start against the Yankees this year, giving up one run and three hits in seven-plus innings of a 5-4 Angels win on Aug. 3. In that one, he walked only two.
Of his seven walks Tuesday, four came around to score.

``Against a club like that,'' Scioscia said, ``any time you walk a guy it's like putting another log on the fire.''

Though the A.L. West race couldn't be any hotter, the Angels insist their focus is the same.

``I'm not worried about it,'' Anderson said. ``If we don't win, it doesn't matter where anybody else is. This year we've played well and we have to continue to do so regardless of what anybody else is doing.''


NEW YORK -- The trip to New York for the three-game series against the Yankees is the Angels' only one of the season and the first time the team has been here since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

A group of Angels officials toured Ground Zero and the American Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan Tuesday morning. While all the players and coaches were invited to go, first baseman Scott Speizio and pitching coach Bud Black were the only uniformed personnel in the group of about 14.

``I just wanted to sit there and say a little prayer for the people who passed away,'' Spiezio said. ``It's something I wanted to do since it happened.

``You can't imagine the scale until you stand there, how big the whole site is. You try to put yourself in the situation when the two big towers started to fall all of a sudden. What do you do? Where do you run? You think of all the scenarios of what to do. My instinct would be to run away as far as possible. But there were people running towards it, running up the stairs to save people. That's what's amazing.''

The trip started with a visit of the American Stock Exchange, where Spiezio rang the bell to open trading.

``They gave me a gold hammer and said go at it,'' Spiezio said. ``If you miss the sweet spot, it makes a clanking sound and they boo you. I was nervous, but I hit it three times and hit it good.''


Right fielder Tim Salmon was not in the starting lineup for the eighth game in a row since suffering a bruised bone in his left hand when hit by a pitch Aug. 10. But the Angels are not likely to put Salmon on the disabled list.

Because Salmon pinch-ran on Aug. 13, he would not be eligible to come off the DL until Aug. 29, and Salmon is hoping he'll be able to return for the four-game series in Boston starting Friday.

Salmon saw hand specialist Dr. Andy Rokito in New York Tuesday, undergoing an MRI and X-rays, which were negative. He also took live batting practice for the first time since the injury, but is remaining cautious.

``The point is not to get me back in the lineup, but get me in the lineup where I can be productive,'' he said. ``Take swings and have an approach that isn't altered because it hurts. If I don't feel confident swinging the bat, it's not going to help the team.''

Pitcher Kevin Appier, who left Sunday's game with a sore left hip, said he feels fine and will make his next scheduled start on Saturday in Boston.
He will throw off the mound today as part of his normal between-starts workout.

Manager Mike Scioscia fondly remembered former Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, who died over the weekend.

``John was a special man,'' Scioscia said. ``He was really my first catching instructor with the Dodgers. John was incredibly astute on the mental part of baseball, and the pitcher-catcher relationship. He was very intelligent and very willing to share that knowledge.''
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