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Candelaria Put on Disabled List--Personal Reasons

May 16, 1987|JOHN WEYLER | Times Staff Writer

The Angels announced Friday that pitcher John Candelaria, who was arrested for the second time in a month Thursday for investigation of driving while intoxicated, would be placed on the 15-day disabled list for "personal reasons."

Both Candelaria and General Manager Mike Port refused to comment on whether Candelaria would seek professional help.

"You're wasting your time," Candelaria told a reporter who followed him to his car before the Angels' game against the Baltimore Orioles Friday night. "I have nothing to say."

Port made a brief statement but also was unwilling to answer questions.

"Certainly no one, including John Candelaria, takes this matter lightly . . . nor did we with respect to the first occurrence," Port said. "Too many people have lost loved ones due to this type of thing.

"Every club has to deal with these things. To this point, we've taken this action, but it's not a situation where it's all spelled out to the end."

Was the move requested by Candelaria, or did the Angels make the decision to put him on the disabled list?

"I can't help you with anything beyond what I've just said," Port said.

Are there any prerequisites such as rehabilitation or counseling before Candelaria will be allowed to return?

"I wouldn't be prepared to be definitive about that," Port said.

A spokesman for Commissioner Peter Ueberroth was prepared to be somewhat more definitive, however.

"The Angels are trying to get him some help, and we hope he accepts it," spokesman Richard Levin said. "The Angels are handling it, and they're keeping us apprised.

"It's not like the Dwight Gooden situation . . . either (go into rehabilitation) or (be suspended). There are no hard and fast guidelines (about alcohol abuse) like those pertaining to drugs. We don't lump them together because alcohol is not illegal. But we do realize the seriousness of alcohol-related problems."

Candelaria, 33, is 4-1 with a 3.99 earned-run average this season. He will be replaced on the roster by right-handed pitcher Bryan Harvey, whose contract was acquired from the Angels' minor league affiliate in Midland, Tex., and replaced in the starting rotation by right-hander Mike Cook.

Candelaria has been bothered by numbness in his right leg all season and hampered by lower back pain for about a month. He received a cortisone injection to relieve the back pain on April 30. An Angel spokesman said the team could have put Candelaria on the disabled list because of the back problem, but "that wouldn't have been straightforward."

Angel Manager Gene Mauch said he wouldn't comment on Candelaria's personal problems but did say he believed the time off will be beneficial.

"Candy's one of the brightest guys who's ever played for me," Mauch said. "He's having a little problem right now. I'm not qualified to discuss the personal part of it, but as to the physical part, I know he can benefit from a few days, or even two weeks off. He won't even alibi to me, but I know the back has been hurting him."

Candelaria was arrested early Thursday morning--about an hour after the team's charter flight landed at Ontario Airport--when California Highway Patrol officers said they spotted his car "weaving" on the Santa Ana Freeway. He failed a field sobriety test and was cited at Orange County Jail. Charges are pending from his April 17 arrest for alleged drunken driving, which occurred after Orange County Sheriff's deputies said he ran a stop sign and a red light in Laguna Niguel.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office said any person convicted of two drunken-driving offenses in a short period of time would be subject to a minimum of 48 hours in jail and ordered to attend a program for people with alcohol problems.

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