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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

April 07, 1993|ALLAN MALAMUD

It happened on opening day at Anaheim Stadium:

11:25 a.m.--"I'm happy to be here," Angel Manager Buck Rodgers says 11 months after the bus accident that seriously injured him. "At times, I didn't know whether I would be here or anywhere else on opening day." . . .

11:30--Coach Don Rowe leads a good number of Milwaukee Brewers in exercises behind the batting cage while the Angels take their cuts. They must think it's still spring training. . . .

11:33--Angel Coach Jimmie Reese, 91, says his first opening day was as a player for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League in 1924. "I'm lucky to remember that," he says. "Sorry, I can't tell you the score or who we were playing." . . .

11:38--It must be baseball season. I smell cinnamon rolls. . . .

11:45--Press-box visitor Al Campanis says his memoirs, "Once a Dodger, Always a Dodger," are being read by five publishing houses. . . .

12:30 p.m.--Disneyland characters perform pregame routine. However, they are probably saving their A material for the Mighty Ducks' opener next door at the Anaheim Arena. . . .

12:47--Uh-oh. Media notes reveal that Mark Langston is 0-4 with a 6.29 earned-run average in opening day assignments and that the Angels are 13-19 in home openers. . . .

12:55--Coach Bobby Knoop is the first Angel introduced and his new uniform reminds me of what he wore when he joined the Los Angeles Angels as a second baseman in 1964. . . .

12:57--Judging by the crowd reaction, Chuck Finley has replaced Jim Abbott as the most popular Angel. . . .

1:02--Announcement of the new no-smoking policy in the stands is met with approval. . . .

1:09--Langston's first pitch is a strike on the outside corner to Pat Listach. . . .

1:15--Langston gets Robin Yount looking to strike out the side. . . .

1:18--Angel leadoff batter Luis Polonia singles into center field on Bill Wegman's second pitch. . . .

1:21--In his first at-bat as an Angel and 15th in the American League, J.T. Snow grounds out to shortstop. . . .

1:27--A press-box television shows Atlanta outfielder Otis Nixon breaking up Jose Guzman's no-hit bid with two out in the top of the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Too bad. I was wondering if Harry Caray would shout something besides, "Cubs win! Cubs win!" after the final out if Guzman had gotten the no-hitter. . . . 1:29--After four consecutive strikeouts, Langston gets Tom Brunansky to ground out to short. . . .

1:35--Yount, 37 and headed to the Hall of Fame, takes away a potential run-scoring double by Damion Easley with a running catch in left-center field. . . .

1:42--Former Angel Dickie Thon's single ruins Langston's perfecto with two out in the third. . . .

1:45--The Brewers--who stole 256 bases last season, 96 more than any other American League team--are off and running again as Joe Kmak steals second base. . . .

1:59--So much for great baserunning. Darryl Hamilton becomes the third runner and second Brewer to get picked off in two innings. . . .

2:03--Snow leads off the fourth inning by sending Wegman's first pitch into the Brewer bullpen in right field. . . .

2:04--Whitey Herzog is still smiling. . . .

2:05--Jack Snow is still smiling. . . .

2:14--The power explosion continues as Gary DiSarcina hits a two-run homer in the fifth to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. In 633 previous major league at-bats, DiSarcina had hit three homers. . . .

2:33--The speed-up edict must be working. Here it is the top of the seventh inning and they have been playing ball for only 1 hour 24 minutes.

2:39--Greg Vaughn puts the Brewers on the board with a blast into the left-field seats. . . . 2:41--Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez visits Langston on the mound. Wise guy in press box says they will have to call long-distance to tell Bryan Harvey to start warming up. . . .

3:00--Rookie-of-the-year candidate Snow singles to raise his batting average to .500. . . .

3:02--A wonderful day is marred by the wave. . . .

3:04--Paid attendance is announced as 29,843, smallest for an opener at Anaheim Stadium since 1978. Apparently, a lot of people in Southern California read the Angels' press clippings. . . .

3:12--Langston strikes out Yount. The Angels win, 3-1, in 2 hours 3 minutes. So far, so good. Only 161 more to go.

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