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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Linton Is Hero of Retaliations

August 16, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Reliever Joe Grahe was chastised by at least two of his teammates for not throwing at the Seattle Mariners after Randy Johnson's pitch hit second baseman Rod Correia in the seventh inning Saturday night. Reliever Doug Linton retaliated by throwing at Seattle's Dave Valle and Omar Vizquel.

"I think Linton won everyone's respect for what he did," said one Angel, who declined to be identified, "but there's a lot guys upset with Joe. That's what everyone's been talking about. Maybe the pitchers can forgive Joe, but believe me, it's going to take a while for the position players to forgive him."

Linton acknowledged trying to hit Valle and Vizquel with pitches that sailed behind their backs. He was ejected by home-plate umpire Joe Brinkman.

"I wanted to get it over with by hitting Valle," Linton said, "but when I missed, I figured I better go after the second guy.

"It's kind of funny, I went to a place after the game and Joe Brinkman was there. He told me, 'I'm from the old school, so I was giving you a chance to hit him. But when you blew the first chance, I couldn't give you a second one. I had to toss you.' "

After Johnson hit Correia, who had three hits and two stolen bases, Grahe did throw an inside pitch to the first batter, Bret Boone. But it was made quite clear to Grahe that it wasn't enough.

"In his mind, it was sufficient," Angel Manager Buck Rodgers said. "In others, it wasn't. Pitchers don't have to satisfy me, they have to satisfy their teammates.

"Joe tried to send a message, and I'm not going to condemn him. But he's the one that also has to come back to the bench. Linton wasn't satisfied that he did the job the first time, and Joe Grahe was satisfied he did do the job.

"I know this, the hitters on our club have higher regard for Doug Linton than they did 24 hours ago."

*

Johnson continued to deny Sunday that he purposely threw at Correia, but not even his own teammates believed it.

Valle was so upset at Johnson for hitting Correia that he screamed at him in the dugout.

"That's the last time I get hit because of you," Valle told him. "The next time I get hit because of one of your . . ., we're going to go at it in the clubhouse."

*

Linton says he learned his lesson about throwing retaliatory pitches last season from Dave Winfield when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays.

"It was after we gave up 31 hits to the Milwaukee Brewers," Linton said, "and Winfield came up to me in the outfield before the next game. He said, 'If you get hit around like that, don't be afraid to knock a guy down. If you get thrown out, so what, at least you won't be giving up any more hits. If someone comes after you, I'll be right behind you.'

"I'll be honest, I thought about that advice last night."

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