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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT | ANGELS

Now Lee Smith Has Seen Everything

May 23, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Reliever Lee Smith has been an unhappy Angel for weeks, biding his time in the bullpen until the Angels can trade the game's all-time save leader to a team that wants him.

Tuesday night's game against the Orioles--when Troy Percival pitched the eighth and ninth innings while Smith sat, merely compounded his frustration.

"I thought I had seen it all, I thought I had an idea about this game, but I am mistaken," said Smith, 38, who has 471 saves but none this season. "I want to get on the field. . . . I'm tired of crossing it after the game."

After Percival pitched the eighth inning of the Angels' 5-2 victory, Smith thought for sure he would pitch the ninth. But Percival closed, leaving Smith to throw a mop-up inning in Wednesday night's 10-5 loss to the Orioles, in which he gave up his first earned run in nine appearances since coming off the disabled list April 23.

Smith, outspoken about the Angel closer controversy in late April, was still miffed about his situation Wednesday but figured it would do no good to vent his anger.

"We don't want to discuss this now, do we?" he said. "I'm not going to let it get me all bent out of shape."

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Reliever Bryan Harvey suffered another setback Wednesday when he stopped a simulated game after three pitches because of elbow discomfort. His last simulated game attempt, on May 9, ended after four pitches.

"There's nowhere I can go, nothing I can do," said Harvey, who underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in May 1995. "Everyone thinks it takes 12 months to come back from this surgery, but it's not always that easy."

Harvey, who will be examined by team physician Lewis Yocum on Saturday, believes the pain is caused by the pulling of scar tissue in his elbow.

He had been encouraged by his last bullpen throwing session in New York over the weekend, "but we can't get over that last hurdle," he said. "It may be one we have to go through, but not at this moment."

*

Center fielder Jim Edmonds was not in the Angels' original lineup Wednesday but was penciled in after a lengthy chat with Manager Marcel Lachemann. "The trainers said he had groin, hamstring, elbow and shoulder injuries," Lachemann said. "He said he felt fine." . . . Steve Ontiveros, sidelined all season because of elbow problems, threw 23 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday and experienced no discomfort. He hopes to pitch two or three more simulated games before beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

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