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They Take Their Losses Very Quietly

July 18, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

They've lost 17 of their last 24 games to fall well off the pace in the American League West, but the Angels haven't had any players-only meetings or torn up any clubhouses in frustration. That's simply not their style, shortstop Gary DiSarcina said.

"We have a lot of guys whose personalities are not to be real vocal," he said. "I know, for me, if I start yelling or screaming it's a waste of energy. I'd rather channel that elsewhere instead of throwing stuff around."

But wouldn't the Angels benefit from an occasional emotional outburst, such as when first baseman J.T. Snow went jaw-to-jaw with umpire Larry Young in the fourth inning of Monday night's game at Texas? The Angels were trailing, 7-1, at the time and came back to win, 10-7.

"The fire has always been with this team. It doesn't just go away," DiSarcina said. "I don't think arguing with the umpires is going to spark us. We have a lot of spunk. It's just not the way it was in the past, when we had Tony [Phillips, the Angel leadoff batter in 1995."

Phillips sparked a few bench-clearing brawls last season and was not afraid to chew out a teammate he felt wasn't giving a best effort. The Angel leadoff hitter now is rookie Darin Erstad, who patterns himself after Tim Salmon, a go-about-your-business outfielder who has never thrown a bat or helmet.

Left fielder Garret Anderson has a low-key, quiet demeanor, infielders Randy Velarde and George Arias are about as even-keeled as they come and designated hitter Chili Davis is not a vocal leader.

These Angels don't seem to get too excited--or disappointed--about anything.

"But I think that's just professionalism," DiSarcina said. "You don't want to go through high or low extremes. you don't want to go crazy. . . . You need a sense of consistency."


The expected return this week of center fielder Jim Edmonds could bring a little edge to the clubhouse. The Angels will have four outfielders--Edmonds, Salmon, Anderson and Erstad--bidding for playing time. "The one thing that pushes guys is when someone wants your job," Manager Marcel Lachemann said. "With long-term contracts, that motivation is not always there. Years ago, you had to keep your job year to year, day to day. Today, players have to self-motivate themselves. It will be an interesting situation." . . . Don't expect Erstad to make any waves about the outfield rotation. "I'll do whatever they tell me," he said. "If they tell me to play here or at [triple-A] Vancouver, I'll do it." . . . Juan Gonzalez's two-run homer in the first inning Wednesday night extended the Ranger right fielder's hitting streak to 19 games. . . . Erstad's 0 for 4 Tuesday night marked the first time in 17 road games he did not have a hit.

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