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Watson Hoops It Up in the Off-Season

February 28, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Many pitchers spend much of their off-season in weight and exercise rooms, but new Angel left-hander Allen Watson adds some flavor to his winter training. He plays basketball almost every day at his old high school in New York City.

"I love basketball," said Watson, who was traded by San Francisco for first baseman J.T. Snow in November.

Watson, a 27-33 pitcher, is still trying to fulfill his baseball potential, but he is probably one of baseball's best basketball players.

In his senior season, 1987-88, at Christ the King in Queens, Watson started and averaged 12 points a game on a 25-3 team that included six future NCAA Division I players and one NBA player--Khalid Reeves, Arizona and the New Jersey Nets; Derrick Phelps, North Carolina; Jamal Faulkner, Arizona State and Alabama; Carl Beckett, St. John's; Nick Sanchez, Florida, and Carlos Easterling, Rhode Island.

"I learned to deal with a lot of pressure in high school, and that goes a long way toward helping you down the road," Watson said. "I'm not afraid of crowds."


The Angels have offered outfielder Garret Anderson a three-year contract, plus an option for a fourth year, but the sides are believed to be far apart on a dollar figure for the deal. Negotiations are expected to continue through the weekend. . . . Thursday night's exhibition game against Brigham Young was rained out, robbing several young Angel pitching prospects of a chance to perform in front of the major league staff. "I know it's just a college team, but it's a chance to take the mound in a game situation and show them what I can do," said Matt Perisho, a 21-year-old left-hander. . . . The Angels agreed to terms with pitcher Jason Dickson, who is bidding to become the team's No. 5 starter, and catcher Todd Greene, who will either be a backup or will start the season at triple-A Vancouver. . . . Individual regular-season game tickets will go on sale at the Anaheim Stadium box office beginning Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

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