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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Going Out for a Nice Walk Not His Idea of Good Time

May 17, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Gary DiSarcina has never been a picture of patience at the plate, averaging 20 walks a year, but the Angel shortstop has taken his aggressive approach to the extreme this season--going into Friday night's game he had not drawn a walk since April 5.

"Has it been that short a time?" DiSarcina deadpanned. "I basically stink. I have no idea what the strike zone is, I bat ninth, and I have terrible posture, but other than that . . . "

So what happens in DiSarcina's first at-bat Friday? He draws a walk against Brewer starter Ben McDonald, giving him two walks this season. DiSarcina said he struggled for six years to determine why he doesn't walk more, but he grew tired of the self-analysis.

"To be honest with you, I don't [care] anymore," DiSarcina said. "Every time I go up thinking I'm going to work the count, I'm back on the bench after three pitches.

"It's a mystery to me. I've had long talks with Rod [Carew, batting instructor]. I've beat myself up over it. But whenever I start taking more pitches my average goes down."

DiSarcina slumped in late April, going six consecutive games without a hit and his average dropping to .218 on May 3. But he rebounded with seven hits during the Angels' four-game win streak this week--four of them doubles--to lift his average to .246 before Friday night.

"I was just bad for three weeks," DiSarcina said. "I lost my aggressiveness and was defensive at the plate, just trying to put the ball in play. But I've just started to relax more lately, and I'm playing with more confidence."

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Pitcher Greg Gohr, who was 5-1 with a 3.80 earned-run average for triple-A Vancouver, retired Friday after spending the past four seasons shuttling between triple-A and the major leagues.

"I think he just wanted to get away from the game," said Jeff Parker, the Angels' manager for baseball operations. "He was throwing the ball well for us, but I don't think he saw a good chance of making it here."

With closer Troy Percival coming off the disabled list Friday and Mark Gubicza expected back in a few weeks, there appeared to be little need for Gohr, who was acquired from Detroit last July for infielder Damion Easley.

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President Tony Tavares and General Manager Bill Bavasi dismissed a USA Today report that the Angels were discussing a deal with the Red Sox that would send center fielder Jim Edmonds to Boston for first baseman Mo Vaughn. "What we need is front-line pitching," Tavares said. "As good hitter as Vaughn is, we're not going to give up a player of Edmonds' caliber unless we get a good pitcher in return." . . . To make room for Percival, the Angels optioned reliever Darrell May to Vancouver. May had a 4.85 ERA in seven appearances with the Angels. . . . Manager Terry Collins on Jack Howell stealing second against Baltimore Thursday night: "I thought [Oriole catcher Chris] Hoiles was going to quit on the spot."

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