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Kreuter Taking His Lumps Behind Plate

September 13, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

At this rate, catcher Chad Kreuter may need more than an athletic trainer and a dentist--he'll need a neurologist.

Kreuter had a nice little lump on the back of his head Friday, courtesy of the bat that hit him on Jose Offerman's backswing during Thursday night's game against Kansas City.

The impact also dislodged one of the two temporary caps Kreuter had placed on his front teeth Wednesday--those were knocked out Saturday when Kreuter accidentally smashed his face into the Tiger Stadium dugout in Detroit.

"Geez, I feel like Steve Young," Kreuter said, referring to the concussion-prone San Francisco 49er quarterback. "I knocked myself out [in Detroit] and got hit in the head with a bat all in the same week. . . . Baseball is not supposed to be a contact sport."

Kreuter said Offerman's fifth-inning swing Thursday night "knocked me silly--that one hurt worse than the one in Detroit." But Kreuter remained in the game, and the toothless wonder was back in the lineup Friday night, looking more like a guy in a penalty box, not a batter's box.

"I'm not going to bother getting this cap replaced until after the season," said Kreuter, whose two-run homer Friday gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the second inning. "I'm going to go with this look--like a hockey player--for a while."


Tony Phillips has pleaded not guilty to a felony possession of cocaine charge, and North Orange County Municipal Court Judge Linda Miller has scheduled an Oct. 7 pretrial hearing for the troubled Angel utility player.

Phillips, 38, was arrested shortly after midnight on Aug. 10 at an Anaheim motel for allegedly purchasing $30 worth of rock cocaine. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Flory said he expects a guilty plea from Phillips at the pretrial hearing next month. Such a plea would qualify Phillips for a 32-hour drug diversion program, which he'd have six months to complete.

Upon completion of the program, Phillips could be required to submit to random drug testing and not violate any laws for three years, Flory said. Then, the case would be dismissed.

The Angels were 9-21 since Phillips' arrest going into Friday's game.


With left fielder Garret Anderson suffering from tendinitis in his right knee and first baseman Darin Erstad suffering from a sore right shoulder, Manager Terry Collins did not start the two left-handed hitters against Royal lefty Jose Rosado Friday night. Both are expected back today. . . . Knuckleballer Dennis Springer, who gave up four runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings Thursday, will start Monday night against Minnesota on three days' rest. Collins said reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa or Mike Bovee, recently called up from the minors, will start Tuesday night against the Twins. . . . Seattle's Randy Johnson, who missed four starts because of tendinitis on a finger in his pitching hand, is set to return to the Mariner rotation today. That will put the left-hander on a schedule to face the Angels in the first game of a two-game series in Seattle on Sept. 23.

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