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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

No Time to Quit, Collins Warns

September 19, 1997|JOHN WEYLER and JOHN WEYLER

There were signs Thursday--body language, lack of hustle, concentration lapses--that the Angels are ready to call it a season, but Manager Terry Collins has a message for any Angel who's about to push the cruise-control button.

Don't.

"If anyone wants to pack it in, then they better let me know on the plane [to Texas] so I can get somebody who's ready to play," he said. "This team has fought its way through a lot this season and we've got nine more games to give maximum effort.

"There's only one way to play this game, and that's with every ounce of energy you have. And if you can't do that for all 162 games, then you don't belong in this game."

*

Disney chairman Michael Eisner is really going out of his way to clean up the Angels' image these days. He was a member of the grounds crew that dragged the Anaheim Stadium infield before the seventh inning Thursday.

*

Chances are you won't be seeing much of Darin Erstad unless the Angels make a dramatic surge in the final nine games. The rookie first baseman's injured right shoulder apparently is very sore.

"Right now, every movement he makes, he feels in his shoulder," Collins said. "Running, reaching out to catch balls . . . if he can swing, he would only DH. But now he can't get to certain pitches and it kills him to swing and miss on certain pitches."

If the Angels don't get back in the race, Erstad will sit out the rest of the season, Collins said.

ON DECK

* Opponent--Texas Rangers, three games.

* Site--The Ballpark in Arlington.

* Tonight--5:30.

* TV--Channel 9.

* Radio--KTZN (710).

* Records--Angels 79-74, Rangers, 72-81.

* Record vs. Rangers--4-1.

ANGELS' KEN HILL

(7-12, 4.86 ERA)

vs.

RANGERS' BOBBY WITT

(11-11, 4.71)

* Update--Hill has been the Angels' best starter the last month, although he's 1-3 in that time. He has given up eight earned runs in 36 innings during his last five starts, but the Angels have scored a total of 12 runs in those five games. The Rangers, who have scored 44 runs in the last eight games, have won nine of the last 13 at home. Witt leads the Rangers in innings pitched (196 2/3) and complete games with three. Juan Gonzalez has four homers and nine runs batted in during the last six games.

* Saturday, 5:30 p.m.--Dennis Springer (8-9, 5.19) vs. Rick Helling (2-2, 3.77).

* Sunday, noon--Shigetoshi Hasegawa (3-7, 3.80) vs. Roger Pavlik (3-4, 4.63).

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