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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Langston Hopes to Heal, Pitch for Angels in '97

September 25, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Mark Langston has no idea whether he'll be with the Angels next season, or any team for that matter, but the 37-year-old left-hander is sure of this: He does not want this injury-plagued, highly disappointing season to be his last.

"I want to continue playing, and I want to play here," said Langston, limited to nine starts because of elbow problems. "I want to take a couple of months off, let my arm heal up the way it should have, and come back for spring training."

If he does, it will be at a significantly reduced rate than the $4.5 million he made in this, the final season of a four-year contract. If Anaheim--or any team--signs Langston as a free agent, it will be an incentive-laced deal with a minimal base salary.

"I definitely don't have a problem with that," said Langston, who underwent elbow surgery in late May. "I haven't thought about numbers, but if the Angels want to get something done, I don't anticipate any problems."

Langston also said he would be open to a contract that hinged on him making the team out of spring training, which would put the Angels at virtually no risk for signing him.

"The thing is, I'm just as concerned as them," Langston said. "If I still have pain next spring, I'm done. . . . I won't pitch any more."

Langston made only 18 starts in 1996 because of a variety of knee and leg injuries, and his comeback attempt after surgery this season lasted one inning, in which he gave up five runs and six hits in an 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Aug. 20.

"I never gave my elbow a chance to heal," Langston said. "I pressed it from Day 1, and it didn't heal properly, but that's just my nature, to try to get back quicker. Maybe it will never bounce back, but I definitely want to try."

*

As of Wednesday, Manager Terry Collins hadn't made any changes in the rotation for this weekend's season-ending series against Texas, but he said youngsters Matt Perisho or Mike Bovee, both September call-ups from triple-A Vancouver, may replace one of the regulars.

ON DECK

* Opponent--Texas Rangers, four games.

* Site--Anaheim Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports West, Friday night.

* Radio--KTZN (710).

* Records--Angels 83-75 , Rangers 74-84 .

* Record vs. Rangers--7-1.

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' JASON DICKSON (13-8, 4.19 ERA) vs. RANGERS' BOBBY WITT (11-12, 4.74 ERA)

* Update--Allen Watson, who has pitched 192 innings, hopes to make Sunday's scheduled start because it would be his 34th of the season and would give him a chance to reach 200 innings for the first time. This is the first time Watson has gone through a season virtually injury free in his five-year career.

* Friday, 7 p.m.--Dennis Springer (9-9, 5.21) vs. Rick Helling (2-3, 4.41).

* Saturday, 7 p.m.--Shigetoshi Hasegawa (3-7, 3.71) vs. Roger Pavlik (3-5, 4.44).

* Sunday, 1 p.m.--Allen Watson (12-11, 5.06) vs. John Burkett (8-12, 4.76).

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