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American League | ANGEL REPORT

Gil Criticizes Greer for Collision

April 07, 2002|Bill Shaikin

ARLINGTON, Texas — Infielder Benji Gil, put on the disabled list Friday after severely spraining his left ankle in a collision with Rusty Greer of the Texas Rangers, said Saturday the injury could have been avoided had Greer not made a questionable decision to slide into first base.

Gil, playing first base Friday, charged in front of the bag to field a ground ball hit by Greer. Rather than retreat to tag the bag, Gil opted to tag Greer as he passed. Greer then tried--and failed--to slide beneath Gil's tag and into the base. As Gil applied the tag, the two tumbled together, with Greer accidentally spiking Gil on the ankle.

Gil, who left the clubhouse on crutches Saturday, said he believed Greer was too far from first base to slide into it, suggesting the injury occurred needlessly.

"I was upset," Gil said. "There was nowhere to go. There was no way he would have been safe. I know he was trying to avoid the tag, but I don't think there was any way he could have been safe."

Greer said he believed he would have slid safely into first had he avoided the tag. He also said didn't intend to injure Gil and simply reacted out of instinct.

"I wouldn't try to run over Benji. He's quite a bit bigger than me," Greer said. "I'm just trying to make it to first base. That's all."

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While the Angels publicly said Wednesday that closer Troy Percival would miss this weekend's series to rest a strained rib cage, he said they told him he would not be allowed to throw in the bullpen for nine days and might not get into a game for 11 days. Since he can come off the disabled list after 15 days, Percival told Manager Mike Scioscia that the Angels might as well put him on the disabled list and add another pitcher to the bullpen in the meantime. The Angels did just that Friday.

"I tried taking six days off in spring training, and it didn't help," Percival said.

Al Levine, who saved Friday's victory, will be the primary closer in Percival's absence. The Angels promoted Brendan Donnelly from triple-A to fill the bullpen vacancy.

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Donnelly was all smiles Saturday, promoted to a major league roster for the first time at age 30, after a 10-year minor league career that included two stints in independent leagues and releases from the White Sox, Cubs, Reds, Devil Rays, Pirates and Blue Jays.

Along the way, Donnelly never gave up on his goal of getting to the majors and never tired of explaining why he would not walk away from baseball.

"This is what I do," he said. "This is what I know the best."

*

TODAY

ANGELS'

JARROD WASHBURN

(0-1, 9.00 ERA)

vs.

RANGERS'

KENNY ROGERS

(0-0, 3.60 ERA)

Ballpark in Arlington, noon PDT

Radio--KPLS (830), XPRS (1090).

Update--Third baseman Troy Glaus will serve his two-game suspension today and Monday; Glaus was cited for charging the mound after being hit by a pitch in spring training.

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Bill Shaikin

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