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ANGEL REPORT

Wanted: Yankees at Edison

June 12, 2002|Bill Shaikin

With attendance down despite the best start in franchise history, the Angels have asked major league officials to provide a more attractive home schedule next season.

In particular, the Angels have requested the New York Yankees play two series in Anaheim next year. The unbalanced schedule prevents American League teams outside the AL West from visiting Anaheim more than once every season, but the Yankees played just one series at Edison Field last year and will do so again this year.

And, with AL West teams expected to face National League East opponents during interleague play next season, the Angels would love to play the New York Mets at Edison Field. While interleague play might generate attendance increases when the Dodgers visit Edison Field and the Yankees face the Mets, just slapping the "interleague" tag on the stadium marquee does not guarantee fan interest. On a beautiful evening, the Angels drew 17,755 for Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"If we're going to have interleague play, we need to have more geographically inclined rivalries," Pittsburgh Manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I don't see the rivalry between the Anaheim Angels and the Pittsburgh Pirates."

If the Mets played at Edison Field, Mo Vaughn would come along, and what fun that could be for Angel fans who grew weary of the slugger's oft-stated desire to return to the East Coast. Vaughn, traded to the Mets three years after signing a six-year, $80-million contract with the Angels, is hitting .233 with four home runs, 21 runs batted in and a .330 slugging percentage. Angel shortstop David Eckstein is hitting .274 with five homers, 31 RBIs and a .391 slugging percentage.

*

Angel reliever Al Levine, who complained of irritation in his pitching shoulder Sunday, was not available Tuesday. An MRI examination Monday came back normal, and athletic trainer Ned Bergert said exercises would strengthen the shoulder and medication would reduce inflammation. Levine is unlikely to appear before Friday's series opener against the Dodgers.

*

The Angels are the only AL team to use only five starters this season, but they will not hold that distinction much longer. The Angels play a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers on June 24, during a stretch of 14 games in 13 days. They are expected to promote Matt Wise or John Lackey from triple-A Salt Lake City to start one of the games of the doubleheader. Wise, whose turn in the Salt Lake rotation comes closest to June 24, is 2-0 with a 1.47 earned-run average.

*

Angel catcher Bengie Molina leads the American League by throwing out 51% of would-be base stealers. His brother Jose, catcher at Salt Lake, leads the Pacific Coast League by throwing out 59% of runners.

TONIGHT

ANGELS'

AARON SELE

(6-3, 4.89 ERA)

vs.

PIRATES'

JOE BEIMEL

(1-1, 2.30 ERA)

Edison Field, 7

TV--Fox Sports Net.

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

Update--Sele has given up one home run in his last six starts, after giving up eight in his first six starts.

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