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World Series | ANGEL NOTES

No Infield Shift Could Contain Bonds' Blast

October 20, 2002|BILL SHAIKIN, LARRY STEWART and MIKE DIGIOVANNA | From Staff Reports

Yeah, that Bonds guy is a pretty good hitter after all. In his first at-bat of the World Series, Barry Bonds crushed a fastball from Jarrod Washburn, a shot hit so hard that replays caught Washburn smiling.

The scouting report was simple, and correct: Throw a fastball over the plate, and kiss it goodbye.

The distance of the home run was estimated at 418 feet.

"That's it?" Washburn said. "That had to be at least 450."

The Angels contained Bonds, who in addition to that solo home run struck out, grounded out and walked. They defended him with an exaggerated version of the shift they used against Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians, with second baseman Adam Kennedy playing short right field, shortstop David Eckstein playing second base and third baseman Troy Glaus playing shortstop.

The Angels have considered a number of defensive options against Bonds, including playing four outfielders and leaving the left side of the infield vacant. Ron Roenicke, the Angels' outfield coach, said only that "there are other scenarios we have come up with that we may go with."

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Fox and baseball officials were more than a little concerned about all the aircraft flying over Edison Field on Saturday night.

David Hill, Fox Sports chairman, said, "When you consider the NFL demands a three-mile radius no-fly zone around any NFL event, to see the skies above Edison Field filled with aircraft pulling banners was ludicrous. It was like everyone had forgotten the dangers of terrorism."

Tim Bronsan, Major League Baseball executive vice president, said, "The TSA [Transportation Security Administration] made the wrong call, plain and simple."

The government agency OKd the aircraft advertising. One plane was even advertising an 800 number to call to order a banner at $500 a half-hour.

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Fox's Steve Lyons, working the World Series as a field reporter, said he apologized to Jackie Autry for calling her "Mrs. Jean Yawkey" when he interviewed her after Game 5 of the American League championship series.

There is a Mrs. Jean Yawkey. She is the widow of former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey.

Lyons said Autry accepted his apology.

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As players milled around the batting cage before the game, Bonds and Angel first baseman Scott Spiezio broke up laughing. Neither team had played since Monday.

"He told me he felt like he hadn't played in 10 days," Spiezio said. "I said, yeah, you're just trying to set us up."

*

Angel right-hander Aaron Sele underwent arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed the operation, said Sele would be ready for spring training.

Sele, 32, was diagnosed with the injury Aug. 21 but opted for therapy rather than surgery in the hope of returning this season. He started the final game of the regular season, but the Angels left him off the playoff roster.

The Angels signed Sele to a three-year, $24-million contract in December, the largest contract awarded to a free-agent pitcher in club history. In his first season, he went 8-9 with a 4.89 earned-run average.

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Shigetoshi Hasegawa traded in his uniform for a blazer and slacks Saturday, working the World Series as a broadcaster for the Japanese television network NHK. Hasegawa pitched for the Angels for five years before signing as a free agent with the Seattle Mariners this year.

The Mariners missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Angels made it for the first time in 16 years.

"Good for them. That's what I always wanted here," Hasegawa said. "Unfortunately, I picked Seattle this year."

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The Angels added four banners along the outfield fence at Edison Field, one in honor of this year's American League champions and three commemorating the division champions of 1979, 1982 and 1986.

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Seated behind Commissioner Bud Selig in the first row next to the Angel dugout was former commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who lost out to Disney in a bid to purchase the Angels from the Autry family in 1996 and is interested in buying the team again.

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Garret Anderson has been bothered by a tight hamstring the latter part of the season, according to Angel Manager Mike Scioscia. Anderson's health became an issue when he was unable to score on Spiezio's double in the fourth inning. "He's still not 100%," said Scioscia.

-- BILL SHAIKIN, LARRY STEWART and MIKE DIGIOVANNA

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