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World Series | ANGEL NOTES

His Fit Is Best Pitch of Night

October 27, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna, Bill Shaikin, Bill Plaschke | From Staff Reports

Angel starter Kevin Appier was not happy when Manager Mike Scioscia came to the mound to pull him in the fifth inning of Saturday night's game, and he was furious by the time he reached the dugout, sending a bucket of bubble gum and several bottles of water flying off the top of the bench.

After four shutout innings, Appier gave up a two-run homer to Shawon Dunston and Kenny Lofton's double in the fifth, and he was pulled in favor of Francisco Rodriguez.

"I wasn't as mad about coming out as I was about the circumstances, that giving up some runs caused me to be taken out," said Appier, who met privately with Scioscia after the game. "If we didn't come back and win, I would have beaten myself up all winter."

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That ringing in your ears in Edison Field isn't only from those noise sticks; it's the sound cash registers all over the park have been making for almost a month.

Angel fans have been scooping up playoff and World Series merchandise as quick as stadium employees unload it from boxes, and there have been lines from the team store out to the stadium parking lot every day of the World Series and on many off days.

According to Kevin Uhlich, the Angels' senior vice president of business operations, the Angels have grossed about $1 million in merchandise sales on game days and about $100,000 on non-game days. For a regular-season sellout, the Angels won't even gross $100,000.

"Those are staggering numbers," Uhlich said. "Having something with Angels and World Series on it is a collectible, because it's our first World Series in 42 years. These are Super Bowl-like numbers."

After production costs and fees paid to merchandisers, the Angels will net about 25% of the gross merchandise sales. With revenues from ticket sales, concessions and parking, the Angels will net between $6 million and $7 million on the entire playoffs, Uhlich said. That will help offset projected losses of $18 million this season.

"Business-wise, this is a lot better than ending the season in September," Uhlich said. "It doesn't get you into the black, but it's well worth it."

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The Angels considered so many options for arranging a Game 7 pitching staff, Scioscia said, that the coaching staff even joked about activating pitching coach Bud Black, who retired in 1995.

"I've got 6 1/2 years' rest," Black said, smiling. "I can get six outs."

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Angel catchers Bengie and Jose Molina send love and congratulations to their father, Benjamin, who will be inducted into the Puerto Rican baseball hall of fame today. The elder Molina did not play professionally, but he holds the all-time hit record in the Puerto Rican amateur league.

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A rally to honor the Angels, win or lose, will take place Tuesday in the Edison Field parking lot. The rally cannot take place inside the ballpark for two reasons -- one, the Angels hope to attract more fans than the seating capacity of 45,050, and two, equipment will be unloaded onto the field Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Rolling Stones concert.

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Batboys were still being discussed Saturday. Darren Baker, the 3-year-old son of Giant Manager Dusty Baker, was rescued from a possible home-plate collision by J.T. Snow, in an incident that received national attention.

"I know Dusty, the enviroment he wants to set," said Mike Scioscia, the Angel manager. "I didn't see the incident. I didn't even see any replays of it. It's tough for me to comment on.

"I just know that Dusty, they have a lot of kids around there, they seem to respond to that kind of atmosphere."

-- Mike DiGiovanna, Bill Shaikin, Bill Plaschke

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