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ANGEL REPORT

With SARS in News, Most Will Play It Safe

May 03, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

TORONTO — On Adelaide Street, a few blocks from the Angels' team hotel, the sign outside a lively bar read: "SARS-Free! Visiting MLB Teams Safe Here!"

Still, you won't find many Angel players inside that bar this weekend, or anywhere else beyond the ballpark and hotel. They're playing it safe, they say, stashing individual bottles of hand sanitizers within their lockers and exercising caution in a region where the mysterious virus has claimed 23 lives.

Adam Kennedy, Ramon Ortiz and Scott Spiezio said they do not plan to go out on the town. Neither does Shawn Wooten, who was concerned when he learned Friday that authorities here had identified two more possible cases of SARS, just days after the World Health Organization rescinded its advisory against traveling to Toronto.

"That makes me nervous," Wooten said. "I believe in the people making the choice for us to be here. But I worry about bringing it home to my mom, who's had breast cancer."

Authorities say the outbreak is under control here and there is no evidence that anyone has contracted the virus outside a health-care facility in the past three weeks. Even Kevin Appier, who was besieged by the Toronto media Friday because of his initial suggestion that this series be shifted to Anaheim, said he was comfortable here.

Brad Fullmer, who played two seasons for the Blue Jays, said he planned to eat out tonight. After speaking with friends here, he said he believed the media had blown the risk of contracting the virus well out of proportion. Fullmer happily signed autographs for fans, including one who held a sign that read: "I Don't Have SARS."

Said Fullmer: "I heard you have a better chance of someone breaking into your house and strangling you than getting that. I'll take my chances."

*

In his first appearance in 10 days, Francisco Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings. He had returned to Venezuela for the funeral of his great-grandmother.... Reliever Ben Weber did not give up a run in April. After giving up one on opening night, March 30, he has pitched 15 1/3 scoreless innings.... With three games on unforgiving artificial turf, Manager Mike Scioscia used Troy Glaus at designated hitter Friday, with Tim Salmon expected to DH today and Garret Anderson on Sunday.

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