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ANGEL REPORT

Big Crowds Boost City Coffers

September 02, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — As the California recall election focuses attention on the budget crises in state and local governments, the city of Anaheim has tapped an unlikely revenue stream. With the Angels' record attendance this season, the team must write an $800,000 check to the city treasury.

"In a tight economy, it's good news," City Manager Dave Morgan said.

In 1996, when the city agreed to pay a minority share of the Edison Field renovation costs, the Angels agreed to pay the city $2 per ticket. However, the payment would not kick in each year unless the Angels sold more than 2.6 million tickets, a total the team had not reached since 1989.

The Angels missed the mark during the regular season last year but topped it in the playoffs and triggered the payment for the first time, worth about $400,000 to the city. With the Angels projecting attendance just above 3 million this year, the city will receive slightly more than $800,000.

"There were critics of the deal that didn't think we would ever see any money coming back," Morgan said. "When you have a winner, anything is possible."

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The last thing the injury-ravaged Angels needed was to see infielder Scott Spiezio jumping in pain and clutching his right elbow, moments after it had been hit by a pitch. Spiezio played one more inning and then left the game, but a Twin doctor examined the elbow and determined no X-rays were necessary.

When bench coach Joe Maddon walked by and asked, jokingly, "When's the MRI?" the usually jovial Spiezio did not return the chuckle.

"No MRI," Spiezio said. "Knock it off."

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The Angels completed their September call-ups by promoting outfielder Barry Wesson and catcher Tom Gregorio from triple-A Salt Lake, although Gregorio will be activated only in case of injury to another catcher. Wesson hit .280, stole 17 bases and set a Salt Lake franchise record with 20 assists.

Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels did not promote pitcher Chris Bootcheck because they did not have roles for pitching call-ups beyond the previously announced Kevin Gregg and Derrick Turnbow. Scioscia said that Bootcheck, the first No. 1 pick of ousted scouting director Donny Rowland, was outpitched by Gregg, signed last winter as a minor league free agent after seven seasons in the Oakland Athletics' farm system.

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The Cleveland Indians said they had completed their September call-ups, and infielder Benji Gil was not among them. After the Angels released Gil last month, they offered him a spot at Salt Lake, but he believed that signing with the Indians' triple-A Buffalo affiliate would offer a better chance to return to the majors.

Gil hit .147 in eight games at Buffalo. Had Gil signed with Salt Lake, he almost certainly would be back with the Angels by now, given the injuries to David Eckstein and Alfredo Amezaga that forced Sunday's trade for Wilson Delgado.

Delgado arrived at the Metrodome little more than an hour before game time Monday but nonetheless started at shortstop.

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