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Ortiz Wants to Pitch for Dad

September 05, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

In every start, Ramon Ortiz pitches with a heavy heart. His father, Alfonso Urena, is seriously ill with emphysema, and his condition has so deteriorated that Ortiz says he cannot get around with a walker. He is too weak to travel from the Dominican Republic to see his son pitch.

He can see his son pitch at home, if the Angels will let him. Although his contract forbids him from playing winter ball, Ortiz said he plans to ask for permission to pitch in one or two games in the Dominican winter league.

"It's very important for me to pitch in a couple games in January," Ortiz said. "I want my father to see me pitch."

By pitching then, Ortiz said he could lift his father's spirits as well as come to spring training in better shape.

General Manager Bill Stoneman would not say whether the Angels would approve, saying Ortiz has yet to ask. Two years ago, Ortiz pitched one game for Licey, his Dominican club. Stoneman said Licey was denied the necessary permission from the Angels and subsequently incurred a fine.


Kansas City designated hitter Mike Sweeney vividly recalls attending Game 7 of last year's World Series at Edison Field.

"I had goose bumps," he said. "No. 1, I grew up an Angel fan. No. 2, I wanted to do that. We were a long way away, but here we are."

The Royals arrive in Anaheim tonight, trying to go from a 100-loss team last year to a playoff team this year.

"Once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen," Sweeney said. "No one thought the Angels would derail the Yankees."


Catcher Bengie Molina underwent surgery Thursday to repair his left wrist, broken in a collision on the last play of Wednesday's game. He will wear a cast for six to eight weeks and is expected to be ready for spring training.... The Angels fired Class-A Cedar Rapids Manager Todd Claus, who had been in the organization as a minor league player, coach or manager for 12 years. At this time, Stoneman said, he does not anticipate any other minor league managerial dismissals.... Although the Angels fired scouting director Donny Rowland last week, Stoneman said all full-time scouts except two would be offered contracts to return next year, a decision he said any new scouting director must accept as a condition of hiring. Rowland's replacement will have latitude only to retain or replace the two national scouts that work most closely with the director, and Stoneman said those two are free to pursue work elsewhere now if they desire.... Chone Figgins, who has replaced the injured Darin Erstad in center field, has driven in 22 runs in 48 games this season. Erstad drove in 17 in 67 games. ... In 12 games since the Angels acquired him from the Chicago White Sox in the Scott Schoeneweis trade, reliever Gary Glover has a 2.02 earned-run average.



Opponent -- Kansas City Royals, three games.

Site -- Edison Field.

TV -- Channel 9 tonight and second game Saturday.

Radio -- KSPN (710), XKAM (950).

Records -- Angels 67-72, Royals 71-67.

Record vs. Royals -- 4-1.

Tonight, 7 -- Jarrod Washburn (10-12, 4.37) vs. Brian Anderson (10-11, 3.88).

Saturday, 4 p.m. -- Scot Shields (4-4, 2.79) and Kevin Gregg (0-0, 4.32) vs. Darrell May (8-7, 3.59) and Jamey Wright (0-0, 0.00).

Sunday, 1 p.m. -- John Lackey (9-13, 4.93) vs. Paul Abbott (0-0, 5.96).

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