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ANGEL REPORT

Team Will Wait Before Deciding on Hudler

September 06, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

Arte Moreno said the Angels would wait until court proceedings unfold to make a decision on the future of television commentator Rex Hudler, who was arrested Sunday on marijuana charges.

"We're going to wait until due process takes its course, and then we'll sit down and make a decision," said Moreno, the Angel owner. "It's a very unfortunate thing, but it's the law. It's the law, period."

Hudler, suspended indefinitely by the Angels, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia Sunday after security personnel at Kansas City International Airport found a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana pipe in his suitcase.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and/or a six-month jail sentence, said Jim Wyrsch, the Kansas City attorney representing Hudler.

Jose Mota, a member of the Angels' Spanish radio team, worked the Channel 9 telecast of Friday's game between the Angels and Kansas City Royals in Hudler's absence.

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Shawn Wooten, Jose Molina and Tom Gregorio will handle the catching duties the in the wake of the season-ending wrist injury suffered Wednesday by Bengie Molina, but Manager Mike Scioscia declined to say who would receive the most playing time.

Wooten, who on Friday made only his third start of the season behind the plate, is more recognized for his bat than his catching ability. Jose Molina appears to be the best defensive alternative, considering Angel pitchers have a 3.83 earned-run average when he is catching, but he is batting only .189.

The Angels on Friday called up Gregorio from triple-A Salt Lake. In 54 games, he hit .221 with five home runs and 24 runs batted in. But Scioscia said he likes the 26-year-old's defensive abilities.

Bengie Molina, who underwent surgery Thursday to repair his left wrist, was resting at home in Anaheim on Friday after being put on the 60-day disabled list.

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David Eckstein participated in his first full-scale workout since being sidelined three weeks ago because of nerve irritation in his right hamstring. The shortstop, out since Aug. 17, took batting practice, fielded ground balls and said he ran "at about 60-70%." Said Scioscia: "He's been away for quite some time, so it's not something where you say, 'OK, we're looking for him in two to three days." ... The Angels called-up pitcher Chris Bootcheck and designated reliever Bart Miadich for assignment.

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Times staff writer Larry Stewart contributed to this report.

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