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ANGEL REPORT

Message Clear: You're Fired

September 24, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Technology is a wonderful thing, until it gets you fired.

Todd Claus, manager of the Angels' Class A Cedar Rapids affiliate, was upset after General Manager Bill Stoneman fired scouting director Donny Rowland late last month. So Claus left a voice mail message for Rowland, praising him and harshly criticizing Stoneman's decision to dismiss him.

However, rather than sending the message only to Rowland's voice mailbox, Claus inadvertently sent the message to the voice mailbox of virtually everyone in the Angels' baseball operations department, including Stoneman and his top aides.

So Claus, 34, the Midwest League manager of the year last year and a minor league player, coach or manager for the Angels for 12 years, was fired immediately upon the conclusion of the Midwest League season.

"It's unfortunate it happened," Claus said Tuesday. "I left an apology for the language I used in the message. I didn't apologize for the message. It was a message for a friend, and that was from the heart.

"The Angels have treated me and my family very well. I respect their decision. It was a credibility issue, and I can't second-guess them for that."

Claus said he has signed a two-year contract to work as a minor league manager in the Boston Red Sox organization. Tony Reagins, the Angels' minor league director, declined to comment.

*

When a Disney camera crew stormed the field after Game 7 of last year's World Series, trying to corral an Angel hero into shouting "I'm going to Disneyland!" no player would do the shot alone. It was all about the team, players insisted, and finally the crew settled for a shot with five of them -- Troy Glaus, the World Series MVP, joined by Game 6 hero Scott Spiezio, second base platoon mates Adam Kennedy and Benji Gil and reserve outfielder Alex Ochoa.

It was all about the community too. Disney paid the players $30,000 for the commercial, and they donated it to the Second Harvest Food Bank as part of the Angels' 2003 charity drive. With that seed money, subsequent donations from players as well as from Manager Mike Scioscia, a grant from a charitable foundation, canned food drives and money raised by memorabilia auctions and cookbook sales, the Angels and their fans provided 5 million meals for those in need in Orange County.

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