A pregame ceremony Tuesday to honor Troy Percival turned into a surprise party of sorts, with former teammates Chuck Finley and Gary DiSarcina riding in from the bullpen in a souped-up golf cart -- a gift to the Angel closer from his teammates -- to help Percival commemorate his 300th save.
A video montage of Percival's career played on the stadium scoreboard, and a letter from former Angel closer Lee Smith, whom Percival calls his mentor, was read.
Angel owner Arte Moreno presented Percival with a crystal trophy commemorating benchmark saves in his career, General Manager Bill Stoneman presented the reliever with a collage of photographs from his 300th save, which he earned against Texas on July 28, and Manager Mike Scioscia presented Percival with a framed lineup card and ball from his historic night.
Then Finley, ever the prankster, came speeding in from the left-field corner in the golf cart, pushing DiSarcina, the former Angel shortstop, out of the passenger seat once he reached the infield and pulling a four-wheel-drive-type maneuver over the mound before skidding to a halt.
"Enjoy him," Finley, the former Angel pitcher, told the crowd, "because when he's gone, you're going to miss him."
Percival gave a brief speech and appeared to fight back tears as he hugged Finley, DiSarcina and several current teammates when the ceremony closed.
"Only 18 people in the history of the game have done that," Angel first baseman Darin Erstad said of the 300-save milestone. "Over the course of a career, that is a lot of saves, and his job is the ultimate pressure situation."
Added Angel pitcher Jarrod Washburn: "To reach a milestone that very few guys have accomplished is pretty special -- it's quite a feat. You've got to be really good for a really long time. I've enjoyed watching him."
It's been with a touch of envy, Washburn admits, that he has followed Percival.
"I would love to be a closer, just being the guy, with everyone counting on you, being in the spotlight," Washburn said. "I love being in that pressure situation. It's something I think I'd love to do."
Washburn, on the disabled list since July 21 because of a strained ligament in the front of his rib cage, has been shut down until his injury heals to the point where he feels confident just playing catch.
Several attempts to play long toss and throw in the bullpen have backfired on the left-hander, setting his recovery back several weeks.
"We're going to take a more conservative approach," said Washburn, who hasn't pinpointed a date for his return. "Instead of playing catch when it feels good, we want to let it feel good for a few days before we do anything. I don't want to hurry it."
Reserve outfielder Jeff DaVanon (lower back spasms) was activated off the disabled list and backup catcher Wil Nieves was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake.... Casey Kotchman apparently has recovered from recent shoulder and wrist injuries -- the first baseman had 17 hits in 24 at-bats with nine runs batted in during a five-game stretch for Salt Lake ending Monday.