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ANGEL REPORT

Renaming Is an Issue, Selig Says

September 08, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Commissioner Bud Selig confirmed for the first time Tuesday that owner Arte Moreno has discussed with him the possibility of renaming the team the Los Angeles Angels. The two men have talked about the idea on several occasions, Selig said, including a chat at the owners' meetings Aug. 18 and 19.

"He certainly has talked to me about that," Selig said.

Selig deferred further comment to Moreno, who did not attend Tuesday's game. If Moreno decided to proceed, he would need approval from the city of Anaheim.

The stadium lease requires the team to be called the Anaheim Angels. City officials say they have received no request to renegotiate that lease provision, and council members vow to veto any such proposal.

However, should the NFL's sudden interest in Anaheim blossom into a deal for a football stadium in the Angel Stadium parking lot, city officials might need Moreno's approval to reconfigure available parking, a source noted Tuesday. In addition, should the NFL insist an Anaheim team bear a Los Angeles name -- as the Rams did -- the city could find itself in an awkward position relative to the Angels.

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Dallas McPherson hit 40 home runs in the minor leagues this season, batting .317 and driving in 126 runs, but the Angels promised the touted third baseman nothing more than a seat on the bench when he arrived in Anaheim on Tuesday.

"If you had to project the at-bats for Dallas, they'll be few," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But the experience will still be important to him."

McPherson, 24, committed 29 errors and struck out 169 times, and he acknowledged he needs to cut both numbers. He is the heir apparent to Troy Glaus, who is eligible for free agency, but he said he would not be disappointed to start next season at triple-A. He also said no one in the organization has floated the idea of a position change to him.

"I'm open to anything as long as I can hit," he said. "But I don't even own an outfielder's glove, or a first baseman's glove."

If he hits well enough in his major league debut this month, and if the Angels desire a left-handed home-run threat on the bench, they could include him on a possible playoff roster.

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Voters in Goodyear, Ariz., on Tuesday were expected to approve a bond measure to finance the city's $10-million share of a proposed spring training complex for the Angels. But negotiations between the city and team have stalled, and the measure allows the money to be directed toward parks if no agreement is reached. The measure does not include a deadline.... Although Aaron Sele will start Saturday, Scioscia said Ramon Ortiz could start any or all of the other three games this season in which the Angels plan to use a fifth starter.... The Angels granted reliever Ben Weber's request for his release. Weber, 34, was 19-5 with a 2.80 earned-run average for the Angels from 2000-03 but was 0-2 with an 8.06 ERA this season.

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