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Rodriguez Says That He Feels Fine

August 17, 2005|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Closer Francisco Rodriguez said the diminished velocity he displayed Monday did not indicate an injury, just an erratic workload.

"The last 22 games, only three times on the mound? How do you expect the velocity to be there?" he said before Tuesday's game.

Rodriguez had worked three times in 15 days when he entered Monday's game and pitched the ninth inning with a fastball clocked at 89 to 92 mph, down from his usual 95 mph. He walked two but did not give up a run.

"I feel fine," he said. "Did I get the job done? It doesn't matter if you throw 99 to 100 mph if you get the job done."

He did not get the job done Tuesday, walking two and blowing the save. His velocity rebounded to 94 mph, and Manager Mike Scioscia attributed the trouble to flaws in Rodriguez's delivery.

"It's more due to a mechanical thing than to him being too rested or tired," Scioscia said.

Pitching coach Bud Black said the Angels had backed off Rodriguez after using him 10 times in the previous 17 days.

"We thought, let's get him as much rest as we possibly can," Black said. "That can affect command. That can affect stuff. That's probably what you saw."


During Monday's game, Angel Stadium security officials ejected two fans seated near the visiting bullpen. The move followed complaints from the Blue Jay bullpen catcher about verbal abuse directed toward Toronto pitcher Scott Schoeneweis, Angel spokesman Tim Mead said.

Schoeneweis pitched for the Angels from 1999 to 2003 and served as player representative during the 2002 season. On the eve of a threatened strike, Angel players dodged baseballs, pizza boxes, water bottles and other objects thrown onto the field. Schoeneweis said that night that he understood the fans' frustration but compared the minority of fans who went beyond boos to children who threw things when they did not get their way.

"That's making guys susceptible to injury. I had a problem with that. We all did," he said Tuesday. "I said the majority of the people in the stadium handled themselves with respect. The actions of a few shouldn't spoil it for everybody. I said I thought our fans would have more class than that. That's all they remember -- the class thing."

He was heckled harshly when he warmed up Monday and booed when he came into the game, as he usually is by the generally mild fans in Anaheim. "I've never heard anyone come in here and get treated like that," he said. "The closest would probably be if Mo Vaughn came back and played here."


After Tuesday's game, the Angels promoted right-handed reliever Greg Jones from triple-A Salt Lake.

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