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ANGELS-DODGERS REPORT

Kennedy and Figgins Smooth Things Over

May 20, 2006|Mike DiGiovanna and Gary Klein | Times Staff Writers

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia had separate meetings Friday with Adam Kennedy and Chone Figgins, whose exchange in the dugout Thursday night boiled over into a heated verbal altercation in the clubhouse after a frustrating 8-4, 10-inning loss to Toronto.

And in case Kennedy and Figgins needed to soothe any lingering hostilities, Scioscia had their lockers placed next to each other in the team's Dodger Stadium clubhouse.

"It's all been talked out -- we're going to move on and be fine," Scioscia said. "Figgy and A.K. are like brothers. They're close, and occasionally you fight your brother. They've worked through it. It's a non-issue."

The flash point for the dispute was Kennedy's seventh-inning sacrifice bunt attempt. Blue Jay pitcher Roy Halladay fielded the ball and threw to third base in time to force Figgins.

Kennedy criticized Figgins for not getting a good jump, and Figgins took exception. Tensions built as the Angels failed to score after putting the go-ahead run on third with one out in the eighth and the winning run on third with no outs in the ninth. Kennedy popped out with Figgins on third for the first out of the ninth.

As reporters spoke to Scioscia after the game, an argument between two players -- believed to be Figgins and reliever Brendan Donnelly -- could be heard emanating from the shower area of the clubhouse.

Outfielder Darin Erstad, unaware the media was in Scioscia's office, then issued a scathing admonishment of his teammates, screaming, "This is going to stop right ... now! There's going to be no finger-pointing! We either go down as a team or we win the whole

Donnelly said Erstad's tirade "was not uncalled for," and added, "I'd point a finger at anyone wearing an Angel emblem, because we're a team, and we have to stay as one. No one man is bigger than the team."

Figgins was vague when asked about the incident, declining to discuss specifics.

"Everything was settled [Thursday] night," he said. "It's a team deal. Everything is fine."

Kennedy said he had a difficult time sleeping Thursday night.

"When emotions are sparked with people you're close to, that part stays with you," Kennedy said. "But things are pretty good right now."

Kennedy said he "regretted" the incident, and Scioscia said the second baseman's remorse was evident.

"A.K. understands it wasn't the right course of action," Scioscia said, "and Figgy is a big enough man to move on."

*

Before the game, Dodgers reliever Eric Gagne threw to hitters for the first time since having surgery to remove a nerve in his right elbow on April 7. He said the 21-pitch batting-practice outing was a success.

"I feel 100%, I feel ready to go," said Gagne, who started a throwing program on April 29. "It's just a matter now to go out and build stamina."

Gagne said he felt no discomfort while facing Willy Aybar, Russell Martin, Andre Ethier and Jose Cruz Jr. He said his fastball and changeup were effective and he was on his way to regaining the feel for his curve.

Gagne said he would throw in the bullpen Sunday, face hitters Tuesday and hoped to begin a minor-league assignment that would allow him to return by June 1.

Manager Grady Little was relieved after watching his top reliever.

"From what I saw out there today, I'm starting to be kind of curious as to why it might be two weeks before he's ready to pitch, to tell you the truth," Little said.

*

Catcher Dioner Navarro is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but he is not expected to be activated because his injured wrist is still sore. He said he was not worried about being displaced by Martin, who has played well in his absence.

"He's doing great -- good for him and good for us," Navarro said.

*

Second baseman Jeff Kent returned to the lineup Friday after leaving Tuesday's game at Colorado because of back stiffness and sitting out Wednesday. Outfielder Kenny Lofton, who also did not play Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's game because of a cramp in his hamstring, was held out against the Angels. "I'd like to be able to think he'll be in there [today], but we'll leave it day to day," Little said. ... The Dodgers recalled pitcher Lance Carter from triple-A Las Vegas and optioned Franquelis Osoria to Las Vegas.... Branch Rickey Jr. presented Tom Lasorda with a plaque signifying Lasorda's induction into the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

*

Angel outfielder Garret Anderson, who sat out the Toronto series because of a sore left hamstring, was available to pinch-hit Friday and could return to left field today or Sunday.... Erstad, sidelined by a bone bruise and bone spurs in his right ankle, took batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list May 1 but still has not begun running.... Bartolo Colon, whose recovery from an inflamed shoulder has been slowed by what pitching coach Bud Black called "a little dead arm," is scheduled to resume throwing off a bullpen mound today.

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