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ANGELS FYI

Replay's merits focus of debate

August 21, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Instant replay hasn't even been implemented, but it's already sparking controversy among the Angels.

Told replays would be used only to determine whether a home run is fair or foul, or whether the ball went over the fence, left fielder Garret Anderson was skeptical.

"I'll believe that when I see it," the 14-year veteran said. "That's just getting the foot in the door. Just like this happened, with some questionable home run calls, something else will happen, a play at first, a play at second.

"It's not going to end. It's like Pandora's box. Be careful what you wish for. As much as baseball complains about length of game, this will make games longer. It will defeat the purpose."

First baseman Mark Teixeira is ready for instant replay.

"Especially this year, there have been too many close calls," Teixeira said. "It's probably what's best for the game."

Is it what's best for time of game?

"When both managers come out to argue, it delays the game anyway," Teixeira said. "If we can eliminate some of those, it's worth it."

Chone Figgins' problem with instant replay is it won't help the speedy leadoff batter, who has no home runs this season.

"I'd rather it be for safe or out calls on a stolen base or bunt single," Figgins said. "I don't think it's a bad thing, but it's not fair for everybody."

Manager Mike Scioscia believes "there are limited applications of instant replay that will be beneficial. . . . But it should be a last resort, not a first resort. If four umpires swear they saw the ball the right way, there's no need for instant replay."

In limbo

Scioscia didn't say Scot Shields had lost his setup job after Tuesday night's rocky outing, when the right-hander walked two of the three batters he faced in Tampa Bay's three-run, game-winning rally in the eighth inning.

But Shields was not pleased Wednesday when, with the Angels holding a one-run lead after seven innings, he was not told to warm up. Jose Arredondo retired the final two batters in the seventh inning and gave up the tying run in the eighth.

"We wanted to stay away from Scot today," Scioscia said. "We've got to get him back on track, and we're going to talk about a couple of things [today]. We want to clean up a couple of things."

Shields was given several days off in late August last season to iron out some mechanical flaws, but he was aware of no such plan Wednesday.

"I was ready to pitch," he said. "Nothing was told to me."

Was Shields surprised that Arredondo was picked to pitch the eighth inning?

"No comment," Shields said. "Arredondo was throwing good, I figured they wanted to keep him in there."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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