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ANGELS FYI

Angels keeping it positive in face of elimination

Despite trailing 3-2 to the Yankees in the ALCS, the tone in the Angels' locker room has lightened since the first two games.

October 25, 2009|Ben Bolch

NEW YORK — Even with the Angels one defeat from elimination, the vibe in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium on Saturday seemed more relaxed than it did before the first two games of the American League Championship Series.

"I think the first two games we didn't know what to expect," said center fielder Torii Hunter. "It was cold and guys were kind of quiet."

And now?

"We're running around cracking jokes and lighting guys' shoestrings up and different things like that," Hunter said. "It's pretty laid back. We know we're down and we're ready to play but we don't feel any pressure."

Hunter said the Angels were looser because they were trailing in the series, three games to two, and the Yankees were saddled with the expectations of clinching.

He also dispelled the notion that Manager Mike Scioscia adopts a no-nonsense approach in the clubhouse.

"Behind closed doors, Mike is like, 'Go have fun,' " Hunter said. "He's coming around cracking jokes with everybody. . . . He lets us have fun as long as you don't do anything stupid or out of character.

"It's just a relaxed atmosphere right now. Guys are cracking jokes and talking about each other's hair."

What did Hunter's teammates say about his hair?

"Nothing," he said. "I don't have any."

Stick with it

Chone Figgins is batting .065 (two for 31) with four walks and two runs in eight postseason games, but the Angels leadoff hitter said Saturday that he's "not going to change my approach."

But if the Yankees have changed their approach toward Figgins, doesn't the third baseman, who hit .298 with a .395 on-base percentage, 101 walks and 114 runs this season, need to make some adjustments at the plate?

"I'm not getting a lot of pitches over the plate," Figgins said. "They're making good pitches. Their whole objective is to keep me off base, because when I get on base, good things happen. I feel fine. The numbers aren't there, but I'm going to keep my same approach."

No meeting scheduled

General Manager Tony Reagins said the Angels have not scheduled a meeting with Aroldis Chapman, the free-agent Cuban defector with a 100-mph fastball.

Chapman is in New York this week for introductory meetings with representatives of teams interested in signing him.

The Angels are expected to scout whatever workouts Chapman might stage.

"We are aware of the pitcher," Reagins said. "There is an interest level. We'll see where it is."

--

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Times staff writers Mike DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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