After the Texas Rangers had lost on Thursday — thus losing a series with the Angels — Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson proclaimed the Rangers had the better team and said "it might not be that close." The Angels were well aware of his comments on Friday, but they tempered their return fire.
"They've had some guys say some things in the past," Jered Weaver said. "We've had a pretty good track record. We'll just go out and play baseball and not worry about what other people are saying."
After the Rangers swept the Angels last May, Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler hollered, "Get the [heck] off our field!" As the Angels rallied to win the American League West, John Lackey shot back, "We try to fly flags. We don't talk."
The Angels have won the AL West three years running, and five of the past six. The Rangers have not won the division since 1999. After losing two of three games to the Angels this week, Texas led the AL West by 3 1/2 games.
"We're a better team — 100%," Wilson said. "When we play up to our capabilities, it might not be that close.
"We have a better balance to our team. They have good pitching, but their offense is like, I don't know. We have more wins. It's pretty simple. I'd rather take our offense. I'd rather take our defense. I'd much rather have our bullpen."
Torii Hunter said he could imagine the play Wilson's comments might get on message boards and talk shows.
"Fans are going to be [ticked] off," Hunter said. "It doesn't bother me at all.
"You've got to have confidence in your team. Obviously, he has a lot of confidence in his team. There's nothing wrong with him saying his team is better. You're supposed to say that."
The Angels, concerned about their starting pitching depth, optioned Trevor Bell to triple-A Salt Lake so he could work as a starter. Manager Mike Scioscia said Bell and Sean O'Sullivan are the top two options should the Angels need a starter, and the team could not afford to have both working in middle relief in Anaheim.
Of the seven pitchers to start at least four games at Salt Lake this season, O'Sullivan is the only one with an earned-run average below 5.00.
The Angels recalled reliever Rich Thompson from Salt Lake. Thompson and first baseman-outfielder Mark Trumbo were named Friday to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.
The Angels signed two of their top three draft picks, right-hander Cam Bedrosian for $1.116 million and outfielder Chevy Clarke for $1.089 million.
Bedrosian visited Angel Stadium on Friday, accompanied by his father Steve, the 1987 National League Cy Young Award winner. He worked out for pitching coach Mike Butcher, met Scioscia and the players, and even fetched Gatorade and sunflower seeds at Hunter's request.
"Hopefully, I'll be back here in three or four years," Bedrosian said, "maybe sooner than that."
Scouting director Eddie Bane said he continues to talk to the Angels' top draft choice, third baseman Kaleb Cowart.
"We're going to sign him," Bane said.
Outfielder Juan Rivera said he had not yet gotten results of the tests he took Thursday after experiencing blurred vision. Scioscia said the condition is improved and said Rivera would be evaluated again "in a couple days."
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