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Angels' Russell Branyan cuts it too close

Peter Bourjos liked his first trim, but then it got out of hand.

August 27, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos steals second base ahead of the trhow to the Rangers' Ian Kinsler in the second inning Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos steals second base ahead of the trhow… (Jim Cowsert / US Presswire )

Reporting from Arlington, Texas — Russell Branyan is almost as comfortable with a pair of hair clippers in his hand as he is with a bat. So at the end of the Angels' last trip in Toronto, center fielder Peter Bourjos asked his teammate for a trim.

Neatly coiffed, Bourjos hit safely in his next nine games, batting .462 over that span. So when the team got to Texas this weekend, Bourjos asked Branyan to do it again.

"He's been begging for a cut," Branyan said with a smile. "He's pretty gullible."

This time Branyan sat Bourjos in a chair away from a mirror and proceeded to cut his hair down to the scalp, leaving him as bald as a baseball.

"He pulled a nice little prank on me," Bourjos said good-naturedly. "I keep scaring myself when I look in the mirror."

Bourjos drew peals of laughter when he entered the clubhouse with his new haircut. Even catcher Hank Conger thought it was a bad look and Conger has a Mohawk.

"Yeah, a Korean with a Mohawk," chided Bourjos, who homered Saturday for the fourth time since Branyan gave him his first trim two weeks ago. He had just five homers in his previous 106 games.

And though the haircut has created some problems — for starters, Bourjos' cap no longer fit — it has left the Angels with baseball's only hairless outfield, with Bourjos playing between Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter.

Both Hunter and Wells also have slight goatees, though, which got Bourjos to thinking.

"I'm going to try to trim this into a goatee so I'll look like Vernon and Torii," Bourjos said, scratching on some peach fuzz on his chin.

Storm watch

Rookie outfielder Mike Trout was among those closely following the path of Hurricane Irene as it moved up the Eastern Seaboard. Trout's family lives in Millville, N.J., about 20 minutes outside Philadelphia and in the storm's path.

"They're just riding it out, I guess," said Trout, who was tracking the hurricane on his cellphone Saturday afternoon. "Stay inside. That's just about it. It shouldn't be too bad. Just a lot of wind and rain."

The deadly storm made landfall early Saturday in North Carolina and was forecast to strike New Jersey overnight, bringing wind gusts up to 100 mph and as many as 12 inches of rain. Hurricanes are unusual in New Jersey, as are earthquakes. But the area was rocked by a 5.8 temblor Tuesday, just four days before the storm arrived.

"It's crazy. I wouldn't expect an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week," Trout said

Short hops

Although he's having a tremendous rookie season, first baseman Mark Trumbo is still expecting to play winter ball for Magallanes of the Venezuela league. Trumbo, who will work out at third base and in the outfield as well as at first base, hit .336 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 28 games for Magallanes last winter…. Right-hander Garrett Richards, who came out of his second big league start 12 days ago because of a groin strain, is expected to throw a pair of bullpen sessions at double-A Arkansas next week. If all goes well, he could be scheduled for a rehab start by next weekend.

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