The Angels celebrate their World Series win on the field after defeating… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)
The Angels will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their 2002 World Series championship Saturday night when more than 20 players and coaches from that team are inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame before a game against Tampa Bay.
"I'm excited about seeing the guys, catching up and reliving the memories," said Tim Salmon, the right fielder on that team. "It's 10 years later, and it seems like it was yesterday ... until you watch the grainy film."
In a postseason filled with highlights -- a dominant bullpen headed by Troy Percival, Adam Kennedy's three-homer game in the American League Championship Series, Scott Spiezio's World Series Game 6 homer against San Francisco, and Garret Anderson's decisive three-run double in Game 7 -- what stands out most for Salmon is the heart of the club.
"On the field, the thing that stands out for me was that we were grinders," Salmon said. "A lot of spit and tenacity and guts, guys that didn't quit. And it wasn't a team that relied on one guy. You could rely on David Eckstein as much as Bengie Molina or Shawn Wooten off the bench."
Salmon provided one of the indelible images of that October, holding the World Series trophy over his head during a victory lap around Angel Stadium after the Game 7 win over the Giants.
"It's surreal," Salmon said. "The more I watch highlights of it, the more I go down memory lane, the more it's like, 'Man, did that really happen? That's amazing.' There's no better experience in the world than winning the last game of the season and celebrating. It's the stuff you dream about as a kid."
Dan Haren will be skipped in the rotation next week, but the struggling right-hander won't be removed.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Haren, who was tagged for 10 earned runs and 12 hits in seven innings of his last two starts, both losses, will pitch next Saturday in Detroit.
After Monday's off day, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson will start in Boston beginning Tuesday, and Zack Greinke will start Friday against the Tigers in Detroit.
Haren will throw several bullpen sessions in hopes of finding a better release point and ironing out some mechanical flaws that arose when he pitched through lower-back stiffness that sent him to the disabled list in July.
"His arm slot has changed slightly, and he wants to get it back to where it needs to be," Scioscia said. "I think he's past his physical ailment. This is a mechanical thing that might have arisen from trying to make adjustments in his delivery so he could make pitches without his back bothering him."
Scioscia said Haren's cut fastball has been sharp, but the command of his fastball, curve and split-fingered fastball has been spotty.
"He's been behind counts this year more than at any time we've seen him," Scioscia said. "He hasn't put himself in a position often enough to make his split-finger an effective out pitch."
The return of injured relievers Scott Downs and Jordan Walden this weekend "will be huge as far as addressing some depth issues in the bullpen," Scioscia said, "but it has to be paired with more effective starting pitching." ... Scioscia said he would consider using a four-man rotation, "but not this early. As we get into September, we'll have the option to adjust things to match up better."