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April 3, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
As the Angels prepared for the 2002 World Series, bench coach Joe Maddon looked at the spray charts and came to a radical conclusion: If the Angels wanted to align their defense based on where Barry Bonds most commonly hit the ball, they should play three infielders and four outfielders. The Angels ultimately decided not to play Bonds that way, although Manager Mike Scioscia said they were "a couple pitches away" from deploying the scheme in certain scenarios. In 2005, Maddon left to manage the Tampa Bay Rays, who have been at the forefront of baseball's shift toward unconventional fielding alignments.
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SPORTS
April 2, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
KEY MOMENT: The Angels put the first two runners on base in the first inning when Kole Calhoun doubled to right field and Mike Trout walked. But Albert Pujols grounded into a double play and David Freese lined out to center field, killing the rally and setting the tone for a frustrating evening. The Angels scored twice in the ninth on Trout's run-scoring triple and Freese's sacrifice fly. AT THE PLATE: Justin Smoak capped a superb series with a ninth-inning home run, giving the Seattle first baseman six hits, including two home runs, and seven runs batted in. Corey Hart also singled and homered, and Brad Miller, Robinson Cano and Stefen Romero each had two hits and an RBI for the Mariners.
SPORTS
April 2, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Josh Hamilton nearly scolded a reporter for asking if, in light of the Angels' brutal Aprils of 2012 and 2013, there was concern that a "here-we-go-again" mentality could creep into the clubhouse with another sluggish start. "We haven't thought about that, so stop thinking about it," the Angels left fielder said. "Talk to me in a like a week and a half. Guys are getting their feel, getting settled in, not only here but at home. We'll be good. " Getting their feel? Getting settled in?
SPORTS
April 2, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
It will be weeks, probably months, before Don Baylor can return to the Angels as their full-time hitting coach after he underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right femur, a freak injury Baylor suffered while catching the ceremonial first pitch before Monday night's season opener. But Baylor's soothing voice will remain in the heads of hitters when they step into the batter's box. "He talked a lot about confidence, about staying within yourself, about keeping the train going," third baseman David Freese said before Tuesday night's 8-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners in Angel Stadium.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
More than 450   medical marijuana shops have filed renewals to pay Los Angeles business taxes this year - more than three times as many as are allowed to stay open under Proposition D. The new numbers won't settle the debate over how many medical marijuana businesses are now operating in Los Angeles. Additional pot shops may be open but have fallen delinquent on their taxes. Some may have never registered to pay taxes at all. But the numbers provide the latest hint at what has happened since Los Angeles voters passed new rules attempting to restrict medical marijuana shops.
SPORTS
April 1, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
KEY MOMENT: With runners on second and third and two out in the third, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson intentionally walked the left-handed-hitting Robinson Cano to load the bases for switch-hitter Justin Smoak. Cano entered with a .367 average (11 for 30) against Wilson, and Smoak had a .207 mark (six for 29), but the move backfired, as Smoak drove a three-run double to left-center field to cap a four-run rally and give Seattle a 4-0 lead. AT THE PLATE: Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit two homers, a solo shot to center off Wilson in the fifth and a two-run rocket to right off Michael Kohn in the ninth.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Cindy Chang and Robert Faturechi
A high-stakes power struggle at the union representing Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies has left members with two presidents, two boards of directors, two "official" websites and, for many, too much drama. Trouble at the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs came to light last month when the board ousted Armando Macias, its newly elected president, citing his poor attendance. The board installed a new president, but Macias is refusing to recognize the ouster. Now the two sides are accusing each other of illegitimate power grabs and misusing union funds.
SPORTS
April 1, 2014
Bill Plaschke, a staple of The Times Sports section since joining the paper in 1987, has taken first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest for column writing among papers with circulations of more than 175,000. Plaschke, a columnist since 1996, has now won the prestigious national columnist award five times and has been a frequent top-10 finisher in multiple writing categories. The contest honors the best work in sports journalism both in print and on the web. The final column-writing results were announced Tuesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson
A plan for increasing the sales tax to fix Los Angeles' broken streets is on a collision course with a similar levy being pushed for regional transit projects. Two weeks ago, the top budget advisor to the Los Angeles City Council said a tax increase is the only way thousands of miles of severely damaged roads and sidewalks will get repaired. A half-cent increase in the sales tax, which would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years, should appear on the November ballot, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Howard Blume
New York City Chancellor Carmen Farina oversees more than a million students, 1,700 schools and a budget the size of many states. Her pay: $412,193. Los Angeles Unified Supt. John Deasy has half a million students, 1,000-plus schools, a $7-billion budget - and made $393,106 last year. Supt. Jose Fernandez's South Bay school district has just 6,600 students, five high schools and a $70-million budget. His earnings: $674,559 last year. "I don't know of anybody, in any major city, who makes anything close to that, even with extra bonuses or compensation," said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, based in Washington.
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