February 23, 2014 |
TEMPE, Ariz. - No one in camp is comparing Kevin Jepsen to sidearm-throwing Joe Smith , but there is a noticeable difference in the delivery of the Angels reliever, who has gone from a straight over-the-top motion to a three-quarter-arm slot. "This off-season I thought, 'As a kid, you pick up a rock and throw it, you're going to throw your natural way,' and my natural way is down here," Jepsen said, mimicking his new motion. "Since I had shoulder surgery in 2004, I've been trying to find something that didn't hurt.
February 26, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. -- On the positive side: for the first time this spring, the Angels did not lose. On the negative side: the Angels have yet to win this spring. The Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks played to a 7-7 tie Tuesday, leaving the Angels with an 0-4-1 record in the Cactus League. The team has a 7.74 earned-run average in five games, but Manager Mike Scioscia has yet to use any of his top relievers and any of the pitchers in the starting rotation. The Angels rallied from a 6-1 deficit Tuesday, with non-roster utilityman Bill Hall driving in four runs on two-run doubles in the fourth and eighth innings.
February 28, 2003 |
The Angels are one of the orphan teams of the Cactus League. Angel fans do not flock here from California, and locals either follow the hometown Diamondbacks or adopt more popular teams as their own. As the Angels open the Cactus League season today, the city of Tempe hopes the World Series championship persuades Angel fans to visit spring training, with plenty of tourist dollars in hand.
February 28, 2014 |
For baseball fans, spring training may be the best time of year. For Dodgers fans, the Camelback Ranch ballpark and player development facility in Glendale, Ariz., provides a ringside seat to a hope that is both eternal and immediate, given the team's current lineup of talent. For Angels fans, a star-studded cast has returned for the team's 22nd consecutive season at Tempe Diablo Stadium. And if you're not a baseball fan, there's always the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and a variety of resort accommodations and entertainment options along the Cactus League's periphery.
February 16, 2008
Mr. Bill Plaschke [Feb. 10] will soon enough get to see how homogenized spring training has become outside the hallowed grounds of Dodgertown. When the Dodgers move to the soulless strip malls of Glendale, Ariz., their new complex will no doubt resemble the rest of the plastic minor league dungeons of the Cactus League. There will be no open access strolling through practice fields and seeing scenes like Steve Yeager teaching double-A journeymen how to block the plate. No opportunity to take a photo at the intersection of Vin Scully Way and Avenida Jaime Jarrin.
March 3, 1986 |
Ex-Dodger Steve Yeager has had a rude introduction to the Cactus League. In his first week in the Seattle camp: --The rearview mirrors on each door of his Jaguar, which carries the license plate "Yeag 7," were stolen. A sign was left that read, "I Love You, Steve." --Driving a Porsche, which he was given as a loaner, Yeager received a ticket for an illegal turn. --Then, the Jaguar having been returned with new mirrors, Yeager awoke the other morning to find footprints on the trunk and hood.
June 20, 1991 |
The Arizona Senate approved legislation to allow three counties to subsidize improvements at spring training parks through special taxes, and state officials hailed it as the salvation of the so-called Cactus League. "It's very good news," said Joe Garagiola Jr., chairman of the Arizona Baseball Commission.
March 8, 2014 |
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Temperatures are rising in the Phoenix area, but the Angels offense has cooled considerably since the team banged out 15 hits in a 15-3 win over the Chicago Cubs in their Cactus League opener on Feb. 28. In eight exhibition games since, the Angels, who face an Arizona split squad Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, have combined for 25 runs and 69 hits. Only three Angels regulars seem to be swinging the bat well: catcher Chris Iannetta, who is hitting .500 (four for eight)
March 12, 2001 |
The Angels haven't had a 15-game winner in five years. They haven't had a 20-game winner since Nolan Ryan won 22 in 1974. They aren't promising anything just yet, but Ramon Ortiz continues to display signs of developing into an ace. Ortiz, 25, pitched four shutout innings in Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He has pitched nine scoreless innings this spring, striking out nine and walking two.