January 26, 2010 |
With one eye on the shaky market and another on his injury-filled track record, infielder Maicer Izturis forfeited a shot at a starting job in free agency in favor of a guaranteed $10 million from the Angels. "He's never had the security of a guaranteed contract, much less a multiyear guaranteed contract," agent Peter Greenberg said. "He's very happy." Izturis, 29, set career highs in virtually every offensive category last season, batting .300 with eight home runs and 13 stolen bases.
January 23, 2010 |
The Angels will pay their highest salary this year to Torii Hunter. They will pay their second-highest salary to a guy who could be on the bench for the New York Mets, and so the Angels might not be done spending money to assemble this year's team. Gary Matthews Jr. asked out of Anaheim after the season, but the Angels could not find a taker until the Mets suddenly needed an outfielder because of Carlos Beltran's knee surgery. The Mets acquired Matthews on Friday for middle reliever Brian Stokes, but not before the Angels agreed to pay all but $2 million of the $23.5 million remaining on Matthews' contract.
January 22, 2010 |
Vicente Padilla stayed out of trouble in the two-plus months he spent with the Dodgers last year, but can the reputed bad boy remain a model citizen for an entire season? Based on the way Padilla behaved during his stint with the Dodgers, General Manager Ned Colletti said he thinks so, which was why he spent $5.025 million to re-sign the erratic but electric-armed 32-year-old to a one-year deal. "As far as his attitude and approach, we saw nothing that would indicate there would be any problems in the future," Colletti said.
January 21, 2010 |
The Angels moved closer toward filling the vacant spot in their rotation Wednesday, agreeing in principle to a deal with free-agent Joel Pineiro. But with the 31-year-old right-hander needing to pass a physical before any contract can be signed, both sides were being coy with the news. General Manager Tony Reagins did not return calls, leaving it to Angels Vice President Tim Mead to issue a statement saying the team continues "to look at options to improve our club." Pineiro's agent, Adam Katz, was equally as vague.
January 19, 2010 |
The Angels avoided arbitration with four players Tuesday, agreeing to one-year contracts with pitcher Jered Weaver, catcher Mike Napoli, infielder Howie Kendrick and outfielder Reggie Willits. Weaver got the richest deal of the group and will be paid $4.265 million this season with an opportunity to earn more through award bonuses. He was paid $465,000 last season when he was 16-8 with a 3.75 earned-run average, throwing four complete games, including two shutouts. Napoli, who played in a career-high 114 games last year, hitting 20 home runs and driving in a career-high 56 runs, agreed to a $3.6-million deal that could grow by an additional $100,000 if he starts 120 games.
January 15, 2010 |
Johnny Rivers came to Angel Stadium. He sang two songs, "Blue Suede Blues" and "I'll See You in My Dreams." Did you know that Rory Markas was a good friend of Rivers? He was. Rivers sang for Markas on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. Rivers had met Markas many years ago, when Markas was still a Clippers broadcaster. They became such good friends that Rivers came to sing in Markas' honor. Did you know that Markas had a girlfriend, a tiny woman with a strong voice, who had to be encouraged to date Markas?
January 14, 2010 |
The bomb is dropped and the damage spreads. Mark McGwire admits he took steroids and family, friends and acquaintances are hit with the fallout. Also, former managers. This was going to be a fairly normal week in the off-season for Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals, McGwire's manager for all but a year and a half of his major league career. La Russa had a speech to make in Dallas early in the week for the benefit of his Animal Rescue Foundation and another for the same cause Sunday in St. Louis.
January 12, 2010 |
A recluse no more, Mark McGwire finally talked about the past, admitting what virtually everyone in baseball suspected for years, that he used steroids during his 16-year career, including the memorable 1998 season in which he and Sammy Sosa revitalized the game with their Great Home Run Chase. What Congress couldn't coax out of McGwire under oath in 2005, an impending return to baseball as the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach -- and the questions that would no doubt dog him in his return to the public eye -- could.
January 7, 2010 |
Bert Blyleven did not get elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He wanted to thank a few people anyway. He thanked Harmon Killebrew and Brooks Robinson for their encouragement and support. He thanked Rich Lederer too. "That was pretty cool," Lederer said. Killebrew and Robinson are Hall of Fame members. Lederer is an investment advisor in Long Beach. "I'm very proud to say Rich has been in my corner," Blyleven told MLB Network. Andre Dawson was the only player elected Wednesday.
January 6, 2010 |
In sports, in broadcasting, in politics, there is no getting around it. When someone leaves a team or a booth or an office, we must speculate. Who comes next? Who will be the next center fielder? The next anchor? The next senator? The next voice of the Angels? Rory Markas, a man of subtle humor, pleasing tone and acknowledged professionalism, died suddenly and unexpectedly Monday night. He had suffered a brain aneurysm in November 2008, recovered, broadcast an entire Angels season in 2009, was well into this USC basketball season and was getting ready to be the full-time, regular television play-by-play man for the Angels in 2010.