Vernon Wells has a conflicted relationship with the past.
He's been scouring video of his at-bats from 2006, his best season, hoping to uncover clues that can help him out of the misery of 2011. But he's trying not to dwell on more recent developments.
"I don't care about what happened in the past, good or bad. All that matters is that next game, that next at-bat, your next play in the field," Wells said. "That's all that matters from this point on."
Manager Mike Scioscia said he has talked to Wells about the way a pennant race can offer new life to players suffering through miserable seasons. Wells, in his first season with the Angels, is batting just .215 with a .249 on-base percentage, both of which rank near the bottom of the American League.
"We told him, 'Your numbers are going to be ugly. There's no way you're going, in five weeks, to make up for the frustration you've had in this season,'" Scioscia said. "We have a lot of confidence in him."
It's beginning to look like Wells has confidence in himself again. Since making a slight change to his batting stance -- distributing his weight more evenly and avoiding shifting to his front foot -- Wells has been hitting line drives, some of which clear the wall. He has nine hits in his last 17 at-bats, including a home run and triple in the Angels' 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Getting Wells going has been Item No. 1 for the Angels' offense much of this season. Wells seems to have found something after looking at the 2006 video provided by the Toronto Blue Jays when the Angels were there two weeks ago.
"I think just hitting home runs probably got me going in the wrong direction," Wells said. "I've always said I wasn't a home run hitter. The home runs I hit were just elevated line drives. I think I bought into the whole home run thing, so I'm trying to get away from that."