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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Scioscia calls for schedule reform (again)

By Mark Saxon

Major League Baseball released its 2012 schedule Wednesday and, as usual, the Angels will travel some of the most air miles in baseball.

Manager Mike Scioscia, who is on baseball's special committee for on-field matters, has grown increasingly vocal in his calls for realignment and schedule reform. Scioscia thinks it's time for the AL West to expand to five teams, something that could be accomplished by the 2013 season. The Houston Astros might be convinced to join the Angels' division, among other solutions being discussed.

It's not just about travel, Scioscia said, it's about competition. Seven of the Angels' final 13 games are against AL East teams this year.

"We need a more balanced test for each team within each division. That's really the way this whole championship schedule is set up, based on divisional rivalries," Scioscia said. "We've got 13 games left and more than half of them are at Baltimore and Toronto, against teams that are not in the divisional component."

Here are lineups for Wednesday's series finale in Oakland, with Jered Weaver opposing Rich Harden:

Angels

1. Erick Aybar SS

2. Howie Kendrick 2B

3. Bobby Abreu DH

4. Torii Hunter RF

5. Mark Trumbo 1B

6. Alberto Callaspo 3B

7. Vernon Wells LF

8. Peter Bourjos CF

9. Jeff Mathis C

A's

1. Cliff Pennington SS

2. Kurt Suzuki C

3. Hideki Matsui DH

4. Josh Willingham LF

5. David DeJesus RF

6. Scott Sizemore 3B

7. Ryan Sweeney CF

8. Brandon Allen 1B

9. Eric Sogard 2B