Los Angeles Angels: Ramon Ortiz

Let the bonding begin

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
10:54
AM PT
Mike Trout is spending Thursday afternoon shopping in a nearby toy story.

No, Trout isn't that young. The 20-year-old outfielder's task this spring is to collect money from players to go toy shopping for older players' children. The toys that are left over -- most of them -- go to a local homeless shelter.

By stopping by the locker of every player in the clubhouse, including sidling up to Albert Pujols, Trout -- clipboard and pen in hand -- raised $4,000 for toys. He also talked to a whole lot of people he might otherwise never have approached.

Pujols
Scioscia
That's just one of the many chores players have to go through during team-building exercises in the Angels' morning meetings, which have now became a famous part of the spring routine around here. At about 10 a.m. every morning, reporters standing outside the metal doors to the clubhouse typically hear loud peals of laughter coming from inside.

For newcomers, it can be a surprising part of camp.

"With the Cardinals, we had meetings every day, but they were all about baseball, none of this kind of stuff," new reliever Jason Isringhausen said. "[Mike] Scioscia and Tony [LaRussa] aren't quite the same manager, but I know they say when the season starts, Scioscia ain't like this."

Scioscia began the daily meetings in the spring of 2000, shortly after he was hired, but they have gradually become well known around baseball. One spring, players brought a live ostrich into the clubhouse, prompting pitcher Ramon Ortiz to hop in his locker in fear of the "pollo grande," or giant chicken.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Garrett Richards
WINS ERA SO IP
11 2.55 127 123
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .310
HRM. Trout 22
RBIM. Trout 73
RM. Trout 65
OPSM. Trout 1.005
ERAG. Richards 2.55
SOG. Richards 127