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Thursday, February 16, 2006
Molina says no hard feelings for Angels

Associated Press

TORONTO -- Blue Jays catcher Bengie Molina backed off his criticism of the Los Angeles Angels and said Thursday he wishes the best for his former organization.

Molina, who signed a $5 million, one-year contract with Toronto in the offseason, said last week he was hurt that the Angels didn't call him when they let him go.

The 31-year-old Molina hit a career-best .295 last season with 15 homers and 69 RBIss. He won Gold Gloves in 2002 and 2003. He signed with the Angels when he was 17.

Molina said in a statement Thursday that he was disappointed when the Angels did not offer him arbitration in December.

"That was then. I never said the Angels treated me badly during my career with the organization," Molina said. "I have a lot of respect for my teammates, coaches and manager and, a great affection for the fans of the Los Angeles Angels. I am excited to be a Blue Jay and wish everyone in the Angels organization the best."

Molina was part of an offseason overhaul for Toronto, which also signed free-agent pitchers A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan, and acquired third baseman Troy Glaus and first baseman Lyle Overbay in trades.