Friday, May 19, 2006
Tempers flare as Angels' struggles continue
LOS ANGELES -- A dispute among some Angels players after an extra-inning loss -- their 14th in 19 games -- appeared to have cooled Friday, when the team opened interleague play against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A heated argument between two or more players was heard in the clubhouse at Angel Stadium after Thursday's 8-4 10-inning loss to Toronto.
Darin Erstad, who is on the disabled list, then got involved when he could be heard yelling at his teammates to pull together and not talk behind anyone's back.
Reporters overheard Erstad through a closed door when they were talking to manager Mike Scioscia in his office after the game.
"I personally think the whole thing was a good thing, but I'm just not going to comment on what happened. It happened in-house, and we're going to leave it there. We're moving on," Erstad said.
"Scioscia's done such a great job of putting together a great thing here, and maybe sometimes we take it for granted. I guess we needed a little reaffirmation of what's been going on here," he added.
The dispute also involved Adam Kennedy and Chone Figgins. Scioscia suggested Friday that Kennedy had questioned Figgins' jump on a bunt. Figgins entered as a pinch-runner in the seventh, the first time he didn't start this season.
"Adam felt bad right after the incident," Scioscia said. "Adam is as much of a standup guy as I've been around. I give Adam a lot of credit for understanding it wasn't the right course."
Figgins wouldn't elaborate on exactly what happened.
"Everything's fine. We win as a team and we lose as a team," he said. "Everybody's playing hard. That was a tough loss for us last night, and we're going to keep playing like we always do. Our team plays with a lot of fire every day."
Kennedy said emotions ran high after the tough loss.
"But then everybody goes home and comes back with a little different view on things, which usually helps," he said. "So I think things are pretty good right now and there's really no issue."
Tim Salmon said the key to the dispute was getting it resolved.
"Then you can use it to motivate you and get guys going," he said. "Darin was a good peacemaker, I thought. He did a good job of peacemaking."
Kennedy and Figgins were assigned lockers next to each other in the visiting clubhouse Friday.
"That was just fate," Scioscia said.