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TEMPE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno said the team has had internal discussions regarding a new contract for outfielder Mike Trout, who can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

The two-time AL MVP is owed $33.25 million in each of the next two seasons, completing a $144.5 million, six-year contract.

“One of the last interviews I gave I said it’s not in the back of our mind but in the front of our minds,” Angels Moreno said Monday.

The 27-year-old Trout did not want to discuss his contract situation on the Angels’ first day of full squad workouts.

“I enjoy it here. I’m having fun,” he said. “Obviously, losing’s not fun but I enjoy playing this game. I leave it out on the field every night, every day and I go from there.”

Trout has heard from plenty of fans back home in the Philadelphia area about where they’d like him to play.

“I don’t think I went a day this off-season without somebody saying, ‘Hey, when are you coming to Philly?'” Trout said. “I can’t predict the future. I don’t know.”

The Philadelphia Phillies have expressed interest in high profile free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

“I’m an Eagles fan, and I know how we are,” Trout said. “If you’re going good, we love them. Fans appreciate hustle all the time. They like 100 per cent effort. Even if you’re struggling, if you show them you’re giving 100 per cent, they see that and they respect that. I don’t know how many times I heard, ‘Is Harper coming?’ I don’t know. It’s not a good direction for baseball when these guys aren’t signed.”

Moreno is not against long-term contracts. He signed Albert Pujols to a $240 million, 10-year contract in December 2011.

“If we don’t give a long-term contract, Albert doesn’t come here,” Moreno said. “He’s been great for the franchise, a really special player. You try not to go back too far for paying for something he’s already done, but you also look at the player and see what he really means to the franchise. We’re always trying to sell fan experience. We’re not going to win every night but we want to be in a situation where fans come to the ballpark and they get an opportunity to see some of the best players.”

Notes: Angels manager Brad Ausmus said RHP Matt Harvey, bothered by a glute strain, threw off the mound on Monday. … OF Justin Upton will be sidelined for a few days because of right knee patella tendinitis, Ausmus said.


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ANAHEIM, Calif. — During 18 major league seasons as a catcher and four more as a manager, Brad Ausmus developed a strong gut instinct about nearly everything that happens on a baseball field.

While spending the past year out of a dugout, he developed a deeper understanding of how traditional beliefs aren’t always correct.

With a sturdy baseball foundation and a willingness to adopt new analytical knowledge, Ausmus was the Los Angeles Angels’ ideal choice to take charge as their first new manager of the 21st century.

General manager Billy Eppler and owner Arte Moreno introduced Ausmus on a sunny Monday at Angel Stadium, formally opening the Orange County club’s next chapter after Mike Scioscia’s 19-year dugout tenure ended three weeks ago.


Angels name Ausmus manager to follow Scioscia
The Los Angeles Angels announced the hiring of Brad Ausmus as their new manager on Sunday.

“I’m very excited to have an opportunity to lead a club like this with so many great players,” Ausmus said after trying on his No. 12 Halos jersey.

Ausmus was dropped by the Detroit Tigers last fall after four intermittently successful seasons with him as manager ended with a wholesale franchise rebuild. He spent the past year working in the Angels’ front office, examining every aspect of the organization as an assistant to Eppler.

Ausmus thinks his lack of managerial experience was an asset when Detroit hired him, as he fit into the popular mold of hiring managers shortly removed from their playing days. But he feels better prepared for his second dugout job — partly because he has a newfound appreciation for the role of analytics in the modern game.

“Adaptability is important to the Angels, and part of the reason I came to the Angels was because I needed to adapt,” Ausmus said. “Analytics are part of the game. I had an understanding of analytics before I got here. I’ve been using numbers to create scouting reports since about the year 2000. … If you use the numbers to make the players and the teams better, that’s the important thing. I wanted to find out more about how we can help players on the field be better, how we can make teams win.”

The Angels also are changing, with Eppler pushing the organization into modern methods of scouting and analysis to help Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Shohei Ohtani and their teammates.

Eppler praised Ausmus by repeatedly highlighting the importance of communication, adaptability and a willingness to grow. With a lengthy big league career and a Dartmouth degree, nobody questions Ausmus’ baseball credentials or intellectual abilities.

Ausmus realizes he drew many fans’ ire in Detroit with decisions — often about pitching — seen as old-school violations of modern baseball thinking.

“The one thing I really enjoyed about being involved with the Angels this past year is I can take the numbers, and I can use my playing experience and wrap my brain around it and say, ‘OK, how does this apply on the dirt and on the grass?”’ Ausmus said. “That’s what managers have to do nowadays. They have to take those numbers, understand them — they don’t have to write the algorithms, but they need to understand them — and then apply it to the baseball player, to the baseball field. That’s the fun part for me. It’s easy to derive a number, but it’s a lot more difficult to apply the number.”

Eppler and Ausmus barely knew each other until last year, even though Eppler grew up in San Diego and Ausmus has lived there for 25 years. Eppler jumped at the chance to hire Ausmus a few weeks after he left the Tigers.

“Throughout the year, I just learned what kind of person he was and how he connected with people, a little bit about his demeanor, and then I also got to gauge his intellectual curiosity,” Eppler said.

Other teams chased Ausmus this month, including the Cincinnati Reds, who hired David Bell as their manager Sunday.
Ausmus wanted to stay with the Angels, but Eppler put 10 final candidates through a nine-hour interview process. They all completed a two-hour written exam that included specific questions, such as “What is the probability of three consecutive strikeouts?”

But Eppler wasn’t interested in the answers — three straight strikeouts happen about 1 percent of the time, according to the GM — so much as the intellectual process used by the candidates to come up with answers. Ausmus didn’t recall his exact answer to that question, but he remembered doing some “basic math” and figuring it was below 3 percent.

Apparently, his process was close enough.

“We’re still grading them,” Eppler said with a laugh of the written exams. “It will be four to six weeks, and they’ll get the results in the mail.”

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TEMPE, Ariz. – You drive all over the state of Florida, fly to Phoenix, venture to spring-training camps all around the Valley, and suddenly you find it, the epicenter of baseball’s new wacky world.

The Los Angeles Angels clubhouse is where you’ll find an All-Star who was forced to switch positions twice to even sign a free-agent contract, a premier outfielder who made the shrewd move to pass up free agency, a player who considered retirement because of the market conditions, another who was dumped by the new wave of tanking teams and faces free agency this winter, and a forgotten slugger.

Say hello to Zack Cozart, Justin Upton, Chris Young, Ian Kinsler and Chris Carter.

They represent baseball’s landscape in which a former Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta, celebrated his 32nd birthday Tuesday in Austin, Texas, instead of at a spring training camp; a 29-year old slugger, Mike Moustakas, who broke a franchise record for homers last season might not even sign before June; and the National League saves leader, Greg Holland, who committed the triple-play faux pas of rejecting a player option, declining the qualifying offer and not accepting a contract offer.
Three weeks remain before opening day and more than 40 viable free agents remain unsigned, led by Arrieta, Moustakas and Holland.


Next winter’s epic free agent class already fretting a bit
Darvish’s decent Cubs debut
Cub shenanigans please Maddon
Arrieta, who could have returned to the Chicago Cubs if he accepted a contract less than the six-year, $126 million deal that Yu Darvish signed, still should wind up in the Washington Nationals’ opening-day rotation. The Nationals, who had 10 players represented by Scott Boras clients last season, have $61.25 million coming off the books next year simply with free agents Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez and Matt Wieters. It’s the ideal fit for a team whose owners not only have the coziest relationship with Boras but are desperate to win a playoff series before Harper departs.

It’s possible that Holland lands in Washington as well, but GM Mike Rizzo insists they’ll stay with their current triumvirate of late-inning options, just like the St. Louis Cardinals. Holland rejected a $15 million player option at the season’s conclusion, declined a $17.4 million qualifying offer and didn’t accept the Rockies’ three-year offer early in the winter before they turned to Wade Davis. He’s the No. 1 target for any team that suddenly discovers they’re a closer short of contending.

Moustakas, who hit 38 homers last season for the Kansas City Royals, appeared to be an ideal fit for several teams, but no one wanted to surrender a second-round draft pick as compensation. So the Angels signed Cozart, the San Francisco Giants traded for Evan Longoria, and the New York Yankees acquired Brandon Drury, leaving Moustakas standing alone in the third-base market of musical chairs.

Suddenly, the likes of Drury, Matt Duffy (Tampa Bay), Johan Camargo (Atlanta) and Martin Prado (Marlins) have starting third base jobs, and Moustakas does not.

Little wonder he may now wait until after the June draft, when clubs won’t suffer the loss of a draft pick, and try again.

The Angels, who could use Arrieta and Holland if they suddenly were willing to cross the $197 million luxury tax threshold, and once had a burning need for Moustakas, too, epitomize baseball’s new wave of constructing teams.

This is a team that entered the off-season desperate for a third baseman and second baseman. So, what do the Angels do? Sign a free-agent All-Star shortstop who has never played another position in his career, telling him he’s being moved to second base, only to change their minds and switch him to third a few days later.

“It was a crazy market,’’ says Cozart, who signed a three-year, $38 million deal in December. “I wanted to stay at shortstop, obviously, but there weren’t a lot of contending teams who needed a shortstop. You look around the landscape of baseball, and it’s like the golden age of shortstops. And the winning teams all have shortstops for a long time.

“So we had all of these calls seeing if I was interested in playing second or third.’’

The Angels told Cozart they were moving him to second base and he was on his way to take his physical when GM Billy Eppler called him. He asked if he’d mind moving to third base. They were trying to acquire Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers.

“I knew it would make us a better team,’’ Cozart says, “so I agreed. Billy told me it was up to me, but I didn’t want to be the guy responsible for Kinsler not being here.

“I’m just glad I signed. Now, all I have to do is worry about getting a place in Irvine instead of worrying about who I’m going to play for. It’s frustrating seeing so many guys like Moustakas who can help teams, but are still not signed.’’

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner, knows he could be in the same predicament next winter. He may still be one of the finest offensive second baseman in the game, hitting 50 home runs the last two seasons, but he’s also 35.

“I can’t believe how many guys are still out there,’’ Kinsler says. “And these teams are using compensation attached to them as an excuse. Who gives a (bleep)? So basically, you’re opposed to improving your club now so you can get a compensation pick, who probably won’t be in the big leagues for four or five years, and has only about 30% chance of even making it? They make it sound like it’s a terrible thing to sign a guy with this pick attached to them.

“It’s all eye-wash.’’

Upton, 30, a four-time All-Star who hit a career-high 35 homers and 109 RBI last season, wasn’t about to take the risk of the volatile free-agent market. He could have opted out of his contract, and gambled that someone would have paid him more than the four years and $86 million left on his deal.


Upton, who had only two teams, the Tigers and Atlanta Braves, willing to offer him more than $100 million two years ago when he hit free agency, stayed put. He wasn’t planning to opt out even if he stayed with the Tigers, but once the Angels acquired him, and offered an extra year and $20 million to stay, it was a no-brainer.

“It’s almost like you don’t want to be a free agent now,’’ Upton said, “almost like it’s a bad thing. That’s how they’re making a guy feel, even for the best players. It’s one thing if you’re not productive but it’s another thing if you’re productive and people don’t value you.

“It’s funky, just weird.’’

Young, 34, finished a two-year, $13 million deal with the Red Sox and ultimately accepted a one-year, $2 million guarantee from the Angels after camp opened.

Carter hit 41 home runs two seasons ago in Milwaukee, was non-tendered and received a $3.5 million deal in New York, but played his last major league game July 4 after the Yankees released him. He took a minor league deal with the Angels that will pay him $1.175 million if he makes the team.

Modest deals, to be sure, but it beats unemployment. Meanwhile, both players present little risk but some upside to the Angels, who seek their first playoff berth since 2014.

As it stands, they worked the system to perfection – dipping under the luxury tax threshold while improving their club and receiving a huge boost when Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani chose them to start his major league career.

A good deal for them. Less so for the players still trying to negotiate the new landscape.

“You used to think that free agency was the promised land,’’ says Cozart, an All-Star in his final season with the Cincinnati Reds. “You work hard for six years and maximize your value. That’s what we all believed.

“Then this year happened. It’s scary out there.’’

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Detroit — Despite overwhelming cries from fans to include Lou Whitaker in the 2018 number-retirement ceremonies of Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, the Tigers say they have no immediate plans to retire Whitaker’s No. 1.

“(The) club is focusing on the Hall of Fame celebration and retiring numbers of Morris and Trammell,” said Ron Colangelo, Tigers vice president of communications.

The Tigers in August will retire Trammell’s No. 3 and Morris’ No. 47, following word this month that they had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. They’ll be the first players from the 1984 World Series championship team inducted in Cooperstown.
Tony Paul
Today’s poll: Should the #Tigers retire Lou Whitaker’s No. 1 this summer, when they retire Alan Trammell’s No. 3 and Jack Morris’ No. 47?
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Morris’ No. 47, which hasn’t been worn by a Tiger since he left the team after the 1990 season, will be retired prior to the Aug. 12 home game against the Minnesota Twins, another team with which he won a championship.

Trammell’s No. 3, which was worn by Ian Kinsler before he was traded recently to the Angels, will be retired before the Aug. 26 game against the White Sox.

It’s not yet clear if the Tigers will unveil statues of the two men.

Individual game tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Jan. 27, the same day as TigerFest.

The Tigers have retired the numbers of five former players, and all have statues, as does Ty Cobb, who played when there were no numbers.
The lone number the Tigers have retired of a player who is not in the Hall of Fame is Willie Horton’s No. 23.

Whitaker’s No. 1, worn by shortstop Jose Iglesias, appears unlikely to be retired anytime soon, as he remains on the outside looking in on the Hall of Fame, despite career numbers that put him right up next to Hall of Famers like Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar and Joe Morgan.

But Whitaker has been overlooked by voters, first by the writers, who didn’t even give him enough support in 2001 to get him a second year on the ballot. Then, last month, the Modern Era ballot came out and didn’t even include Whitaker’s name, but did include Trammell’s and Morris’. They were the only two of the 10-person ballot to get elected at the winter meetings this month.

Tigers fans are beside themselves not just by the lack of Hall-of-Fame respect for Whitaker, but also by the Tigers not seeming willing to put Whitaker on the brick wall at Comerica Park alongside Trammell and Morris.

In a Twitter poll of Detroit News readers on Tuesday, a whopping 88 percent of respondents said the Tigers should retire Whitaker’s No. 1 this summer, while 12 percent said they shouldn’t.

More than 1,200 fans had voted in the poll as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.

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(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Brian Hoh, M.D., University of Florida

(THE CONVERSATION) The late NFL tight end Konrad Reuland and baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew became forever linked when Carew, who needed a new heart, received Reuland’s. Reuland suffered a brain aneurysm on Nov. 26, 2016 and died two weeks later. Medical experts and sports historians believed it to be the first heart transplant operation between two major league athletes, and the story of Reuland’s gift and Carew’s recovery touched the hearts of fans across the country.

Reuland’s decision just a few months earlier, as a 20-something who appeared to be the very picture of health, to check the organ-donor box on a driver’s license form, changed not only the course of Carew’s life but those of two other people who received Reuland’s liver and kidney. Carew, who played for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels and ended his career with 3,053 hits, received the other kidney. Carew had suffered a major heart attack in 2015 and had been placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant.

Carew, whose jersey number was 29, did not know at the time of his surgery on Dec. 16, 2016 that he was receiving Reuland’s heart, and Reuland’s family did not know who the recipients of the 29-year-old’s organs would be. Reuland died Dec. 12, 2016.

But Mary Reuland, Konrad’s mother, figured out the connection between Carew and her son a few weeks later. She had read about the lifesaving heart transplant that Carew received four days after Konrad’s death, and several people had asked her if she thought Carew could have been the recipient. Curious, Mary Reuland called the organ donation network, which matched Konrad’s heart to Carew. She learned that her son’s heart was in fact the one that saved Carew’s life. The families met less than three months later, and Mary Reuland listened with a stethoscope to her son’s beating heart inside Carew’s chest.

As a medical professional and sports fan, I was deeply moved by these events. But as a neurosurgeon who specializes in brain aneurysm, I was deeply pained at the news of how Reuland lost his life: Reuland suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm after lifting weights. He had been with his family for Thanksgiving, and they were decorating their home for Christmas. Reuland didn’t live to see the holiday. He had brain surgery in late November to try to repair the burst aneurysm. Just two weeks later, he succumbed in a way all too familiar to me.

There is no evidence that brain aneurysm is related to traumatic brain injury. So how is it, many may wonder, that a young athlete in phenomenal shape could suddenly develop a deadly condition?

An aneurysm is a weak spot on the wall of an artery. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation estimates that 6 million people, or one in 50, have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Aneurysms can be detected by imaging, but screening imaging is not recommended unless there are symptoms or there is a strong family history of brain aneurysms. Over time, the weak spot expands almost like a water balloon. If it keeps expanding, it will eventually reach a breaking point and burst. The causes are largely unknown. Some may be hereditary.

Aneurysms can form anywhere in the body, but brain aneurysms occur in the blood vessels of the brain, usually at the base. Aneurysms tend to form at branching points where blood vessels diverge.

Brain aneurysms affect young and old, rich and poor, those with a family history of aneurysms and those without.

They typically strike without warning, and 50 percent of the time prove fatal, throwing families into shock and sudden grief. Four out of five people who suffer a brain aneurysm have no family history of it. There is some indication in the research that smoking puts you at higher risk, and that aneurysms disproportionately affect women.

But no one knows for sure what causes brain aneurysms, which affect up to 5 percent of Americans and result in 30,000 cases of ruptured aneurysms each year.

Symptoms of a brain aneurysm include headaches, double vision, vision changes, seizures or other neurological changes.

The real problem occurs when the aneurysm ruptures.

Patients with a ruptured aneurysm experience bleeding in the brain called subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a type of stroke. Such patients may feel an overpowering “thunderclap” headache. They may die suddenly or be found comatose. When a patient has a ruptured aneurysm, we try to treat it so that it doesn’t rupture again. If it ruptures a second time, there is an 80 percent chance of death.

The statistics for this devastating disorder are grim: When a brain aneurysm ruptures, there is a 15 percent chance of death before even getting to a hospital. Of those who survive, there is a 30 to 50 percent chance of permanent disability, ranging from severe brain damage to more mild cognitive difficulties. Many are unable to return to work.

Current research in the field of cerebral aneurysm points to inflammation as a possible cause for aneurysms to arise. Here at the University of Florida, my laboratory is investigating the role inflammation may play in the development of aneurysms.

My laboratory is studying how the dynamics of blood hitting those blood vessel branching points at the base of the brain can cause inflammation. We are examining how inflammation causes weakening of a blood vessel, which we believe causes the aneurysm to develop.

We are also studying different types of inflammatory cells that cause aneurysms to rupture, so that we may work toward a goal of developing a drug treatment to fight those inflammatory cells. We are studying cytokines, or molecules that send signals, control the activities of cells and recruit those inflammatory cells to the weak part of the blood vessel. We are investigating ways to treat aneurysms by turning inflammation on or off.

While my team vigorously pursues that work in the lab, here is what I see at the hospital: patients who come in with “the worst headache of my life” – who literally had no foreshadowing of what was to come. In those cases, the aneurysm may have already ruptured.

Patients diagnosed with an unruptured aneurysm often learn of it incidentally. Maybe they came in for double vision or headaches. Maybe it was cranial nerve palsy, or, in rare cases, a seizure.

Patients with an aneurysm may undergo surgery. This involves opening the skull and pinching off the aneurysm with a metal clip. Or they may receive endovascular treatment, in which I thread a small tube through an artery in the leg all the way up to the brain to fill the inside of the aneurysm with soft packing wires called coils or place a stent, a metal mesh tube.

Every day, I see the devastating consequences of this mysterious and tragic condition.

It not only affects individuals. It affects families. It affects communities.

My goal is to identify the cause – and to pursue preventative and therapeutic treatments.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here:

Copyright © 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Dodger Stadium has staged concerts, soccer games, a Papal mass, even a bullfight.

But Wednesday will mark the first time baseball’s third-oldest ballpark will play host to Game 7 of a World Series.

The Dodgers forced a final game by defeating the Astros, 3-1, on Tuesday as Rich Hill and four relievers combined on a six-hitter.

Two World Series-clinching games have been played in Chavez Ravine, both against the Yankees: In 1978, when New York won in six games, and in 1963, when the Dodgers swept.

The Dodgers also have won two Games 7 on the road, in 1955 at Yankee Stadium and 10 years later in Minnesota. Both games finished 2-0 with a left-hander tossing a shutout in the final game — Johnny Podres in the first case for Brooklyn, Sandy Koufax in the second.

That streak is likely to end Wednesday because Yu Darvish, a right-hander, is starting for the Dodgers. But a left-hander could still figure in the decision with Alex Wood and ace Clayton Kershaw — along with Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani — available out of the bullpen.

Still no apology from Gurriel

Yuli Gurriel still hasn’t apologized in person to Yu Darvish for making a racially insensitive gesture after hitting a home run against him in Game 3 of the World Series.

Darvish said he told the Houston Astros first baseman it was “completely unnecessary.”

“When a Dodgers staffer told me what was happening, at the time, it’s not like I was that irritated by it,” Darvish said in Japanese. “About the extent of my reaction was me telling [interpreter Hideaki] Sato, ‘He did something he shouldn’t have done. This is going to be a problem, isn’t it?’ But I wasn’t angry at all.”

Gurriel reached out to Darvish the day after the incident, saying he wanted to meet so he could apologize face-to-face.

“I was told the next day he wanted to speak to me and I communicated to him that it was completely unnecessary and that I wasn’t bothered by it,” Darvish said. “Even now, I’m not bothered by it at all.”

Darvish was born in Japan to an Iranian father and Japanese mother. He said he considers racial discrimination to be a serious problem.

Gurriel received a five-game suspension, which he will serve at the start of next season. Asked if he thought Gurriel received a sufficient punishment, Darvish replied, “It hasn’t really been explained to me, so I don’t know how to judge it.”

Dodgers fans let their sentiments be known when Gurriel was introduced for his first at-bat, loudly booing him. The boos came back between every pitch of every at-bat, and Gurriel went one for four.

Halo of a story

As Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger worked in the batting cages Tuesday, Shawn Wooten told a little story.

Wooten, one of the Dodgers’ hitting coaches, played on the 2002 Angels, the last Southern California team to win the World Series. That team flew home after a crushing Game 5 loss in San Francisco, just as this Dodgers team did, down 3-2 in the series and unsure who might pitch in for the 54 outs necessary to win the series.

Wooten thought of other similarities: Each team had a supporting actor that hit three home runs in the game that clinched the World Series appearance: Adam Kennedy for the 2002 Angels, Enrique Hernandez for the 2017 Dodgers. And each World Series has been a festival of homers: a combined 24 in the 2017 Series, eclipsing the old record of 21 in 2002.

The story Wooten told: On the bus back from the airport after Game 5, he stood up and asked his teammates if, back in spring training, they would have taken the chance to win two home games to become World Series champions. The Angels indeed rallied to win two games in Anaheim, beating the San Francisco Giants.

In Angels lore, that line is generally attributed to Darin Erstad. Wooten swears it was him.

The Dodgers staved off elimination against the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series.
L.A. is spooky cool

For Chase Utley, Game 6 was not the first time he has played on Halloween.

Utley played on Oct. 31, 2009, in Game 3 of that year’s World Series. The temperature at game time, in Philadelphia: 70 degrees.

The temperature at game time in Los Angeles on Tuesday: 67 degrees.

Short hops

Andre Ethier was used as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, making his franchise-record 50th appearance in a postseason game. … Charlie Culberson, late-inning defensive replacement at second base, singled in the eighth inning in his only at-bat, driving up his World Series batting average to .600. Culberson is three for five, meaning he has as many hits as Justin Turner.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels have acquired right-handed reliever Felix Pena from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash or a player to be named later.

The Angels announced the deal Monday for Diaz, who was designated for assignment by Chicago last week.

Los Angeles also designated left-hander Jason Gurka for assignment.

Diaz had a 4.98 ERA in 36 appearances with the Cubs over the past two seasons. The Dominican prospect showed talent and a 98 mph fastball but gave up eight homers this season.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler has demonstrated a knack for discovering capable pitchers on other teams’ scrap heaps. He added relievers Blake Parker, Yusmeiro Petit, David Hernandez and Bud Norris and starter Parker Bridwell at minimal expense in the past year alone.

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DETROIT — Joe Mauer is just as hot as the Minnesota Twins.

Mauer and three other Twins drove in two runs apiece Thursday night to help Minnesota improve its lead in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot with a 12-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Jason Castro also had two-RBI nights for the Twins, who are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers.

Mauer, who had three hits, doubled home two runs with a two-out liner over the left fielder’s head off reliever Victor Alcantara in the sixth and scored on a line single off first baseman Miguel Cabrera’s glove by Jorge Polanco to give Minnesota a 7-1 edge.

The double was the 400th of his career, second on Minnesota’s all-time list. Scoring twice let him tie Rod Carew for third on that all-time Minnesota list.

”You start talking about Rod Carew, you’re doing something right,“ Mauer said. ”It’s pretty neat for me to hear some of these names, approaching or tying or whatever.

“I grew up in Minnesota, rooted on the Twins. I‘m starting to get up there in the ranks with some of my favorite players, some of my favorite people. It’s exciting, fun and humbling all at the same time.”

Preview: Twins at Tigers

Mauer is hitting .404 over his last 40 games with 26 RBIs and 22 runs scored.

“He leads with his demeanor, with his play, with his consistency. His 400th double, and tying Carew on the Twins’ all-time run list,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “Those are pretty special accomplishments. He never points the finger at himself in terms of where the credit goes. He’s a pleasure to manage.”

“He’s kind of a throwback, Tony Gwynn style,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of Minnesota’s first baseman. “He has a little more power than Tony but a similar style of hitter.”

Minnesota was swept by the Yankees in New York, but at a time when the Los Angeles Angels were getting swept by Cleveland.

“If we can just worry about the one in hand,” Mauer said, “I think we’re going to be OK. We’ve still got some work to do. We put ourselves in a good position and let’s worry about what we can control.”

Adalberto Mejia was pulled one out shy of lasting long enough to get credit for the victory, which went to Twins’ reliever Dillon Gee (3-2) for his 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Mejia struck out five and allowed one run on four hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings.

Gee gave up a hit and struck out two. Ryan Pressly didn’t give up a run in the seventh and eighth, and Matt Belisle completed the game with a scoreless ninth.

Robbie Grossman’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly off reliever Myles Jaye in the seventh put the Twins ahead 8-1. Kepler’s two-run double an inning later off Jaye gave Minnesota a 10-1 lead, a margin that went to 12-1 on Castro’s double off reliever Zac Reininger over the left fielder’s head in the same inning.

Earlier, Eddie Rosario singled in a run with the bases loaded in the fifth off reliever Warwick Saupold to put the Twins up 4-1.

Minnesota took a 3-1 lead in the fourth off Jordan Zimmermann (8-13). Eduardo Escobar stroked a one-out RBI double to left and Buxton grounded a two-run single up the middle with two outs.

Detroit struck first with a run in the third. Jose Iglesias doubled to right-center and scored on a one-out double to extreme left by rookie Jeimer Candelario.

Zimmermann lasted four innings in his first start since Sept. 2, allowing three runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He had been sidelined because of neck and shoulder pain.

”I thought he looked good coming out of the gate,“ Ausmus said. ”His fastball looked good. He threw some good breaking balls.

”I didn’t want to go too deep in terms of pitch count but I thought he threw the ball very well. It definitely was encouraging.

“He looked pretty free and easy. He didn’t look like his neck was hampering him at all.”

The Tigers have lost four straight and still need to win one more game to avoid a 100-loss season.

“We’re going to grind it out,” Ausmus said. “We’re playing some teams that are in the hunt and we’re going to play it straight up. As long as they’re in the hunt we’re going to try and beat them on a nightly basis.”

NOTES: Minnesota manager Paul Molitor is doubtful 3B Miguel Sano (left shin) will return by the end of the regular season. Sano has been out since Aug. 19. … 3B Jeimer Candelario had three throwing errors in his first 20 games with Detroit, and manager Brad Ausmus said he feels they are mistakes that will be cured by experience. … Twins RHP Bartolo Colon was bounced early in two of his past three starts, but Molitor is “expecting him to bounce back” in his next start Tuesday in Cleveland. … Tigers RF Nicholas Castellanos went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 17 games.

Cheap MLB Authentic Angels Youth Flexbase Bud Norris Jersey

According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has activated relief pitcher Bud Norris from the disabled list.

Angels ✔ @Angels
RHP Bud Norris had been reinstated from the disabled list. #Angels now have 36 players on the active roster.
2:22 AM – Sep 7, 2017
6 6 Replies 23 23 Retweets 105 105 likes
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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register also reported the news.

Jeff Fletcher ✔ @JeffFletcherOCR
Bud Norris returned from the DL with a perfect 7th inning. #Angels down 3-0 after 7. The Twins already won today.
6:11 AM – Sep 7, 2017
2 2 Replies 1 1 Retweet 14 14 likes
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Fletcher added more information.

7 Sep
Jeff Fletcher ✔ @JeffFletcherOCR
#Angels lineup. Pujols off. Trout DH. Maldonado’s streak ends at 11. Valbuena off vs LH
Jeff Fletcher ✔ @JeffFletcherOCR
Also, Bud Norris has been activated. #Angels have 14 relievers.
1:24 AM – Sep 7, 2017
3 3 Replies 3 3 Retweets 12 12 likes
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Norris has spent time with the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Angels through out his career.

So far this season Norris has posted a 2-5 record with a 4.41 ERA. He has appeared in 54 games and has struck out 63 batters. As more information surfaces on the Angels and their roster moves we will keep you up to date.

Authentic MLB Angels Cheap Nolan Ryan Jerseys 2018

The Angels never really became a major league team until Don Baylor showed up.

They were born in Los Angeles, shared Dodger Stadium for four years, then moved to Anaheim and renamed themselves the California Angels in trying to escape the Dodgers’ shadow.

The scoreboard is what it is, even if you move 30 miles down the 5 Freeway. In their first decade in Anaheim Stadium, they regularly struggled to draw a million fans, even after Nolan Ryan arrived and each one of his starts brought the tantalizing possibility of a no-hitter.

The Dodgers landed in Southern California in 1958. From then until the time Baylor signed with the Angels after the 1976 season, the Dodgers had played in the World Series five times. In Baylor’s first two years with the Angels, the Dodgers got to the World Series both times.

“We felt the burden of not being the Dodgers,” Baylor wrote in his book “Nothing But The Truth: A Baseball Life.”

“Why the Angels wanted to be Dodger clones was beyond me, but the emulation never ended. With all that Dodger Blue bleeding around me, I instantly began to hate the mere mention of that team.”

Gene Autry, the Angels’ founding owner and a Hall of Fame showman in his own right, had gotten tired of hearing about the Dodgers too. In the infancy of free agency, Autry struck.

In 1976, Baylor had made $34,000 for the Oakland Athletics. Autry gave him a $580,000 check just to sign with the Angels, the bonus in a six-year, $1.6-million contract. Autry also signed Bobby Grich and Joe Rudi that winter, traded for Rod Carew in 1979 and Fred Lynn in 1981, and signed Reggie Jackson in 1982.

By then, the Angels had won. In 1978, Baylor’s second season in Anaheim, the Angels set a franchise record by winning 87 games. In 1979, the “Yes We Can” Angels won 88 — and the American League West too, for the first playoff appearance in club history.

The Angels drew 2.5 million to Anaheim Stadium. Baylor was voted the AL most valuable player.

He drove in 139 runs, a club record that still stands. Mike Trout’s best is 111.

The Angels won the AL West again in 1982, this time with 93 victories — a mark no Angels team would top until 2002, when the World Series champions won 99.

Ask a longtime Angels fan about Buzzie Bavasi, then the general manager, and the eye roll comes first, then the recollection of Bavasi’s infamous quote that he could afford to let Ryan go in free agency because they could replace him with “two 8-7 pitchers.”

Bavasi later acknowledged that was his greatest mistake. Second to that might have been his 1981 comment, looking at a photograph of Baylor standing next to Carew and Fred Lynn: “What’s Don doing in that picture with the two hitters?”

The relationship between Baylor and Bavasi deteriorated. When his contract expired after the 1982 season, the Angels let him go, and Baylor signed with the New York Yankees.

“It was bitter,” Baylor told The Times in 1990. “Not bitter, but I had so many ties here. I felt I was part of the building process of the Angels. It was very, very difficult for me to leave and go to New York.

“You can look around and say I had a chance to go play with a World Series team and be a Yankee . . . but Mr. Autry was by far the finest owner I played for. I wanted to be here.”

Baylor ended his career by coming back.

He played three years with the Yankees. He spent the final three years of his playing career as a rent-a-leader, becoming the first player in major league history to get to the World Series with three different teams in three consecutive years (1986 Boston Red Sox, 1987 Minnesota Twins and 1988 Oakland Athletics, although his attempt to rattle Jay Howell and the Dodgers before the 1988 World Series did not go well).

Baylor was the inaugural manager for the Colorado Rockies. They made their debut in 1993. He led them to the playoffs in 1995 and was honored as National League manager of the year.

He managed the Chicago Cubs too, and he was a well-regarded hitting coach. His last stop: back home with the Angels.

In 2014, they celebrated what were then the only MVPs in club history by asking Vladimir Guerrero to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and Baylor to catch it. Guerrero’s throw was low and away, and Baylor’s right ankle gave way.

He caught the ball, but he could not get up. The athletic trainers rushed to help, and eventually he walked off the field — trying first on his own, then with the assistance of the trainers. No one knew how severe the injury was; the Angels sent him to the hospital to find out.

His legs had been weakened over a decade of battle with the cancer that eventually took his life Monday. But, with the dignity and strength befitting a player who had been hit by more pitches than all but one in the modern era, Baylor will be remembered for walking off the field with a broken leg.