Joined: Apr 18, 2005
|Torii Hunter was in full mea culpa mode Friday, taking responsibility for Wednesday night's gaffe, when he forgot there were only two outs, pulled up between second and third base and was tagged out in a rundown against the New York Mets.
But there was an extenuating circumstance.
"I passed the bag, stepped on [second baseman Damian] Easley's foot and rolled my ankle," Hunter said. "That took me out of my game. It was the same ankle I broke before, and I kind of lost it. By then, I was in no-man's land. It was too late."
Not since the minor leagues has Hunter lost track of how many outs there were on the bases, and he vowed that it "won't happen again. You won't be writing this story again."
The ankle was sore Thursday but "back to 100%" Friday, Hunter said. The center fielder also wanted to "apologize to all the kids. If they forget how many outs there are, don't be so hard on them, because an old man can forget, too. That's the worst feeling in the world. I wanted to stick my head in the sand like an ostrich."
Old home weekend
Mike Scioscia, who grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, played dozens of games here as a Dodgers catcher, but his first game back as Angels manager Friday was still a media event, with 20-25 reporters and broadcasters crowding him on the bench before the game.
"When you grow up here, there's a special connection, whether you're from Delaware County, Springfield, anywhere," Scioscia said. "There's a special sense of community."
Thirty family members and friends attended Friday's game, and 50, including his high school coach, Ace Bell, will be in Citizens Bank Park tonight. Scioscia will tour his old neighborhood today.
For as often as he performed in old Veterans Stadium, most of Scioscia's memories "are of going to The Vet as a kid, not necessarily playing," he said.
"I'd go to 10-15 games a year. We'd pay 50 cents to sit in the 700 level, and the challenge was to sneak down as far as you could to get a better seat."
Bill Bavasi, who was fired as Seattle's general manager Monday, was the Angels GM when Tony Reagins was promoted to his first baseball operations job, as director of player development, in 2002.
But despite their close relationship -- "We're long-time friends," said Reagins, now the Angels GM -- Reagins has no plans to hire Bavasi as a special assistant.
"We're not at that point," Reagins said. "We like the staff as it stands."