Angels' Matt Joyce fesses up to scratch, says he was late to ballpark

Angels' Matt Joyce admits to showing up late to ballpark for series opener against Blue Jays on Monday

Matt Joyce fessed up as to the real reason he was scratched from Monday’s lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays: The Angels left fielder thought it was a night game in the Rogers Centre and did not arrive for the 1 p.m. EDT game until the middle of batting practice.

“It’s one of those things that shouldn’t ever happen, as a guy who’s been around and who has had some service time, I make a mistake,” Joyce said before Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

“I assumed we had a night game because we had a day game [in Baltimore] on Sunday. Normally, we have night games on Monday. By the time I realized it was a day game, it was a little late, and [Manager Mike] Scioscia made the lineup decision and put Collin Cowgill in left field.”

Joyce, who is batting .143 with one home run and 11 runs batted in, said he was fined. All Scioscia would say about the incident was, “It’s been handled.” Joyce, who is in Tuesday night’s lineup, said it would “definitely” never happen again.

Monday was Victoria Day in Canada, a national holiday, and that’s why the game was played during the day.

“It’s over now, I want to focus on today, on the present,” Joyce said. “I felt terrible about it. It’s more about going to battle with the guys, you want to be right next to him. It was the worst feeling in the world.”

Joyce is in his first season with the Angels after being traded from Tampa Bay last winter. He has only played for Scioscia for a little under four months, and he isn’t sure if Monday’s incident will have any kind of residual effects on his relationship with his manager.

“I don’t know, that’s a tough one,” Joyce said. “If you’re a veteran player, he expects you to act like a veteran and be a professional, and that’s not something that professionals do. So for me, I can’t change it now. It stinks. It’s a terrible feeling, but I have to focus on today.”

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