White, Parker Critical of Ex-Bosses : Baseball: Former Angels, now with Toronto, have kind words for old teammates, but say management didn’t treat them fairly.
Devon White said he has too many friends on the Angels to wish the team ill, and Dave Parker displayed his sentiments by wearing an Angel T-shirt Monday when he arrived at Anaheim Stadium.
But while the two former Angels had kind words for their peers, they weren’t quite as charitable toward their former bosses.
White, who is thriving as the Blue Jays’ leadoff hitter, said former Angel Manager Doug Rader scorned him late last season without telling him why. And Parker, who was waived by the Angels Sept. 7, said he should have been told he wasn’t going to play much as the season wound down instead of being put in the position of asking for his release.
White said he never understood why Rader wrote him off. “When I was over here, basically I was hearing I was stubborn. I don’t feel that was true,” he said. “I had a bad year last year and they gave up on me. They have the right to do so. . . . Everything was fine between me and Doug Rader until the last month of the season. Then he just turned on me. He thought I threw in the towel and I told him that was (untrue), and people in the organization should know that I’m not that kind of person.
“I was happy when Doug got fired. I’m not going to lie. When (Mike) Port went (was fired as general manager), I was sad. He had always been fair with me.”
White said the Blue Jays have been fair with him, allowing him to become comfortable as leadoff hitter. He was batting .286 entering Monday’s game, compared with his .217 average last season.
“Going over to Toronto, they knew what kind of player I was and that took a lot of pressure off me coming in,” said White, who was traded to the Blue Jays with pitcher Willie Fraser for outfielder Junior Felix and infielder Luis Sojo. “They said to just play center field. It’s not like they said, ‘Devon, we need this, this and this from you.’ . . .
“They’ve got a big center field and we’re stacked one through nine with good hitters. Right now, it looks like they (the Blue Jays) got the better end of the deal.”
Parker said he regretted having to sit on the bench when he might have continued his pursuit of 3,000 hits. Parker, 40, was hitting .232 when he was released by the Angels and has hit .278 in seven games with the Blue Jays. He signed with Toronto for only the remainder of this season, but hopes to work out a deal for 1992.
“I wasn’t having a banner year, but I was tied for third in RBIs on the team. If I was doing badly, they should reassess the situation,” he said.
“The only thing I don’t like is if you want to look at young talent and I’m not in your future plans, just come and tell me out of respect. Here’s a player with 2,700 hits, 340 home runs, in his 19th year. Just come and tell me what the situation is . . . Buck (Rodgers) is a good guy. I just wish somebody would have told me that from the beginning that they were going to look at the youngsters and Dave (Winfield) is going to be the DH. I have no reason to be bitter. That’s baseball. You can’t play forever. I’m one of those guys who doesn’t want to play where he’s not wanted.”
Parker said the Angels may need to reassess “their approach to the game,” and definitely need to re-sign first baseman Wally Joyner if they are to improve next season. “The key is going to be holding onto Wally Joyner. Not only is he a key offensive player, he’s one of the best defensive first basemen in the league,” Parker said. “They’ve got pitching, they’ve got defense, you’ve got to keep the offense that you’ve got.”