BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Rader the Man Behind McGwire
A’s hitting instructor Doug Rader, who was reluctant this spring to discuss the work he was doing with first baseman Mark McGwire, is reluctant to take the credit now that McGwire has gotten off to a superb start.
Rader, fired as the Angels’ manager last August, took on McGwire as a special project in his new job. McGwire sank to career lows with a .201 batting average, 22 home runs and 75 RBIs last season, but he was hitting .279 with five homers and 10 RBIs before Monday’s game.
“He’s hit a few home runs,” Rader said Monday while he watched McGwire take his batting practice swings. “A coach should stay in the background. If I say anything, it might sound self-serving.”
McGwire gave Rader full credit for his resurgence. “We’ve been partying together,” he joked.
Mark Langston (sore left hip) and Scott Bailes, on the disabled list because of a strained right hip, threw without discomfort Monday. Langston is still on schedule to start against the Mariners Sunday at Anaheim Stadium. . . . Chad Curtis started Monday in center field, replacing Junior Felix. The start was Curtis’ third this season. . . . Pitcher Mike Erb, who was with triple-A Edmonton, was released. A second-round draft pick in 1987, Erb never made it to the major league team. Edmonton activated infielder Ken Oberkfell (strained rotator cuff) and right-hander Mike Butcher (strained groin).
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