It was the focus of virtually every conversation Tuesday in the Angel clubhouse, everyone expressing their sentiments on Angel starter Joe Magrane’s three-year contract.
There was a sense of disbelief of many, with some thrilled by the Angels making such a financial commitment, while others were angered by so much being paid to someone who recently joined the team.
Sitting across the room was the man who might have been been more elated than anyone else. He was the one who can fully relate to Magrane, looking up to him as his biggest inspiration.
John Farrell, realizing that his career is in jeopardy, fed off the motivation and pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings en route to the Angels’ 8-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox before 18,723 at Anaheim Stadium. The White Sox still maintain a 4 1/2-game lead over Texas with 12 games remaining.
If Magrane can prove to the Angels that he is worth a possible $9.3 million only two years after major arm surgery, Farrell showed the Angels that it might be wise to exercise the $640,000 option on his contract.
“I know I can still pitch,” said Farrell, who won for the first time since May 5, ending a streak of 14 winless starts. “Joe went through his surgery one year earlier than mine, and it’s easy for an organization to give up on you. He also has shown that you can come back.”
There were a couple of other Angels who also had something to prove to management. Leadoff hitter Luis Polonia (three hits and a run batted in) and designated hitter Chili Davis (two hits and two RBIs), now are wondering if they will obtain long-term contracts.
“I can’t believe what they did for the guy,” Polonia said, referring to Magrane’s contract. “This guy has been here one month, and I read in the paper what kind of money they’re giving him. I’ve been here for four years. What about me?
“I’ll tell you, I don’t know if they’re trying to (anger) me or not, but they’re doing a pretty good job.”
Said Magrane: “It’s a little awkward for me because they’ve been here all year. Certainly, I can sympathize with them. Chili and Luis are two of the best guys you’d ever want to play with, but there’s really nothing I can do about it.”
General Manager Whitey Herzog said it is doubtful that the Angels will be able to sign Polonia unless he relents on his three-year, $9-million request.