BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Jackson’s Blasts Leave the Park
Bo Jackson shrugged his shoulders and watched his teammates with their mouths agape.
Jackson conducted a hitting exhibition Sunday that became the talk of camp in Tempe, Ariz. He hit three towering home runs that not only sailed over the center-field fence, but landed in the parking lot at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Estimated distance: 475 feet.
“Nobody else in baseball can do that,” Angel executive Preston Gomez said. “He can’t use his hip, so he uses all arms. His strength is unbelievable.”
Said first baseman J.T. Snow: “You can’t even describe it. I just kept watching and watching, and all I could say, was, ‘Wow!’ ”
Some flee Southern California because of earthquakes, mudslides or fires.
Angel reliever Troy Percival can handle all of nature’s evil deeds, but it’s mankind that has finally exhausted his tolerance.
“I’ve had it, I’m moving out,” said Percival, who was grew up in the Moreno Valley area. “This winter was the last straw. I don’t know where I’m going, maybe to Arizona, but I’m definitely getting out of there.”
Percival, 24, made up his mind this winter when he found himself with a gun pointed at his face. He was sitting in his car at a gas station, minding his own business, he said, when a carload of kids pulled alongside.
“They just kept looking at me,” Percival said, “and when they got close, that’s when I knew they were gang-bangers. The next thing I knew, they pointed the gun right at me.
“I don’t know what they wanted, or if they were going to shoot, but I didn’t want to wait around to find out.
“I was very lucky nothing happened, but it was enough to scare the crap out of me. That’s when I decided enough is enough.”
The Angels are expected to sign reliever Mike Butcher to a one-year contract today for about $160,000. They also are expected to sign shortstop Gary DiSarcina to a one-year contract for about $350,000 by Wednesday. The Angels, meanwhile, continue to negotiate multiyear contracts with right fielder Tim Salmon and center fielder Chad Curtis. . . . Manager Buck Rodgers left practice early to participate in a charity golf tournament sponsored by the widow of Harvey Kuenn, former manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, and took along pitchers Mark Langston, Shawn Hillegas and Percival. “I didn’t want to play favorites,” Rodgers said, “so I took a veteran, a journeyman and a rookie.” . . . Salmon (jammed thumb) and pitcher Bob Gamez (tender elbow) were kept to limited activities Sunday.