Angel Players Leave on Unpaid Vacations : Baseball: Diapers take the place of groundballs for DiSarcina; Finley might go to Las Vegas.
The four Angel players sat around in their underwear Wednesday night, smoking cigars, drinking a few beers, reflecting on their lost season.
It hardly seemed possible that it could all be over, but they kept talking long into the night, each trying to convince the other that surely this would be resolved.
They awoke Friday morning, waiting for that phone call, waiting for someone, anyone, to say a settlement had been reached. Instead, they got word from the Major League Players Assn.:
Sorry, no progress was made. Oh, and by the way, this weekend’s games have already been canceled.
Instead of playing ball in Detroit this weekend, shortstop Gary DiSarcina found himself feeding his 3-week-old baby, and getting instructions from his wife, Janee, on changing diapers.
“I had to learn sometime,” DiSarcina said. “You can only play stupid for so long.”
Third baseman Spike Owen was making travel plans for Austin, Tex., where he was going to surprise his three sons, who never realized their dad could take a summer vacation.
Pitcher Bob Patterson was headed off to the family vacation home in North Carolina.
Pitcher Chuck Finley was talking about going to Las Vegas.
“It’s an eerie feeling,” DiSarcina said. “There was such a nervous energy after our last game--everyone seemed kind of excited--but now it’s already starting to sink in.
“The excitement of the strike is wearing off real quick, and I think everyone will start to realize real quick that this is serious business. This is no vacation.”
Relief pitcher Joe Grahe said: “Vacations are nice, but when they’re not paid vacations, you want them to be over as quickly as possible.”
While the players were at or heading home Friday, Angel management went to work, trying to act as if this were a usual business day. It soon became apparent it was not.
The club, bracing for a projected $6-million loss, surprised the staff by laying off three full-time, front-office employees and said that more budget-linked firings could be coming in November. The entire scouting staff already has been pulled in.
General Manager Bill Bavasi, Manager Marcel Lachemann and the coaching staff convened for four hours, discussing personnel moves. They talked about what needed to be done if the season resumes, still hanging onto faint hope that they can get back into the American League West race, knowing they are only 5 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers.
“We’re going on the assumption that it will be a short stoppage,” Bavasi said. “If this thing starts up, we want to be prepared. If it doesn’t, we haven’t lost anything.”
When the meeting ended, they shook hands and parted ways, everyone realizing it could be the last time they’re together. After all, when your team has the worst record in the American League, changes are made on the coaching staff too.
“It was a sinking feeling, walking in, and seeing all of the empty lockers,” said Ken Macha, Angel third base coach. “I don’t feel good about this at all.
“I’ve been though the strike of ’81, and to treat this as a vacation is wrong. If this thing goes through the winter, it could change the whole state of baseball.
“Right now, my whole personal life’s in limbo.”
Macha, who would like to join his family in Pittsburgh, discovered Friday that a round-trip air ticket costs $1,344. He inquired about a seven-day advance fare, but that was $671, including a $250 penalty if he changed the return. How can he be expected to predict a return date?
“Everthing’s kind of (messed) up right now,” Macha said. “I’m just sitting in my apartment, trying to decide what to do.”
Really, no one knows quite what to do. Lachemann was trying to decide whether to stay in town or go to Vancouver, Canada, and visit the triple-A club. He was told that he might as well go home, and will be leaving this weekend for Penryn, Calif., near Sacramento.
Second baseman Harold Reynolds was going to hang around town, but said he likely will go ahead and take the scenic drive north part of the way on U.S. 1 to his hometown of Corvallis, Ore.
Once he’s there, he plans to stop by the local newspaper and say hello to his colleagues. He’s a columnist, you see, writing every Sunday for the Corvallis Gazette Times.
“It’s been a little tough explaining what’s going on to the readers,” Reynolds said. “They really don’t understand. I don’t blame them. It’s complicated.
“You know, I’m not even sure all of our guys realize what this is all about, and that might be the saddest thing of all.”
No Work, No Pay
How much money Dodger and Angel players will lose each day. Figure in parentheses is the 1994 salary.
* Brett Butler: $19,125.68 ($3.5 million)
* Tom Candiotti: $18,579.23 ($3.4 million)
* Tim Wallach: $18,032.79. ($3.3 million)
* Orel Hershiser: $16,393.44 ($3 million)
* Kevin Gross: $14,754.10 ($2.7 million)
* Delino DeShields: $14,754.10 ($2.7 million)
* Ramon Martinez: $14,685,79 ($2,687,500)
* Todd Worrell: $10,928.96 ($2 million)
* Jim Gott: $9,836.07 ($1.8 million)
* Cory Snyder: $7,377.19 ($1.35 million)
* Roger McDowell: $6,830.69 ($1.25 million)
* Eric Karros: $3,551.92 ($650,000)
* Mike Piazza: $3,278.69 ($600,000)
* Mitch Webster: $3,005.46 ($550,000)
* Jeff Treadway: $2,732.24 ($500,000)
* Pedro Astacio: $2,049.18 ($325,000)
* Dave Hansen: $1,502.73 ($275,000)
* Chris Gwynn: $1,502.73 ($275,000)
* Carlos Hernandez: $1,448.09 ($265,000)
* Henry Rodriguez: $967.21 ($177,000)
* Rudy Seanez: $819.67 ($150,000)
* Omar Daal: $803.28 ($147,000)
* Rafael Bournigal: $732.24 ($134,000)
* Raul Mondesi: $688.52 ($126,000)
* Chuck Finley: $19,125.68 ($3.5 million)
* Mark Langston: $17,759.56 ($3.25 million)
* Chili Davis: $13,114.77 ($2.4 million)
* Joe Magrane: $8,196.72 ($1.5 million)
* Spike Owen: $5,464.48 ($1 million)
* Bo Jackson: $5,464.48 ($1 million)
* Joe Grahe: $5,054.64 ($925,000)
* Greg Myers: $3,825.14 ($700,000)
* Chad Curtis: $3,278.69 ($600,000)
* Tim Salmon: $3,278.69 ($600,000)
* Bob Patterson: $2,185.79 ($400,000)
* Gary DiSarcina: $2,185.79 ($400,000)
* Mark Leiter: $2,185.79 ($400,000
* John Dopson: $2,185.79 ($400,000)
* Rex Hudler: $1,502.73 ($275,000)
* Harold Reynolds: $1,256.83 ($230,000)
* J.T. Snow: $1,092.90 ($200,000)
* Damion Easley: $928.96 ($170,000)
* Jeff Schwarz: $819.67 ($150,000)
* Phil Leftwich: $765.03 ($140,000)
* Chris Turner: $683.06 ($125,000)
* Brian Anderson: $655.73 ($120,000)
* Russ Springer: $655.74 ($120,000)
* Jim Edmonds: $639.34 ($117,000)
* Mark Dalesandro: $595.63 ($109,000)
NOTE: The Dodgers’ Jose Offerman signed a guaranteed two-year, $2.115-million contract in the spring and is making $515,000 this season playing for the Albuquerque Dukes. He will make $1.6 million next year. Ismael Valdes, who made $109,000, or $595.63 a day, on the major league roster, will be paid at contract rate of $28,900, or $157.92 a day playing for the Dukes in accordance with his split contract. He was sent down after Thursday’s game.