Angel replacement second baseman J.D. Ramirez sent his 76-year-old father, Martin, home to Douglas, Ariz., a happy man Tuesday.
Martin Ramirez had surgery last week to relieve pressure on his brain, which had accumulated after a February accident in which he fell out of the bed of a moving pickup truck. But he made it to Tempe with about a dozen family members Tuesday to witness one of J.D.'s best games.
"It's really special to do this with him around," said Ramirez, the youngest of 10 children. "This is the best day I've had in spring training."
His timing couldn't have been better. Ramirez, 28, is battling Joe Urso for the second base job. He raised his average to .382, with one more Cactus League game before Friday night's Freeway Series opener against the Dodgers in Anaheim Stadium.
Ramirez can't wait to get back to Anaheim--it's where he watched his first major league game 10 years ago. "It was like walking into a cathedral," Ramirez said.
That's one reason Angel Manager Marcel Lachemann has scheduled a 5 p.m. workout Thursday in the stadium.
"It's just so they can get out on the field and get rid of that star- struck feeling they might have of walking into that place," Lachemann said.
Angel players, coaches and front-office officials will break camp and return to Orange County after today's game against the Padres in Peoria regardless of the labor situation.
But if the strike were to end this weekend, the coaching staff would return to Tempe to begin another training camp. Key front-office officials would remain in Anaheim for several days to tend to administrative duties.
"It seems more people are on sensitive alert status because if (the union) gets its injunction, there's at least a 50-50 chance players will come back," General Manager Bill Bavasi said.
Said Lachemann: "It's very unsettling because of all the things going on right now, but we should know by the weekend whether we're coming back here or doing the other thing (replacement ball) for a while."
Andrea Kirby, a former ABC-TV sports reporter who runs a company that coaches professional athletes on dealing with the media, kept her appointment with the Angels Tuesday morning, even though her audience was replacement players, not major leaguers.
"I was really floored by them," Kirby said of the replacements. "There's a very healthy feeling among the players. They're fresh, eager, earnest and extremely appealing. The thing about major leaguers is they have all those qualities but they hide them cleverly because it's the cool thing to do."
The announced crowd of 1,442 in Tuesday's Tempe Diablo Stadium finale brought the replacement Angels' total home attendance for Cactus League games to 18,237, or an average of 1,402 for 14 dates. The Angels averaged 6,486 a game in Tempe Diablo last season. . . . The Angels scored five runs in the seventh inning and five runs in the eighth to record the come-from-behind victory Tuesday. Catcher Doug Davis had three hits and two RBIs, and Tyrone Boykin, Tom Redington and Pete Coachman each added two hits. But pitcher Steve Peck, projected as one of the team's top three starters, allowed five runs in three hits and left with a sore arm. . . Outfielder Daniel Lewis, who has been limited to one spring-training game because of leg injuries, will not travel with the team to Orange County tonight. He will remain in the Angels' extended spring training camp to rehabilitate the injuries.