The Walt Disney Co.'s alteration of the Angels extends well beyond cheerleaders and brass bands atop the Anaheim Stadium dugouts.
The company, which assumed operational control of the team last month, has taken a Kremlin-like approach to public relations, placing a virtual gag order on the entire front office with the exception of new President Tony Tavares and General Manager Bill Bavasi.
Team scouts have been told not to talk to reporters--or other scouts--about the Angels, and front-office personnel has been told to refer questions on baseball-related matters to Tavares, Bavasi or Manager Marcel Lachemann.
Bill Robertson, Disney Sports Enterprises spokesman, said the clampdown is an extension of Disney’s Mighty Duck policy.
“We feel too many rumors have gotten into the papers, that the Angels are doing this or that, and that stuff should come from Bill [Bavasi],” Robertson said. “We want to tighten up the flow of information.”
Pitcher Jim Abbott was out of sight but not out of mind Monday. The left-hander, who fell to 1-9 after getting bombed by the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, did not accompany the Angels on Sunday night’s flight to Minneapolis, and some teammates were concerned when he had not arrived for Monday night’s game.
But Bavasi said Abbott, whose next start probably will be delayed, had been cleared last week to tend to a personal matter and would rejoin the team today.
Designated hitter Chili Davis sat out his second consecutive game because of a knot in his left hamstring that Lachemann compared to “a sausage,” which is less severe than “a knockwurst,” but worse than “a sausage link.”
“He’s day to day, depending on the size of the sausage,” Lachemann said.
Said Davis, “It feels more like a bratwurst.”
Center fielder Jim Edmonds, out for a week because of an abdomen strain, was in the original lineup Monday night but was scratched half an hour before the game. . . . Third baseman Jack Howell suffered a strained left hamstring Sunday and was unavailable Monday night. . . . The Angels, who chose Darin Erstad with the first pick of the 1995 draft, won’t make a selection until the 53rd pick of today’s draft. They had to send their first-round pick--No. 18 overall--to the New York Yankees as compensation for the free-agent signing of second baseman Randy Velarde.