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Cleveland series could end up in Anaheim

Times Staff Writer

The Angels are supposed to fly to Cleveland today, but the weather there is so miserable that the Indians might fly to Southern California instead. After the Indians lost an entire series to foul weather over the weekend, major league officials are considering whether to move this week’s Angels-Indians series from Cleveland to Anaheim.

The move would be a logistical nightmare for the Angels, who would have 24 hours to sell tickets and line up ushers, concession workers and ticket takers, most of whom have other jobs. Also, the collective bargaining agreement requires an off day when teams fly from the West Coast to the East Coast, and the Angels would have to play Thursday in Anaheim and Friday in Boston.

But the Indians have not played since Wednesday, and the prospect of more poor weather could force baseball officials to move the series.

Angels spokesman Tim Mead said club officials discussed contingency plans with Major League Baseball on Sunday and expect to hear a decision this morning.

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“It’s very unlikely, but we are looking at all possibilities,” Cleveland General Manager Mark Shapiro told MLB.com.

An Angels employee said he was told to prepare for games Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 p.m. -- to accommodate prime time in Cleveland -- and Thursday at noon.

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Kelvim Escobar left the Angels’ training camp last month and flew to Venezuela for the birth of his son, Kevin. But father had to go back to work a few days later, and he hasn’t seen his son since then.

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“It’s tough,” Escobar said after his Sunday start against the Oakland Athletics. “You’re missing the best part, to spend time with a child growing up.”

Escobar says he keeps up via e-mail and webcam. He hopes his two children will join him in Anaheim later this season, after big brother Kelvim Jr. completes his school year.

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Oakland’s Nick Swisher wasn’t about to be conciliatory Sunday, one day after John Lackey hit him in the back with an 0-and-2 fastball. Swisher glared at Lackey and took a couple of steps toward the mound, then headed to first base, escorted by catcher Mike Napoli and plate umpire Dale Scott.

Lackey and Scioscia said after the game there was no intent to throw at Swisher, and A’s Manager Bob Geren said he agreed.

Swisher did not make himself available for comment Saturday. On Sunday, he was asked if he believed there was nothing intentional about the pitch.

“I don’t know,” he said.

Does he consider the matter closed?

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“It’s done for now,” he said.

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The Angels sent outfielder Curtis Pride, 38, to double-A Arkansas this season. Pride last played at the double-A level in 1993.

The Angels have shuttled Pride between the major and minor leagues for the last three years and could do so again this year. Tony Reagins, the Angels’ minor league director, says the club wants Pride to play every day so he can be ready if one of the major league outfielders is injured, but also wants Nick Gorneault, Terry Evans and Nathan Haynes to play everyday in the outfield at triple-A Salt Lake.

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Third baseman Chone Figgins, who is expected to sit out another two to three weeks because of two broken fingers on his right hand, is scheduled for a checkup today.... Gary Matthews Jr., the Angels’ new leadoff hitter, has a .414 on-base percentage through one week, third on the team behind Vladimir Guerrero and Casey Kotchman.

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Nick Adenhart, the Angels’ top pitching prospect, made his season debut Saturday, giving up one hit in 5 2/3 innings as Arkansas beat Frisco, 1-0.

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The Travelers scored on a home run by shortstop Sean Rodriguez against Eric Gagne, the former Dodgers closer who is on a rehabilitation assignment for the Texas Rangers.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com


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