Slumping Guerrero sits again

Times Staff Writer

Vladimir Guerrero has shown signs of coming out of his season-long funk, hitting three home runs last week and going three for six Monday night.

But Manager Mike Scioscia saw enough of a regression Tuesday -- a first-inning strikeout on an outside ball in the dirt and a strikeout looking at a full-count slider with two on to end the sixth -- that he gave Guerrero his second game off in four days Wednesday.

"Physically, he's fine, but he's been grinding a lot," said Scioscia, who ordered Guerrero to skip batting practice. "We want to combine it with [today's] off-day to give him two days to catch his breath, to mentally recharge. . . . He hasn't found a comfort level in the batter's box."

Guerrero, who has hit at least .300 with 25 home runs in each of his last 10 seasons, is batting .258 with seven homers and 28 runs batted in.

The notoriously free swinger has expanded his strike zone even more this season and has been falling off to the third-base side on too many swings.

"He's had some at-bats where his pitch selection isn't good," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "But this guy . . . it's going to happen. He's too good a hitter."


Chuck Finley has fond memories of the 1989 All-Star game in Anaheim, even though the former Angels left-hander did not pitch in the game.

"I was the last guy in the bullpen," said Finley, who attended Wednesday's news conference to announce the Angels had been awarded the 2010 All-Star game. "Greg Swindell went in before me, and Tony LaRussa said if he walks this guy, you're in.

"I was in the bullpen staring through the fence like a kid looking at baby elephants. Swindell got out of it . . . but what an experience for me, being in my first All-Star game, at home, before 64,000 fans. It was almost as loud as that 1986 playoff game here."


Finley, a five-time All-Star who played 14 seasons (1986-99) for the Angels, lives in San Juan Capistrano but spends part of the spring as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, the University of Louisiana Monroe.

"They were short on coaches, so I helped them out," said the 45-year-old Finley, who was known as much for his ability to deliver one-liners as his famous forkball.

"Then they finally got a position and told me they promoted me to financial advisor. I said, 'What the heck does that mean?' And they said, 'We'll advise you when we need financing.' "


Ticket prices for this year's All-Star game at Yankee Stadium range from $150 to $725, but Commissioner Bud Selig said prices could drop in Anaheim. This is the farewell season of Yankee Stadium.

"That is in New York," Selig said. "Each year and each location will stand on its own."

With 30,000 season-ticket holders and 3,000 tickets going to Major League Baseball, Angels owner Arte Moreno said roughly 10,000 tickets for the 2010 game would be available to the public.


Howie Kendrick, out since April 14 because of a left hamstring strain, played seven innings for triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday, going one for three with an RBI single against Colorado Springs. The second baseman could be activated this weekend.


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