Angels’ Scot Shields looks forward, not back
And then there was one.
Scot Shields returned to Angel Stadium on Thursday as the only remaining holdover from the Angels’ 2002 World Series team, though he didn’t exactly become misty-eyed when asked about it.
“You know what? You have to turn the page,” said Shields, whose career with the organization goes back to 2001. “It’s not anything I think about, being the last link or anything. I want to help this team win one, the team we have here.
“I had some great memories back then, but it’s a whole new team now and we’re just trying to get that ourselves.”
Shields became the last on-field link to the Angels’ only World Series title when Chone Figgins signed a four-year, $36-million deal with the Seattle Mariners and John Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5-million deal with the Boston Red Sox.
Does Shields feel sad about the departures?
“Losing a friend and a teammate every year to another team, yeah, but you also get to meet new guys, new teammates, new friends that come in every year,” he said. “Whoever we have lost, this organization has done a good job of bringing guys in that are quality players and quality guys too.”
Start me up
As expected, Manager Mike Scioscia announced that Jered Weaver would start the Angels’ opener against Minnesota on Monday at Angel Stadium.
But just because Weaver has taken over the No. 1 spot in the rotation and assumed former ace Lackey’s clubhouse locker doesn’t mean he feels any pressure to perform at a higher level.
“I’m just going to go out and throw the ball the way I have the last four years,” said Weaver, who will be followed in the rotation by Joe Saunders and then most likely Ervin Santana. Scott Kazmir and Joel Pineiro are the other starters.
The Angels have given credentials to at least 70 Japanese media for Hideki Matsui’s first regular-season game at Angel Stadium, a contingent they plan to accommodate with temporary press box seating usually reserved for the playoffs. The reporters might want to extend a special thanks to equipment manager Keith Tarter, who decided it wasn’t a good idea for Matsui to take over Vladimir Guerrero’s old clubhouse locker as planned because it sits next to a wall that would preclude reporters from forming a full semicircle around the slugger. So the Angels moved Matsui two lockers down and let infielder Erick Aybar have Guerrero’s locker.... Catcher Jeff Mathis did not play Thursday and might rest Friday because of the bruise he suffered on the back of his left hand Tuesday when he was hit by a pitch. But Scioscia said Mathis “should be fine” for the opener against Minnesota.... The Angels do not plan to create a permanent memorial display in honor of Nick Adenhart after the makeshift tribute to the late pitcher outside Angel Stadium was removed in December. The team will, however, present Weaver with the first Nick Adenhart Award on Monday.