Schedule gives off an odor

When the Angels return from this road trip they will play host to the Dodgers for three games and then leave town again, starting a conversation about the schedule. Manager Mike Scioscia gave it a thumbs down.
On the final road trip of the first half, the Angels go to Baltimore then Texas and then back east again to New York. But that isn’t what has Scioscia bothered. He doesn’t care for the two-game series sprinkled throughout and is miffed that during the pennant races of September, the Angels will be playing non-division teams like the Indians, Orioles, White Sox and Devil Rays.
The schedule stinks, Scioscia said. I thought they were making long strides. About four years ago we had a lot of these two-game sets we did away with. The integrity of the schedule was nice the last couple of years because we were in our division early, in the middle and then at the end.
No team could back into the playoffs. You had to earn it the whole way.

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Think pink

A number of players were getting used to their pink bats during batting practice Saturday. They will be using them all across the league Sunday, Mother’s Day, to spark breast cancer awareness.

Angels players who will be using pink lumber today include: Jose Molina, Mike Napoli, Erick Aybar, Orlando Cabrera, Shea Hillenbrand, Robb Quinlan, Vladimir Guerrero and Reggie Willits.

Rangers players include: Hank Blalock, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Gerald Laird, Brad Wilkerson, Frank Catalanotto, Chris Stewart and Jerry Hairston Jr.

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Speier goes on DL

Apparently Justin Speier’s problems over the weekend were not related to the flu after all. The Angels placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list with “a non-baseball related medical condition.” As of now, the team has not elaborated. Speier was not on hand for Saturday’s game and was in the clubhouse Sunday. At that time Speier said he had the flu and was getting his strength back. The only way the Angels can release his actual condition is if Speier actually signs a consent form. We will know shortly if he has done that.

To take Speier’s place on the roster, the Angels have recalled Kendry Morales. The move returns the Angels to an 11-man pitching staff.

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HIPAA rules handcuff managers

Justin Speier returned to the clubhouse but was not available for Sunday’s game. Manager Mike Scioscia said newly implemented privacy rules prevented him from disclosing a non-baseball related injury or illness. Speier said he had the flu Saturday and was still too weak to pitch Sunday
Because of a national HIPAA privacy rule regarding medical records that went into effect in 2003 (and whose guidelines were made mandatory by Major League Baseball this season), teams are not allowed to talk about a player’s health, outside of on-field injury, unless a consent form is signed.
The new policy often creates awkward moments. Scioscia could not say why Speier was not on hand for Saturday’s game, raising red flags and warning signs of a possible bigger issue.
I’m bound by legal handcuffs. The last time I told you guys I got in trouble, Scioscia said of a reprimand by the league office. If a player wants to tell you and it’s non-baseball related, they even have to sign a waiver to be able to disclose that information so the team isn’t liable that it’s out there. It’s bizarre.

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Izturis to DL, Wood recalled

After Wednesday’s game, the Angels put Maicer Izturis on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Izturis left Sunday’s game at Chicago in the fifth inning with the injury and hasn’t played since.

Brandon Wood, who was sent back to Triple-A Salt Lake after Sunday’s game, was recalled and is expected to be available for Thursday’s series finale at Kansas City.

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Matthews gets kissy

File Gary Matthews Jr. in the good sport category. The Royals, like so many teams these days (the Angels included), do a “Kiss Cam” at the end of the sixth inning. Couples are shown on the screen and most end up offering a puiblic display of affection. At the end of the segment, the camera showed Matthews and pitching coach Mike Butcher standing next to each other in the dugout. When Matthews realized he was on camera he grabbed Butcher and kissed him on his Angels cap. Butcher didn’t seem to be as willing of a participant as he stood completely still the whole time. Talk about playing hard to get. It earned a roar from the crowd and a standing ovation from some of the fans behind the Angels dugout.

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