Angels sign 6 more

On the heels of signing five of their own players recently, the Angels got six more under contract Friday. Chris Bootcheck, Nathan Haynes, Howie Kendrick, Dustin Moseley and Brandon Wood all agreed to terms. That leaves six players on the 40-man roster that are not yet signed. Those should become official soon.

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K-Rod loses again

That game-ending missle Francisco Rodriguez allowed in the playoffs last season to the Boston Red Sox’s Manny Ramirez might have gone a long way to costing the Angels’ closer an extra $2.5 million in salary. Rodriguez lost his arbitration hearing to the Angels on Friday so instead of getting the $12.5 million he requested, he will make the Angels’ requested salary of $10 million.

Hard to call a $10 million-man a loser, but when it comes to missing out on another $2.5 million, that’s a big hit. The last time Rodriguez was in a big-league game, Ramirez hit a dramatic walk-off home run to snap a 3-3 tie as the Red Sox grabbed control of the ALDS. That is not the impression you want to leave when heading into an arbitration hearing. Rodriguez’s representatives were no doubt saying that their client is one of the best in the business at closing out victories for his team. But if any of those arbitration judges are only casual baseball fans or even non-baseball fans, Rodriguez’s reps will find it hard to explain how it was no big deal that he lost a game in such dramatic fashion, and a game in the playoffs to boot.

One likely Angels argument: if the team advanced in the playoffs they could have made the extra $2.5 million and then some to help pay Rodriguez, but he was part of the reason why they failed to garner any more income in the postseason. Look at it this way: If Rodriguez helps the Angels win Game 2 in the ALDS then they get to host at least one more playoff game. Assuming an average of $50 for each ticket to an ALDS game, the Angels could have made nearly $2.3 million in ticket sales alone if they got a chance to play host to a Game 4. That could have been K-Rod’s money. If it wasn’t for that costly home run by Ramirez.

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Angels unable to land Lakers tickets

According to an Angels representative, the team called the Phoenix Suns trying to get 17 tickets for tonight’s game against the Lakers and the Suns only have two available. Usually teams have plenty in reserve to sell to VIPs, even for the good seats, but there are just too many requests to see Shaq playing for the Suns against his old team. Looks like Angels players will have to go to ebay or stubhub like the rest of us, with the only difference being that they have the money to pay for the good seats.

Just did a quick check at stubhub.com and saw that seats on the arena’s lower level are selling for $306 to $945. And that price is for EACH ticket.

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Kendrick traded to Japan

No, not Howie Kendrick. The Philadelphia Phillies pulled a prank on Kyle Kendrick, telling the young pitcher he had been traded to a team in another country. Sure, this isn’t Angels news, but the prank was so successfully executed, we thought we’d put the link here. You’d almost think the prank could have worked on Howie Kendrick too. He was in so many trade rumors this winter he’s probably surprised his Angels uniform still is hanging in his locker.

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Latest Angels Tonight guests

Since it started last month, the Angels Tonight radio show has had live guests that have ranged from John Lackey to Scot Shields, to Garret Anderson and Mike Scioscia. In the latest edition of the two-hour radio show that has everything you wanted to know about Angels baseball and more, Jered Weaver will be the live call-in guest as he checks in from spring training in Tempe, Ariz. The show will air Monday night (Feb. 18).

Angels Tonight airs from 6-8 p.m. every Monday night on 830-AM, the Angels new flagship station. Jose Mota and Terry Smith are the hosts. Along with Weaver, the show will also have Yahoo sport’s Tim Brown, the website’s national baseball writer.

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Hot Angels autograph spot

This was promised in a previous post so with the first day of spring workouts upon us, here is the prime location for getting an autograph at the team’s Tempe, Ariz. workout facility:

For those regulars to Tempe, you already know about this. For those who don’t get to Arizona as often, the best place to nab an Angels autograph is in the west parking lot to Tempe Diablo Stadium. Go to the north end of the lot, up the hill. The lot separates the stadium from the practice fields. The players have a walkway at the north end of the lot so they can get from their locker room to the practice fields. Only a low baracade separates players from fans.

Workouts start between 8:30 and 9 a.m. so players could be passing at any time. Before games start workouts typically end before noon. When spring games begin, players pass to and from the practice fields all morning so it’s possible to grab an autograph and then watch the game. There is even a chance to get a ball in this parking lot since it sits directly up against the left-field fence of one of the practice fields. Home runs fly into the lot on occasion.

Tip: The way to identify a person likely there to sell the autographs they are getting is somebody that holds baseball cards in a binder with each one in protective plastic. They also bring clean while baseballs in a plastic case and ask to have to player sign it “on the sweet spot.” The other way to tell is that they use a blue Sharpie permanent marker. The blue marker apparently is the one of choice for those who buy and sell autographs.

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Get to know Torii Hunter

Perhaps the best way to see what newest Angel Torii Hunter is all about is by going to his website for “The Torii Hunter Project” Hunter has been huge on community causes and spends plenty of his time and money with various projects. In fact, when Hunter was announced to the Angels community at a press conference shortly after being acquired by the team, his character was stressed as was the fact that he gives so much back to the community.

It was from humble beginnings that Hunter got his start. He had plenty of challenges to overcome, including a rough home life. Those personal struggles continue and they were documented in a USA Today story that can be accessed by going to his “Torii Hunter Project” website and clicking on “My Story.”

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Angels play numbers game

The two Angels newcomers this season mean some uniform number changes will take place. Jon Garland will wear No. 20 as he has done throughout his big-league career with the White Sox, while Torii Hunter will stick with his regular No. 48. Juan Rivera had been wearing No. 20, but he will switch to No. 21. Nobody was wearing No. 48 since Hector Carrasco was let go by the club.

Erick Aybar also will have a new number as he changes to No. 2. He previously had been wearing No. 32. Kendry Morales switches to No. 19 after wearing No. 22. As for Reggie Willits, he will stick with his rather unconventional No. 77.

Of the non-roster invitees to big-league camp this season, six will be wearing numbers in the 90s, with PJ Phillips the highest number this spring at No. 98. The lowest number of the non-roster invitees belongs to outfielder Chad Hermansen, who has No. 18. At least he will look like he belongs once full-squad workouts begin.

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Angels' numbers game

The two Angels newcomers this season mean some uniform number changes will take place. Jon Garland will wear No. 20 as he has done throughout his big-league career with the White Sox, while Torii Hunter will stick with his regular No. 48. Juan Rivera had been wearing No. 20, but he will switch to No. 21. Nobody was wearing No. 48 since Hector Carrasco was let go by the club.

Erick Aybar also will have a new number as he changes to No. 2. He previously had been wearing No. 32. Kendry Morales switches to No. 19 after wearing No. 22. As for Reggie Willits, he will stick with his rather unconventional No. 77.

Of the non-roster invitees to big-league camp this season, six will be wearing numbers in the 90s, with PJ Phillips the highest number this spring at No. 98. The lowest number of the non-roster invitees belongs to outfielder Chad Hermansen, who has No. 18. At least he will look like he belongs once full-squad workouts begin.

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The Catch is no longer

Popular Angels and Ducks postgame hangout “The Catch” restaurant won’t be around long enough to see the 2008 baseball season. The restaurant and bar, across the street from Angel Stadium, will close this Sunday, with the owner saying he has plans to one day relocate it. It wasn’t a surprise to see an Angels player tending bar in the joint after games in years past. Current players still frequented the place. The Catch is a casualty of the Anaheim Platinum Triangle development that will feature retail, commercial and residential projects.

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