The Angels brought in three players for a tryout Sunday. Each was an athlete with experience at the highest level of professional sports. As of Monday morning, they were still waiting for a call back.
Cam Fowler, Viktor Fasth and Nick Bonino (pictured above, left to right) weren’t exactly waiting. The three Anaheim Ducks were getting ready for tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. Sunday was a rare off-day in between road games in the same city, so the Ducks took advantage of their invitation to join their Anaheim brethren for a day at the ballpark.
“It was very cool for them to allow us to come in,” Fowler said. “It’s always cool for one professional athlete to see another, how they go about their business.”
Fowler got a close-up look at Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, standing in the batter’s box for three of Weaver’s pitches during the team practice at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The 21-year-old Michigan native played baseball until his sophomore year of high school, when he decided to concentrate on hockey. Did he have a chance against Weaver?
“No. No chance,” Fowler said. “The bat would’ve still been on my shoulder when it was time to swing.”
Fowler did the best of the three Ducks during a casual batting practice — “some nice, smooth 50-mph (pitches) right in the meat of the strike zone,” he said.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said he wasn’t worried about losing any of the three to the team across the street. If anything, he might have taken a lesson from the Angels.
“I’ve gone to NFL camps, this is my first baseball camp, and you try to pick things up everywhere you go,” Boudreau said. “I picked something up that I’m going to use in our camp. The (Angels) organization, they’re going to have upwards of 140 players there. How they use all the fields — very similar to football where they rotate — and the amount of coaches that are there, I thought was really interesting in implementing into hockey if it’s feasible. I think there are ways during training camp to make it a little more palatable, not as dreary as most training camps end up being.”