The Angels called back 79 players from Friday night's tryout for another look and signed three players out of a group of about 200 former professionals who worked out on Saturday.
Catcher Philip Ouellette, 33, reached the major leagues with the San Francisco Giants in 1986, but his career floundered after he shattered his right hand in a winter-league game. He so impressed the Angels scouting department that he walked away with $4,000 and a contract to play in the club's minor-league system even if he is not needed as a replacement player.
Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Jay Pettibone was not so fortunate. He was pitching on 10 years' rest when he took the mound Saturday night, but he doesn't figure to give up his day job as a U.S. Treasury agent any time soon.
"It was just fun to get out there," said the 37-year-old right-hander. "I just heard about this a week or so ago, and some of my friends at work told me I should come out. All I can do is talk about the past. They wanted to see it."
Pettibone already claims a small place in baseball history. During a brief stay in the major leagues in 1983, he was the losing pitcher in the game in which Dan Quisenberry broke the single-season save record. He came to Saturday night's workout looking to recapture a dream, but he didn't seem particularly eager to play in place of striking major-leaguers.
"I haven't really thought that through," Pettibone said. "I'm not sure how far that's going to go anyway. It seems like something to make the players realize that the owners are serious about getting this thing going."
From UPS to majors?
That much is obvious. The question is whether the owners actually will go through with a plan that could do serious damage to the image of the sport. Setting up tryout camps is one thing. Putting UPS drivers and hardware store managers into major-league uniforms is quite another.
Nevertheless, there will be more tryout camps here next week. The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are among the latest teams to schedule tryouts in Southern California. The Cincinnati Reds will hold weekend workouts at their spring training facility in Plant City, Fla. Most major-league franchises will have some form of auditions by the time spring camps open in mid-February, with one likely exception.
Orioles owner Peter Angelos has refused to participate in the replacement scheme, but he may have to put his money where his mouth is if the strike doesn't end soon. American League president Gene Budig sent a league attorney to meet with Angelos last week to remind him that the league has the power to fine him heavily or lift his franchise if he does not go along with the will of the majority.
Angelos disagrees, but the dispute only underscores how ugly the situation has become. The owners only can hope that there is the same kind of dissent inside the players union, and management is hoping to shake union solidarity by opening the season in spite of the strike.
The crowded tryout camps in California and Florida prove there is a horde of weekend warriors willing to help in that effort, but no one is quite sure where baseball will go from here.