Angels try to siphon `too pumped' Ortiz

Calming pitcher is aim after wild Yanks start

mascots square off, too

League Championship Series

October 09, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS - One of the biggest challenges facing Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia in the American League Championship Series is finding a way to keep Ramon Ortiz calm.

If Scioscia didn't think it would affect Ortiz's delivery, he'd probably try sitting on his Game 2 starter.

Ortiz appeared to be a bundle of nerves in his only Division Series start, allowing six runs, walking four, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch in 2 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees.

"I think Ramon will learn from the experience of his last start," said Scioscia, who has Ortiz opposing Minnesota's Rick Reed tonight. "He was a little too pumped up. When he can get those emotions under control and execute his pitches, he's one of the top pitchers in our league. He's going to have to find a way to do that.

"We can give him input, prepare him, but I think experience is the best teacher."

Ortiz, who went 15-9 with a 3.77 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 217 1/3 innings, had no explanation for his meltdown against the Yankees.

"Sometimes you have a day like that," he said. "I don't feel bad about that game. My team kept me up. They won the game. I'm very happy for that."

Ex-Red Wing Lamb added

The Twins added infielder David Lamb and reliever Bob Wells to the postseason roster, replacing injured utility infielder Denny Hocking and ineffective pitcher Tony Fiore.

Lamb has ties to the Orioles, who selected him in the second round of the 1993 draft. He got as far as Triple-A Rochester, batting .298 in 48 games, before Tampa Bay took him in the Rule 5 draft in 1998.

No monkeying with mascot

Twins fans have been waving their homer hankies for three postseasons, including last night for Game 1 of the ALCS. Anaheim's Rally Monkey is a mere rookie, but he has a more impressive resume.

Katie, the white-face capuchin monkey who appears on the Angels' JumboTron and inspires late-inning comebacks, used to have a role in the sitcom Friends. She's been superimposed in video clips from several movies, including Jerry Maguire and Scream.

According to Orange County legend, Anaheim's video crew members came across a video clip from the 1994 hit Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, that showed a monkey jumping up and down. They superimposed the words "Rally Monkey" over it and flashed it on the JumboTron during a June 6, 2000, game. The crowd went nuts, the Angels rallied for two runs in the ninth to defeat San Francisco, and a tradition was born.

That's when the Angels hired their own monkey and filmed a series of promos, including the "Jump Around" and "Believe in the Power of the Rally Monkey" clips.

A few rules: The monkey can't appear before the sixth inning, the Angels must be tied or trailing and a runner must be on base.

The monkey has become so popular, she has her own Web site: Then again, so does the homer hankie. And there are no rules for waving it.

Share and share alike

The Twins and Angels have sort of a shared history, with plenty of crossover among players and managers.

An entire team could be built from former players who worked for both sides: Catcher Butch Wynegar; first baseman Rod Carew; second baseman Rob Wilfong; shortstop Leo Cardenas; third baseman Dave Hollins; outfielders Lyman Bostock, Dave Winfield and Dan Ford; designated hitter Chili Davis; starters Bert Blyleven, Dean Chance, Dave Goltz and Geoff Zaun; and relievers Tom Burgmeier and Doug Corbett.

Every team needs a manager. This one could choose between Gene Mauch and Bill Rigney.

There's another connection between the two franchises. They've thrown no-hitters against each other, with Nolan Ryan throwing one against the Twins in 1974 and Eric Milton's coming against the Angels in 1999.

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