Refreshing

September 29, 2004

CHALK ONE up for an old saw that's oft ignored in pro sports, but still very true: "There's no I in team."

The Anaheim Angels baseball club is in the final week of a heated pennant race. Before last night's games, they were just one game behind the Oakland A's with six games left. It's crunch time.

So what do the Angels do? They suspend one of their key players, left fielder Jose Guillen, for the rest of the season - possible playoff games included.

The much-traveled Guillen was hitting .294 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI. But he also has erupted in a string of emotional outbursts - the last, very public one being after Angels manager Mike Scioscia took him out of their Saturday game for a pinch runner.

So with logic rare to pro sports, Angels management quickly decided Mr. Guillen's cumulative tantrums hurt their team so much that they had a better chance of winning without his considerable talents.

And quite a few other Angels reportedly agreed. As shortstop David Eckstein put it: "The team is everything."

How refreshing.

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