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MISUNDERSTOOD EDMONDS STARS IN ST. LOUIS.



Byline: Joe Haakenson

ANAHEIM - Jim Edmonds James Patrick "Jim" Edmonds (born June 27, 1970 in Fullerton, California) is a left-handed batter who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Edmonds is affectionately known as Jimmy Baseball [1], "Lassie" and as "Hollywood"[2] among Cardinals fans.  loved the Angels and hated them at the same time.

That's why his emotions were mixed when he was traded March 23 to the Cardinals. He was crying one minute, celebrating the next.

And now, to no one's surprise, Edmonds is becoming a superstar. He's at the top or near the top of almost every offensive category in the National League: Eleven homers, 28 RBI RBI
abbr. Baseball
runs batted in

Noun 1. rbi - a run that is the result of the batter's performance; "he had more than 100 rbi last season"
run batted in
, .406 average, 34 runs, 31 walks, .532 on-base percentage, .792 slugging percentage In baseball statistics, slugging percentage (abbreviated SLG) is the most popular measure of the power of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats: , etc., etc., etc.

And now a six-year, $57-million contract with the Cardinals.

Edmonds always has been a megastar waiting to happen. The Angels knew it and so did everybody else in baseball.

That's why the Angels fielded so many calls about Edmonds and why his name popped up in trade rumors so often. Edmonds always said he would have liked assurances from the front office he wouldn't be traded. But those assurances never came until the very end, when it was too late.

Former GM Bill Bavasi William J. Bavasi (born December 27, 1957, Pasadena, California) is the current general manager and vice president of baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners. The son of longtime Major League Baseball executive Buzzie Bavasi and the brother of Peter Bavasi, also a former MLB  never gave Edmonds that security because in the business of baseball it doesn't make sense. He learned that from his father, Buzzie, the former Dodgers and Angels GM.

Buzzie watched over the years how Edmonds was handled and how Edmonds reacted to his situation. And he thought about contacting Edmonds.

``I've seen (Mickey) Mantle, Duke (Snider) and (Willie) Mays,'' Buzzie said last year when Edmonds was still an Angel. ``(Edmonds) can catch the ball like all of 'em. I was going to write him a note, but I didn't. I wanted him to know I went through the same thing with Duke.

``Every two weeks, the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 papers said Duke was going to be traded. Duke wanted me to assure him I wouldn't. But I said I couldn't do that. What if somebody offered me two 20-game winners, and I made the trade? Then you'd call me a liar.''

Edmonds was an All-Star and won two Gold Gloves while with the Angels, but he never reached his potential. A lot of it had to do with injuries, which played a big role in what his teammates thought of him.

The Angels in recent years were broken up into distinct cliques, and one of those cliques couldn't stand Edmonds' demeanor. Dave Hollins
    David Michael Hollins (born May 25 1966 in Buffalo, New York) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. He played baseball at Orchard Park High School, where he graduated in 1984. He went to the University of South Carolina.
    , Gary DiSarcina
      Gary Thomas DiSarcina (born November 19, 1967 in Malden, Massachusetts) is a Minor league baseball manager and a former shortstop in Major League Baseball. He was raised in Billerica, Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
      , Darin Erstad Darin Charles Erstad (born June 4, 1974 in Jamestown, North Dakota) is a first baseman/center fielder in Major League Baseball currently with the Chicago White Sox. Prior to 2007, he had played his entire career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim franchise (1996-2006).  and coach Larry Bowa
        Lawrence Robert Bowa (born December 6 1945 in Sacramento, California) is a former middle infielder, playing mainly as a shortstop, and manager in Major League Baseball who played primarily for the Philadelphia Phillies.
         were the old-school, down-in-the-dirt hardballers. You get hit by a pitch, you rub some dirt on it and keep going.

        They'd see Edmonds crash into the wall making a catch, roll around like he was hurt, then get up and smile. It drove them crazy.

        They misunderstood Edmonds, just as it seems he misunderstood the Angels' front office, whether Bavasi was in the GM's seat or Bill Stoneman
          William Hambly Stoneman III (born April 7, 1944, in Oak Park, Illinois) is a consultant for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball. From 1999 to October 15, 2007, he served as the general manager of the Angels.
          .

          Hearing his name mentioned in rumors didn't necessarily mean he was being shopped, or unwanted or unappreciated. It meant teams were asking about him. And when you're a team that has four outfielders, one of whom isn't a favorite among teammates, word gets out.

          But Edmonds seemed to look at it as being unwanted.

          If Edmonds was unwanted and the Angels didn't know his value, Stoneman would have traded him to the A's for a package of minor-leaguers when he had the chance. Instead, Stoneman held out and got pitcher Kent Bottenfield, an All-Star and 18-game winner in 1999, and second baseman Adam Kennedy, who is hitting .304 and is a top candidate to win the AL Rookie of the Year award Rookie of the Year award is newly established in 1985 that third season in K-League. Many star palyers were received this award such as Lee Dong-Gook, Lee Chun-Soo, and so on. .

          The Angels knew what they had in Edmonds. After all, they could have traded him for Mark McGwire a few years ago and didn't do it.

          Now, Edmonds and McGwire are teammates. Both grew up in Southern California, Edmonds in Diamond Bar, McGwire in Claremont. Both have children living in Southern California.

          McGwire is the single-season home-run champion and shooting for Hank Aaron's all-time record. Edmonds is house hunting in Missouri. Meanwhile, Edmonds' name and face are larger than life largĀ·er than life
          adj.
          Very impressive or imposing: "This is a person of surpassing integrity; a man of the utmost sincerity; somewhat larger than life" Joyce Carol Oates. 
           on the outfield fence at Edison Field, because the fans voted him onto the Angels' all-time team.

          Right up there alongside Chuck Finley. The Indians' Chuck Finley. But that's another story.

          QUOTE OF THE WEEK

          ``They should just start the games in the eighth or ninth inning here. That's when all the weird things start happening.''

          Cubs shortstop Ricky Gutierrez

          on Chicago's beleagured bullpen

          STAT OF THE WEEK

          Steve Trachsel, Tampa Bay

          Trachsel, who lost 18 games for the Chicago Cubs last season, has tossed a pair of 1-0, three-hit shutouts in his last two starts. He beat Pedro Martinez and Boston last Saturday and ``El Duque'' Hernandez and the Yankees on Thursday.

          CAPTION(S):

          2 boxes

          Box: (1) Quote of the week (see text)

          (2) Stat of the week (see text)
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          Article Details
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          Title Annotation:Sports
          Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
          Date:May 14, 2000
          Words:792
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