TWO TROYS IN SAME BOAT.
ANAHEIM - At first, Troy Glaus and Troy Percival said they hadn't given much thought to the possibility that this weekend could be their final games at Angel Stadium.
After all, the first-place Oakland Athletics are in town, and the Angels are two games back with 10 to play. There's little room for sentiment.
But Glaus and Percival are Angels legends, their legacies cemented during the 2002 World Series title run.
Percival, the Angels' all-time saves leader, has been around long enough to play for three owners, wear three sets of uniforms and play in a stadium that has changed names twice.
Glaus, their single-season home run champ and World Series MVP, also is a free agent after this year. The club has not given any indication it will re-sign either. Francisco Rodriguez and Dallas McPherson are waiting in the wings.
By Sunday night, when they pack their gear and board a flight for Texas to begin a season-ending, seven-game trip, the Riverside County residents might never return as Angels.
Press them hard enough, and the wistful feelings start to surface.
``When I got here, I was 21 years old, learning on the job,'' said Glaus, now 28 and with 180 career homers, third in team history. ``There are guys in here that are my best friends, my brothers. Percy and Garret (Anderson), it seemed like they'd been here so long when I got here. But this is my seventh season here. I'm not much younger than them.
``We've been through such extreme highs, extreme lows. It's been fun, which is why I'd love to continue it.''
There are few indications that will happen. Glaus had surgery on his right shoulder in May. If he were injury-free, Glaus surely would have received a contract similar to Oakland's Eric Chavez, who signed a six-year, $66 million deal in March.
Glaus rehabilitated the shoulder and returned Aug. 29. He has four homers while serving as designated hitter. McPherson will be the everyday third baseman the remainder of the season, an audition that might not be long enough to establish anything definite for 2005.
But there have been no contract talks with Glaus, who is making $9.95 million.
``You want an answer to that, talk to Bill (Stoneman), talk to Arte (Moreno),'' Glaus said, referring to the general manager and owner. ``It's like when we had this conversation in spring training. I can't offer anything to myself. If they want to, they will. It's not what I think at all. It's squarely on their shoulders.''
Stoneman and Moreno both have refused comment when asked about their plans for Glaus and Percival.
Despite an uncertain future, Glaus has reached out to McPherson, helping the rookie adjust on and off the field.
``Not many people know what it's like to be 6-4, 230 pounds and trying to play third base. I do, he does,'' Glaus said. ``He respects the game, respects the players. Those are the guys you want to help. If he goes on to have a great career, he can say, `He helped me out.' ''
There's a bullpen full of pitchers who say the same about Percival, who learned from all-time saves leader Lee Smith in 1995 and now has 312 of his own. An elbow injury earlier this year nearly derailed his quest for 300, but Percival, 35, has resurrected his off-speed pitches to earn saves in 17 of his past 18 chances.
But Rodriguez arguably is the most dominant reliever in the American League with 114 strikeouts in 78 innings. He will make around $425,000 next season. Percival, who is making $8 million this year, is prepared to take a pay cut and would even give the Angels a hometown discount. Within reason.
Percival pitched through extreme elbow discomfort earlier this season and long has set the tone for the entire bullpen, his personality shaped over the years by his clubhouse influences like Smith, Rod Carew, Chili Davis, Cecil Fielder and Chuck Finley.
It was Finley's departure, after the 1999 season, that made Percival realize nothing lasts forever.
``I've been here 10 years. I know every nook and cranny of this place,'' he said. ``I know what it's meant to me. I've seen it all.''
Gabe Lacques, (626) 962-8811
photo, 2 boxes
no caption (Ichiro Suzuki)
(1) HIT MAKER
(2) ANGELS vs. OAKLAND
- Gabe Lacques
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Sep 24, 2004|
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