The Angels, who missed by this much last year, won't be the same team this time around. They might be better, although that's not likely. "We'll be different, that's certain," says manager Gene Mauch. Gone are such Angel headliners of yesteryear as Reggie Jackson (back in Oakland), Bobby Grich (retired) and Bob Boone (in limbo). In their stead will be some younger players who will embody a new philosophy extolling speed and defense.
Grich's replacement at second base will most likely be rookie Mark McLemore, who stole 67 bases in two minor leagues last year. Another swiftie, Devon White (42 stolen bases at Edmonton in '86), will supplant the platoon of George Hendrick and Ruppert Jones in right. Jack Howell, who has played parts of two seasons at third base for the Angels, will replace the 36-year-old Brian Downing in leftfield. Downing will, in turn, replace Jackson as the DH.
The Angels have a solid mixture of youth and experience in starters Kirk McCaskill, John Candelaria, Mike Witt and 42-year-old future Hall of Famer, Don Sutton. Donnie Moore, who had a sore shoulder last year, is expected to be healthier and steadier this season.
Mauch is actually more concerned about the psychological effect created by the old guard's departure than he is by their physical absence. "When you lose someone like Reggie Jackson, you've lost a real presence on your team. You've lost some authority. How important that will be, we'll just have to wait and see."
Career batting average of .295 with runners in scoring position.
Hit 11 HRs from No. 8 spot in order, tied for most in majors.
22 HRs, the most by an Angel first baseman since Don Mincher hit 25 in 1967.
Has hit 114 HRs over past five years; only 3B ahead of him is Schmidt (181).
Why DH? His career fielding of .995 highest among active outfielders with 500 games.
Hit 10 homers in each of his first two seasons, but hasn't hit double figures in nine years since.
Opponents stole only five bases in 15 attempts last season.
ERA of 4.59 in first three innings, 2.72 in middle three and 2.37 in final three.
Hasn't walked more than four batters in a game since April 28, 1978.
Has started 30 or more games every year since '69 (excluding '81).
Before plunking Gedman in Game 5, had not hit a batter since May 30, 1982.
Ranks 3rd in AL with 52 saves last two years, behind Righetti (75) and Hernandez (55).