PrintPrint © 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

Angels have huge All-Star impact
07/16/2003 1:23 AM ET
CHICAGO -- You're trailing by four runs in the sixth inning against great pitching, so the game's over, right?

Not for the Anaheim Angels in 2002, of course.

And since the 2003 American League All-Star dugout was littered with red caps topped by halos, not the Junior Circuit this year.

With manager Mike Scioscia, the entire Anaheim coaching staff, plus left fielder Garret Anderson, third baseman Troy Glaus and reliever Brendan Donnelly representing the 2002 world champs in the 74th Midsummer Classic, one thing could be sure: No matter how far behind they got, the AL would keep grinding.

The AL scored runs in three straight innings to win, 7-6, on Texas Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.

And almost all of the Angels had a part in this one.

Anderson went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and two RBIs to be named the game's MVP.

"People are waking up and seeing Garret's talent," Scioscia said.

"He's one of the top five hitters in the game and a lot of people don't see it. He's not comfortable with it, but whether he likes it or not, a lot more people are going to know about him now."

Donnelly shut down the NL with a perfect eighth inning and qualified for the win when Blalock's blast left U.S. Cellular Field.

Donnelly, a 32-year-old who rose to big-league prominence last season after a 10-year journey through the minor leagues, continued his astounding success story. He entered the game with a 0.38 ERA this year, having given up only two runs in 48 innings.

And he was untouchable again.

"Oh wow, man, that guy is nasty," said Oakland catcher Ramon Hernandez, who caught Donnelly on Tuesday. "He never misses a spot. I tell you, it's a lot more fun catching him than facing him."

Donnelly, meanwhile, didn't seem to want much credit for registering the W.

"In the books, yeah, maybe it's a win," Donnelly said. "It'll look that way tomorrow. But there was no starter going six innings in this game, so it's more of a case that we won that game, not me."

Even Glaus had a say in the outcome of the game, despite going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

His off night prompted Scioscia to put Blalock in for him in the eighth, and Blalock delivered the shot heard 'round the World Series.

"He earned the right to be out there," Glaus said. "We won and that's all that matters."

And then there was jovial, goofy hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, who played a part in injecting some of that 2002 Angels karma into the AL dugout.

Before the eighth inning, with the AL trailing, 6-4, Hatcher walked over to injured Kansas City outfielder Mike Sweeney, who sat out the game.

2003 All-Star Game

2003 All-Star Game information >

"He said, 'Sween-dog, you can't play, but you're gonna be our Rally Monkey,'" Sweeney said. "So I was the Rally Monkey."

Sweeney jumped up and down in the dugout with his hands in his armpits, mimicking Anaheim's favorite simian, and soon enough the AL put together the three-run inning that won them the game and home-field advantage in this year's Fall Classic.

"The guys were awesome," Hatcher said. "That big boy (Jason) Giambi was fired up before the eighth. He said, 'We've got all the scrubbies in here so now we can win this game.'"

"As soon as we turned Sweeney into the Monkey, it was ours."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


MLB.com