Scioscia, Valenzuela reunited before Dodgers-Angels game
Former Dodgers battery mates Fernando Valenzuela and Mike Scioscia will be reunited Friday night when Valenzuela, now a member of the Dodgers' broadcast team, throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Scioscia, the Angels manager, before the Dodgers-Angels game in Angel Stadium.
Asked whetherhe was going to stand up or get in a crouch to catch the pitch, Scioscia said, "If I go down, they're going to have a crane here to pick me up."
What will Scioscia call, fastball or Fernando's famous screwball, which baffled opponents during the left-hander's famous "Fernandomania" of a rookie year in 1981? "I just want the pitch in the air, that's it," Scioscia said.
The pitch is part of the Angels' 50th anniversary celebration, in which a different former Angel throws out the first pitch before each home game. Valenzuela made two starts for the Angels in 1991.
The Angels are 20-9 against the Dodgers since July 1, 2006, and their interleague record of 130-83 since 2000 is the best in baseball. They are also a major league-best 11-4 against the National League this season and won two of three games when the teams met in Dodger Stadium last weekend.
The Angels lineup: 3B Maicer Izturis, RF Torii Hunter, DH Bobby Abreu, LF Vernon Wells, 2B Howie Kendrick, SS Erick Aybar, 1B Mark Trumbo, C Hank Conger, CF Peter Bourjos, P Tyler Chatwood.
The Dodgers lineup: LF Tony Gwynn Jr., 3B Casey Blake, RF Andre Ethier, CF Matt Kemp, 1B James Loney, 2B Aaron Miles, DH Trent Oeltjen, C A.J. Ellis, SS Dee Gordon, P Hiroki Kuroda.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Mike Scioscia, left, and Fernando Valenzuela run together during a Dodgers' practice session in 1981. Credit: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times