Angels hold players-only meeting before game against Red Sox
The Angels held a 25-minute players-only meeting before taking the Fenway Park field for batting practice Thursday afternoon. It was not to divide up potential playoff shares.
"We can play better than we are now, so we had a little chit-chat to find ways to win games," left fielder Bobby Abreu said of the meeting, which was called by right fielder Torii Hunter. "We're doing the fundamentals the way we should, but sometimes we make mistakes that cost us games. One inning, one play, one pitch can turn the game around."
The Angels have lost three straight games and, having failed to take advantage of Tampa Bay's three-game sweep of Texas, still trail the Rangers by eight games in the American League West.
They are 60-61 entering Thursday night's game against the Red Sox and have experienced breakdowns in virtually every phase of the game -- starting pitching, relief pitching, offense, defense and base-running.
Dissension does not appear to be an issue, though. Abreu said the meeting was not heated and that the Angels remain a cohesive group.
"We all stay together, we're a family, and that's one of the best things we have going for us. We all win and lose together."
Manager Mike Scioscia also likes the team chemistry in the clubhouse, "but it's obvious on-field chemistry is something we've been searching for for a while," he said. "There are a lot of things that can come out of a players-only meeting.
"One thing is for the guys to understand there is a lot of baseball left and how important it is to bring our game onto the field and win or lose with that. I think we have some powerful voices in that clubhouse, and I'm sure that message was delivered."
Is there a feeling in the Angels' clubhouse that some players have given up on the season?
"No, no," Abreu said. "No one has given up. This group of guys battles. They never give up. It's not over. We just want to bring back what we need to do."
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Boston