Angels Bring Back A Longtime Star





ANAHEIM—Gary DiSarcina had an ideal job. He worked for his hometown Red Sox, as a minor league manager and instructor.

But when the Angels called, DiSarcina answered. This, after all, was his baseball home. He didn't have to think too long before accepting a job with the Angels as special assistant to general manager Tony Reagins.

"When I came back here, I drove over to the stadium, and the memories came back," DiSarcina said. "It's where I grew up. It's where I met the most influential people in my life: Jim Abbott, Jimmie Reese, Gene Autry, and I could go on.

"This is where I grew up. This is where I was shown how to be a big leaguer."

DiSarcina, who was a roving infield instructor for the Red Sox, said his job would be a hybrid of player instruction and evaluation. He will spend about five days with the Angels each month, and 15 more with the Triple-A and Double-A affiliates.

DiSarcina played for the Angels from 1989-2000. He is the last Angels shortstop to make an all-star team, in 1995. He played 1,086 games for the team, a total exceeded only by Garret Anderson (2,013), Tim Salmon (1,672), Brian Downing (1,661), Jim Fregosi (1,429), Darin Erstad (1,320) and Bobby Grich (1,222). He missed out on the organization's current run of success, however, and never played in a postseason game. The Angels did not make the playoffs from 1987-2001, then made the playoffs six times in the next eight years under owner Arte Moreno.

"When you hear how passionate Arte is about winning, you want to be part of it," DiSarcina said. "The '90s weren't much fun around here. I would never change that for the world. You can't pick when you play. But it's great to come back and see all the excitement."

ANGEL FOOD

• The Angels promoted roving infield coordinator Rob Picciolo to major league bench coach, a role he previously filled with the Padres. Picciolo replaces Ron Roenicke, whom the Brewers hired as manager.

• The Angels shuffled three jobs, with Steve Soliz moving from bullpen catcher to bullpen coach, Tom Gregorio moving from roving catching coordinator to bullpen catcher and Orlando Mercado moving from bullpen coach to roving catching coordinator. The Angels also promoted Adam Nevala to head trainer.