Gary Matthews Jr., who ranks no higher than fifth on the Angels' outfield depth chart, said Sunday he does not wish to accept a reserve role this season.
"My goal is to play every day," Matthews said. "I hope that's here.
"I don't intend to sit around and play a couple times a week like last year."* * *"I sacrificed by changing positions, not making a stink about it and playing when I was hurt, with a pretty significant injury," Matthews said. "I did what I was supposed to do and kept my mouth shut.
"Now that I'm healthy, I want to go back to playing every day. I don't think anybody would fault me for that."
And what does manager Mike Scioscia have to say about that?
"We have a lot of guys battling for at-bats," Scioscia said. "Gary has to get healthy, and we'll see where he is."
The Angels, of course, would dump Matthews for a beanpie and a bag of jalapeno Cornnuts if anyone would take him and his salary, but I can't see that happening.
The Rangers, you may recall, got Michael Main and Neil Ramirez when GMJ walked, and GMJ's 2006 season screamed fluke, so it made sense at the time to let him walk. Surely, no one could have been complaining about that move at the time, right?
Oh, yeah...Jim Reeves was, in April, 2007:
Tom Hicks flew in here from Liverpool, England, on Monday, presumably with the $10 million he saved by not re-signing Gary Matthews Jr. this past off-season jingling around in his pocket with a few extra British pounds in his loose change.
What the Angels got for their $10 million was Matthews' usual spectacular defense in center field and a three-game sweep of the Rangers to open the season.
I'll let you figure out who got the best end of the deal.
* * *
Suddenly, the $50 million the Angels will pay Matthews over the next five years doesn't seem quite so extravagant.
Someone should email Revo and ask if he still thinks the Angels got the best end of that deal.