Despite late flight, Halos regulars stay in lineup

Despite late flight, Halos regulars stay in lineup

Despite late flight, Halos regulars stay in lineup
ANAHEIM -- Despite a late flight Sunday night that resulted in Mike Scioscia arriving home to Monday's newspaper at his doorstep, the Angels manager opted to play most of his regulars Monday night against Oakland.

The only change Scioscia made defensively was substituting Peter Bourjos in the outfield for Bobby Abreu. The slumping Kendrys Morales got the start at designated hitter over Mark Trumbo, but otherwise the starting nine remained the same.

After a 5 p.m. PT first pitch Sunday night in New York, the Angels' plane arrived after 4 a.m. Monday morning. Scioscia and some of his players didn't arrive home until after 6.

"The schedule is demanding for every team in baseball," Scioscia said. "You play the games when they come up, and you play them when you have to travel, and that's just part of baseball. West Coast travel is tough, but it's nothing these guys haven't dealt with and dealt with well."

Scioscia canceled Monday's batting-practice session, opting instead to allow his players to get their reps in the underground batting cages. The dress times for the players were also about an hour later than usual.

Although the lineup was virtually unchanged Monday, Scioscia said he might tweak it before Tuesday's game.

"Our experience tells us that usually today is OK. You still have adrenaline," Scioscia said. "Tomorrow there could be a little bit of a letdown. We'll see how these guys feel."

It wasn't just Sunday's game that presented the Angels with an odd schedule. Thus far, they have been part of three home openers, an off-day on a Tuesday, a post-travel day game on a Monday and a day game on a Friday -- all rarities in baseball.

With the calendar finally returning to normal after the Opening Week festivities, Scioscia said he is looking forward to falling into routine. But he was adamant in saying the strange schedule had nothing to do with his team's 3-6 record.

"The schedule is the schedule," Scioscia said. "That's it. Not an issue."

As for the late -- or early -- arrival Monday, Scioscia took the it-could-be-worse stance. "We're OK," he said. "We beat rush-hour traffic."