San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo tosses the ball to first during a fielding drill during spring training at Scottsdale Stadium. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
A scout for the Angels was watching and taking notes on Giants players. Normal procedure, right? Not so much.
Major league teams' advance scouts attend other teams' practices and games on a regular basis, trying to gather information on upcoming opponents. Since everyone wants this sort of information, teams never complain about opposing scouts watching teams work out.
Until Wednesday, that is. Andrew Baggarly:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy showed his inner Harbaugh on Wednesday morning, instructing security to remove a scout from the Los Angeles Angels who was taking notes while the club was conducting infield drills. The scout, Jeff Schugel, reacted with disbelief when asked to leave.
"I'm sitting there grading arms," said Schugel, who worked for the Twins and Dodgers before joining the Angels. "In 25 years, I've never had that happen to me."
Schugel's first thought after being kicked out (slowly, because he went to sit in the stands before finally being ejected)? Revenge!
He placed an immediate call to the Angels front office, telling them not to let Giants scouts through the gates at Tempe Diablo Stadium until they open to the public.
And the weirdest part about all of this, says Andrew Baggarly:
Funny thing is, if this happened yesterday, or any other day the Giants are not playing a home game, Schugel could have stayed and scouted to his heart’s desire. Workouts on non-game days are open to everyone.
Fortunately, says Baggarly, they kissed and made up:
Giants public relations man Jim Moorehead initially said that scouts are only allowed in the ballpark prior to the gates opening to pick up tickets or credentials. But the Giants did an about-face later in the day. GM Brian Sabean carried a message through Moorehead that he had no issue with scouts from other clubs watching workouts.
It also sounded as if Angels GM Jerry DiPoto would allow Giants scouts to watch workouts at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
"Fans can come in, scouts can come in," DiPoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "Our workouts are open."
Sounds like the sun may have baked one too many brains in Arizona. Fortunately, sensibleness prevailed. Ain't spring training great?