Mike Scioscia’s ALDS Game 1 press conference came to mind as Reggie Willits fielded Mike Lowell’s RBI single in the third, just two innings after Kevin Youkilis cleared the Green Monster in left-center. The Angels’ skipper had talked about the difficulty of playing center field at Fenway Park, something Willits was doing for the second time tonight.
“It’s not an easy outfield to play,” said Scioscia. “There are angles in left field if you’re playing as a centerfielder, and you have that triangle in right-center. There is a lot of area to cover and you really have to pay attention to the flags. The ball will carry or get knocked down — just watching those flags on top of the stadium. They don’t lie.”
With Gary Matthews Jr. (2-for-28 at Fenway Park this season) on the shelf, and Vladimir Guerrero relegated to DH duty to start the series, the versatile Chone Figgins becomes even more important to the Angels’ chances. According to Scioscia, Figgins may see time in center during the ALDS.
“We have a versatile roster,” said Scioscia, “…not only offensively in the line-up, but defensively as well. Chone Figgins has really spearheaded that – his ability to play a lot of positions – and as this series moves along (he) can become even more valuable. We have the option to play him in center field if we have to, when Vlad has the ability to go out there and play right field, which could give us the option of maybe putting another bat in the line-up as this series moves on. Chone is, without a doubt, one guy on our club we can’t do without.”