19 Apr 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
ANAHEIM — Max Bourjos poked his head in his father’s bedroom Thursday morning. The sun was out, Saturday is his fourth birthday – a big day in a boy’s life – and, in a surprise, Dad was finally home, asleep in bed. He was getting ready for work.
About an hour later, Peter Bourjos’ 2½-year-old daughter Charley poked her head in the room.
“She fell back asleep with me for like three hours,” Bourjos said, “so that was at least nice.”
Bourjos didn’t wake up until about noon, typical for a player in the Angels’ clubhouse Thursday. After their 5-4 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, a storm front rolled eastward across the Great Plains. At some point, any hope of leaving Globe Life Park on time was dashed.
The storm forced the Angels’ team plane to be diverted through Denver. It didn’t leave Dallas until after 3 a.m. Some players weren’t back at their houses in California until 6. In a long season, it was an unusually long night.
The game between the Angels and Rangers ended at 10:26 p.m. Central Time in Arlington. With no plane to take them home, all the Angels could do was wait. Players, coaches and staff remained in the visitors’ clubhouse until roughly 2 a.m., hanging on the whims of an unpredictable weather pattern to set them free. They were among the lucky ones. The Dallas Morning News reported that hundreds of flights out of Dallas were suspended Wednesday, and at least 900 area homes were without power.
With so much downtime and no place to go, what’s a player to do?
Some played card games – blackjack, spades, Texas hold ’em, follow the queens, thirty-one. Others played video games on an Xbox hooked up to the clubhouse television. Halo and Apex Legends were available. Others watched highlights on their phone, or talked, or got social on social media. Noe Ramirez said he browsed various products on the shopping app Fancy, but didn’t buy anything.
“I do that a lot, though,” Ramirez said. “I’m always on the apps, always going through stuff, put that in there, looks pretty cool. Then I go to the checkout page and I go, nah, I’m all right.”
At one point, catcher Kevan Smith said, players contemplated getting hotel rooms and catching up on sleep in Dallas, then flying home in the morning. It reminded him of a minor leaguer’s schedule.
“We all went through it,” Smith said. “It’s not like we’re too good for it. We can still do it.”
Mike Trout was less inclined to joke.
An avid weather junkie, Trout saw the storm coming long before his teammates hooked up the Xbox. The long night did not catch him by surprise. Trout is already bracing for another possible quagmire – the Angels have a home game next Thursday night, followed by a flight to Kansas City, followed by a game less than 24 hours later against the Royals.
[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section”]“It’s not good for – it’s not healthy,” Trout said. “It’s just a tough stretch we’re going through right now. Rest is a big part of the game to keep your body healthy. When you take off from a city at 3:30, it’s tough.
“I love weather,” Trout said, “but what it did to us last night … I guess it’s part of it.”
Trout tested his strained groin with agility drills on the field prior to Thursday’s game. He served as the Angels’ designated hitter for the fourth straight game.
“The verdict was he could play center field,” Manager Brad Ausmus said, “but with the long travel night, we’re going to be cautious. DH him one more day. I fully expect him to play center field (Friday) night.” …
Shohei Ohtani will take batting practice with teammates on the field at Angel Stadium for the first time Friday, Ausmus said. There is no target date for Ohtani to face live pitching – the next step in his return from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. …
Tyler Skaggs, on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle, will throw off a mound this weekend, Ausmus said.