Day 4: “Best shape of my life” …

That’s the phrase we sportswriters hear over and over again from players this time of year, many of whom come into camp bragging about their offseason workouts and all claim: “I’m in the best shape of my life.”

Two non-players on the Angels can really make that claim, though.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has committed himself to losing weight, as outlined in this LA Times story, drastically changing his eating habits and shedding nearly 40 pounds. And he says he wants to lose another 20. Meanwhile, if you haven’t recently seen Terry Smith, the radio play-by-play man for AM 830, you probably wouldn’t recognize him. Smith has shed nearly 60 pounds since then.

The two reunited Thursday, glowing about each other’s progress, but Scioscia cautioned Smith not to lose anymore weight. He’s skinny enough already.

Here are some notes from Day 4 of full workouts …

  • In case you missed it, here’s a transcript of my chat.
  • The Angels didn’t add any premier arms to the bullpen, so they’ll be heavily relying on the young Jordan Walden to take the next step. In hopes of him doing that, they’ve surrounded him in a cocoon of experience and moxie.
  • Scioscia prefers to bat Albert Pujols third, but there could be a scenario where he’s the cleanup hitter.
  • As for who will hit in front of Pujols, that’s still up in the air. Scioscia is seeking the best combo for the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, and it seems everyone is a possibility — Howie Kendrick, Bobby Abreu, Erick Aybar, Peter Bourjos, Alberto Callaspo and Vernon Wells. Yes, Vernon Wells.
  • David Eckstein had a bunch of Major League offers for 2011, but he chose to walk away. Here’s why.
  • The playoffs could be expanded to two Wild Card teams soon. And that could only mean one thing.
  • Saturday’s scrimmage is tentatively scheduled for 12:30 p.m. MT at Tempe Diablo Stadium. No, it will not be televised.
  • Don’t look for veterans like LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen or Scott Downs to throw in that game. They’re taking it extra slow with their throwing programs and may not pitch in the Cactus League schedule’s first week.
  • Mark Trumbo isn’t getting reps in the outfield yet, but could soon once his running progresses far enough.
  • Catcher Robinzon Diaz, a non-roster invitee, finally got his visa issues cleared and has arrived at Angels camp.
  • No Chris Bosh, no problem. Heat keep rolling with a 107-93 win over the Blazers on Thursday night. That’s nine in a row, all by  double-figures. Sheer dominance.


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