The California Angels, losers of eleven of their last thirteen games and occupants of the American League cellar, arrived at Yankee Stadium and greeted with some stinging comments from back home courtesy of the New York papers. The club departed Baltimore after a disastrous series finale in which the O’s scored eight runs in the eighth inning to stun the Angels, 9-4. Club President Bob Reynolds was quoted as calling his team zombies. “We’re playing like zombies in a fog,” said Reynolds. The Big A was quiet except for an agitated phone conversation between Reynolds and general manager Fred Haney. “I haven’t seen any of that come-from-behind flair this year,” said Reynolds. “Gene (Autry) and I are damn worried. I told Haney that we should have some answers for this thing.”
“This thing” is an 18-35 record, a team batting average of .214, last in the American League, only one regular above .250 and a strikeout pace which will eclipse the major league record. “Our hitting,” said Reynolds, bluntly, “has been atrocious. We’re not capitalizing on breaks.” Reynolds’ concern is written in dollars and cents and he can make no sense from the Angels’ current posture. “Gene and I,” said the former Stanford football star, “both believed that the Angels, at the very least, would be a first division club.” Haney added, “I think some of it stems from the fact that we’re expanding next year. Some of our guys just don’t appear to give a damn. They seem to thing that if we don’t want them, one of the expansion teams will. Their approach is that they’ve got it made.”
Message received back East as the Angels took the twin-bill that night at Yankee Stadium. Don Mincher hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the seventh to win the lidlifter. In the second game, the Halos showed some of that come-from-behind flair with a four-run ninth inning to roar past the Yankees, 6-3. Tom Satriano and JIm Fregosi hit two-run doubles to account for the scoring in the inning.