Watching Jeff DaVanon

Watching Jeff DaVanon

A weblog devoted to #55 of the Anaheim Angels, Jeff DaVanon. How is he doing? Is he getting his due respect yet? Let's watch and see...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I Still Miss Hearing "Keep Away" in the Ninth....

The Angels were in the fight of their lives Friday night. Struggling to put an end to their four-game losing streak, and desperately trying to maintain their lead in the American League West after an Oakland loss, the game pushed into extra innings - and my mind (and heart) were elsewhere. Dr. Lewis Yocum was due to examine former Angel Troy Percival that night. His findings would either give him hope for one more season or let him know his career had come to a close.

If surgery on Percy's elbow is needed, it would necessitate a twelve-month recovery period - in addition to significantly lessening the closer's velocity. However, if Dr. Yocum determines surgery is not needed, that would be the impetus for Percy to mount another comeback and finish his two-year $12 million contract. Earlier this year, Percival stated that 2006 would be his last year as a player. "I'm hoping to have one last good year," said Percival in Friday's Detroit Free Press.

During the third inning of the game, Troy delivered the news. "He (Yocum) told me to try it in December, that he didn't see the need for surgery," Percival said. "I might throw two pitches, and that'll be it. I might throw for weeks and then start to feel it and shut it down then. Or I might be able to come to spring training."

So, only time will tell if the Angel saves leader will ever take the mound again to Godsmack's "Keep Away." - As an Angel, he originally took the mound as Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" blasted from the stadium loudspeakers. Eventually, that gave way to the Godsmack song - which is still the tune I associate with not just him or that 2002 season, but with baseball. This season with Detroit, he experimented with different music and had little success on the mound. It wasn't until he switched back to "Keep Away" that he finally started to perform like the closer who has notched over three hundred saves.

Yes, I know the Angels made the right decision in letting Percy go and promoting K-Rod to the closer's position. But it doesn't mean I can't wax nostalgic about my favorite Angel. I'll always have fond memories of #40 running from the bullpen gate to the infield, circling the mound after his warm-up tosses, before squatting to focus on a single blade of grass.

This weekend at the games vs. the Detroit Tigers I'll, of course, be cheering for the Angels - but while wearing a jersey with the name and number of the Angel great.

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