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Scioscia stands up for Canadian baseball

By the time the Angels arrived in Toronto, the city was all stirred up by a Chicago Sun-Times story suggesting that Major League Baseball should relocate the Blue Jays out of Canada.

The article cited poor attendance at Rogers Centre early in the season. Only 14,779 fans showed up for the Angels' opener here on Friday night. Scioscia said he didn't notice the small crowd.

"They've been struggling with some things here as far as attendance, but it's still early yet and kids aren't out of school, I don't think," Scioscia said. "I think it's a great sports town and anybody who was here in the early 90s knows what this is about."

The Blue Jays also antagonized some fans by raising ticket prices after trading one of the best pitchers in the game, Roy Halladay, for prospects. The Blue Jays haven't been to the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1993.

Scioscia said he thinks the Blue Jays have enough young talent to return to contention.

"You look at some of the young players over there, the young arms with Ricky Romero, who we'll see tomorrow, and guys like Aaron Hill, who's hurt, there's definitely a young nucleus to that club that's got a chance to do some special things," Scioscia said.

FUENTES ON REHAB

Scioscia said closer Brian Fuentes, on the 15-day disabled list with back tightness, will work a rehab game at Single-A Lake Elsinore Monday. If that goes well, Fuentes likely would be activated Wednesday.

But will he be the closer? Fernando Rodney, who was 37 for 38 in save opportunities for the Detroit Tigers last year, has been perfect in two save chances in Fuentes' absence. He seems to thrive on pressure: Over the last two seasons, Rodney has a 2.66 ERA in save opportunities and a 6.69 ERA in other appearances.

"We'll see," Scioscia said. "I don't know if that's necessarily the case, but I know it was like that with Frankie Rodriguez and Troy Percival, too. I think with some guys there is a little validity to that."