Though off roster, Ibanez grateful for chance
ANAHEIM -- Raul Ibanez is not on the Royals' American League Division Series roster, but he is with the team back at Angel Stadium.
Ibanez, 42, began the season with the Angels as their designated hitter but was released on June 21 after 57 games. He was hitting .157 with three home runs and 21 RBIs at the time.
"I really enjoyed my time there, and I had a great experience with them," Ibanez said. "Unfortunately, I wasn't able to live up to my side of the bargain, my side of the deal, but I had a great experience. The organization's first class. Mike Scioscia and his staff are first class, and there's a first-class group of guys there."
Ibanez was signed by the Royals on June 30 but didn't do much better in Kansas City. He played in 33 games and hit .188 with two home runs and five RBIs.
"I knew that there would be opportunities, and there were multiple opportunities," Ibanez said. "It was just a matter of whether I felt that it was a good situation. I wanted to get an opportunity to win and be a part of something special. The Royals opportunity was by far the most intriguing one, considering the fact that they gave me the opportunity to play every day. They were the first team that believed in me and gave me a shot."
Ibanez has played in 44 postseason games, the most of any Royals player. His most famous moment came in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS for the Yankees against the Orioles. Ibanez hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth and a game-winning home run in the 12th to lift the Yankees to a 3-2 victory. He was also with the Phillies when they went to the World Series in 2009.
Ibanez just finished his 19th season in the big leagues but is not ready to decide if he will try to find a job next season.
"I don't look that far ahead," Ibanez said. "And for me to talk about something like that now wouldn't be productive for our club. But I guess we're going revisit that and talk about that after the postseason. Right now, the only thing I'm really focused on is helping our team win in any way I can."