For Ben and Raymond, they maintain a sentiment of baseball as religion; men of faith putting their trust both in the word of God and Vin Scully. They both believe in the Miracle of the Resurrection and Game 1 of the ‘88 World Series. Both have been unfaithful baseball bigamists; Raymond with the Angels and Ben with the Red Sox. Their faiths have undergone as much change as their favorite team's roster. So they write about it. They write about Baseball and they write about God.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Geographical Blasphemy

I’m glad you brought up the Angels. I have a bone to pick. I’ll admit it. Like so many other Angelenos, I caught Angel fever in the Fall of 2002. We were both there for the ALCS clincher against the Twins. We stood and applauded while King Fish paraded around the field with the trophy hoisted above his head. I’ve got the ticket stub and Angels cap to prove it. God forgive me! I even dressed as Michael Eisner for Halloween that year!

(Sidnote 1: Do you remember how Eisner used to have John Travolta in the Owner’s Box during playoff games? Weird.)

(Sidenote 2: Let the record show, however, that I never played with Thundersticks and I was never brought to my feet by the Rally Monkey.)

But could you blame us? The entire Angels coaching staff was made up of 1988 Dodgers!
Our beloved Blue turned its back on Mike Scioscia, denied him the managerial position he so richly deserved and forced him and his old teammates to defect to Orange County. Murdoch ignored our rich baseball legacy, pawned the franchise off for an expanding television network, then left our team for dead. Do you remember Glen Hoffman?!?!

And so there we were, applauding OUR heroes (Sciosc, Alfredo Griffin, Mickey Hatcher) in their quest to take the Halos to the Promised Land. We hated the Fox Corp so much, every win the Angels tallied was both a “take that Murdoch!” and an “ouch! That hurts!” The confusion of our fan base could only be equaled by that of the citizens of Wisconsin and their rollercoaster relationship with Brett Favre. Somehow, we justified our rooting for Anaheim. And they won. They defeated our arch rivals, the Giants, in soul crushing fashion. Down 5 runs and only 8 outs away from watching San Francisco earn its first title since they were the NEW YORK Giants, the Angels rallied and went on to win both Games 6 and 7.

But then something happened. Angels fans got cocky. They started flocking to the ballpark in droves. Sell out after sell out, wielding thundersticks and rally monkeys and brand new Angels caps. All of a sudden, the media was talking about how great Halos fans were. I couldn’t believe it! A fan base duped an entire nation into thinking it was long suffering and, somehow, deserving of this championship. When in reality, it was a bunch of Dodgers who made it happen! It was utterly sickening. I lived 23 years of my life in Southern California, even had an annual pass to Disneyland (just a relay throw from Angels Stadium) and I NEVER knew an Angels fan until October 2002!

They came to Dodger Stadium and took dead aim at us during Interleague Play. Those series’ were heated. Beers flew! Fists too! Fans were getting shot in the parking lot! Arte Moreno (the billionaire advertiser who bought the team off of Disney) marched out his plan to invade, buying billboards in OUR city, claiming that the Angels belonged to L.A.!!! There he was! Staking claim in enemy territory! When, after a year of public debate, Arte did the unthinkable. He reached deep into his arsenal and dropped a bomb that sent shock waves throughout the Southland. Through a teeny loophole in the Angels contract with the City of Anaheim, Arte renamed the ballclub…

The LOS ANGELES Angels of Anaheim.

*Insert me gouging my eyes out with a Thunderstick.

How could Arte get away with such Geographical Blasphemy?

2 Irrefutable things we know about the Angels.
1. The Angels originated in Los Angeles. Played at California’s version of Wrigley Field while they were in the old California League then moved to Dodger Stadium when they entered the American League. Admittedly, in some respects, the Angels are more indigenous to L.A. than the Dodgers.

2. (And this is a big 2!) The Angels play in Anaheim. Anaheim is in Orange County. Not Los Angeles. Not even Los Angeles County. It’s not different than renaming the Red Sox, the Worcester (pronounced “Wooster”) Red Sox of Boston or the
Oakland Giants of San Francisco.

Utter nonsense.

I have to admit. My hatred for the Angels burns deeper than mine for the Giants. It’s a new generation and Interleague Play as well as Scioscia’s defection have burgeoned the rivalry to a Five Alarm Fire. THIS is what Brooklynites must have felt about their rivals in the nearby borough. This is what rivalries are made of. Staking claim to territory. Crammed shoulder to shoulder with your enemy.

God! I hate Angels!

Re: The Syphilis
3 Candidates to Replace Him.

Ted Tuner-He wouldn’t have a hard time getting elected because he’d protect the owners interests (because he is one). He’s a man of innovation and risk. He has an old west flavor about him- a cross between Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis and Dirty Harry. And he’s quotable with a sharp mind and a clever wit. A good representative of baseball.

Tommy Lasorda- Perhaps he’s more of an ambassador, but I’d totally entrust baseball to one of its passionate lovers. He adores the game and wants nothing but the best for it. He’s hard nosed and isn’t afraid to spout off when something irks him. Ask Dave Kingman. But mostly, he’d care for the game like a museum curator, preserving every moment for the good of eternity and scribbling love sonnets to its greatness

George Bush- It’s crazy but isn’t Baseball Commissioner what Dubbya wanted all along? He owned the Rangers. He may have not been fit enough to lead the free world but his “I can see myself sitting at the bar and having a beer with him quality” might be an asset in MLB.

One last thing: I second the motion on Doubleday Dogs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea! The Angels suck! Remember when they were all smiley after winning only won one stupid game against the Sox!? It's not like game 7 or anything! And Torii Hunter! Ugh!

- Laura

December 15, 2009 10:21 AM


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