Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a Major League Baseball team that some people think plays close enough to Los Angeles to really legitimately be called a Los Angeles team, ignoring the fact that it's a four-hour drive from Anaheim to Los Angeles.
What's in a name?
I mean, besides the city the team plays in. Oh, wait...
Civic Identity Crisis
Besides always losing to the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs, the biggest issue surrounding this team is its civic identity. When they actually factually really-illy did play in Los Angeles when they were first born in 1961, no one wondered about the name: Los Angeles Angels. There is a cute little hispanic pleasantry hidden in there for the reader to uncover. The Angels' original owner, Gene the singing cowboy, was Mickey Mouse's bestest friend, so he moved the team to Anaheim so he could be close to Mickey while he watched his little team play. But since no one, much less Japanese kids (see below), knew what Anaheim was, and since they moved out of Los Angeles rendering the "Los Angeles" identification incorrect (as incorrect then as it is now), he decided to identify them with the whole state, which turned out to be a lot larger than he realized. But he didn't care. California Angels it was. No one cared that the little Spanish cute-ism was now lost. It took a brilliant mind like Gene's friend Mickey Mouse, who bought the team in 1997, to realize that you can actually identify a team by the city it plays in, even if that city is puny little Anaheim, larger mind you than most hockey cities. Mickey Mouse gave the team its most appropriate name since leaving Los Angeles, The Anaheim Angels.
The Latest Controversial Name Change
A businessman named Arte Moreno bought the team from Mr. Mouse in 2003 and gave it its controversial new name, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The reason Moreno gave for the name change from Anaheim to Los Angeles is that no Japanese kid would ever want to buy an Anaheim jersey. Japanese kids don't even know what Anaheim is. If you ask a Japanese kid where "Disneyrand" is, he'll just say "Somewhere near Ros Angeres, I sink?"
The problem is, when Mouse sold the team to Moreno, there was a stipulation in the sale contract that the new owner had to keep the city name "Anaheim" in the team's official name. But, that isn't really fair. So, he did what any reasonable entrepreneur would do. He put the city name "Anaheim" in the team name surely enough, but way way down at the very end of it in itty bitty letters. Of course, the fact that ESPN (not to mention the Orange County Register) has never ever used the Anaheim portion of the name in publication reveals Moreno's bad faith - in fact it is the very legal definition of bad faith, but the important thing is that the Angels are a Los Angeles team.
It doesn't matter anyway. Arte Moreno is the greatest owner the team has ever had, so, he could call them the Cunt City Monkey Pussies if he wanted to. Anaheim fans don't care. As long as they keep winning.
And Keep Winning They Do
The Angels are the best baseball team named after a thing with wings in North America. Only teams named after articles of clothing seem to ever beat them. They play in the American League West division, which pits them against drug-addled thugs, caffeine-addicted losers and a team once "owned" by the worst president ever. Some would say this means they always win this division simply by default, and the fact that they can't beat Boston in the playoffs is proof.
Well.... OK. I got nothing. I concede. Damn Red Sox.
Angels baseball tradition: a heart-warming tale of loss, attempted murder and death
The Angels began as an experiment in losing to the Yankees in 1961, and they have been almost perfect in this effort since then.
Perhaps their most famous loss to the Yankees is now synonymous with murder-suicide. Scott Norwood has lived down his famous choke compared to Donnie Moore.
Late summer, 1986. I was sitting on the sofa in my parents' house, a strapping young life-long Angel fan of twenty-one losing years. My little brother was beside me, my parents at the far end of the couch. Many many years of losing to the New York Yankees lingered between us, if not proof that Orange County baseball has any nostalgia or tradition at all.
But this was different. "Yes We Can!" echoed from Anaheim Stadium into our living room. Donnie Moore, the season's consummate closer, the dreaded fastballer, got us to within one strike of our first World Series. He faced down steroid-free Yankees batter Dave Henderson with one strike, one man on and a one-run lead. A fast ball whizzed by Henderson and my little brother lept into the air screaming "World Series!" He thought it was strike three. Poor kid. We calmed him, and bit our knuckles.
"Fast ball right down the middle - blow it right by him, Donnie!" I cried. Sure enough, Fast ball right down the middle. A big fat grapefruit. Henderson lifted that puppy up and over the wall, and the Red Sox, once again, killed us.
Donnie Moore then shot his wife and killed himself in front of his young daughter, but not before Angels fans ripped him to shreds the following season every time he stepped on the mound.
You see? Even Angel fans have endearing, heart-warming baseball lore to reminisce about.
As if to ruin their reputation, the Angels did win the World Series once. But it was only because something went wrong, and they didn't end up needing to play the Red Sox in the playoffs that year. So it doesn't really count. Asterisk.
The Great Satire-Ruining Debacle of 2009
The aforementioned perennial Angel-killers, the Boston Red Sox, in 2009 seem to have harbored a great vendetta against satirical encyclopedia article writers, and decided to compromise their best Angels team joke. They gave away their playoff series against them, as if to say, "Take that, satirists! The Angels don't always lose to us! Hah!" But it's not to worry - the joke isn't killed. One win out of seven does not exceed the statute of limitations on the word "always" when it comes to satire. The joke remains, if a bit tarnished by a new reality - the Angels "always" lose to the Red Sox, except that one time when they didn't.
The Angels, new and improved (read: less scoring power), lost their wings and went back to continue their proud tradition of losing at home. They ended the season 80-82 and missed the postseason the first time since 2006. And no one even had to get killed.
- though only forty-mile
- This is not an exaggeration.
- This is a defensible statement. Teams with wings: Angels, Blue Jays, Orioles, Cardinals. As of now, Angels are better than these. Do Rays have wings? I don't think so. And anyway, I think the Angels are better than the Rays, too. Whatever. This is a weird argument. Shut up.
- Look it up, Limey - this is a baseball article.