Angels With Dirty Faces
I hate the Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim. If you've never visited Angel Stadium, it sits surrounded by highways and tract homes, in the faceless suburb of Anaheim. Anaheim, of course, was royally screwed over something as small as a name: The Angels Baseball Corporation agreed to call themselves "The Anaheim Angels" in exchange for over $100 million of ballpark upgrades. This would, in the mind of the city fathers, no doubt good men and women who have the sprinkler systems on their lawns timed perfectly, improve the image of the city, and put Anaheim on the map.
The city held up its end, new owners arrived (having bought the team from Disney, whose themepark sits in Anaheim--have I convinced you that this is hell on earth yet?), and promptly dumped "Anaheim" to the end. The suburb was furious, but the owners got away with it. They always do.
But God damn it all, this team is just so damned uninteresting, historically, and, to me, in the present. Rally monkeys and thunderstix. A cavernous stadium that is no comparison to lovely Dodger Stadium. Sure, The Angels are playing great, they have the best record at home (a whopping 23-8, which includes last evening's drumming of the Twins, 16-3), and a number of awesome players. But I fucking hate 'em. The Angels represent suburban baseball at its worst. It's almost 30 miles from L.A. and with traffic takes longer than it would for you or I to mosey down to Rochester for lunch in the Mayo Clinic cafeteria.
Baseball is more than just its personalities on the field--it's also where those personalities play, what they mean to their community, and, in the mind of this fan, how they build upon their history. When this club won it big a few years ago, all they could talk about was Gene Autry. That's history?
Then again, maybe I just hate these bums because I associate them with Jim Jones. My Grandma, who lived somewhere in the vast expanse of L.A., sent me an Angels cap, perhaps to counter my Grandpa's giving me a Dodgers hat (they were divorced; he also lived in L.A.;I enjoyed the largess, but the Dodgers remain my National League team.) Unfortunately, I received it on the same day that I watched footage of Jonestown, and I swear those bloated bodies pop into my head whenever I see an Angels game.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.