Archive for the 'Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim' Category

Angels, Anaheim square off over team name chage

For nearly a year, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have borne the brunt of many baseball jokes. Why don’t they add a few more cities to their name? Or why don’t other teams adopt some more cities? The Brooklyn Dodgers of Los Angeles, anyone?

For the last year, while everyone else has laughed at the utter ridiculously of this marketing gimmick, the City of Anaheim hasn’t been in on the joke. In fact, the City of Anaheim – a distinct municipality with Orange County in California – has been so incensed by this slight that they took Moreno to court.

This week the lawsuit between the Angels and Anaheim got underway, and so far, it’s been an lesson on how not to make friends conducted by Moreno.

Last year, when Moreno announced the name change, his intentions were clear. The Angels had long played second fiddle to Dodgers, their neighbors 30 miles to the north. While Los Angeles and Anaheim are two distinct entities in one giant urban sprawl, Moreno played upon the sprawl perception and adopted the Los Angeles moniker in front of the Angels.

But Moreno couldn’t completely omit Anaheim from the name. According to the lease signed by Disney, the then-owners of the Angels, and the City of Anaheim a few years ago, the city agreed to kick in $20 million for stadium renovations as long as Anaheim appeared somewhere in the team’s name.

The question at issue now is whether or not the current name with its convoluted structure adheres to that deal. Based on recent testimony in the case, this is one contest the Angels probably won’t win.

Over the last few days, the Angels have relied on a strategy designed to show that they have not broken the contract stipulating that the team name “include the name Anaheim therein.” The official team name is still the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

However, the official name and the actions of the team’s owner seem to be at odds. Nearly every mention of Anaheim is absent from team merchandise, and earlier this year, Moreno sent a memo to the other Major League Baseball teams asking them to refer to the team as being from Los Angeles instead of from Anaheim.

During his testimony this week, Moreno put on an exhibition of how not to win over friends in Anaheim. At one point, he noted that the name changed was focused around drawing fans from the “L.A. media market.” In doing so, he compared the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the New York Yankees and Mets. Those two teams don’t pay homage to the Bronx and Queens respectively; why should he pay homage to Anaheim?

Of course, what Moreno failed to mention contains a little lesson in geography. The Bronx and Queens are part of New York City while Anaheim is part of the O.C. It’s not a borough in Los Angeles; it’s not a suburb of Los Angeles; and in fact, it’s a good 30 miles away from Los Angeles. The New York Jets and Giants of New Jersey are closer to their namesake than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are to theirs.

While Moreno stands by his decision that keeping Anaheim in the name, albeit on a second-tier basis, is within the letter of the lease, the City of Anaheim is relying on testimony from the original framers of the lease to show that Moreno is in fact breaking the terms of the lease. Last week, the city called upon Tony Tavares, the president of the Angels in 1996 who negotiated the lease with the city officials.

During his testimony, Tavares said that team officials promised city officials that Anaheim would appear prominently in marketing and print coverage around the country. The spirit of the phrase “include the name Anaheim therein” was supposed to be an all-encompassing term covering the team and its relationship to the city. It was not meant to be the literal phrase Moreno has interpreted it to be.

This argument may or may not be enough to convince jurors. Moreno, in rebutting Tavares’ testimony, wondered why the city couldn’t get a guarantee of the name Anaheim Angels built into the lease. The response focused around Michael Eisner’s original intent to call the team the Mighty Angels of Anaheim, a worse name than the one they have now.

So far, it’s unclear whose reasoning will hold up in court. But it is clear that Moreno’s antagonism isn’t going to win him many converts in a City that has tried to distance itself from Los Angeles in an effort to establish an identity outside of Disneyland.

In the end, at the heart of this matter is whether or not the name change hurts tourism in Anaheim. While the Angels have benefited from a closer association with Los Angeles, what has this negligence done to Anaheim? A jury could end up awarding the city nearly $100 million in damages.

As this saga plays out, it will be interesting to see the response of the city if the Angels win. One thing is clear: Cities, already wary of public financing for stadiums, will be driving harder bargains to maintain geographic ties with teams receiving their welfare.

Of course, one way out of this sticky mess could just be for the Angels to adopt a Spanish name. If they called themselves Los Angeles de Anaheim, everyone would win.

Advertisements

RSS River Ave. Blues

  • 2018 Midseason Review: The Rotation July 18, 2018
    It is kind of incredible how good the Yankees rotation has been despite a laundry list of injuries (spoiler alert: three of the starting pitchers discussed below are or were on the disabled list) and the usual off-season/pre-season question marks. They rank: 5th in GB% 5th in soft contact percentage 6th in fWAR 6th in […] The post 2018 Midseason Review: The […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Manny off the market: Machado reportedly heading to Dodgers July 18, 2018
    It always felt like a long shot — it did to me, anyway — and we can now rule out the Yankees trading for Manny Machado. According to multiple reports, Machado is being traded to the Dodgers for a package that includes as many as five prospects. An official announcement and a press conference is […] The post Manny off the market: Machado reportedly heading to […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Judge goes deep in yet another AL win in the All-Star Game July 18, 2018
    For the sixth consecutive season, the American League has won the All-Star Game. The AL won Tuesday night’s Home Run Derby All-Star Game thanks to Alex Bregman’s and George Springer’s back-to-back homers off Ross Stripling in the tenth inning. Bregman was named MVP. The final score was 8-6, and here are the box score and […] The post Judge goes deep in yet a […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Florial continues to rake on rehab assignment July 18, 2018
    Some quick notes: C Anthony Seigler, this year’s first round pick, has not played since July 4th, though Josh Norris says he’s not hurt, so that’s good. Not sure why he hasn’t played lately though. Kinda weird. UPDATE: Norris says Seigler has a minor hamstring issue. So there you go. C Josh Breaux, this year’s […] The post DotF: Florial continues to rake on […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2018 All-Star Game Thread July 17, 2018
    Tonight in Washington, baseball’s best players and brightest stars will gather at Nationals Park for the 89th annual All-Star Game. The MLB All-Star Game is, by frickin’ far, the best All-Star Game among the four major North American sports. It is not even a contest. The Yankees have four All-Stars this season: Aroldis Chapman, Aaron […] The post 2018 All-St […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2018 Midseason Review: The Outfielders July 17, 2018
    On the position player side of things, the outfield has been the biggest strength for the 2018 Yankees so far this season. The team’s outfielders have combined for a .261/.353/.480 (123 OPS+) batting line and they rank fourth in baseball in OBP, second in SLG, and second in OPS+. They’re also third with +26 DRS […] The post 2018 Midseason Review: The Outfiel […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The All-Star break comes at a good for Luis Severino as his workload continues to climb July 17, 2018
    Later tonight Luis Severino will take part in his second All-Star Game, and he’s actually going to pitch this year. American League manager A.J. Hinch announced yesterday Severino will be the first guy out of the bullpen behind starter Chris Sale. Severino made the All-Star team last year but did not pitch. This year he’s […] The post The All-Star break come […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2018 Midseason Review: The Infielders July 17, 2018
    A large portion of the Yankees off-season was spent worrying about who would be manning the keystone and the hot corner. There was buzz, of course, that Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar would be given the keys eventually – but it seemed unlikely (at best) that the organization would be starting two rookies on Opening […] The post 2018 Midseason Review: The […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • DotF: Sanchez homers again in second rehab game July 17, 2018
    Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (5-0 win over Toledo) CF Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K DH Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K — two homers in two rehab games … he’s getting an off-day tomorrow, then will catch nine innings Wednesday 1B Tyler Austin: […] The post DotF: Sanchez homers again in second rehab game appeared first […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2018 Home Run Derby Open Thread July 16, 2018
    The Home Run Derby is a little less exciting this year. Last year Aaron Judge stole the show and won the whole damn thing convincingly, but unfortunately he elected not to defend his title this year. A bummer — I’m not sure there’s anything in baseball I enjoy more than watching Judge hit dingers — […] The post 2018 Home Run Derby Open Thread appeared first […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 62,707 hits
Advertisements