Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Baseball: Are You Sure George Bush Doesn't Still Own a Baseball Team?

I heard this on NPR this morning, got all outraged, and then forgot about it. The Hall of Fame discussion reminded me of the dumbest sports story of the year (so far).
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Baseball's Angels have a new name, and it's a mouthful: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The switch, which will be challenged in court by the city of Anaheim, is intended to help the team market itself to more of Southern California, attract more advertising sponsors and broadcast revenue, the team said Monday.

"We believe that the appeal in the marketplace will be broader," Angels spokesman Tim Mead said.

Biggest bullshit idea in sports marketing I've ever heard. Not to mention it's just plain wrong. The only viable alternative (to me) is to change back to the California Angels, but since the team got the City of Anaheim to pony up $20 million to fix up the stadium a few years ago by agreeing to call the team the Anaheim Angels, Moreno should be shit out of luck. Let's hope the court agrees.

[FOLLOW-UP] I guess the legality of the change is up to interpretation of the contract:
The clause in the 1996 agreement between the Angels and the city of Anaheim is ambiguous and therefore it could be up to the courts to decide whether or not the new name is adequate. In exchange for $20 million in renovations, the team agreed to include Anaheim in their name.

Section 11. Advertising and Sponsorship
(f) Team Name
Tenant will change the name of the team to include the name "Anaheim" therein, such change to be effective no later than the commencement of the 1997 season.

Bullshit. Yes, "Anaheim" is still "included" in the name, but I don't think the sixth word (sure to be left off the uniforms, etc) is what they had in mind. This clearly isn't in the spirit of the agreement. Let's hope the judge is an old-school fan.

Oh, and the Angels had the third-highest attendance last year. They're doing fine without pretending they're in L.A. Change the colors back to blue if you aren't selling enough merchandise. But I don't mean the Mo Vaughn-era cartoon uniforms, I mean the old Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew ones.

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