Field of Schemes
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December 31, 2004

Halos, by any other name

The Anaheim Angels name controversy looks to be headed for court. As you'll recall, new owner Arte Moreno wants to attract a broader fan base by renaming the team the Los Angeles Angels, the moniker the team was known by in the early 1960s, when it actually played in Los Angeles. The city of Anaheim says that this would violate the terms of the deal signed back in 1996, when the city chipped in $40 million for stadium renovations, and in exchange the team's then-owners, Disney, agreed to rename the then-California Angels as the Anaheim Angels.

Confused yet? Then hang onto your caps, because the cavalcade of names isn't over yet. Noticing that the team's lease doesn't actually require the name Anaheim Angels, but only says that the team name must "include the name Anaheim therein," Moreno proposed redubbing the team the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim." Now you're just being ridiculous, replied city officials - who then charged the team with already being in violation of its lease by removing the name "Anaheim" from the team's uniforms and promotional materials.

"There's been a systematic stripping of the name Anaheim," city attorney Jack White (different Jack White) told the L.A. Times. "We didn't get the benefit of what we paid for." Legal experts don't seem to think the city has much of a case; as one told the Times: "If the city drafted it and didn't put in exactly what they wanted, it's the old slap against the forehead oops! Courts usually don't give the benefit of the doubt to whoever drafted it in an ambiguous way."

COMMENTS

Arte Moreno is an outsider from Arizona that does not understand that in southern California there are three (Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego) very distinct factions of people and everyone living here connects with one them. Even if you live in Imperial County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, or Ventura County you identify with one of the three largest counties. The real problem is that the team should be called the Orange County Angels, or just the O.C. Angels and Mr. Moreno needs to push television execs to realize he is part of a huge market no matter what he calls his team.

Posted by H. Alan Polk on December 31, 2004 12:42 PM

I can see the O.C. Angels or the Orange County Angels, but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? You got to be kidding.

Southern California Angels might even work, and even California Angels, but Los Angeles Angels doesn't even make sense.

Although, Los Angeles is the city of Angels, so I might be wrong.

Posted by Drew on January 3, 2005 07:35 PM

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