Sunday, October 09, 2005


Yeah, the Angels of Los Angeles play in Anaheim.

I’m in a very cranky mood now. Might be the weather…yesterday, it was unbelievably nasty in the Big Apple, with 3 inches of rain and intense 40 mph wind, the remnants of Hurricane Tammy. I tried to take my girlfriend to B&H, a huge camera store on 34th Street and 9th Avenue that is run by successful Orthodox Jews. I never thought that, when we arrived there sodden to our skin, and our umbrellas bent and broken from the intense wind that tunneled thru the Manhattan canyons, B&H was CLOSED. Why do I keep forgetting that Orthodox Jews don’t do business on Saturdays?

Of course, we took the New York subways several times yesterday. So what if there are a bunch of bombers who want to blow themselves up – assuming the threat is as credible as the New York City government states? It rained cats and dogs outside, so what did we want to do? Rent a kayak and paddle down 5th Avenue? The only bombers we are interested in paying attention to are the Bronx Bombers, who might get bombed out by a team from the little town of Anaheim who calls itself the “Angels of Los Angeles.” No matter what some people say about the tortured decision by the Angels to associate themselves with a city 35 minutes north, I think it’s a brilliant marketing tactic. Few people outside the New York metro area realize the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in New Jersey, at a stadium a 35-minute drive from Manhattan via the geriatrically slow Lincoln Tunnel. Please, give the Angels a break. They’re tired of being the poor stepchild of California baseball, with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres getting more face time than a team that plays a stone’s throw from Adventureland and Tomorrowland. When they were first called the California Angels, I always thought the team played in a city called California. Then they called themselves the Anaheim Angels in a goodwill gesture with the town poo-bahs, but most people outside California think Anaheim is in Germany. (Yeah, true, the town was founded by German immigrants anyway. Mickey Mouse can get drunk at Oktoberfest.) When that didn’t work, something had to be done. So, just as the San Francisco Giants had McCovey Cove, the Anaheim Angels got the Rally Monkey.

Now, by calling themselves, literally, the Angels of the Angels, the baseball team formerly known as the Anaheim Angels is reaching for the clouds. Forget that it’s tongue-twisting torture to call an Angel player an angel’s angel. If anything, beating the hated Yankees will bring smiles to any real angel.

(For the record, I’m not a Yankees fan. I hang my hat with the Washington Nationals.)

Anaheim has always struck me as goofy. Along with the Rally Monkey and calling its baseball team the Angels of the Angels, the town also boasts a professional hockey team called the Mighty Ducks, who play at a place called the Pond. Its airport is named after John Wayne. I was in Anaheim for the first time a year ago, and it was miles and miles of houses and Vons supermarkets and endless sun and wide boulevards and palm trees and….yeah, you get it. It was incredibly beautiful outside – 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky – and there was hardly a soul to be seen on the sidewalks.

Honestly, I’ve never met anyone who’s an Angel fan. Regardless of their stellar performance the last few years, the Angels will always be the Los Angeles Clippers of major league baseball.

But it’s what’s on the field that matters. If the clouds part tonight – and I hope they do, since the forecast is for rain, rain, and more rain through Thursday – then I want to see the Angels of the Angels beat the Bombers of the Bronx.

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