Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Court: Angels Can Keep "L.A." Name for Now

In a blow to the city of Anaheim's ongoing battle to have their name reinstated as part of the Angels official moniker, a state appeals court ruled that the Angels can continue to refer to themselves as the Los Angeles Angels until the matter goes to trial on November 7th.

In a case that gets weaker and less relevant by the moment, the city was hoping a temporary injunction would restore the name "Anaheim Angels" to the organization. Angels owner Arte Moreno changed the name in January in order to make the team more marketable to not only all Southern Californians, but to those outside the area who want to associate themselves with the name "Los Angeles". Just not necessarily followed by "Dodgers".

Anaheim is facing an uphill battle as the Angels are enjoying one of their best seasons on the field and are referred to on a daily basis by local, national and international media as the "Los Angeles Angels" and occasionally as the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" (their official name). The LA Angels name, while certainly not warmly embraced by many Halo faithful, is at the very least being tolerated thanks in large part to their first-place standing in the American League West Division. This latest set-back for the city of Anaheim comes just as the Angels are making their most aggressive push of the season, opening a 6 1/2 game lead over second-place Texas and establishing themselves as one of the elite teams in Major League Baseball.

The 'worst-case' scenario for the city would be for the Angels to go on to win the World Series. But even a Division Championship as the "Los Angeles Angels" could be enough to win over stubborn fans of the Anaheim Angels name. So far this season fans do not seem to be holding any grudges as the Angels are on course for another 3 million in attendance for the year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's disgusting that Arte Moreno would even think about putting the name Los Angeles in the Angels name. The world knows where Anaheim is - duh. As for fans, everyone I know hates it.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Uncle Al said...

If the city of Anaheim HAD prevailed, one wonders how enforceable the decision would have been? Especially given that the team's road uniforms simply display "Angels," and nowhere on the uniform or in any of the club's media packages is "Los Angeles" found. How can the courts or Curt Pringle force media outlets to change back?

It would seem to me that any order would be enforceable only in the state of California, and there is only one other AL team in the state. Could they really force Steinbrenner to remove the "LAA" sign in favor of "ANA"? Sorry Curt, but the simple fact is that "New York vs. Los Angeles" has cachet, suggesting the Battle of Titans, whereas "New York vs. Anaheim" conjures up at best Godzilla vs. Bambi.

One is reminded of the early years of baseball when, in 1901, like so many other players, Nap Lajoie defied the reserve clause in his Phillies contract and "jumped" to the cross-town Athletics of the upstart American League. The Phillies took him to court, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that he was still bound to the Phillies.

The problem was, however, that the ruling was only enforceable in the Keystone State. The A's traded Lajoie to Cleveland, and for the next 2 years (until the National Agreement was signed between the two leagues) he never set foot on Pennsylvania soil, sitting out road trips to Philadelphia.

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