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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pickoff Moves

Colon Leaves Game Early With Back Spasms

Bartolo Colon left a spring training game against the Rockies early due to back spasms. Colon says he isn't hurt, but he said the same thing last year in June when ankle problems limited his effectiveness.

Hensley Down, Other Angels Roster Moves

Frank Fires Torpedoes At The Los Angeles Angels

Frank wrote this letter to the Times editor, which I quote in full:
From the tenor of David Ulin's commentary on what he calls "L.A.'s baseball heritage" ("Mixing Signals to Steal Home," March 13), it is clear he is not a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is certainly his right. It is not his right, however, to misstate and distort the facts to support his misguided belief that the Dodgers are not, as he puts it, "the one true team of Los Angeles." There is only one Major League Baseball team in Los Angeles, city or county — the Dodgers.

Ulin's denigration of the Dodgers' Brooklyn roots is equally misguided. Like all great cities, Los Angeles is a city of immigrants, and both the Dodger franchise and its current owners are proud to number themselves among the countless strivers who have come here to make a better life for themselves.

As for Mr. Ulin's insinuation that the Angels got here first, that's just silly. If "here" means Los Angeles, they're not here; they're in Anaheim. Beyond the similarity of names, the current major-league Angels franchise has absolutely no connection to the old minor-league Los Angeles Angels franchise.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, are the same organization that was known to an earlier generation of fans as the beloved Bums of Brooklyn.

The Dodgers are proud to be L.A.'s team, and we're confident that this season the team is once again going to make L.A. proud.

Frank McCourt


Los Angeles Dodgers

Except. Except that the Angels apparently have legal title to the "Los Angeles Angels" name, which they bought at the time the team was created and used for several years while playing in the old club's Wrigley Field, and later in Chavez Ravine. So claiming there's "no connection" is what's silly. Sure, the "Los Angeles" appelation is ridiculous -- no denying that. But for a Yankee carpetbagger to come here and claim the Angels are the intruders in some Garden of Eden scenario -- the native Angels, who his adopted team crushed out of existence in 1958 -- well, it's enough gall to be divided in three parts.

But, what do I know. If, as I have suspected, this is all just a silly marketing game, both sides have to play, the Dodgers have to strut and preen, talk about Jackie Robinson and the great Dodger teams of yore and their recent Division title, while the Angels have to claim their affinity to the market, their up-and-comingness, and their recent World Series and Division championships to prove it. Meantime, both sides sell a mess of tickets. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.

My humblest apologies if I've made this point here before. In a recent letter to me, Arte Moreno (well, gee, in all likelihood one of his subordinates writing over Arte's signature) stated the Angels are looking at the best way to acknowledge that 2005 is the 100th year of Angels baseball.

Can't you just imaging the look on McCourt's face if that ever came to pass? His hissy fit would put the Tasmanian Devil to shame!
Please note that the country that Orlando Cabrera is from is Colombia.

Two "o"s and no "u."
Uncle Al -- you e-mailed me that, but I decided the better of publishing the bit about Moreno and marketing genii promoting the Angels in that way.

Anon -- you are correct, and it should be corrected presently.

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