Have the Angels Surpassed the Dodgers for LA Supremacy?
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made a lot of bold strides since Arte Moreno took over as the owner, including winning the World Series in 2002. Just this past offseason, they made some pretty bold moves by signing first baseman Albert Pujols and starter C.J. Wilson, taking both players away from the reigning pennant winners.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on the other hand, have dealt with owner issues while their former owner Frank McCourt spent most of his time and money dealing with a divorce, rather than on the team. Because of that, the Dodgers missed the postseason for the second straight year and struggled with attendance all season long.
So that raises the question, have the Boys of Summer been overtaken by the "little brother" Angels as the supreme team of Southern California?
The Dodgers have a rich history of developing their own talent and having great success with them. Just take a look at a few of the names: Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Piazza and now Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp. Kershaw won the 2011 Cy Young award and Kemp finished a very close second in the 2011 MVP race.
On the other hand, the Angels have brought in most of their biggest names in franchise history. Rod Carew had his best days in Minnesota, Reggie Jackson was a shadow of his former self in Oakland and New York, and Nolan Ryan started with the Mets and bolted for the Rangers.
Even two of their biggest names on the current roster were just signed as free agents, Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. They have had some success—Tim Salmon, Jered Weaver and Francisco Rodriguez come to mind—but none of them stir the imagination like those in the Dodgers history.
The Dodgers have Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin as their lead broadcasters; Scully on TV and Jarrin as the Spanish radio play-by-play announcer. Those two men have provided the soundtrack to summers in Los Angeles for over 50 years and have become the gold standard for broadcasters throughout the league.
The Angels have some quality broadcasters in Victor Rojas and Jose Mota, but neither one can hold a candle to Scully or Jarrin. Both Dodger broadcasters are members of the Hall of Fame and they are the best baseball broadcasters in their respective languages.
Both Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium are located in big parking lots. But one of them has the Hollywood hills behind center field and downtown Los Angeles behind home plate while the other has the 57 freeway and the Honda Center beyond the center field walls.
That first stadium is Dodger Stadium, a stadium that is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. It may not be state of the art, but Chavez Ravine is a beautiful setting for a ballgame, and it has the added charm of a "Think Blue" sign in the hills.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim has improved a lot since the Rams left town, but it lacks the character that Dodger Stadium has. They do have a cool rock waterfall though.
Let's get this straight, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are not located in Los Angeles. They aren't even in Los Angeles County. The only reason they are associated with the City of Angels is because of Arte Moreno's business savvy and attempts to expand the Angels' brand.
But true Angels fans think it's ridiculous that the team is associated with Los Angeles. I mean, the team is located less than four miles away from Disneyland after all.
How much more LA can you get than Magic Johnson?
Not much, and luckily for the Dodgers, he's the front-man of the new ownership group. His arrival has reinvigorated the fanbase and brought excitement back to Los Angeles baseball—real LA baseball.
Arte Moreno has done an outstanding job with the Angels and has become one of the more well-liked owners in all of Major League Baseball. But for LA, a city that loves the Showtime Lakers, there is no one more LA than the man who led the Showtime Lakers, the one and only Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
The Angels are no longer the afterthought team they once were—in fact, it's very likely that they have a better season than the Dodgers. But at the end of the day, they just don't have the history or tradition that the Dodgers have.
And they also don't have titles.