5 Reasons L.A. Angels Are the New Kings of SoCal Baseball
If the Dodgers were a highway, they’d be built by bricks of Heaven.
In fact if you’re dreaming in Dodger Land you’re swimming in a sea of World Series rings and wading into the deep of 12 MVPs and 16 Rookies of the Years—including five straight rookie awards from 1992-1996, which list the inordinate Mike Piazza, who alone proved to be not only a rock defensively but an offensive dynamo as well.
Historically, the Dodgers are the cutting edge trendsetter for social causes, endorsing names like Jackie Robinson who not only embodied the call for love and diversity but set in motion a locomotive that tore through Jim Crow Law.
Sandy Koufax, one of the great arms in league history, was better known for his Jewish origins and love of culture. Koufax is a hero in the Jewish community for embodying his culture without shame, including skipping game one of the 1965 World Series on behalf of his tradition's holiday, Yom Kippur.
During an era in modern Jewish history that saw the Holocaust and the assembly of their nationhood topographically in 1948, Koufax’s ascent into baseball grandeur metaphorically took on a
transcendent stairway into spiritual and religious acuteness.
With that said, all along another team stood in the ashes, baring no name and lacking the historical excitement, relevance and players to back a folklore as rich as a Dodger team that hales with East/West nationhood and a livestock of tradition and economy.
But as of late, they’ve made more than Harry Doyle proud.
From the thickets has come fandom with halos of truism and a clout of providence. They’ve earned their stripes and their means for maniacal chants and game day melodies.
Hear me now: Angels baseball is the new king in Los Angeles.
Blame it on whatever you like. Call it an act of God or the attack of the devil in the form of Frank McCourt, but reasoning aside, the 21st century has a way of evolving a freeway series and creating a dynamic and bitterly resentful rivalry.
Since 2000, a shift in West Coast power severed a long time relationship with losing and inverted a hierarchical order. History has a way of overthrowing imperial powers and delivering a dominant repose of governance.
Call it fate, or call it hard work, but the Angels rule has just begun.
From Dust They Came...
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Age-old wisdom pillars this notion: all good things are earned with sweat, blood and tears.
If there is any franchise in all of baseball that has grossed their current competitiveness and decade long significance, it would be the California Angels (fact: “California” has a prophetic undertone worthy of continuing.)
While Dodger fans were used to winning and spouting a long grocery list of talent, Angel fans faithfully stay married to a list of one-time popular no-names like Brian Harvey, Chili Davis, Brian Downing and
Like Luis Polonia’s greasy curly cues, the cyclical ride of the above phrase has manifested its weight on this taciturn truth: reality is not pretty.
It takes everyday life experience to understand the gravitas of rooting for a winner.
The Dodger fan base is experiencing this costly test, which measures the buoyancy of their authenticity and, like gold in the fire, creates a purity of love for the game.
Angel fans are completely present in the game because of this, and are leading the charge in the call for an unpolluted sense of fan and franchise identity.
Reincarnation or Long Lost Twin Brother with a New Face?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Take a ride North between the bounding thigh shaped hillsides of California. Along your journey to San Francisco, spit toward the coast on the 580 by way of Oakland—a city long time confused by the Oak in the primary phrase of the city’s name.
You probably imagine (as I did) a land of remote oak trees gangly reaching upward and slicing the star capped skyline like a jig saw.
But to no avail. The city is a land of tumult with a geriatric's police response to petty theft. For this reason alone, Al Davis loves the place.
His team is the metaphor for a city struggling to find an identity in the low-economic depression plaguing the heartbeat of the metropolis and paralyzing its implementation for job creation and growth.
I am beginning to wonder whether or not Mr. Davis has a brother, or has been reincarnated before death or is simply playing an evil joke, because the Dodgers have their own dictator in Frank McCourt with a love life as newsworthy as a Jerry Springer contestant.
According to a running thread on fansmanship.com, Dodger fans alike are begging for anyone to buy out McCourt and his tedium’s of running a one-time great franchise into the ground.
The man is beginning to resemble a younger Al Davis with a better looking wife. Both dictators run things with an iron fist and freely peril as if, in order to ascend, one must wade waste deep in losing.
While this has been in process, a new, cutting edge and dynamic ownership has thrust itself into popularity. Arte Moreno has changed the culture in Anaheim by investing in a franchise that, for a long time, was left for dead.
Not only has the man endorsed a winning way with the riches of his pocketbook by investing long-term in players such as Jered Weaver, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter, but he has done it with high integrity and class by blending both high priced figures with a superior farm system.
Current, on-the-rise and ideal professionals like Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo are all inter-franchise projects reflecting the Angels fostering of talent. Moreno is a fair and equal employer willing to pay a player if he earns it; "if" being the big word here.
This empirical "if" is an x-factor that drove past and current players, such as Chone Figgens, David Eckstein, Ervin Santana and Bobby Abreu to work hard for sake of employment or experience a renaissance in the concluding parts of their career.
Short Term Memory Loss
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The American fan is plagued by short term memory loss.
One day you're Moses parting the red sea of appreciators, and the next you’re a member of
the Spice Girls picking up gigs at an ice-cream parlor.
As wondrous as Dodger Blue has been throughout its history, no one cares.
Okay let me rephrase that: people care, they just don’t care enough to ignore the numbers.
Since 2000 the Angels have outshined and outperformed the Dodgers in every way.
Division Titles: Angels 5, Dodgers 3.
World Series: Angels 1, Dodgers 0.
MVP Winners: Angels 1, Dodgers 0.
Regular Season Wins: Angels 1,057, Dodgers 1,010.
Playoff Wins: Angels 21, Dodgers 9.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
As we now stride confidently through the second decade of the 21st Century, one has to wonder whether or not the Dodgers can reroute themselves in the following years.
Clayton Kershaw is a lock to reign as one of the NL’s finest young arms in the coming years. But beyond him, the Dodgers lack rotation cohesion and a true closer.
The Angels subsist on the most dominant three man rotation in all of baseball, alongside the Phillies, boasting Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
All three have an average age of 29 and show no signs of wearing thin over the course of the next four to six years. Locking Weaver up for another five years beyond this season insured that in the Angels future—baring no injury—they will be known for a half-decade or more as a team of foremost pitching.
The inelastic nature of the Dodgers lineup, ranking 23rd in runs scored and 22nd in home runs, is the very thing that could push Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp elsewhere to find the fortification that
necessitates a long and successful all-star career. The Angels, on the other hand, are feeling pretty confident, and despite ranking only 16th in runs scored and 17th in home runs, sit just two and a half games back of a mighty Texas Rangers team.
Envisaging Kendry Morales gets healthy, Mike Trout and Hank Conger emerge as intimidating bats in the central parts of the lineup, Trumbo elevates naturally to a 30/100 guy and Bourjos anchors the club defensively, the Angels rotation blended with an improved offense makes them immediate favorites to win the American League each and every year.
Desirability vs. “Buttaface”
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Desirability is now the end-all-be-all when it comes to nabbing big names off the open market.
If you look at the last ten years, the Angels have been the big name winners, escorting Mo Vaughn, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter down the aisle.
The wealthy low stress nature of Orange County and a cult-like following across the country has given Arte and company a desirability that outshines McCourt’s disheveled Dodgers.
At the July classic, rumor had the Angels nabbing another big name this offseason in the New York Mets' shortstop, Jose Reyes.
While the Angels continue to find ways to win and do it with a balanced offensive/defensive attack, a host of farm system/free agent players, tan in an upscale environment and play on behalf of a renowned name like Disney, the Dodgers run down stadium and under-eager owner resemble the buttaface of LA.