File This Under “Things That Aren’t Going to Get Old Any Time Soon”

As an Angels fan, I am used to not seeing my team on the national radar – sports news covers or features, popular culture, public awareness, generic poll via number of ball caps seen in random unexpected places, or otherwise. This is hardly a gripe – actually, I kind of like it – it’s just an observation. As I’ve mentioned before, I was raised a Dodger fan. And the Dodgers, while they aren’t the Yankees or, more recently, the Red Sox, are frequently on the national radar…not always for good reasons, sad to say, especially lately, but still, they’re there.

When you want to set a scene as being definitively in Los Angeles, you reference the Dodgers or show a glimpse of the stadium in a scan of the scenery. Dodgers Stadium isn’t as frequently filmed as the Hollywood sign, nor as oft destroyed in Hollywood natural disasters as the Capital Records building or those darned Angelyne signs, but it’s there never the less. (Yes, the Angels had top billing in that one movie but, seriously, I’m trying to forget that one. ;) Remember the Naked Gun, by all means, but please forget that other one…er…ones, apparently. I stand corrected. See comments below.) You are likely to see Dodgers caps in random places, ditto shirts and other paraphernalia. Yankees gear is more common, but you get the general idea. I grew up thinking this was normal attention for your average baseball team, even though fans of 25-ish other teams could have told me otherwise. Now I get it. Sightings of Angels on the cover of, the TV screen of, or head or back of anything or anyone becomes increasingly rare the further you get from the general Orange County/Los Angeles area. This is normal attention for your average baseball team. And as a direct result, any random Angels sighting – National news feature, gear seen in a movie, ball cap on the head of a random fan in, say, Olathe, Kansas, never fails to give me a giddy little thrill.

Needless to say, those giddy little thrills have been quite the frequent occurrence since, oh, say December 8th. Go figure. Signing two of the biggest free agent names in the same day will do that for a team. And the best part is, they aren’t getting any less giddy or thrilling as they continue to multiply. So, imagine my delight this morning in the doctor’s office, when I spied this bright, shiny treasure:

My Angels on the cover of ESPN. Yes, it was bright and shiny. I swear, it glowed like Excalibur in the Disney cartoon. Why do you ask? And, yes, I am probably the only baseball blogger who didn’t already know the Angels were on the cover. January has been quite the suck for me. But not knowing made the thrill just that much more giddy-making. No, I don’t see this getting old anytime soon. While I liked the homey feel of non-attention, I could certainly grow to appreciate attention.

Random Thoughts on the article itself:

  • Jerry Dipoto is a rockstar. Mind you, this is just a confirmation of my existing opinion of the guy, but, yeah. Total. Rockstar. However these signings turn out – and I certainly hope it’s a meets or exceeds expectations kind of scenario – he’s proven that he has the negotiating skills, brains, guts and personality to do well by the Angels for years to come.
  • It really is interesting how very normal typical player concerns are when they’re deciding which offer to accept. Yes, I do understand, it’s much more about the money than anyone is going to actually come out and say. But even when you boil that down, it’s typical job stuff. Compensation. Job security – length of contract and no-trade clauses. Will my family be happy? Will I get to do the specific job I like to do? Will I like my boss/coworkers? etc…
  • Except, of course, for C.J. Wilson whose pros and cons list was, between the screenwriting opportunities and possible sponsorship of his racing team, unique to say the least. Maybe it’s because I was hot and cold on the rumors that Angels were going after him in the first place? But whenever I watch or hear an interview with Wilson where he talks more about his – incredibly interesting, I’ll admit – hobbies than about baseball, I am torn between thinking “Wow, what an intriguing, well rounded guy” and “Nooo! He’s not Barry Zito. He’s not Barry Zito. He is. NOT. Barry Zito.”
  • The part that made me laugh? One call from Albert Pujols apparently pulled Arte Moreno away from a movie date with his wife. They were in the middle of watching Melancholia. Okay, I like arty, abstract movies but please tell me that Arte wasn’t thanking Albert in more ways than one as soon as he saw the mighty bat’s name displayed on his cell phone. Oh, darn. Whoops. Sorry, honey. I am so disappointed to miss this boring drivel…er…I mean stirring dialog, but I gotta take this.
  • Apparently a random woman reading ESPN magazine in a doctor’s office is still considered an oddity. I got a literal thumbs up from one gent when I picked up the magazine and several odd looks from other parties. Of course, the fact that I took a photo of the cover with my phone may have had something to do with that. I suppose that could be considered odd in some circles. ;)
  • Did I mention that Jerry Dipoto is a rockstar?

12 Comments

What ‘other’ Angels movie were you refering too? ‘Angels In The Outfield’, ‘Angels In The Infield’, ‘Talent For The Game’, or ‘Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch’? Oh, we’ve got them all……and the ‘Naked Gun’ is a classic all by itself!!!
–Mike

Oh no! There were more of them! I was speaking of Angels in the Ourfield Mike because the only one I was aware of. I must have blocked out the others, LOL! But I forgot that of course, as a Disney team, the Angels would have been fodder for all manner of Disney movies. The Naked Gun is an absolute classic though, beyond even the awesome baseball scenes.

– Kristen

Living in the midwest I rarely get to see west coast teams play. And when I do, it’s usually NL teams, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the Angels can do this year and beyond. I really like their team. It’s a perfect combination of veterans and youth with several prospects on the cusp. I know I keep saying it, but this is a team to be very excited about. I loved the issue of the mag. My wife thinks I have too many sports magazine subscriptions. I think I don’t have enough.

Ron

Oh, I’m perfectly happy to hear you keep saying it, Ron. That also, isn’t going to get old anytime soon. :) I can’t wait to see what the Angels can do this year. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I think the story about your wife is cute. We probably all have a hobby or collection that makes our spouse roll their eyes affectionately.

– Kristen

I get ESPN the Mag but rarely read it (I guess I should cancel it and save some cash), but I actually read that article yesterday, so it’s funny now to see your post about it.

One of the things that jumped out at me was the outside interest of CJ Wilson. I don’t expect these guys to think about baseball 24/7 (ok maybe I do just a little), but I was surprised at just how much his “outside” life factored into his baseball decision.

I can respect Albert for wanting to pick a team that was going to ensure his legacy. Sure it’s a personal ego type of thing, but it’s baseball driven. I’m not sure that I feel the same way about Wilson because he has a screen play he is working on and it’s easier being in Hollywood than Miami.

I enjoy hearing about the players outside interests sometimes, Wrigley, or their families, stuff that makes them more relatable. But I do expect baseball to be a priority so, yeah, I was a bit put off as well that it seemed like baseball is really just a means to an end of either screen writing or racing for C.J. in this interview…but it is just one interview and he is good, so I keep mostly leaning back the other way annnnnnd…eh we’ll see how this works out.

– Kristen

I thought the Angels hit the national media bigtime when Train’s song “Calling All Angels” came out. I’ve never been able to unassociate the two. As I mentioned to you before, it was my favorite part of every Angels game I went to back in the day. As for the article, I’m gonna have to pass on commenting on it. I’m better and the pain isn’t as much as it was a month ago, but I still have a hard time facing it head on.
–Jeff

LOL, Jeff. I doubt anyone who hasn’t been to an Angels home game in the last few years would even have associated the two to begin with. Me, I could never unassociate the two even if I tried and I love the fact that you have some good Big A associations and memories like that left over from your time here in La La Land. As for the article, yeah. Don’t try to confront this stuff until you’re really ready. Stages of grief and all that.

– Kristen

I have this particular issue still sitting on one of my chairs at home. I will get to it eventually, but I find it hard to keep up with my “ESPN the” magazines because I tell myself I will read them when I have free time and then that moment of free time NEVER comes. On the bright side, it is marked February, 6, 2011, so I’m really not late in reading it until tomorrow, even though it seems like it’s been sitting there for about a month now. I love my logic sometimes.
-Mateo

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

You’re not late, the magazine was early? Sounds like workable logic to me, Mateo. :)

– Kristen

The AL West should be the most interesting division in the MLB. Normally, all sports media networks make the AL East out to be a godsend, which is why it was definitely a good sign to see ESPN bring Anaheim (…or L.A., pardon me) into the picture. Baseball is almost here!
-Curt

http://plushdamentals.mlblogs.com/

It doesn’t bother me if you call them the Anaheim Angels, Curt. The whole mile long name thing is a little silly to me too. I liked the California Angels better. I agree. I definitley think the AL West is going to be exciting. Texas is stacked. The Angels are stacked. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks. Can’t wait!

– Kristen

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