How about them Angels!

By Medicine Men

Docs are people and like baseball too. Since one of these writers lives in Orange County, Calif., home of the world champion Anaheim Angels, and the other in Seattle, where the Mariners have finally kissed goodbyes to Lou “Never did a manager do less with more” Pinella, we thought we might offer some deep thoughts on baseball, the Word Series and life.

Have we mentioned that the Left Coast Anaheim Angels won the World Series?

Both local and national media keep referring to the Angels as a team without stars. Well, not exactly! While they do not have anyone who behaves or acts like a spoiled brat or conceited superstar, they have a dugout of athletes who just “play” like stars. No one here who has four lockers, a special private rest area, with Barcalounger and personal television. Not even the kind of top-tier well-behaved stars that (forgive us, one of us is bitter) Lou Pinella squandered for so many years in Seattle: Griffey, A-Rod, Randy, Ichiro, a pair of Martinezez and, come back, Joey, all is forgiven.

But there are now 31 other teams who would be glad to have some of Anaheim’s “non-stars.” Garrett Anderson, Darren Erstadt, Tim Salmon, Scott Spezio, Adam Kennedy, Troy Glaus, David Eckstein, Jarrod Washburn, John Lackey, Ramon Ortiz, Brendan Donnelly, Frankie Rodriguez and Troy Percival.

TO NAME A FEW. HEY THERE, YANKS AND GIANTS: WANNA TRADE?

During Tuesday’s celebration at Edison Field, shortstop David Eckstein – all five foot six inches of him (truly a short stop) – told the youth-filled audience that his success was due to good supportive parents and siblings, making the right decisions and choices, and never letting someone else tell him that he wasn’t good enough. All the Angel players will tell you that the “x-factor” of grit and pride was the mega-force of this special, scrappy, relentless, inspiring team.

But, alas, not everybody showed similar grace. Negative kudos to Disney CEO Michael Eisner for:

  • not keeping his mouth shut in his rush to tell the world that the Angels were for sale. This could have waited until after the Series ended, when the team would be worth at least as much. Insider trading, Michael?

  • wearing that obnoxious Mickey Mouse T-shirt under his blue blazer at the World Championship award ceremony.

  • delivering an acceptance speech that must have been written by Goofy, edited by Mickey, and approved by the entire board of directors.

  • not being seen at Edison Field all year until the Angels unexpectedly were in the Series.

Negative kudos also to East Coast fans for not watching the World Series and making it one of the lowest rated ever. After the Angels crushed the Yanks in the League Championship, guess they couldn’t bear to watch them (or the Giants) win. Even the New York press acknowledged that the Yanks were lucky to win one game!

And while we’re at it (and not to rub it in, of course) – if the East Coast fans refuse to watch any finals they’re not in – they will be in for many sportless seasons, days and nights.

Lets review the champs of the last six months:

  • Men’s Basketball – The Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Women’s Basketball – The Los Angeles Sparks.

  • Men’s Soccer – The Los Angeles Galaxy.

  • Baseball’s World Series – The Anaheim Angels.

  • Football – As of this writing, the San Diego Chargers have the NFL’s best record.

And then let’s not forget:

  • Men’s Golf – Tiger Woods is from Los Angeles.

  • Men’s Tennis – Pete Sampras is from Los Angeles.

  • Women’s Tennis – The Williams sisters are from Los Angeles.

So a roaring Bronx cheer to the East Coast – and particularly to New York fans for their resentful smugness and provincialism. They still haven’t forgiven the Giants for leaving New York. In the future, would you all please refer to the West Coast as The Lower Left Coastal Capital of Champions.

And, by the way, while other baseball teams are growing old, the Angels are growing young. Pitcher K-Rod is 20. John Lackey is 24. Series MVP Troy Glaus is 25. So how about them Anaheim Angels? Our Left Coast guys are young, signed and “We’ll be back” next spring for your national TV viewing enjoyment.

Deal with it.