Thanks for the intro, YF! Glad to be aboard. Like YF, I live in New York. However, I grew up in LA, as an Angels fan and Dodgers-hater, courtesy of my Yankee Dad. That also means that I like the Yankees — but not this week. Needless to say, when the Angels won the 2002 World Series, it was pretty much the best day of my life. Actually, going to game 2 that year probably was.
The Angels spanked the Yankees quite hard in the ALDS that year, to everyone’s shock, and I think even though the Red Sox are the bigger fish in this story, there’s still an undercurrent of wanting revenge in this matchup.
And the Angels always play the Yankees hard, and are the only team to have a winning record (49-48) against them in the Torre era. And the Yankees are playing in Anaheim tomorrow because the Angels still own the Yanks this year, too (6-4), which is the deciding factor in their won-lost tie.
The other night, one of the Angels’ TV announcers said that Joe Torre, after the first two games of the 2002 ALDS (a split) looked serious and uncommunicative when travelling to Anaheim for game 3. The next year, Torre was relaxed and talkative at the same point and was asked what the difference was. Torre’s explanation for his concern in 2002 was that the Angels weren’t scared of the Yankees.
In other words, this should be a great series.
A word about the goofy team name: The Angels originally were the Los Angeles Angels, and they actually played in Los Angeles. When I was a kid, they were playing in Anaheim, and I knew them as the California Angels (and, in fact, once at Yankee stadium this year, the out of town scoreboard labelled them CAL, to my surprise), and to me, that will always be their true name.
In 1997, they became the Anaheim Angels, to my displeasure (I am not from Orange County, thankyouverymuch). This year, new owner Arte Moreno is wisely seizing the opportunity to market the team as a winning alternative to the sputtering Dodgers, and in so doing, has renamed them. Contractually, however, they must have Anaheim in the name. Hence, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It’s a stupid name because a) it sounds silly, b) it makes no sense, and c) you could as easily call them the Pittsburgh Angels of Anaheim.
So, I will do as the Angels announcers do, and call them The Angels. That’s their name. Not Anaheim. Not Los Angeles. The Angels.