The baseball world scoffed when the Angels conveniently moved Anaheim to the end of their name and adopted the all-encompassing net of Los Angeles. After all, LA was home of the Dodgers, the team that brought Major League Baseball to the West Coast, broke the color barrier and was the home of Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Sandy Kaufax and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully.
The chance of Los Angeles becoming a city devoted to the Angels was about as bleak as the Chavez Ravine’s stands for the opening pitch.
The Angels backed their payroll truck up to the United States Treasury and made it rain Thursday on the best player in baseball, Albert Pujols. If the signing of a surefire Hall of Famer wasn’t enough they sent a dump truck of money to the most coveted free agent pitcher in baseball, C.J. Wilson. The grand total for their epic holiday shopping spree: $331 million.
Meanwhile, in the actual city of Los Angeles, Major League Baseball has forced an owner out of one of the iconic franchises in baseball history in a story that has reached National Enquirer-esque headlines. The Dodgers managed to eek out a better than .500 record and finish 11.5 games back in the National League West thank in part to an injury-plagued San Francisco Giants team and a usually weak division overall. Still, .500 is not what Dodger fans expect.
The Angels have been to the playoffs six times this century, which includes three trips to the American League Championship Series and one World Series championship. The Dodgers, though, have drowned in mediocrity with four playoff appearances, two trips to the NLCS, no World Series trips and a bloated payroll to boot.
Winning and the Angels have become synonymous and adding Pujols and Wilson has just cemented that fact. So while the Dodgers lay in peril, the Angels are ready to scoop up any fans who have had enough with Dodgers. Another truck will be waiting right outside Chavez Ravine and considering it’s the same one that held enough money for Pujols and Wilson, there’s plenty of room.