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Baseball Disloyalty: Trading in my Phillie Red for Angel Red
Before the Los Angeles Angels Existed
Even before the Angels existed, I had a secret love affair with a team from Los Angeles. I loved my Philadelphia Phillies with the big red P on their cap, but it was the Dodger blue that I dreamed about. In my mind I thought about their lineup--a lineup of hard workers; a lineup of players who played the game the right way. They were a scrappy team that fought you tooth and nail. I often fell asleep thinking about them. It was a long distance love affair, but a passionate one, nonetheless. I kept this love affair a secret because I couldn’t share my Dodger infatuation with any of my peers for fear of spending my childhood friendless.
I dreamed most about Sandy Koufax. Like me he was Jewish and I felt a bond with him that I didn’t feel with any Phillies player. He was like a Rabbi who knew exactly where he was leading his congregation. Wills, Davis, Fairly, Parker, Roseboro, Gilliam, and the rest of the Dodgers were his minyan. Sandy’s congregation was his team. For me, the Dodgers were sacred, a religious experience.
But when Sandy Koufax retired in 1966, my dream of the Dodgers retired too. I reverted back to the Philadelphia Phillies, never to think of Dodger Blue again.
A New State, a New Town and a New Baseball Team.
In October, 2012 I made the big move. I moved from Philadelphia to Santa Barbara, California. I changed my license. I changed my career. I changed my lifestyle and found a wonderful girlfriend. But I was still a baseball fan. I was still a Phillies fan, but not for very long.
The Phillies had a good year in 2008, but since that time they have slowly found their way to the bottom of their division and currently one of the worst teams in the majors. It wouldn't be bad if the team had hope, good management, and a plan for the future--but they don't. They just have a confused and disgruntled team, mired in a state of perpetual losing. So I ask myself. Why should I be loyal to a team like that?
These things and more are what led me to becoming a Los Angeles Angel's fan. From the moment I saw Gubicza and Rojas broadcast Angel games on TV I became hooked. They were the local team. They were my girlfriend and her family's team. They were the team that I went to see. They were soon to replace my hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Quick Facts about the Angels
- Founded in 1961
- Their name is a reminder of their roots from the City of Angels.
- One of four teams that do not have a mascot.
- Their only World Series win was in 2002.
- The Angel's top player of all time was Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan
My Dear John Phillies Letter
It's been nice knowing you for the last 50 years, but I have to be honest and say that this relationship isn't working. Every year it's the same old song--you miss the playoffs and say it was because of injuries or that the players just had an off year. Well, I'm not buying it. The fact is you will never change. You will keep on losing and trading for players that have no backbone or heart. You will keep pitchers who can't pitch and hitters who can't hit or field.
The fact is, Phillies, you only have two championships since you started playing baseball back in 1883. You have the most losses of any team in the history of the sport. I really like the Phillie Phanatic but that just isn't good enough to keep me hanging around and being a fan. I need a team who won't embarrass or humiliate me. I need a team that can win...and win now! I need a team that can produce runs, and not blame their losing on the alignment of the stars. I need a team that is truthful and who won't throw me under the bus. I need a team who is willing to do what it takes to get the best players and a worthy manager who will take the team to the Promise Land.
Goodbye, once beloved Phillies. Come to think of it, can't really say it was nice knowing you. No hard feelings.
Comparing the Phillies and the Angeles
Passionate but rude and obnoxious
20 games over .500
Ruben Amaro Jr. (poor decision maker)
Spends money on washed up players
Laid back and loyal
15 games under .500
Jerry DiPoto (one of the best)
Spends money wisely
The Rally Monkey
I only wish the Phillies had a stuffed animal that could propel them into the playoffs, one like the Anaheim Angels have in their red Rally Monkey. First, the monkey is damn cute and second you can do any thing to that monkey and he’ll still keep smiling. I know because I have tested this out.
This superstition is encouraged by the entire Angles organization. The Angels have very explicit rules for their Rally Monkey. You just can’t whip out your Rally Monkey at any time during the game. You have to wait until the sixth inning, but only if the Angels are tied or down by four or fewer runs. And the weird thing about it, the Rally Monkey only works for the Angels. I think it was blessed by the baseball Gods.
Changing Teams In Poll
What would make you want to change your baseball team?
Calling All Angels
I'm so happy to have a team like you. You can't imagine how abused I was with my last team. I spent 50 long years rooting for them and getting back nothing in return. It was horrible. All those cellar-dwelling years. I felt lonely and abandoned. But now I have a team in beautiful Southern California where the game never gets rained out. Now I can go to Angel games in my Angel red, in shorts and flip flops. I can eat your amazing cotton candy and your juicy Farmer John's hotdogs. I can sit in the stands and watch a team that is competitive and where the fans won't get into fights, spit or curse. Above all I can watch a team that has Trout, Pujois, and Hamilton in the middle of the line-up. It's so nice to be in heaven and living with the Angels. I'm really home.