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ANGEL REPORT

Internet Battle Is a Tangled Web

April 22, 2005|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

In November, Terry Notko spent $8.95 to register the domain name www.losangelesangelsofanaheim.com. In January, the Angels officially renamed themselves the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Notko hoped he could sell the name for a nice profit.

So far, no sale. Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), which controls team websites, contacted him and offered $1,000, he said. The Laguna Niguel businessman and Angel season-ticket holder made a counteroffer, which was rejected. Neither side would specify Notko's asking price, but both sides indicated it was more than the $20,000 MLBAM paid for www.nationals.com. Notko said, "It was worth more than the Nationals."

Bob Bowman, MLBAM chief executive, said MLBAM disagreed because fans most likely would use the team nickname alone -- for example, www.nationals.com or www.dodgers.com-- in trying to access the team website. Bowman said MLBAM paid $4,000 each to acquire www.laangels.com, www.laangels.org and www.laangels.net.

In fact, www.laangels.com links to the Angel website, a possible violation of the Orange County Superior Court warning that the team not drop "of Anaheim" and call itself the Los Angeles Angels in any context. Mike Rubin, co-counsel for the city of Anaheim in its lawsuit alleging the new name violates the stadium lease, declined to say whether the city might pursue that issue in court.

Notko, meanwhile, owns a site he says gets 1,000 hits per month -- with no content. "I'm probably going to develop the site now," he said. "With what? I don't know. But I'm getting enough hits."

*

Although Adam Kennedy is expected to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment this weekend and rejoin the Angels in about two weeks, Manager Mike Scioscia said Chone Figgins would not lose his spot in the lineup when Kennedy returns.

Figgins has played second base in Kennedy's absence, but he also can play third, shortstop and the outfield -- and designated hitter. The Angels' designated hitters--primarily Jeff DaVanon and Juan Rivera -- are batting .226 with no home runs.

ON DECK

Opponent -- Oakland Athletics, three games.

Site -- Angel Stadium.

TV -- Channel 9 tonight, FSN West Saturday, ESPN Sunday.

Radio -- 710, 1020.

Records -- Angels 9-7, A's 8-8.

Record vs. Athletics -- 1-2.

Tonight, 7 -- John Lackey (1-1, 8.22) vs. Kirk Saarloos (1-1, 6.75).

Saturday, 7 p.m. -- Paul Byrd (1-2, 4.71) vs. Dan Haren (1-1, 2.37).

Sunday, 5 p.m. -- Kelvim Escobar (0-0, 0.00) vs. Joe Blanton (0-1, 2.04).

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