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New year, same old Angels and Dodgers

Neither team has done much winning the last few seasons, but their fans believe every season that a championship is in the making, only to be disappointed.

May 18, 2013|T.J. Simers
  • A billboard seen around town touting the accomplishments of the Angels.
A billboard seen around town touting the accomplishments of the Angels. (Damien Romano )

When I think of our local baseball teams and their supporters, I envision my wife in a bathing suit.

Or trying to get into one.

Every year when spring arrives, I hear about her summer plans and how good she's going to look in a new bathing suit.

About the same time I hear from Angels and Dodgers fans overwhelmed with optimism.

No matter what I write here next, I'm not going to win.

That is if the truth matters.

But I've also noticed over the years that any attempt at humor when it comes to the local baseball teams or bathing suits isn't going to go over well.

Do not, and I repeat, do not ask Mark McGwire if the Dodgers need steroids to hit more home runs.

I'm told now that's being disrespectful to someone who is doing the best he can without using performance-enhancing drugs to teach the Dodgers how to hit singles.

Do not irritate Donnie Baseball, who was immune to criticism as a player, but becomes Donnie Miserable when reminded on occasion that he says ridiculous things.

And don't interrupt a preaching Josh Hamilton to ask if it says anywhere in the Bible what it takes to hit more home runs.

As Will Leitch, author of "God Save The Fan" put it in a blog, "Hamilton, showing more restraint than I might in a similar situation, says, 'That would go to prayer,' rather than bonk Simers on the head with his bat."

Hamilton swings at my head, and everyone knows he would miss, especially if I ducked low and away from him.

But I understand the incredible lack of humor in sports these days, every media outlet reporting it like they might a war.

I can't help it, though. I even see a hint of humor in the letter in Saturday's sports section from Lew Wolff, the managing partner of the Oakland Athletics.

He wanted folks to know how much he regards Angels owner Arte Moreno. If I were competing with Moreno every year, I wouldn't want him going anywhere either.

But I get it. Sports are not to be taken lightly as important as they are regarded.

The Dodgers haven't won a World Series since 1988, but fans believe every year it's going to be different. And they don't want to hear differently.

The banner headline atop the Dodgers' website feeds this hope, promising, "A Whole New Blue."

To me it looks like the same Blue as last year, and knowing that's what I'm also going to get in a swimsuit, I have no trouble accepting it.

But Dodgers fans seem to think I'm always negative, and especially when it comes to the Choking Dogs, who began the day in last place. It's crazy the way people think.

Now you take the Angels, and I think we all agree, no one here is really interested in doing that.

But maybe you've seen their billboards around town. Moreno was a billboard king before failing to win a World Series.

It explains his proclivity for signing big-name players because they're basically walking billboards.

This season the Angels put up real billboards, featuring a large A topped by a halo. In the background it reads: "4 MVP awards … and 11 World Series Appearances."

My first thought: Where was I when the Angels were making 11 World Series appearances?

But like the team's name, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, that's as big a stretch as the billboards.

Much of the success noted belongs to players when they were competing for the Cardinals, Rangers and Phillies.

I presume Chris Iannetta is included in the 11 World Series appearances because he was on the Rockies' roster in 2007, although he never made it into a game.

I don't know for sure because I didn't hear back from the Angels, but 11 appearances sounds better than 10.

When I showed a picture of the billboard to Bill the Waiter, an Angels honk working at the Mini-Gourmet, he was speechless. Anyone who knows Bill the Waiter knows he never shuts up.

I understand why fans might be shocked to learn the Angels have to promote the accomplishments of their players while they were employed elsewhere.

Not much to get excited about now.

Breaking down the billboard numbers, the Angels seem to be counting Vernon Wells' three All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger award earned in Toronto. You see, he did contribute something here.

The billboards seem a little misleading because Wells was on his way to New York before they began to appear beside the highways.

But however you want to look at things, games won or pounds lost, obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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