On May 15, 2003, Arte Moreno burst onto the SoCal baseball landscape and into Angels fans hearts with promises of lower ticket and beer prices starting day one. Arte followed through on those promises and more by continuing renovations on
Edison International Field of Anaheim Angel Stadium, making it not only a great place for Angels fans to watch great baseball, but a great place for families to enjoy as well. This last point being quite stark in contrast to Chavez Ravine.
Moreno brought us Vladdy, Torii, and Pujols, all for success in the standings. He's used his billboard fortune to finance what has been more often than not, a contender for the last decade. His resources have led to gambles like Teixeria, Kazmir, and Greinke as well as the unforgettably forgettable acquisitions of Matsui, Matthews, and Wells. For all of his successes, we've all suffered through his failures. But to what end though? For an increase in revenue to add to his wealth? Sure. To finally capture that elusive World Championship? Of course. There is one overwhelming motivation for him though.
Arte Moreno wants Los Angeles, and he's waged a financial war for the hearts and minds of the Los Angeles baseball fan/consumer that has escalated over the last decade. For as much as I admire his fight, determination, and unwillingness to surrender, this is a lost cause. Arte, you wonderfully defiant man, as long as you live, you will never convert Doyer fan. Give up the ghost, man. Reel it in and just focus on being a leader in the LA/OC market, not being the leader of it.
Doyer fan is a rare breed that is not interested in your foreign concepts like "modern amenities" or a "safe place to enjoy a baseball game". Doyer fan revels in barbed wire, aluminum siding, and tents set up as team shops at their stadium. Clinging to the past, not looking to the future, is their way. They will never welcome you, Arte. For as much as your story, your life should resonate with them, you will never be accepted by them.
The franchise born in Brooklyn ridicules the one born in Los Angeles for "not knowing their geography". LA, California, Anaheim, LA (again), the Angels have historically tried to please everyone by sacrificing their identity, but we, the Angel faithful know exactly who we are and we hope you, Arte, can join us here. You've invoked the wrath of both Los Angeles and Anaheim by changing the name to Los Angeles and having that "of Anaheim" albatross carried around our necks, but I get it. That decision made you money, which you've put back into the franchise, but this has to end soon.
As the Doyers escalate with their signings and movements, so do you in rebuttal. The Pujols deal, while insane, was a shrewd business decision and well, he's Albert Pujols. Arte witnessed the crumbling of the Doyer empire under the weight of the McCourt disaster and saw his window to strike. It's the decisions like the Vernon Wells acquisition that are worrisome. It was a reach because they couldn't get Carl Crawford (which also would've been disastrous). Signing
Head & Shoulders Wilson & Hamilton were Arte's chances to weaken a division rival while simultaneously showing up a regional rival. Arte was upset that the Doyers signed Greinke from under him and reclaimed the LA spotlight with the Guggenheim ownership and their bank account of infinity dollars.
Don't become reckless, Arte. In your all consuming quest to supplant the Doyers, you have created an Angels team that is frighteningly similar to that franchise. Both share astronomical payrolls with underperforming and injury riddled superstars. Both have an unbelievable number one starter followed by a series of starters that you hope can get through five innings. Both franchises best players are severely underpaid, young superstars who have been, and will be marketed into the ground for years to come (and in Trout's case hopefully a decade to come as an Angel).
The biggest similarity between the Los Angeles franchises are the unforgivable sub .500 records shared by both. Both pre-season favorites have stumbled out of the gates and failed to find the ground under their feet this season. Is this what the ridiculous contracts and territorial pissing contests have ultimately cost us? Be careful what you ask for, Arte, you just might get it. Unfortunately for us as Angels fans, so will we.