Sources close to HALOS HEAVEN tell me that the Angels are using the inevitable end of Darin Erstad's tenure with the team after this season to cut any and all ties to Nike. No public appearance of Erstad has been without his Black Nike baseball cap, and a section of the team store along with signage therein are devoted to the Sacred Swoosh of Athletic Footwear.
But no more.
Seems that Reebok and Adidas were all to happy to pony up mid-six-figure sums the Angels were requesting of athletic apparel companies for stadium store shelf space. When Nike reminded management of its ties to team icon Erstad, the Moreno regime did what it does best - smile, walk away and wait.
The Swoosh has reportedly already been given its walking papers on Team Store floor space as early as October, as the other two jock giants will each be ready with extensive lines of Angels-themed jerseys, sweaters, shirts and other merchandise.
With the confidence that only $100,000 per game in merchandise sales can bring, the Angels played hardball with Nike and won. The corporate Greek god of athletics will be sprinted out of Anaheim after this season.