Bill Dwyre is an old school print sportswriter - yes, these days that is a pejorative. We know the stereotypes of the out-of-touch crotchety old guard. They see things in a prehistoric, set way and refuse to alter their perceptions of things. A member of the old guard sticks to the old way as the world around him alters and then disintegrates. This unlovable curmudgeon usually cloaks himself in "voice of the reasonable majority out there" in order to push the agenda of yesteryear's values as the gospel that is so needed today.
You can read the borderline slander of Angels fans at this link - which will definitely be edited when the LA TIMES realizes that Mister Dwyre has either lied, omitted facts or is in the first stages of dementia. Of course, there is the chance that he is a gutless hack, a charge that the above-linked article would sustain.
On Sunday night, the Red Sox honored Mariano Rivera. Since the Yankees-Boston rivalry is sold to us by the media as the most important thing in sports, the pregame ceremony was broadcast with the hallowed sanctity as if it were the resurrection of Christ live on ESPN. So Dwyre uses this tale of an enemy honoring an enemy to bring up the 2011 tale of Angels management announcing that there would be a tribute to Derek Jeter to honor his 3,000th hit and Angels fans shaming the front office into cancelling the on-field pregame ceremony. The ceremony was held privately, but documented. The team presented Jeter with a fine art painting of Jeter and every shook hands and smiled.
It has since been uncovered, and not by the LA Times, that Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl is - or at least was - a huge Yankees fan. All of this was prior to his college buddy Arte Moreno handing him the keys to the Anaheim American League team's presidency (which he muffed and was kicked upstairs because of), of course, but the story in the autumn of 2011 - and really now - is that Angels management is so tone-deaf to Angels fan culture that their obtuse announcement of the Jeter tribute unleashed the floodgates of that very fan culture.
So Dwyre dredges the whole ordeal up in order to tisk-tisk Angels fans. Old School Print Media is at its best when it is tisk-tisking an abstract group that has no central representation. Well Halos Heaven is the center of the Halosphere so on behalf of the Angels fans you are slamming you owe us an apology.
Allow me to tell Bill Dwyre something on behalf of all Angels fans - Bill, you are a first-class chump.Here are some facts about Angels fan culture that you willfully ignore:
- Angels fans reject the major media narratives about anything special about the Yankees, the Red Sox or their rivalry.
- Angels fans first hand put up with the hordes of East Coast transplants who left these supposedly great locations and now trounce into our stadium when their team visits and try to take over.
- For decade after decade, Angels fans have seen their team ignored in the media when they are not being mocked.
These are central tenets to being an Angels fan. So two years ago we yelled and screamed and called the team and wrote letters and suddenly Old "Yankee" Kuhl must have heard us. This was a triumph. You would not have scolded George Washington crossing the river, don't you dare scold us over a major vicotry.
In his predcitable fawning over the two east coast media darling teams, Dwyre then prints an absolute lie (of which I have screen shots that i will post when the Times conveniently edits this nauseous bit of slander).
Emails, calls, etc., poured in to both from Angels fans, angry that their team would lower itself to honor the enemy. The Angels were hit with a fairly heavy dose.
It became clear that an element of their fan base saw opponents as enemies and games as war. It was a sort of sad commentary on the inexplicable state of anger in which so many sports fans live these days.
Eventually, the Angels caved. Instead of something public in a pregame ceremony, they gathered Jeter in a room somewhere in the bowels of the stadium and presented him with a specially commissioned painting from a Laguna Beach artist. Doing the honors were the two most appropriate Angels, Manager Mike Scioscia and outfielder Torii Hunter.
The whole thing lasted probably five minutes. It made the game notes, maybe was used by some papers and websites, and probably ended with Jeter being grateful and feeling honored.
The 40,000-plus in the stands that night never got a glimpse, never knew, never had a chance to express themselves.
So that last line of putrid prose there, it is a lie. An untruth. A man with a free pass to the Angels press box proves that he is incapable of seeing the game from the fan's perspective. The pregame presentation of the painting was delivered on the jumbotron in between innings. I was at the game. I saw it with my own four eyes. It received a large ovation (there were many Yankees fans, but some Angels fans also joined in) along with scattered boos from many Angels fans.
A Yankee fan near me at that game even exclaimed that the Angels were classy to present the painting to Jeter AND to show the ceremony during the game so that all of the Yankees fans who were there would be in their seats.
The Los Angeles Times owes Angels fans an apology. We will accept it here.
A suitable penance: Dwyre's head on a plate or an investigation as to whether Angels President Dennis Kuhl ever attended a Yankees Fantasy Camp and what the biased implications of that might be... I mean, if the ultimate goal of the Angels is to get Mike Trout signed long-term, an agent of the Yankees who has defied our very fan base might strike again. Oops, did I just lose all credibility with a wild conspiracy theory? Don't expect the Times to print the facts, cover the team as the fan culture reflects it should be nor look into the fat-cat conflicts of interest... in the sports world or anywhere else in the establishment.
But there you have it - the LA Times would rather slander Angels fans when they are at their weakest than actually print the facts as they happened. And all to stroke ESPN's received opinion about the saintliness of its east coast demographic. What tools.