Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Anaheim Angels

Illustration by Bob Aul What a crappy week this was for the Anaheim Angels. Top relief pitcher Troy Percival demanded a trade after someone in the organization leaked to the press details about his contract negotiations. Instead of trading the disgruntled ballplayer, the team picked up the option year on his contract, meaning he'll pitch next season under protest. Meanwhile, the team's top slugger, Mo Vaughn, called into a Boston sports-talk radio station to say he wants to leave the hapless Halos and return to the Red Sox. The ESPN Classic channel rebroadcast a special on Donnie Moore, the former Angel reliever who was so haunted by giving up the decisive home run in Game 5 of the 1986 American League playoffs that he committed suicide three years later. And finally, mercifully, various press reports claimed the Angels are about to be folded in with another money-losing ball club. Such a scenario would allow the Disney Corp. to rid itself of the underperforming Angels, something the Mouse also wants to do with the underperforming Mighty Ducks hockey franchise. On a brighter note, you can now leave deposits on 2002 Angels season tickets.

NO GREEN CARD, NO REPORT CARD Anaheim Union High School District trustee Harald G. Martin's proposal to require new students to produce a U.S. birth certificate or proof of residency lest they be turned over to immigration officials was quickly torpedoed at the Oct. 25 board meeting. District lawyers deemed such a requirement illegal, and other board members said they're more interested in educating children than deporting them. But careful Weekly readers know that it was not Martin but the board's president, Katherine H. Smith, who made it to No. 16 on last week's list of the 31 Scariest People in Orange County. Seeing that, one careful reader felt compelled to tell Clockwork that Smith just got scarier: she's apparently running for state superintendent of public instruction. The reader directed us to a website (www.superkathy.com) where Smith announces her candidacy and presents some of her ideas for improving education—including issuing report cards to parents who need to improve their parenting skills and filling state schools with patriotic symbols, music and curriculum. Sounds like someone's angling for the 31 Scariest People in Orange County's Bob Dornan Hall of Fame, which counts as a member Gloria Matta Tuchman, who also tried to become state superintendent of public instruction but lost badly in 1998. BRIT OUTS OC KOOKS! Writing his Oct. 30 Independent of London column from Morocco, Terence Blacker wanted to gauge the attitudes of locals toward westerners given the War on Terrorism (or War on Islam, depending on your take). Blacker found Moroccans "as cordial and opportunistic as ever." Indeed, the only religious fanaticism he uncovered was on his hotel TV, which broadcasts the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) with Arabic subtitles. "At one level, the output of TBN is compellingly hilarious," wrote Blacker, who'd previously managed to avoid Paul and Jan Crouch's televised tent revival. "Middle-aged Americans with dodgy toupĂ©es engage in gloopy banter with faded blondes, all big hair, teeth and tucks, like rejects from Dallas." Yep, the Brit nailed it. But he also saw dark forces afoot. "Beyond the sheer fake idiocy of it all, an ugly message is being sent around the world, presumably at the cost of millions of dollars. With solemn, literal references to Revelations and the Book of Job, TBN announces that the day of retribution is at hand and—here's the good news, folks—reveals that 21st-century conflict and famine are sure indicators that the Second Coming is at hand. Who shall be saved? The American flag flutters proudly in the background. In an interview, a cropped-haired teenager announces that he has become a 'revolutionist' for the Lord. Within his soul, he has declared war on unrighteousness." Hey, a bin Laden recruit!
 
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