Diary of a mad county

One thing Pressler does get high marks for: he's the first Disney executive to get behind the Anaheim Angels, who today—finally, after four straight losses—clinch their first playoff berth since 1986 thanks to a 10-5 victory over the Texas Rangers. Now they're facing those Damn Yankees. Still, after such an unbelievable season (kicked off with their worst 20-game start ever), no one's going to write them off. Mike Scioscia is a solid contender for manager of the year, and a team that not long ago was on the brink of contraction is actually the subject of a bidding war among billionaires. Curse this!

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 Gray Davisstops counting his campaign loot long enough to sign a bill by Assemblyman Lou Correa(D-Anaheim) that guarantees lifetime benefits to cops, firefighters and their families if any of them suffers an injury, illness or death after the peace officer or firefighter is exposed to biochemicals on the job. Such exposure now joins a host of other maladies—including heart attacks—in the automatic job-related, full-coverage category. Neat. Now Correa should whip up something similar for all those workers at industrial plants or nuclear-generating stations who are stricken with cancer and other diseases but must fight often-losing battles with their corporate owners and insurers for benefits (see Nick Schou's "Anti-Nuclear War," July 27, 2001). Then Correa can move on to all those residents who live near the industrial plants spewing harmful toxins who . . . well, you get the idea.

SATURDAY, Sept. 28 The Times reports that Carlos Peralta of Mexico is among the billionaires bidding for the Angels. Which means with our luck—or the Angels' curse—they'll be relocated south of the border in the dead of night in the Rams' old moving vans. At least the tickets, beer and post-game hookers will be cheaper. Goodbye, Rally Monkey; hello, donkey shows!

SUNDAY, Sept. 29 Proof there may be a god: the St. Louis-by-way-of-Anaheim Ramslose the game and their MVP quarterback, Kurt Warner. They fall to 0-4, which means the fat lady is warming up—and she ain't Georgia Frontiere.

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