Monday, Jan. 3 The Boston Red Sox might have walloped your Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in last fall's playoffs, but at least we beat Beantown in one contest. In an LA Superior Court courtroom today, attorneys for 90 victims of priestly and lay Catholic sex-abuse and the Diocese of Orange announced the terms of their settlement: $100 million (the largest settlement in the history of the Roman Catholic Church) and the release of all personnel files that victims claim will show church complicity in their molestations. Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown made an appearance to personally apologize to the victims of his priests and even officiated over vespers (that's an evening worship service, for you heathen Protestants) at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange later in the day held in honor of victims and their families. But still, the most arresting image of the day came when Brown—who last year spent at least $350,000 on a PR firm to spin his pedo-lies—entered the courtroom clasping a dark-blue folder against his chest. Emblazoned in silver on the folder? "IMAGE."
Tuesday, Jan. 4 Clearly, I am the man responsible for pushing Angels owner Arte Moreno to rename his team. Before my incisive and influential year-end piece ["The Year in Letting Go, Go Angels"], Moreno said he wouldn't rename his team in 2005. Obviously my well-reasoned piece, arguing that a higher-profile name means more money and a consistent winner for Angel fans, convinced Moreno, who yesterday renamed the team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is what is called power. Actually, this is what has been called "the stupidest name I ever heard" by myriad sportscasters, writers and call-in folks. Still, it was with a great deal of pride that I announced to my son the Angels had changed their name. "They're going to be called the LA Angels?" he asked. "Well, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," I said. "That's the stupidest name I've ever heard."