Heaven on dirt

Photo by James BunoanBaseball is the summer game—you'd think it would be Ding Dong Ditch, but, no, it's baseball. So this summer you might want to check out a team called the Anaheim Angels. You may have heard of them, alternated between tragic bad luck and suckiness. Well, it turns out they made good and figure to continue to make good all summer, when they'll play lots of games. May we suggest a few for you to consider checking out in person? . . .

New York Mets, June 13: Mo Vaughn, who whined to come to the Angels and then whined to leave the Angels—paving the way for a little number we like to call Scott Spiezio—returns to Anaheim. That isn't "boooo!" you'll hear directed at Vaughn; it's "thank youuuuuu!"

Los Angeles Dodgers, June 29: Okay, so the Angels are the reigning champions of the world, but are they still second-best in Southern California? Find out as the Angels host their rivals to the north. Listen to who wins in crowd noise. Argue who has the better closer: Gagne or Percival? Who has the best power-hitting outfielder: Green or Anderson? Who has the best comic mascot: Rally Monkey or Lasorda?

Kansas City Royals, July 8: The Royals could be this year's Angels. This once-proud franchise—which got very proud rolling over the Angels for years—found it hard to compete as a small-market team. But with a great player in Mike Sweeney and a team that is resourceful, they got off to a great start. Here's hoping they haven't faded by July, but even if they have, this is a Tuesday you can take part in the Angels best promotion: Halos Fight Hunger Program food drives that take place at each Tuesday-night home game. Volunteers collect food from fans at the entrance gates of Edison Field, and each donation of $5 or more of nonperishable food items will earn a voucher good for one ticket to a future Angels home game.

Minnesota Twins, July 11: It's almost too much. You can watch the Angels and Twins pick up where the league championship series broke off. Clap your promotional Jarrod Washburn Thunder Sticks and watch Adam Kennedy hit another three dingers. Then sit back and watch the ooooh and aaaah that is the redoubtable pyrotechnics of Big Bang Friday.

New York Yankees, July 29: It's the Yankees.

Chicago White Sox, Aug. 11: While the Sox have been a huge disappointment when it comes to wins, they have exceeded expectations in insane fans attacking umpires and throwing cell phones.

Detroit Tigers, Aug. 17: This may be your best chance to witness history this season as the Tigers continue their valiant quest for the all-time single-season loss record.

Oakland A's, Sept. 15-17; Seattle Mariners, Sept. 22-24; Texas Rangers, Sept. 26-28: These series end the season and could well determine if the Angels defend their title in the playoffs. Either way, Mo Vaughn still sucks.


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