This week the Arrowhead Pond—home of your almost world champion Mighty Ducks—turns 10 years old. It's hard to believe. Just a decade ago the Pond opened to the tune of . . . Barry Manilow.
Yup. Barry Manilow. There was a "near-sellout crowd" to see him, too, according to The Orange County Register that year. "I feel like the mightiest duck of them all!" yelled Manilow during the concert.
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To be honest, we wouldn't have even noticed the anniversary were it not for a helpful Pond press release we got a week ago that made it sound as if Pond officials are amazed they survived at all.
"June 19, 1993, Barry Manilow headlined the inaugural concert at the Arrowhead Pond," read the release. "Ten years later, the Arrowhead Pond remains the premier entertainment and sports venue in Southern California." (Anthony Pignataro)
It is with a heavy but grateful heart that we note the passing of Steve Phillips. Until recently, Mr. Phillips was the general manager of the New York Mets, but locals will remember him as the man who took Mo Vaughn off the Angels' hands thereby opening a spot for Scott Spezio thereby starting Anaheim on its way to the world title. Though I don't believe the Angels voted Phillips a World Series share—it may look rather untoward, him being with another team and all—he made a huge contribution. The thinking behind the Vaughn move—loading a team with aging stars in hopes they have one last pop in them—achieved just the opposite of its intended effect: the Mets find themselves in last place with the likes of Tom Glavine, Roberto Alomar, Jeremy Burnitz and Vaughn on their roster. Ironically, this is the same philosophy that made the Angels doormats for years. Or did you forget Hubie Brooks, Dave Parker, Kelly Gruber, Fernando Valenzuela, Don Sutton, John Candelaria, Von Hayes . . .? (Steve Lowery)
On the menu this weekend is surf and turf. San Clemente may be a wave-riding mecca and home to famous Trestles beach, but surfing will be only the second-most popular sport there on Saturday. You can join other dirtheads as they descend on the quiet beach town to compete in the San Clemente Trail Challenge. The courses navigate the area's steep ridges, which means your legs are guaranteed to be awash in lactic acid and your heart accelerated to a dizzying metronomic beat. After the race, the surf will welcome you back for an afternoon of active recovery. San Clemente Ridge Trail Challenge, Albertson's parking lot, Plaza Pacifica, La Pata & Pico, San Clemente, (949) 388-8536. Registration begins 6:30 a.m.; mountain bike 10K, 8 a.m.; 5K & 10K trail runs, 8:45 a.m. $10-$24. (Scott Giffin)