Arte and Anaheim: A Valentine's Day Post

It's almost Valentine's Day, so it's only natural that dysfunctional relationships, crushed hopes, and the reek of squandered affection are in the air. What's a little less natural is that they are also in the sports pages. But when it comes Angel's owner Arte Moreno and Anaheim, you'd expect nothing less.

Like a classic bad boyfriend, Moreno has, over the years, made the occasionally gesture– lowering beer prices, spending money to buy star players– that makes his Significant Other thinks he really cares, before he starts demeaning and degrading the SO by dragging someone else into the relationship. In this case the someone else is Los Angeles, and on Thursday it took a jury only 4 hours to decide that Arte has every right to call his team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Anaheim had sued Moreno over the name change (in an attempt “to make sure our identity of Orange County and Anaheim [would] be preserved”, according to Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle), but the jury found that all the Angel's stadium lease requires is that the team's name somehow include the word “Anaheim”. So presumably, Moreno could legally change the name of the team to the Los Angeles Angels who are stuck in that Third-Rate, Disney-infested corner of Purgatory called Anaheim. Of course, it would be hard to fit that on a ball cap, so for the moment, the team will stick with the LAAoA.

But since it is almost Valentine's Day, let's follow tradition, and try to paper over the hurt feelings and humiliation with a little poetry. Hallmark doesn't make a card for something like this, but fortunately, exactly the right sentiment for the occasion can be found in the work of Stephen Crane. (When it comes to professional sports, it's always good to look to a author who wrote about prostitution– since in both prostitution and pro sports, the bulk of the money goes to some bastard who isn't putting his body on the line.) So for Anaheim and Arte this Valentine's Day, Stephen Crane's poem “A Man Said to the Universe”:

A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

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