The Angels can drop the “of Anaheim” from their name under their new lease

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UPDATE: The original version of this post linked to a story that, it has been brought to our attention, was blatantly plagiarized from Bill Shaikin’s report from the Los Angeles Times. Apologies to Shaikin and the Times. And shame on the jerks who just reprinted their article without link or attribution.  

The Angels have been negotiating with the Anaheim city council over their lease at the Big A. Which I don’t think is “The Big A” anymore, but old habits die hard. Anyway: under the lease the Angels had the right to relocate after 2016 if they wanted. It’s now been extended to 2019 as Arte Moreno and the city continue to negotiate over a longer term arrangement.

The more interesting part for those of us without a stake in the lease: the Angels can now drop the “of Anaheim” from their name if they want to:

Another portion of the lease that will energize fans is that Anaheim is giving up it’s stake to the Halos name. In the past, the Angels were required to have “Anaheim” in their name, hence the “of Anaheim” in their title. In it’s current state, Moreno can remove the suffix and simply call his club the Los Angeles Angels.

They’ve been the Los Angeles Angels. The California Angels. The Anaheim Angels. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. At this point, it really doesn’t matter where they say they’re from. We know where the ballpark is. I just regret that they didn’t go with “The O.C. Angels” at some point. They coulda ridden some temporary pop culture wave with that about ten years ago. Alas.

The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp were staked to a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they had only played five innings of baseball. UPDATE: they played a full game today, the BayStars won, so now it’s 2-1 Hiroshima.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?