Anaheim shouldn’t sue Angels

Justin Satzman

Recently, the city of Anaheim decided not to appeal a court’s decision that allowed the Angels to keep their new name. Some of you may be aware that the Angels changed their name last season from Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

I know that some of you who did not know this are wondering why a team would change their name to this. It sounds stupid and makes no sense. However, to those who know marketing and sports, this is a brilliant move.

The name Los Angeles translates into marketing gold. Every time the Angels were on TV, the box score said LAA, meaning Los Angeles Angels. Basically, the Angels traded the dead end name of Anaheim to the world famous Los Angeles.

As you can imagine, this did not make the city of Anaheim happy. In their contract with the Angels, the writing states that the Angels must have Anaheim in their name. However, it does not say where the name must be. Technically, the Angels are not breaking their contract but are still receiving flak for the name change.

The city of Anaheim said the name change is costing the city millions of dollars and believes the Angels should change the name back. After a season’s-worth of arguing with Angels owner Arte Morano, the city council took him to court. Within hours of going into jury deliberation, the jury came out in favor of the Angels, saying the team did not violate their contract with the city.

Until last week, the city said that they were going to appeal the decision, but decided not to.

The city council made a good decision, probably the first good decision they made in this whole process. I agree the name sounds stupid and I agree the Angels should not be allowed to use the name Los Angeles because they do not play in Los Angeles. In fact, the Angels do not even play in Los Angles County. But going to court over this issue is ludicrous.

First of all, the city of Anaheim should have more important issues to deal with than telling a local team what they should call themselves. The Angels still have to pay the same amount to the city, so Anaheim is not losing money there. Also with the Angels being a good team, they sell merchandise which has Anaheim on it, so they are still making money there. Their argument about losing money is weak, considering they have Disneyland and the Arowhead Pond.

Secondly, the city council went to court and lost, meaning the citizens of Anaheim are paying the legal bill. Every person I talk to in the O.C., who is an Angels fan, believes the name change is dumb, but not worth going to court over, especially if citizens have to pick up the bill.

Third, baseball is not the most important thing to worry about in Anaheim. I have been there and I know the schools are in need of money and attention. Instead of worrying about baseball, the city council could worry about raising teacher or police officer wages and making the community a better place to live.

So let the Angels call themselves whatever they want. It’s the team taking the humiliation, not the city. Sports commentators, Jim Rome and Dan Patrick, call them the Los Angeles Angels, north of San Diego south of Pasadena off the 5-freeway of Anaheim.

So get used to it, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are here to stay.

Justin Satzman can be reached at