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Alexander: Angels fans speak their piece about impending ownership change

There is always a risk to crowdsourcing a column for a day. You never know how much trolling you’ll get.

My request at the bottom of Saturday’s column for Angels fans’ opinions on who should buy the team from Arte Moreno drew some impassioned responses, as you would expect from a fan base that is loyal but also fed up after more than a decade of futility.

But, of course, there are those who have to get their shots in.

For instance, Don Dogotch – his email address begins with “yankees,” so you can pretty well guess where this is going, wrote:

“New owner: NY Yankees and become their feeder team. Reason being: 1. Angels are basically a AAA team anyway. 2. Only player that could start on Yankees is (Shohei) Ohtani. 3. (Mike) Trout could but never healthy so trade him. 4. (Anthony) Rendon dump or trade. 5. Young pitchers maybe. Best plan for Angels … no hope otherwise.”

Gee, didn’t the Yankees already treat another team as a glorified farm club decades ago? Yankees owner Dan Topping was instrumental in one of his friends, Arnold Johnson, buying the A’s in 1954. The team moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City, and for the next six years the teams kept making trades. Somehow, most of them favored New York. How do you think Roger Maris became a Yankee?

But Yankees fans aren’t the only ones trolling. This, from Jc Confer: “Perfect solution. Dodgers buy the Angels for use as a farm club.”

Maybe that’s what Arte was afraid of when he vetoed that Luis Rengifo for Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson deal early in 2020.

But seriously, folks, while I don’t think anybody ever did take out that parade permit, Moreno’s announcement that he was selling was a breath of fresh air for a fan base sick of futility.

Cyndy Klein and Ivan Narragon nominated Henry and Susan Samueli, owners of the Ducks, with Klein writing: “What they have done on their side of the freeway has made the Honda Center and transportation hub a very attractive part of the renovation of the Platinum Triangle vision. The Samuelis have sterling business ethics, and big hearts. They continued payroll for the Honda Center employees during the pandemic. I certainly hope they read your column and put serious consideration into restoring the halos to our Angels!”

Narragon’s take was more basic: “They seem to not mind having a winning team.”

There are still, after 18 years, fans who hold a grudge over the name “Los Angeles Angels.” Jon Appel thinks the team should immediately revert to the Anaheim Angels name and also sell stock to the public to become a municipally owned franchise like the Green Bay Packers. “This would,” he said, “prevent any future tampering by another greedy outside owner, and it would prevent the City of Long Beach from stealing the team.”

(I suspect that’s a non-starter with Rob Manfred.)

Bob Waters of Laguna Niguel suggested Elon Musk. “He has the money, vision and leadership,” he wrote. “The only problem is Texas already has two MLB teams. He would promptly move the Angels elsewhere. Las Vegas is a potential site. He could beat the A’s there. At least we could be rid of “Los Angeles” in the name.”

That’s an awfully high price to pay to get rid of L.A., isn’t it?

Bill Tompkins and William Stremel cast their votes for Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who has already turned around one distressed property. “Yes, he’s a bit goofy, but his enthusiasm and dedication to his team’s success would never be in doubt,” Stremel wrote. Tompkins concurred, writing, “I think he would hire the best personnel to run the team and invest properly in our farm system and scouting departments.”

That would be a refreshing change.

But Duane Plank, who lives in El Segundo and says he has been an Angel fan since 1965, might have come up with the likely winner.

“I would like to see Golden State owner Joe Lacob and his group buy the Angels,” he wrote. “Seems like he has been pretty successful with the basketball Warriors. Any man smart enough to hire Jerry West, and then let the basketball knowledgeable people run the show, has to be an improvement over the meddling Moreno.”

Why is it a winner? It might be most likely to happen.

Lacob led a group that outbid zillionaire Larry Ellison to buy the Warriors in 2010, another case of taking over a distressed property and improving it, since previous owner Chris Cohan had an approval rating in the Bay Area even below Moreno depths. Now look at the Warriors: Four NBA titles in eight seasons, a sparkling new arena in San Francisco and a team and a management that continues to hit the right notes. (Lacob was a part-owner of the Boston Celtics before buying the Dubs, but we wouldn’t hold that against him.)

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