Battle for Los Angeles Heating Up Big Time

For over 50 years, both the Dodgers and Angels have called Los Angeles home.  Sure, the Angels started off as the Los Angeles Angels before becoming the California Angels for most of their history.  They then morphed into the Anaheim Angels before settling into the simple title of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Up until 2002, they were almost an afterthought in LA baseball, mainly known for coughing up playoff leads of epic proportions (1982 to the Milwaukee Brewers and 1986 to the Boston Red Sox) as well as a meltdown in 1995 allowing the Seattle Mariners to win the American League West.   The Halos won the World Series in 2002 and since then have won five division titles.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers owned the LA sports scene for a long time and still own a sizable amount of it.  They have won five World Championships since leaving Brooklyn while capturing an additional four National League pennants.  However, recent years haven’t been kind in Dodgertown with the bungled ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt the biggest blight on the organization since deserting New York 55 years ago.  It seems both teams were never really good at the same time nor have both been considered World Series contenders at the same time heading into Spring Training.

That should change in 2013.

Mikw Trout, one of the many stars playing Major League Baseball in Los Angels.  Image:  sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Mike Trout, one of the many stars playing Major League Baseball in Los Angeles. Image: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

The Dodgers now have Magic Johnson as an owner creating a buzz around the team that has been absent since long-time manager Tommy Lasorda retired in 1996.   AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout became the most talked-about Halo since Wally Joyner.  Both teams are flush with cash thanks to multibillion dollar deals with FOX Sports, the Angels at $3 billion for 20 years signed in 2011 and the Dodgers rumored to be doubling that number any day now.  LA American has Albert Pujols.  LA National has Matt Kemp.   The Angels have Jered Weaver.  The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw.  Both teams are heavily pursuing Zack Greinke, whom the Halos traded for during the 2012 season6 years and $150 million dollars is what Greinke is supposedly seeking with the Dodgers allegedly willing to meet that price.  That might scare off that other LA team who binged on Pujols and C.J. Wilson at least year’s General Managers meetings.  Don’t expect the Angels to lay down if outbidded for Greinke.  You can bet GM Jerry DiPoto will have something up his sleeve similar to his stealth negotiations with Pujols and Wilson last year.

With no NFL team in Los Angeles, no Kings to defend the Stanley Cup and the Lakers in disarray, the two baseball teams in LA will be making some major noise in the country’s second biggest market.  I dare say that this two team, city rivalry is poised to overtake the Yankees and Mets in terms of juice if it has not done so already.  Will they meet in the World Series?  My instinct tells me no.  You should mark on your calendars the dates May 27th-May 30th.  That’s when these two teams will meet for the only time in 2013.  Let’s hope the games match the hype surrounding both clubs.

Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com

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