The Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered another significant setback. While the McCourts were squabbling over a bitter divorce settlement and MLB disallowed a lucrative TV contract the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim quickly (and shrewdly) took advantage of the situation. In less than a week the Angels have taken over as the dominant team in America's 2nd largest market.
It all started with the signing of Albert Pujols. After wrapping up the best player in baseball for the next 10 years season ticket sales skyrocketed. Coupled with the signing of free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson from the Rangers the Angels proved they are committed to winning at a high level. In addition, the Angels landed the lucrative TV deal the Dodgers were so desperately seeking. Anchored with a 3 billion dollar TV contract the Angels can go after big name free agents with the same aggressiveness as the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs.
Even though the Dodgers have a long standing tradition and loyal fans these dramatic moves will greatly impact the baseball landscape in Los Angeles. MVP runner up Matt Kemp and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw make up a strong nucleus for the future, but the Angels have stolen their thunder. All the uncertainty about the ownership left the Dodgers in a vulnerable position and now they have to play second fiddle in their own town.
I always thought the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sounded kind of corny and now we can officially drop the Anaheim part. Armed with the best player in baseball the Angels are on their way to becoming the New York Yankees of the west coast. They have a passion for winning, a willingness to spend, and a big market that will embrace them. Can anyone stop them?