Angels on the outskirts: The Los Angeles identity crisis

Back in September, the Los Angeles Dodgers came to Chase Field and clinched the NL West, celebrating in the right-field pool and capping an absurd second half run, in which they went 42-8 in a 50-game span.

This team was in last place at the All-Star break. Instead of wallowing in an embarrassment of riches and talent, Don Mattingly’s team rattled off wins at a historic clip.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, pulled a complete 180, finishing 10.5 games out of first place after leading the division most of the season.

 

 

Ned Colletti’s spending and Magic Johnson’s direction have given the Dodgers a firm grip on the Los Angeles baseball scene.

What about their I-5 neighbors? The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also spent in excess of $100 million to land Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and recently acquired top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs, also inking Mike Trout to a six-year, $144.5 million extension.

Locals know the team has gone through four name changes in its history, and almost a decade into this team’s new moniker — an attempt to connect the team with a city in which it no longer resides — it seems that the team couldn’t be any more disconnected from its true fan base.

The demographic distinction of Southern California’s sports crowd is pretty obvious: Angels fans are more likely to be part of the Disney-going crowds.

Lakers fans are notorious for their bandwagon celebrities and Hollywood bravado.

In contrast, Dodger fans represent blue collar L.A. unlike any team that bears the city’s name.

Vin Scully’s blue bums have sent a clear message that might read on a pennant flag that flies on top of a pile of ‘W’s: Los Angeles is “Dodgertown.”

Reach the columnist at stefan.modrich@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @modrich_22