We re just more than a month from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. If you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
• 1. So Close to Hollywood, Yet So Far. Second baseman Adam Kennedy, along with former teammates David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio, were in a 2003 episode of the now-defunct TV series She Spies — a Charlie's Angels knockoff which starred Natasha Henstridge, former WonderBra campaign model Natasha Williams and Kirsten Miller. The three Angels (get it?) play themselves and share screen time with Stuart Scott (yeah, that one), who plays a doctor, in his only non-Boo-Yah! role to date. Amazingly, the episode did not win a single Emmy.
• 2. Who Doesn't Love Monkey Porn? Rally Monkey, the Angels' annoying, televised primate mascot, has its own web site — which hawks stuffed monkey toys and Rally Monkey t-shirts. Oh, and also, prominently displayed on the home page, a link to a "full-length porn movie."
• 3. They Are Hugo Chavez's Favorite Team. Four Angels will represent Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic: Francisco Rodriguez, Kelvim Escobar, Juan Rivera and Edgardo Alfonzo. Escobar is very active in the Stop Red Light Running campaign in Los Angeles, just so you know. Also, in less than 18 months, the Angels have acquired four Tommy John surgery survivors — Paul Byrd, Nick Adenhart, Hector Carrasco and Jason Bulger.
• 4. The Japanese Delayed The Angels' Arrival For 20 Years. The St. Louis Browns of the American League got permission to move to Los Angeles in 1941, and the league even had their schedule ready. But the move was cancelled when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December. It took until 1961 for the A.L. to finally land in L.A. In the MLB expansion meeting in 1960, cowboy movie star Gene Autry attended only to try and get the rights for the team's radio broadcasts. But somehow during the meeting he was talked into buying the whole shootin' match.
(Monday: The Atlanta Braves)