By Evan Brunell
The Angels, for a host of reasons, really, really need Vernon Wells to come through. After proving he still had something left in his bat, Wells was dealt to the Angels in the offseason's most-criticized swap, as Wells has $81 million remaining on his ill-advised contract.
The Angels made the move hoping Wells would add to their offense that struggled in 2010. While losing Kendrys Morales to an injury in May didn't help Los Angeles' cause, the offense needed a shot in the arm to go along with Morales' return. But rather than commit seven years to Carl Crawford, the Angels struck for a worse player whose four years left on the deal are at the same ages as Crawford.
For the offense's sake, for the sake of the ledger books and for the sake of GM Tony Reagins, Vernon Wells must produce.
- Ted Kluszewski played with Al Jackson for the 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates
- Al Jackson played with Nolan Ryan for the 1969 New York Mets
- Nolan Ryan played with Darren Oliver for the 1993 Texas Rangers
- Darren Oliver played with Jered Weaver for the 2007 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
You can't talk Angels pop culture without mentioning the classic Angels in the Outfield, starring Christopher Lloyd, Danny Glover, Tony Danza and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who you may remember as Arthur in Inception, Tom from (500) Days of Summer or as Tommy Solomon in 3rd Rock from the Sun as one of the main characters. Also making appearances in the film are Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey and Neal McDonough.
In Angels in the Outfield, released in 1994, Gordon-Levitt plays a foster child who sneaks into games played by the California Angels, who were among the league's dreck. It is at this time that he asks his father when they can be a family again, to which the father responds that the Angels have to win the pennant first. Gordon-Levitt, as Rogers, then prays for help. Lo and behold, the angels (not the baseball Angels...) respond!
Hey, we didn't say this movie was in the running for Best Picture. Anyways, we won't ruin the ending here, but suffice it to say that hilarity ensues as God's angels help the Calfornia Angels in their run to the pennant with Roger the only one who can see the angels. That draws the attention of the Angels manager (Glover), who uses Roger to help the team.
There's one part of the movie where Glover leaves in a starting pitcher despite 159 pitches up to that point. You'd certainly never see that today.
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