Anaheim will continue fight despite jury's ruling

2/14/2006 - MLB Anaheim Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- City officials plan to ask a judge to order the Angels to drop Los Angeles from their name despite last week's jury ruling that the team did not breach a contract by calling itself the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, an attorney said Monday.

The Superior Court jury also ruled Thursday that the baseball team did not violate a state law requiring good faith and fair dealing when it changed its name from the Anaheim Angels before last season.

Attorney Michael Rubin said Monday the city's lawyers would make the request at a March 2 hearing before Superior Court Judge Peter Poulos.

Rubin said city officials believe they have a good chance of prevailing based on Poulos' previous rulings concerning language in a stadium lease agreement signed by officials with The Walt Disney Co. when it owned the team. The lease required that the word Anaheim be included in the name.

Team spokesman Tim Mead was traveling to spring training in Tempe, Ariz., on Monday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Arte Moreno, who bought the team in 2003, said he changed the name from Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take advantage of marketing opportunities associated with the larger Los Angeles market.

Rubin said City Council members would be briefed Tuesday on the next steps in the city's litigation.

The Angels began play in 1961 as the Los Angeles Angels, becoming the California Angels when the team moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim in 1966. The name was changed to the Anaheim Angels after The Walt Disney Co. bought the team from founding owner Gene Autry.