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Judge rejects Anaheim's plea for Angels name change

3/2/2006 - MLB Anaheim Angels

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A judge rejected a request Thursday by
the city of Anaheim to force the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to
change their name back to the Anaheim Angels.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Polos ruled that he
had no authority to reverse the ruling of a jury that three weeks
ago decided in the team's favor.

The jury found that the Angels didn't breach a contract with the
city when owner Arte Moreno changed their name in January 2005.

"In this case, the jury found no wrongdoing, so in my view you
don't get to damages and you don't get to an injunction," Polos
said while hearing arguments from lawyers.

Outside court, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Chavez said Anaheim has yet
to decide whether to appeal the case. He said city leaders will
meet March 7 to discuss the issue.

Last month, the jury also declined to award damages, although
attorneys for the city had asked for as much as $373 million in
lost tourism revenue, publicity and "impressions" -- a reference
to the national buzz Anaheim got every time its name was used in
conjunction with Major League Baseball.

The city sued the team for breach of contract last January,
shortly after owner Moreno changed the name to Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim. The city's lawsuit accused the team not only of breach
of contract but of violating a state law that requires good faith
and fair dealing in all contracts.

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.