Brian Miller, Daily Titan Copy Desk Chief

Aug. 29, 2002. Mark your calendars. Or Palm Pilots. Or the desk from where you read this.<p> I unofficially announce this date to be "Cal State Fullerton Angels Day."

So grab your study partner, your teammate or the nearest janitor and head on down to Anaheim Stadium, err, Edison International Field of Anaheim as the Angels take on the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This should be an exciting game for the fans, as Troy Glaus and the gang look to drub this mockery of a franchise. What better way to spend a Saturday night? This also may be your last chance to watch major-league baseball for a while, as the owners and players are threatening a lockout scheduled for the following day. So come on out.

With a student body of more than 30,000, we should be able to sell out the Ed. Imagine, students wearing orange and blue, mingling with fans adorned with red and white. What a scene (albeit a mismatched one) this should be.

For quite some time now, CSUF baseball has done exorbitantly better than its local "professional" counterpart. The Titans have been a powerhouse for years, finishing near the top of their division every season and winning the national championship as recently as 1995.

The Angels, however, have been a major disappointment, either staying in playoff contention into late August before imploding, or being out of the race by late April. They have not even been to a division playoff game since 1986.

But this year could be different. The Angels look to overtake CSUF as the leaders in Orange County baseball, with their remarkable play up to this point.

The difference could be that, unlike the teams of the past, this year's model does not have any glaring weaknesses. The starting pitching is strong, led by Jarrod Washburn and Ramon Ortiz. The unheralded bullpen boasts one of the game's best closers in Troy Percival. The defense has been ranked near the top in the league for the entire season, as has the offense, with sparkplugs David Eckstein and Darin Erstad leading the charge. Underrated left fielder Garret Anderson has been the biggest offensive weapon thus far, batting .309 with 21 home runs and 95 RBIs.

All of this equates to a record of 77-52, good enough for second place in the American League West, and a tie for first in the wild-card race.

So, although the Angels are threatening to be a force in Orange County baseball, this should be good news to CSUF fans. Why can't both of these teams live in harmony and have their fans cheer on both squads?

CSUF and the Angels both have struggled to get fans to come to the games for quite some time, more so with Anaheim. In 2002, the Titans averaged roughly 1,100 fans per game in a 4,000 seat stadium while the Angels currently average 27,518, smack dab in the middle of the major leagues in attendance. One of the main reasons is the surrounding area. Orange County is an entertainment haven, with things to do everywhere. We've got the beach, the Block at Orange and the Irvine Spectrum with Los Angeles and San Diego right up (or down) the freeway.

St. Louis, however, can boast that it has the greatest fans and great attendance. But what is there to do in St. Louis, see the Gateway Arch?

By merging our students/fans with the Angels fans, we should be able to beef up the attendance at both venues. So who's with me? Aug. 29, 7:05 p.m. Angels versus Devil Rays. The Titans fans will be in full force, ready to join the mighty Angels fans.

Or at least I will be there. I hope.

Titan Central Top Stories