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February 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm ET
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Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until He’s Gone

Since the signing of Albert Pujols on December 8, the Angels have had—among several other perks and jollities—the good fortune of seeing their season ticket sales jump 50% from the same point last year. At last estimate, 3,000 full season ticket packages and 2,300 other full seasons from aggregated mini-plans have been sold.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Pujols alone would lead to stadium sell-outs for the next decade.

 

But, as many in the sabersphere are wont to point out, big signings don’t historically amount to a prolonged increase in attendance. So it’s a good thing then that the Angels didn’t sign Pujols to boost revenue through attendance.

No, they obviously signed him to boost revenue through playoff appearances, advertising, greater national attention and by usurping the Dodgers’ hold on the greater Los Angeles/Orange County baseball market jersey sales.

As this excruciating OC Register photo gallery illustrates, a veritable treasure trove of all-things-#5 is now available in the Angels team store and is flying off the well-stocked shelves. But while many fans have been content to spend away on Pujols paraphernalia since his arrival, several others now find themselves in a rather uncomfortable position.

These hapless souls are the burdened bearers of the pre-Pujols #5 Angels jersey. They are the lovers of intangibles, athletic presence and former back-up quarterbacks. The few who strayed so far from the path that they proudly donned M-A-T-H-I-S across their backs in a non-ironic fashion. This unlucky cohort took on many different forms during Mathis’ tenure as a Halo (see: below), but all shared in the same pitied plight of publicly brandishing the #5.

 

Figure 1: Tebow AND Mathis? God is just fucking with us now.

 

With Pujols now on-board, these fans find themselves in uncharted territory: they are now in possession of the most desirable Angels’ jersey, minus one somewhat amendable flaw. So what are they to do? Is there reason to shell out $283.99 on a jersey they (sort of) already own?

Lucky for them, Angels Insider recently answered fans’ top three questions on the subject to alleviate any Mathis-related concerns:

  • Is it appropriate to tape PUJOLS over that other guy’s name so I don’t have to buy another jersey/t-shirt? John L., Mass.

Of course, John! Duct tape, felt pen, sew-on patches, iron-on decals… pretty much any sort of adhesive or binding agent readily available at Michaels is fair game (Except for wood glue, of course. That shit never works).

Fellow fans may initially deride you for your apparent inability to recognize talent but that should quickly give way to admiration for your ingenuity and overall thriftiness in these uncertain economic times.

Little Danny here is demonstrating a prime example of enhancing his #5:

  • Can I still show up to an Angels game with an unaltered Mathis jersey/t-shirt on under my other jersey? Mike S., Cali.

Stupid question. Moving on.

  • Is it OK to burn my Mathis jersey in effigy? Mike N., Tex.

Whoa, a little hostile there aren’t we, Mike? What’d Jeff ever do to you? I suppose I’d say yes, but with one minor stipulation: you must be in possession of a World Series MVP.

In other words, maybe next year!

Also, GULF.

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