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Lisa Guerrero: Time to end this monkey business?

October 6, 2008 | 11:52 am

Rally Monkeys on call at Angel Stadium

All in all it’s been a rough few days for the monkeys.

On Friday night, the Angels’ Rally Monkey let down the home crowd in Anaheim. Although the team triumphed Sunday night in Boston, you can’t credit the monkey unless he sneaked into Jared Weaver’s suitcase.

On Saturday, John McCain’s rally monkey, Sarah Palin, popped up in Carson. Fresh off of her victory over herself at the debate, her campaign let Palin out of the cage to rev up the fan base.

Only problem was that, according to an Associated Press analysis, the lady maverick made some “racially tinged” remarks about Barack Obama. Someone might want to inform Sarah that although comments like that may play well in Wasilla, here in Southern California we celebrate diversity along with divisional championships.

Now back to the other primate.

Lisa Guerrero It pains me to write this because I’m a fan of the Angels. Having grown up in San Diego, then Huntington Beach, and finally settling in Los Angeles, I root for every SoCal team. I also love the Rally Monkey.

Through the years I have purchased several of them. The current one smells like stale beer, has cotton candy stuck in his fur and lives in my closet standing vigil over my shoe rack.

But it may be time to put the Rally Monkey out to pasture. (Or Rain forest? Zoo? Jungle Cruise at Disneyland?) He’s just not performing well in the postseason anymore. Since 2000 he’s done an admirable job overall and has a higher approval rating during this same span than that other monkey in the White House.

There’s no denying that he was once a part of some historic, come-from-behind-victories at the Big A (yes, I still call it that and the Angels will always be the California Angels to me).

Last month, my husband and I had dinner in New York with Johnny Damon and his wife, Michelle. The subject of the Rally Monkey came up –- don’t ask me why –- and he said that the Yankees “fear him.”

Derek Jeter told Johnny that while in the dugout during the 2002 ALCS, several members of the team were watching the scoreboard in Anaheim during a Rally Monkey video. Derek stepped in front of them and warned his teammates to avert their eyes. “Don’t look at the monkey, whatever you do, don’t look at the monkey.” They laughed him off, watched the video anyway and the Angels defeated the Yankees three games to one and the rest was history.

Johnny told us that he believes in the power of the primate.

But has Rally lost his monkey mojo? And why? Is it his age (what’s 8 in monkey years?)? Could it be a woman? A lack of focus? Global warming? I guess for ol’ times sake, if the Halos can pull off another stunner in Beantown, we should give Rally one more chance. So, for now, I’ll get off the monkey’s back and if we’re lucky, he’ll get off Vlad’s.

Lisa Guerrero has covered Super Bowls, NBA championships and the World Series, along with the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. As an actress, she has appeared on "Frasier," "The George Lopez Show," and as Billy Baldwin's long-suffering wife in the family film "A Plumm Summer," which she executive produced.

Photos: Top: Rally Monkeys were on hand during an April 16 game at Angel Stadium. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Associated Press. Insert: Lisa Guerrero.

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