“Angels-Helluva Way to Treat People”
Angry is about the most honest sentiment out there to describe what is going on in Anaheim, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, under-achieving, out of the playoff, franchise.
Everyone is angry at everyone. Pick a name, and there is something bad attached to their name.
The firestorm of late involves owner Arte Morena, his inertia this winter in the free agent market, shying away from big money signings, instead approving acquistions of minor leaguers and guys released by other teams.
Fans are furious at the business policies of the man who owns a team in the number 2-market in the nation. Oh how they soon forget, these fans in the 714-949 area code.
Arte Moreno bought the franchise from the Disney group, which lost interest in baseball, as witnessed by their dark sky box at home games in the final years they owned the team. He invirgorated the franchise, marketing wise, drafting-wise, and with a big money roster.
I didn’t see alot of beefing when he wrote the monster check that stole the heart-soul and leader of the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols. Yes it was an expensive check to write, but superstars at the peak of their careers, earned that type of dollar.
Add onto that the signing of big bat Josh Hamilton, home-runs and baggage included in one price.
When the Angels needed pitchers, that owner went out an inked CJ Wilson, then a front line starter in Texas. In need of a reliever, they traded for the hefty contract of Padres closer Huston Street.
Don’t let your players get away either, thus a big contract to retain Jared Weaver.
The once barren farm system started to turn players over also. Here came superstar Mike Trout, and Garrett Richards, plus Matt Shoemker and Kole Calhoun.
Deals brought them Andrew Heaney and Hector Santiago, now developing as key guys in the rotation.
Of course there have been tough decisions too, letting go of 2nd baseman Howie Kendrick, Tori Hunter, the trading of Eric Aybar, Mark Trumbo, the Mike Napoli decision amongst others. Wasted money on Joe Blanton, Ervin Santana and the likes.
There have been swings, and big-misses too, a-la the deal for Vernon Wells.
1-thing you can say about the Angels owner, he’s been bold, and unafraid to make deals, all the betterment of the franchise. He has spent alot.
Of course, he has also been in the middle of the hand-grenade throwing incidents in his front office, with 17-year veteran manager Mike Scosica, who has the owner’s ear, and confidence, at the cost of a couple of GMs, who have left.
But for all the good Moreno has tried to do in Anaheim, there has been negative. You can only drag out the old story ‘well he cut beer prices’ when he bought the team years ago. Yes, that’s alot of beer and foam ago.
The real shortcoming is his inability to handle the criticism of being a public owner. His dislike of the working media, his stand-off attitude of who he talks to, who he shouts down, who he ignores. He wants the accolades when things went well, witness pennant wins and World Series appearances. He refuses to accept the responsibility when he makes mistakes.
At the end of the day, Arte Moreno has done so much good, compared to the waning days of the Autrey ownership and the corporate chemistry of team Disney. But Arte Moreno needs to realize his decisions on the grossly high Albert Pujols contract, the risk-vs-no reward with Josh Hamilton, the Wells deal, and what he is stuck with now with Wilson and Weaver’s conracts, are on his watch.
I like Moreno alot as a leader, a visionary, as an impulsive-make the decision guy. It’s too bad though, he doesn’t seem to be a happy man for all his wealth and his standing in the community, as the owner of a respected franchise. The man has done alot for the fans, that Orange County community, and that stadium.
But he has to realize, I didn’t make those contract offers, neither did the Orange County Register, the LA Times or ESPN. Ownership brings you glory, it also brings you accountability. Arte Moreno wants us to give him a free pass on the pit-falls. He fails to realize that, and that’ too bad.
He’s treated alot of players very well. His treatment of the working media is very poor. He’s taken some really unfair heat from the public. He’s dished out some unwarranted anger in response.