Angels–Gone to Hell”
It’s an awful time to be an Angels fan.
The man, who brought stability, leadership, and money to the owners offices, is throwing in the towel.
I felt this months ago, and now it is right there infront for everyone to see.
Arte Moreno no longer enjoys owning the Angels franchise. It’s a combination of ugly seasons, missing he playoffs, failing miserbably in free agency.
He won’t say it, since he is in grudge mode with the media, but he has been betrayed by alot of people.
Mostly the players he lavished alot of money on. Agents, who bamboozled him. Front office execs he trusted-who failed him.
Mix in bad luck, injuries, even deaths, add water, and the fun of owning the Angels is gone.
Moreno will be gone soon, carrying with him a massive profit, likely selling the team for 2B after buying it from Disney’s penny pinchers for 184M.
His legacy covers the entire spectrum, from a World Series ring, to drug related lawsuits.
It includes faulty hires for the GM jobs, obvious mistakes in staying with managers or hiring overmatched managers, and failing to make it work with managers who won other places.
It’s a sad situation the Angels exist in right now.
The scorecard on Moreno comes with pluses and minuses.
The excitement of ‘Red October’, the Angels World Series win, seems like a lifetime ago.
There were 5-division titles in a 6-year window, and the feeling Mike Scoscia was the right guy at the right time.
But that is offset by the change in baseball operations and the feeling a stubborn Scoscia could not-would not change.
Add in the clashes with GM’s, whether it was Bill Bavasi, Jerry DiPoto or the current leadership-nothing seems right.
Even the free-thinking Joe Maddon, given the reigns to recreate what he did in Tampa Bay and at Wrigley Field, did not work. It ended with a sudden firing and the recent hostile comments directed by Maddon at what Moreno allowed to happen in his front office.
For every great addition like Vlad Guerrero or the singing of Shohei Ohtani, all that was eradicated when you see the horrors of the drug death of Tyler Skaggs, the sadness of the emotional low of the Nick Adenhardt DUI-fatality.
The era of Langston-Finley-Eckstien seems so long ago. Replaced by gross contracts given to troubled Josh Hamilton, the money grabs of Justin Upton, Vernon Wells, Gary Matthews.
Meaning well he gave an aging good guy Albert Pujols a great payday, but he did not get great returns.
Mike Trout is still waiting for a roster full of talent that could push his team back into postseason, but it has not happened.
The pitching disgrace has not gotten better, all that money wasted on guys at the end of their careers. The last group of signings, led by Noah Syndegaard to Trevor Cahill and every guy in between has brought abysmal results Can you believe the last group of arms went a combined (8-52).
Injuries are part of the game, but the bad luck Trout, Anthony Rendon and others have had to live thru seems exorbitant.
Moreno has to carry responsibility for being impulsive, reckless, maybe unintelligent for the hirings, firings and player failures.
Give him credit for spending over 1B-in the free agent market. Give him criticism for never adopting a full plan of how to build a farm system and to show patience in what was needed, a rebuild, that takes years.
Calling the team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was absurd.
Not knowing or acting upon the information his PR director was a drug addict and was dealing within the clubhouse, has to weigh heavy on his heart, even if a good man was broadsided badly by people who had enormous addiction issues.
The likely finishing act in the Moreno regime was being dragged into the middle of this FBI probe of corruption in the Anaheim’s mayors office, and the crushing decision to give up ideas of building a new stadium on that tract of land outfront of the stadium. Good intentkons by the man, a bad result, again.
The infrastructure at Angels operation failed the owner badly. But he is atop the hierachy chart, so it sadly ends up on his tour of dtuy report.
He exits in the wake of 7-losing seasons in a row, with 1-playoff appearance in the last 13-years. He leaves with a barren farm system. He says goodbye with the next owner having to solve the Ohtani contract issue with every agent caring only about dollars and average salary, not the clubhouse, the team, the franchise future.
Somebody should say thank you for what Moreno tried to do after Disney gave up. But like everything else, even the beloved Cowboy-Gene Autrey was defiled for how poorly the franchise ran in his final days.
But losses, lawsuits, bad decisions, bad injuries and big dollar mistakes changed his world.
More than anything else, I feel badly for Arte Moreno the person. The game he fell in love with just ate him up. Owning a baseball team was no longer fun
He deserved better for all he tried to do. It didn’t work out so he carries some of the blame as he packs his briefcase. Sometimes being rich-wealthy just isn’t enough in pro sports.
Arte Moreno will probably realize that soon. It’s sad.