December 15, 2010

Yes, I'm beating a dead horse

On October 5, 2010 I saw a headline in the LA Times that grabbed my attention. It read “Arte Moreno is mad, and he’s going to do something about it.” It was just the kind of thing a fan and especially a season ticket holder wanted to see from the owner.

The column, written by Bill Plaschke had some interesting quotes from Moreno. Here are several of them:

First Plaschke wrote “Did the owner of an underachieving Los Angeles major league baseball team just tell me that he was angry, disappointed, and would spend whatever it took to return his team to the playoffs?”

Moreno’s reply? "Yes," Arte Moreno said... "That's how I feel. That's what I'll do."

More quotes from Moreno:

"If you want to continue to perform at the highest level, you have to keep building the business," Moreno said. "And that's what I intend to do."

"We know where our weaknesses are, we know where we are thin, we know where we have to go to market," Moreno said. "It's going to cost money, but our fans need to know what we're committed to winning."

"You're not in the playoffs, you're not a happy person," Moreno said. ''I just don't like losing, and we're going to make adjustments."

"We're trying to improve how we operate, from the baseball side," he said. "We were thin this year. We didn't have the depth we needed. Everything starts with how we draft and how we develop, and we will do a better job of that."

"Championship teams develop their players like we have, we know that," he said. "But sometimes when the prospects aren't there, you have to bridge that area, and I'm willing to do that."

The fans need to see that we are doing something..."

"Am I going to go down to talk to the press and say I'm mad?" he said. "I was always taught that you wash your dirty laundry at home. Yes, we want to communicate to the fans, but in this case, the fans can see what's going on."

Read those quotes again and let them sink in.

Two months have passed. What have we heard since then? Just crickets….

We know what has happened since that time. Yup. The Angels signed two left handed relief pitchers on the down side of their careers One will be 35 by opening day (Scott Downs) and the other will be 36 (Hisanori Takahashi).

The Angels missed out on Carl Crawford and now seem to be held captive by Scott Boras over the negotiations for Adrian Beltre.

In the mean time – Tony Reagins has made statements like signing Takahashi was a big splash… His latest gem came in an interview with Terry Smith (which you can hear on where he makes a statement along the lines of signing Takahashi, Downs and getting a full season of Dan Haren and Kendry Morales is like signing four free agents.


I guess Tony Reagins really thinks we are idiots. I expect this kind of spin from a politician, but not from a baseball general manager with a season ticket base that is as large as the one the Angels enjoy. We deserve better.

Let’s see, on one hand we have an owner who basically tells us he’s going to do what he needs to do and on the other we have a GM who acts like everything is hunky dory. Imagine Reagins as the captain of the Titanic and telling his passengers, “we’ve just run into a little ice and we’ll be at our destination in no time.” What Captain Reagins neglects to tell his passengers is that the “destination” is the bottom of the ocean.

Is the ship really sinking in Anaheim? No, not really – I like to exaggerate a little for effect. Is it taking on some water right now? Yeah, I think so. Are they working frantically to correct things? I sure hope so, but appearances are not encouraging.

The longer this off season goes without any really solid good news… I mean the kind of news that makes a fan pump his fist, and say, “that’s what I’m talking about…” the more anxious we become and the more we focus on empty statements like the ones above.

I’m trying to imagine what Moreno is thinking these days. Is he still mad? Is he apathetic? Confident? Concerned? Frustrated? Or is he still motivated to get things going in the right direction?

I want answers, but I’m not likely to get t hem. I basically have to sit here, be patient and wait to see what happens. In prior years, I haven’t had much of a problem with doing exactly that, but my gut keeps telling me we may be headed for a repeat of 2010.

I hope I’m wrong. I would love to be dead wrong about all of this. I would prefer to find out I was paranoid for no good reason, but the bits of information that make it out into the public for our consumption leaves me more pessimistic than I’ve ever been.

Let's look at two of Moreno's statments again...

First: "The fans need to see that we are doing something..."

Correction Mr. Moreno, we want to see that you are doing something significant and we don't want Mr. Reagins spinning us a load of crap.

Second: "Am I going to go down to talk to the press and say I'm mad?" he said. "I was always taught that you wash your dirty laundry at home. Yes, we want to communicate to the fans, but in this case, the fans can see what's going on."

We see what's going on all right and we're not happy. What really makes us angry is when Reagins talks to us like we're idiots and tries to play spin doctor. He's better off just keeping his mouth shut all-together.

At the end of the day, you need to remember the old saying "action always speaks louder than words."


  1. As a fan who knows exactly how you feel, you can't beat this dead horse enough.

  2. Moreno gambled that the Rangers wouldn't see Cliff Lee in a Texas uniform, the Mariners will repeat as division punching bag, and that the A's will have too many holes in their offensive lineup to pull ahead of either the Angels or the Rangers.

    That is to say, the division just got weaker. The Angels also got some nice surprises late in the year from their bullpen that, if they hold, should be the nucleus of a new, vastly improved unit. (But as we saw a few years back with Jose Arredondo, it's all too easy for one year's relief ace to turn into a pumpkin.)

    But that said, the Rangers still have the best offense in the division, arguably a stronger rotation than anyone else, and a surprisingly good bullpen. The Angels have problems up the middle offensively, a couple busts (Erick Aybar and even more so, Brandon Wood), and are still carrying the bad deal for GMJ. The Angels have a fighting chance, but I'm looking at some down years until they fix the remaining problems.

  3. Look James you need to just try to relax Tony is working a deal... You know Gary Sheffield is still available.

  4. @Rob and others -

    I wouldn't call Aybar a bust ... but I might consider Kendrick's so-called "he will win a batting crown" potential to be highly overvalued and the Angels defense at 3B in 2010 nearly non-existent (let alone the offense). Beltre is a major need (not Crawford), and pawning Kendrick's "potential" off in a trade for an LF is the right direction, IMHO.