If you listened to the Angels-Vernon Wells press conference on the radio like I did, you may have set a record for shaking your head back and forth.  You may also have winced at the spin, rivaling that of a propaganda campaign during 1930’s Berlin.  In a cryptic quote that may foreshadow the Angels’ dark future, Angels’ owner Arte Moreno, when asked about not signing Carl Crawford, stated, “I guess for me…the 7 year…the 6, 7 year contracts are tough.”

That’s a scary thing if you’re an Angel fan, because the owner of the team basically just admitted that he won’t sign any premium player…ever. The elite players in the game want at least 6 years on a deal for security.  If Moreno is not going to offer that, then prepare for a bunch of 2nd and 3rd tier players to be passed off on the fan base as elite level.  When you add to Moreno’s quote his own ego-driven inability to work with the pain in the posterior that is Scott Boras, it certainly seems that the Angels will never land elite level talent.

For whatever a prick Boras has proven to be, he represents the best players in baseball, and if Arte’s chonies are still in a twist after the Mark Teixeira negotiations from 2008, the Angels will go back to the also-rans of the 1990’s in refusing to deal with the agent that represents the very best on the sportAnd guess who their poster boy, Kendry Morales’s agent is?  That’s right, Mr. Boras.  Morales is coming up on a contract year, so as long as he is represented by Boras, Angel fans can watch another prime time player walk out the door.  Unless Moreno actually opens his wallet for Pujols (who is not represented by Boras) in the 11-12 off season, the Angels will fail once again.  Since Moreno said in the Wells press conference that he doesn’t agree with the 6 and 7 year contracts and Pujols is rumored to be looking for a 10 year deal, or at least close to it, the Angels chances of landing him also seem to be about as good as Khloe Kardashian’s chances as a sex symbol.  (See our story, “Stanque Et Cannabis“)

With Angel fans excited about what might come to be, and he told the L.A. Times in December, “I’m not the Boston Red Sox.  I’m not the New York Yankees”.  Then maybe you shouldn’t suggest it in previous months.  Apparently Moreno was so disappointed in October, he told the L.A. Times that he was, “angry, disappointed, and would spend whatever it takes to return to the playoffs.”

"No, he's not Crawford. But his salary is."

So let’s get into the finances.  Wouldn’t it have been better to sign Crawford, and trade Napoli and Rivera for some middle relief?  They spent $23 million over the next 3 years on a 34 and 35 year old middle reliever.   Signing Crawford at $20 million and getting rid of Rivera and Napoli’s contracts for some cheaper, younger middle relievers that wouldn’t have cost anywhere near $23 million seems a lot more viable.  They actually would have saved money.

At 7 years and $142 million, Crawford comes with a price tag of 20.28 million a year.   And after Toronto absorbs a miniscule $5 million of the Wells contract, Wells comes in at $81 million over the next 4 years, roughly $20.25 million a year.   There have been conflicting reports saying Toronto absorbed $16 million of the salary, which would put Wells at a cost of roughly $17 million per season.  Regardless of which is true, when the contract expires, Wells will be the same age as if the Angels would have given the same deal to Crawford.  Crawford hit for a higher average, stole more bases and had more RBI’s than Wells did, and he’s 3 years younger, a gold glove last year, and has nowhere near the injury history Wells totes with him.

" does it feel to be paid what you're worth?"

Additionally, Wells’ hitting in the middle of the order doesn’t benefit the rest of the lineup.  Crawford at the top will enhance everyone else’s RBI chances and increase the run scoring ability of the team.

The date is set for April 21st in Anaheim.  That will be the first day Carl Crawford and the Red Sox come to town, and get to show the Angels fans’ what they are missing, and why their owner made a colossal mistake.  In the end, there has been much speculation that Moreno would have to raise ticket prices.  Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times did a piece recentlyThe average ticket price is said to be around $20, and to justify signing Crawford, it would take prices to around $30. Guess what Arte?  I wonder how many people will pay $20 a ticket to watch a loser.  I think most people are with me, and they would pay $30 to watch a winner.

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One Response to “Arte MORON-O”
  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    Pretty good blog, Vance. I was down on Moron-o before this. You gave me a few more negative angles I hadn’t thought of. Well done. Screw Arte for making me nostalgic for Disney ownership.

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