Fallen Angels

"Remember, act like we care"

I woke up Thursday morning, December 9th.  This morning, though…I woke up to a nightmare.  Sadly, it was a nightmare that I knew would come to fruition.
Carl Crawford just signed a few hours ago with the Boston Red Sox, a move that solidifies them as the best team in the league, having acquired 2 all stars in one week, with Adrian Gonzalez being the other.  What’s worse, is that out of all teams, the Red Sox got him, which makes me want to vomit.  The team that ripped my heart out in 1986 and has continued to do so over the years, and they just made sure the Angels will continue to be a second tier team for many years to come.
But the main thing I am tired of is the myopic spin-doctoring of the Angels’ front office. The “Everything is Fine” attitude when continuing to fail to improve the club, despite all declarations to the contrary from owner Arte Moreno, insults the fans’ intelligence.  In fact, the following will serve as a scathing indictment of the Angels front office’s lies, hypocrisy, and betrayal!!!!

The fact that Tony Reagins and Arte Moreno continue to perpetuate lies on the Angel fan base is as soul-crushing as it is insulting! Years of getting to the playoffs and not having enough to get over the hump have haunted fans. Being “competitive” isn’t good enough!!! Just because the Angels have the best manager in the game won’t make them champions.  Mike Scioscia doesn’t take the field.  After a heart breaking loss in the ALCS in 2009, Moreno strongly insinuated the Angels wouldn’t lose both their starting ace, John Lackey, and their offensive catalyst, Chone Figgins, to free agency.  And while the 2 players have proven not to be worth the money in the first year of their new contracts with their teams, letting your best starting pitcher and your offensive catalyst go and not replacing that production is going to hurt.  What’s more, replacing them with Hideki Matsui and Fernando Rodney is an atrocity (By the way, they also lost Vlad Guerrero and their best bullpen pitcher Darren Oliver to division rival Texas, who went on to win the AL pennant).
The Tony Reagins era has been ear-marked by a lot of talk and little rewarding action, with only 2 great moves: the signing of Torii Hunter and the trade for Mark Tiexera, who they failed to re-sign, even though Moreno stated emphatically that Teixeira was “my guy”.  His offer didn’t come close to the Yankees’, and the fact that they went against their normal Modus Operandi of operating silently and made their offer public was clearly a bluff on their intention disclosed to the fans.  Moreno and Reagins made an offer that they knew wasn’t going to get the deal done, but could still tell the fan base, “Hey, we offered $20 million a year, what do you want us to do?  We’re trying.  Please keep buying season tickets”. The old cliche that “some of the best trades are the ones you don’t make” has also been proven false with this front office.
Let’s take a look at the moves, and non-moves, in the Regains era.
-November 2007…Traded Short Stop Orlando Cabrera, a defensive stud who led the team in hits the previous year, for the slow throwing John Garland. Garland came to the Angels and didn’t take long to stink it up, posting an appalling 1.51 WHIP while striking out a meager 90 batters in 196 innings, and capping off his sorry display with a 4.90 ERA in his one year stint.
-November 2007 Signed Torii Hunter
-2008 trade Casey Kotchman and a minor leaguer for Mark Teixeira.  Made a weak bid to satisfy Angel fans to “re-sign” him.
-2008 off season-signed Brian Fuentes as a “closer”. Fuentes had already been demoted from closer in Colorado, but for some reason Reagins brings him in to be the Angels’ closer.  Many Angel fans already knew what Reagins apparently did not, watching helplessly as Fuentes posted a sickening 3.93 ERA and led the league in blown saves for the 2009 season. This led to the signing of equally failed reliever Fernando Rodney in the 2009 off-season.  Fuentes began 2010 right where he left off, blowing leads and yielding game-losing hits, only to find himself traded for a minor leaguer.
-2008 off season- Signed Bobby Abreau
-2009 Trade Deadline: It was widely reported that the Angels wanted to land Roy Halladay, but refused to trade Brandon Wood or Erick Aybar and a few minor-leaguers. That’s all it would have taken?  Well, Wood went on to suck it strong, as predicted by his previous stints in the majors, in which he posted a vomitous .192 average in 224 at bats from 2007-2009, and then still given the full time job at 3rd base in 2010, only to suck it harder with a .146 average.  Just so you are aware, that’s a .169 average over 4 seasons.  ”Oh, but his potential…he tears up minor league pitching”.  There’s a reason those pitchers are in the minors, geniuses!  Its as if Moreno and Reagins think Angel fans have forgotten about trying to be cheap and letting go of 40 home run offensive juggernaut Troy Glaus, because Dallas McPhereson was the next great 3rd baseman (That turned out well.  Google Dallas McPhereson to see what he’s done).  And Aybar, after a productive 2009, had a major fall off in 2010, perhaps succumbing to the pressure of the new lead off role, having to fill the gaping void left my Chone Figgins signing in Seattle.
-2009 off season: Reagins and Moreno vow to improve the club, and lose John Lackey, Chone Figgins, Darren Oliver and Vlad Guerrero and replace them with Joel Pinero, Hideki Matsui, and Fernando Rodney. Reason for not re-signing Vlad was his age and health issues, so they sign and older, more injury prone player to the same contract (Matsui).
-2010-After expressing frustration and disappointment with the Angels having a losing season, Arte Moreno vows to open up the check book and do whatever it takes to land big gun free agents. The top offensive players are off the board.  Beltre remains, and has had only 2 really good years, both in contract years.  sometimes, players are worth $20 million. Crawford, certainly is.  And the so-called object of the Angels’ off season moves has fallen to the enemy, and based on reports of the Angels’ offer, it wasn’t even close.

There's going to be a lot more of these looks in the Angels' future

Potential is only as good as if its fulfilled.  Say what you want about the Yankees and Red Sox “buying championships”, but they are never afraid to develop minor league talent and trade it away for bonafide studs.  The Yankees still boast 4 players from the glory years of the 90′s, more than any other team in this era of high roster turnover.  Additionally, they acquired Curtis Granderson by trading away some great prospects.  The Phillies acquired Cliff Lee by giving up some prime prospects of their own on the way to the World Series in 2009, and did the same in the off season to acquire Roy Halladay for the 2010 season, and the Red Sox just gave up 4 minor leaguers to land super-stud first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  With the Angels farm team garnering such distinctions as “Minor League Association of the Year”  from The Sporting News, and still consistently being highly rated, its amazing the organization refuses to package talent that may or may not pan out (Brandon Wood) to get proven super stars.  This can only be because the financial strength and will to win of the organization is not what has been perpetuated by ownership and the front office. I, for one, am tired of being lied to!!!

Being “competitive” isn’t good enough anymore.  Being “good” or solid doesn’t cut it, and the fact that the organization fails to bring in bonafide superstars when given the chance is testimony to the fact.  This is a 2-fold problem, because the  more you fail to show you are trying to improve the club, the less super star players will want to come here.  If the organization’s goal is to be “solid”, maybe make the playoffs and if so, get pounded, then go be a Twins fan.
And for those who suggest the Angels weren’t successful because of the Kendry Morales injury, one guy cannot make a team.  Just in case you didn’t know, the Angels offensive statistics for last year were just that:  offensive.
-19th in runs
-23rd in batting average
-27th in on base percentage
-20th in slugging percentage

That’s well into the bottom of the league in all 4 major offensive categories, and screams of a need for offensive help. Kendry Morales wasn’t going to remedy that, nor can he now with only Hunter’s help.  Moreno was willing to offer Teixeira $20 million, only doing so because he knew he would get out bid by the Yankees.  Given the chance to offer Crawford the same, the Angels didn’t pull the trigger, despite numerous declarations of landing a super star.  Sometimes players are worth $20 million, and you can’t expect to fill the seats and fans to spend their money if you aren’t going to spend your money to field an exciting, winning product worth watching.  Mediocrity does not sell season seats!!!
Moreno changed the city name from Anaheim to Los Angeles to acquire more marketing and television revenue.  So far, the fan base hasn’t seen any of the return on that investment, whch reportedly has been
ample, and have had to endure the name change which most of the loyal Angel fans despised for having to be associated with the Dodgers.  If the name change isn’t going to do anything but fatten Moreno’s own wallet, and you aren’t going to spend it on the team and is going to run this like a business, then I shall liken Moreno to Donald Sterling, miuns the racism.  At least change the name back to Anaheim.

One of the only reasons to still go to Anaheim Stadium

If there are major budget issues, then just disclose that to the fan base. But don’t sit here and lie to us about how you are going to “open the check book” and do “whatever it takes”, express frustration about not making the playoffs and promise to improve your club, and then not even come close on the offer that is made!!!  If this is all some ploy to pretend that you care and promote a facade of trying to acquire great players, just to make fans feel comfortable to purchase season tickets, Moreno and Reagins should be ashamed.
At this point, I would settle for the embattled owner up the 5 freeway.  Despite all the Frank McCourt budget restrictions and monetary constraints that have hamstrung Ned Colleti, the Dodgers have still been more active over the least few years in at least trying to improve the club.  So please bring us Frank McCourt.  At least there is some transparency, and we won’t get our hopes up.
Appalled and Hopelessly Disgusted,
Vance Noble Long
Disgruntled Mother F’ing Angels Fan
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2 Responses to “Fallen Angels”
  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    Solid article, Vance……. Who does Arte think he is??? Donald Sterling?

  2. Kelli says:

    ?his article provi?es clear idea designed fo? the new people of blo?ging, that really how to do
    running a blog.

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