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Angels owner Arte Moreno isn’t firing anyone, has faith in Josh Hamilton

Jun 24, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Arte Moreno AP

Bob Nightengale of USA Today sat down for a candid interview with Arte Moreno. Who, aside from not liking the fact that he gets an earful from fans when he tries to go to his favorite bar, is taking a more zen approach to the Angels’ struggles than you might expect.

He still defends picking up Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in the past two seasons, saying that on paper they looked like great acquisitions. He is baffled by Hamilton’s struggles but has told him that he’s going to be around for five years so he shouldn’t try to fix all of his problems with one swing. He thinks that GM Jerry Dipoto’s system needs more time to work. He has faith in Mike Scioscia and still considers him the best manager in baseball. The upshot: nothing drastic is going to happen now. All decisions involving personnel and management will wait until after the season is over.

Overall: you gotta kinda like Moreno after reading this interview. He’s not enjoying losing, but he’s well-aware of how lucky he is and how overall Anaheim’s financial and ballpark situation is pretty advantageous to him. You feel like he likes baseball a lot and that he’s just as gobsmacked as any Angels fan that things aren’t working out well on the field right now.

  1. chacochicken - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Hey, its a good thing Moreno is taking the Kirk Gibson approach to closing and applying it to the whole team. Does that make Scioscia the Heath Bell of managers?

  2. stex52 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Hamilton has been a disaster for about half a season, true. Pujols is still solid but certainly overpaid. But if you want to get close to the problem, you are going to have to fix the pitching.

  3. Old Gator - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I like the fact that Moreno has a favorite bar that he apparently doesn’t even own.

  4. sincitybonobo - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Trout hits free agency after the 2017 season, at the age of 26. I can’t see the incentive for him to bargain with the Angels. The Yankees will not be outbid for him. As Verducci noted, of the top 28 qualified hitters in OPS, three are above the age of 31. Hitting free agency as early as possible will put many more millions in Trout’s pocket. Even his arbitration years are going to cost the Angels a fortune.

    • paperlions - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      I’m not sure how long it is going to take the national media (especially the talking heads that are mostly former players) to realize that a players prime, especially position players, is most likely to be be over BEFORE he turns 30. Even players that are still stars after 30 are generally are already on the decline. Being past your prime doesn’t mean you suck, it just means that your best years are in the past.

      That said, Trout has a lot of reasons to deal with Anaheim because 1) security matters and one injury could end it all, and 2) Anaheim has the money to pay him so that a few more million wouldn’t make any difference. Similar to the Pujols situation, I’m sure he’ll enjoy his fortune exactly as much being paid another $50M by Anaheim than he would have been paid by StL, but there is pretty much no chance he will enjoy playing baseball as much or his life as much, spending 1/2 the year living away from his home and family. Money only buys so much.

  5. wretchu - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I can’t speak for Hamilton, but as a Cards fan I can say that deal absolutely did NOT make sense to sign Albert for that deal, even on paper. He was 31 at the time of the deal, but even then the signs were there that he was breaking down physically. He’s been dealing with plantar fasciitis for several years which has basically eliminated his ability to run the bases anymore. His elbow issues were part of the reason why he was moved from 3B/OF to 1B anyway. For the previous three years, his numbers were on the decline. Signing him to a quarter of a billion dollars for a decade? And with a no-trade? Plus that personal services deal? No, sorry, that was a terrible deal even then. For the Cardinals there was SOME kind of sense to signing him to a big deal even knowing his best days were gone, if only because of what he meant to St. Louis for his work the previous 10 years, but for a a team that had none of that past cache built up that was looking to build for the present and future? Not so much.

    On that note, doesn’t the Marlins insistance on not including a no-trade clause in the contract make a LOT more sense after the events of this past offseason?

    • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Yes and no. Considering that the deal the Feesh offered Pujols was so heavily backloaded in the first place, and assuming that Albert performed to about the same specs at Macondo Banana Massacre Field as he has in Anaheim, who would have taken him without Scrooge McLoria agreeing to pick up a huge chunk of the remaining contract? Now, try to imagine Scrooge McLoria picking up a huge chunk of his remaining contract.

      See? Mexican standoff.

      • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        PS – a sizable percentage of us few remaining Feesh fans also believe that Scrooge and the Chihuahua were well aware that refusing to include the no trade clause was a deal breaker from the git-go and that the entire Feesh courtship of Pujols was a charade.

  6. michaeljacksonisback - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    What a dummy

  7. echech88 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Of course Arte is a likeable guy and nobody can fault him for investing in talent…what worries most Angels fans is that HE seems to like being the one who calls the shots on players that clog the payroll. Having puppet GM’s who have to build a team on the cheap around the owner’s crazy contracts is a recipe for disaster.

    The team has bad pitching this year because so much of the budget was dedicated to these outrageous contracts that Arte likes to negotiate himself. If you’re going to spend on shiny toys, be prepared for bad, cheap pitchers like Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson being necessary to offset the overpays elsewhere.

    Arte is great but if he doesn’t allow a real GM to have some authority to come in and say “No” when Moreno is impulsive, then this team is no different than Daniel Snyder’s Redskins or Jerry Jones’ Cowboys – all hype, flash and money but heading nowhere.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    To be fair, Moreno also believes that Chevy Chase has bright future as a talk show host.

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