Posted on: September 30, 2011 6:33 pm
The Los Angeles Angels of Desperationville didn't fire a general manager on Friday, they canned an executive secretary.
Everybody knows that owner Arte Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia -- and Moreno and Scioscia alone -- run the Angels.
Somebody's gotta phone the agents and other general managers, take notes, collect information and make sure Moreno and Scioscia have enough of it to make their decisions.
That man was Reagins, a nice guy who was both badly overmatched and uncomfortable in the gig from Day One.
Now, somebody else will take the notes, make the calls and bring the information to Moreno and Scioscia so they can gather the information they need to take the Angels wherever they go from here.
And where that is is anybody's guess right now.
The Angels did not make the playoffs in 2011 -- or, in 2010, for that matter -- because the Texas Rangers are a better and smarter organization right now that has whipped them both on the field and in the executive offices.
The only reason the Angels remained competitive this summer was because of the boost young players like Mark Trumbo, Tyler Chatwood, Peter Bourjos and, yes, late in the season, Mike Trout provided.
And the man responsible for drafting them, Eddie Bane, was fired as the scouting director after last season.
Fact is, under Moreno, the Angels have become more adept at firings the past couple of years than postseasons.
They fired longtime trainer Ned Bergert last winter after 36 years in the organization. They canned Bane. A major league scout named Dale Sutherland who had been in the organization for 19 years. They've callously laid off longtime media relations employees in recent years who worked incredibly long hours and had devoted their lives to the cause.
They can call Reagins' departure a resignation if they want. But when the second paragraph of the news release contains a statement from Moreno saying, "Though we finished 2011 with a winning record, we remained short of our objective in winning a championship. In moving forward, we felt a change was needed", that's a firing.
Moreno got years of great publicity after the first thing he did as owner was lower stadium beer prices, but his ownership clearly is at a crossroads right now. Though he talks the talk of winning championships, he's consistently failed in the free agent market over the past several winters: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre, among others.
Bottom line, the Angels' actions jibe with their words less and less frequently. The organization has become soulless, and disingenuous.
Reagins certainly wasn't the cause of this, only a symptom. He clearly was carrying out others' orders as a GM, while the real stuff was going on behind the curtain.
The Angels can hire another GM. But until they change the process, until that GM isn't just a puppet on a string, the gap between the Rangers and Angels is going to continue to grow.
Posted on: September 21, 2010 11:58 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 7:57 am
Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers was in Phoenix again on Tuesday for a round of meetings with Diamondbacks ownership as the club zeroes in on hiring a general manager, according to CBSSports.com sources.
Towers last week met with Arizona president and CEO Derrick Hall, leading many in the industry to believe that, with a second visit this week, the Diamondbacks are moving close to offering Towers the GM job that has been filled by Jerry DiPoto on an interim basis since the club fired Josh Byrnes earlier this summer.
Though the Diamondbacks interviewed five candidates, sources say they've narrowed the final field to Towers and DiPoto, with a decision expected sometime this week.
This is the second dance between the Diamondbacks and Towers, GM of the San Diego Padres for 14 seasons before he was fired last fall by the then-new San Diego ownership group led by Jeff Moorad.
Towers, 48, interviewed with the Diamondbacks back in the fall of 2005 but finished second to Byrnes -- back when Moorad was running the Diamondbacks.
It has long been believed within the industry that the Arizona-Towers match will come down to finances. Towers was making in excess of $1 million annually with the Padres and, with four division titles on his resume in addition to his experience -- he was the longest-tenured GM in the game when the Padres let him go -- he almost certainly would cost Arizona much more than DiPoto.
But the Diamondbacks have been happy with the work of DiPoto, 42, especially when he was steering them through the July 31 trade deadline. In trading Dan Haren for four pitchers from the Angels and then dealing Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for young prospect Daniel Hudson, DiPoto shed nearly $40 million from Arizona's payroll while stockpiling several good, young arms.
"There will be some candidates we'll talk to, with Jerry obviously being at the top of the list," Hall told CBSSports.com last month.
Among the first decisions on the agenda of the new GM will be the fate of interim manager Kirk Gibson and his staff.