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: May 11, 2011 10:50 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 11:12 pm
Angels manager Mike Scioscia talked as far back as the winter meetings in Florida last December of how important slugging first baseman Kendrys Morales would be in the middle of the 2011 lineup, but Morales on Wednesday went from a late-starter to non-starter.
In a devastating blow to the Angels, Morales will undergo a second surgery on his troubled left ankle and miss the entire season.
The Angels said early this spring that they thought Morales would be healed and ready to go by opening day after undergoing surgery early last June to repair a fractured left ankle suffered when he leaped onto home plate after hitting a game-ending grand slam last May 29.
However, Morales' ankle did not respond this spring when he tried to run on it and he never could get liftoff. He never could run at full speed this spring, and he never improved. As Scioscia said, he "plateaued."
That opinion led to his decision a day later to undergo another surgery -- still unscheduled -- that will clean out debris and scar tissue. Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum said the doctors in Colorado will begin the surgery arthroscopically and hope to conclude it that way. There is the chance, however, that they would have to go into the ankle again. Morales is expected to schedule the surgery soon.
"Kendrys has worked as hard as any athlete I've ever worked with in coming back from a devastating injury, and he hasn't been able to do it," Yocum said.
The remaining options were to continue to treat the injury and healing process conservatively, or to undergo another surgery.
"Did I think I'd be at this point? No," Morales said through a translator as the Angels played the White Sox on Wednesday. "But, obviously, I think this is the best decision."
Morales slugged 34 home runs, collected 108 RBI and finished fifth in the AL MVP balloting in 2009. He was hitting .290 with 11 homers and 39 RBI through 51 games at the time of his injury last May.
The Angels were planning on his bat returning as a major weapon in 2011.
But they and Yocum said Morales will be out a "minimum of six months" following this second surgery.
"It's definitely a challenge for us, not having Kendrys," general manager Tony Reagins said. "He's a significant part of what we do. In the middle of our lineup, he's definitely a significant bat."
But the Angels learned to play without him last year, Reagins said, and they must do the same in 2011. Of course, the Angels also finished 80-82 without him last summer.
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:39 pm
-- After tagging Jered Weaver with the only loss he's taken in 2011 -- an arbitration beating last winter -- Angels general manager Tony Reagins confirms Weaver's account, that it was business as usual when the right-hander came to camp this spring.
"Unchanged," Reagins says of Weaver's demeanor. "I think he knew what to expect in the process. He went through it, but he didn't let it affect him.
The Angels had offered $7.365 million. Weaver, who earned $4.265 million in 2010, countered at $8.8 million. Weaver says he arrived in spring camp with neither a chip on his shoulder or with excess motivation to prove that he should have been awarded his payday.
"Not at all," Weaver says. "Business is business. Obviously, it was the first time I've gone through anything like that. You never take the business side of baseball and bring it to the fun part of it. That gets you in trouble. I've got pretty thick skin."
-- Weaver is eligible for free agency after the 2012, season, by the way. And with Scott Boras as his agent, Angels fans are advised not to fall too deeply in love with him.
-- Weaver gives off the appearance of a quiet, laid-back guy. But there's more beneath the surface.
"I see a guy who is a leader," Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher says. "He really stepped into the role last year. He wanted to challenge himself, and he reaped the rewards. He puts in a lot of hard work. He communicates very well with his teammates. He's very open. He mingles with everybody."
Says fellow starter Dan Haren: "I'm laid back off the field, and I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve on the field. He's laid back off the field, but on the field he's competitive and fiery. I've pitched on quite a few teams, and he ranks right up there with his will to win. He'll do anything. I've seen him throw 125 pitches and then beg to go back out there.
"You don't see that much anymore. At least, I don't."
-- Weaver doesn't throw as hard now as when the Angels made him their No. 1 pick in 2004, but he's acquired the wisdom that comes with five years in the league and that's made him more dangerous.
"He understands how to pitch," Reagins says. "When we took him, he threw much harder than what he throws now. But velocity is not as important as being able to throw the ball where you want to."
Weaver's fastball averaged between 93 and 95 m.p.h. a few years ago. Now, it averages somewhere between 91 and 93.
"But I like the results better," Reagins says.
Likes: Glad to see Ryan Ludwick slam the game-winning homer in the 13th inning in San Diego the other night. Not because I was rooting against Atlanta, or rooting for the Padres. It's just that Ludwick is a good man and has been buried in such a dreadful slump all season. Cover this game long enough and that's what happens: You don't root for teams. You root for people. ... Speaking of which, a pleasant memory came floating back Tuesday when a friend was trying to recall the name of the sweet old elevator operator at Tiger Stadium. Sarah, bless her soul. ... The framed Tiger Stadium print in my home office. Takes me right back to Midwestern summer nights. We're never too old to be reminded of our youth, are we? ... Here We Rest, the new CD from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. ... Blessed, the new CD from Lucinda Williams. ... Pipes Cafe, a great breakfast and lunch joint in Cardiff, Calif. Get the breakfast burrito.
Dislikes: The dead hummingbird I found on by back porch Tuesday morning, courtesy of my cat. At least, that's my current suspect, though CSI is still investigating and there is no proof. ... Never saw the J. Geils Band before they split up. That's probably the only band I never saw live that I really, really wish I would have (not counting groups that existed before I was old enough to go to concerts, like The Beatles). I would think there would be a ton of dough to be made with a J. Geils reunion tour. (I'm also not counting U2, which I've never seen, because they're currently on tour and, as such, they don't rank in the "Missed Chance" category. They're coming to a stadium near me in June and I figure I'll catch 'em.).
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"You talk about the junk you do
-- Lucinda Williams, Buttercup
Posted on: December 7, 2009 6:48 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2009 7:20 pm
INDIANAPOLIS -- Owner Arte Moreno said nearly a month ago that free agent outfielder Matt Holliday will not be an option for the Angels, and GM Tony Reagins said here Monday that the club's position on Holliday remains "unchanged."
So congratulations to Holliday, who ranks as one of the precious few players in whom the Angels are not interested. Apparently, Moreno did not enjoy doing business last winter with Holliday's agent, Scott Boras, when the Angels made a losing bid for slugger Mark Teixeira (who wound up signing with the Yankees, of course).
Otherwise, count slugging outfielder Jason Bay as one of their targets -- as Moreno also said last month -- free agent pitcher John Lackey and, especially, Toronto ace Roy Halladay. The Angels remain highly engaged in attempting to find a way to land him.
While Reagins would not confirm individual names after arriving here late Monday afternoon, neither did he dismiss anybody out of hand -- other than Holliday. Several sources confirmed the Angels' varying degrees of interest in the other players to CBSSports.com Monday.
Reagins, one of the last GMs to check into the hotel here at 5:20 p.m. Monday, was greeted by a phalanx of television cameras from Japanese stations in anticipation of the Angels' possible interest in free agent designated hitter Hideki Matsui.
"That was kind of surprising. ... He's a person we've talked about, along with several others," Reagins said. "We have a player, Vladimir Guerrero, who fits the same role. There are a lot of scenarios out there for us."
Guerrero, however, also is a free agent and the Angels' degree of interest in bringing him back seems limited.
"He's in our thought process," Reagins said. "That will be developing as well. He's going to see what options are out there for him."
Compared to the others, Guerrero appears in the Angels' afterthought process. Their top target clearly is one of these three players, probably in this order:
-- Halladay. Reagins declined to address the ace pitcher specifically because, of course, clubs can be fined for tampering while discussing players on opposing teams -- even if the club is attempting to trade the player, as the Blue Jays are Halladay.
"Starting pitching is difficult to come by," Reagins said. "Right now we have four real good starting pitchers [Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders and Scott Kazmir]. We have three or four others who could land in the fifth spot. We feel good about the rotatoin as it stands right now, and if we need to make adjustments, we will."
-- Lackey. The Angels are scheduled to meet with Steve Hilliard, Lackey's agent, later tonight.
"We have several options and Lackey is one of them," Reagins said. "There are opportunities we've been working on leading up to these meetings."
"He's a guy we find appealing," Reagins said. "We'll see where it takes us."
As for losing leadoff man Chone Figgins, who is on the verge of signing a four-year, $36 million deal with Seattle this week, Reagins said "we felt our offer was strong. We thought it was fair and reasonable." He declined to say what it was.
Posted on: October 9, 2009 12:41 am
The Angels finished the season with statistically one of the worst bullpens in the game. And yet, of the eight playoff teams this fall, they're going with the fewest number of pitchers on their postseason roster: 10.
"Efficiency," Angels general manager Tony Reagins says.
That's one word.
And you know the story from here: If the extra position player or two manager Mike Scioscia is carrying comes into play in one of those crazy, long October scenarios that sometimes develop (think of the Tigers-Twins 12 inning affair Tuesday), the Angels will look like geniuses.
If Boston cranks it up and shreds their pitching, it'll be ripe for a Pandora's Box of second-guessers.
"We felt the starters we have all have the ability to go deep into games," says Reagins, referring to Game 1 starter John Lackey, who will be followed by, in order, Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders. "They're capable of that.
"And Ervin Santana gives us a bullpen arm with length."
Translation: Santana was the extra starter booted to the pen, so he's durable enough to work several innings of relief if needed.
Carrying 15 position players also givers manager Mike Scioscia multiple options.
"We felt Reggie Willits would give us the opportunity to do some things late in games with his speed and ability to play the outfield," Reagins says. "Bobby Wilson [a catcher by trade] can also play first and third base, so if we need to pinch-hit, he could do that or go back and catch."
Likes: Saw Aaron Boone in Dodger Stadium on Wednesday and he's doing great. He came back strong from that open-heart surgery this spring, made it back with the Houston Astros in September and now is doing some work for MLB Network this fall. He's not sure if he's going to play again next year. ... Former pitcher David Wells in a coat and tie on TBS' playoffs studio show? Who knew the guy cleaned up so well? Ha. ... Rick Sutcliffe is a terrific analyst. Enjoyed listening to him on the radio the past two days while driving to the ballpark. ... The Phillies hiring former infielder Dave Hollins as a special assignment scout. I got to know him after he left the Phillies, when he was playing for the Twins in the 1990s. He was the guy they traded to Seattle for a minor-league infielder named, wait, let me think ... David Ortiz ring a bell? ... Looking forward to reading Cornflakes with John Lennon, an upcoming memoir by Robert Hilburn, the former long time rock critic with the Los Angeles Times. ... Driving the Southern California freeways is so much better after Labor Day, when all the tourists have left and the kids have gone back to school. Don't get me wrong, there's always traffic, but it's so much lighter now. Relatively speaking.
Dislikes: The sound people in Dodger Stadium seriously need to settle down. It's a constant barrage of noise, from blaring rock and roll to stupid sound effects, including during some at-bats. For an organization with such a proud history as the Dodgers, it completely disrespects the game and makes them look like carnival barkers. It's as bad as I've heard anywhere. Just brutal. Almost as bad as umpire CB Bucknor.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"She stood there bright as the sun on that California coast
-- Bob Seger, Hollywood Nights