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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arte Moreno Will Spend to Get Angels Back to Playoffs

Arte Moreno is quietly one of the best owners in sports. It’s comments like the ones he made to the LA Times that affirm this point. After missing the playoffs for just the second time since he took over the Angels for the 2004 season, Moreno vowed to get the team back to the postseason. The Angels’ owner said to Bill Plaschke “You’re not in the playoffs, you’re not a happy person. I just don’t like losing, and we’re going to make adjustments. It’s going to cost money, but our fans need to know what we’re committed to winning.”

Yankee fans probably understand the feeling, but it’s great to know that your team’s owner cares as much about winning as you do as a fan. I try to catch every single Angels game on TV but the reality is I tuned out the entire last month of the season — there was just no point in watching by then. It was the most disinterested I’ve been in a season of Angels baseball since Moreno took over the team.

Think about it: since he became owner of the Angels, the team has won the AL West five of seven years, won 95 or more games three times, and made the ALCS twice. Even when the team missed the playoffs in 2006, they still won 89 games and finished in second. The 2010 season was the worst of the Arte Moreno era — an 80-82 3rd place finish.

The team was worried about lowering attendance figures and fewer advertisers renewing because of the recession in 2009 and didn’t spend in the off-season like usual. They let John Lackey, Chone Figgins, and Vladimir Guerrero walk as free agents and brought back a mix of recently signed free agents and young players from the system. I didn’t mind the approach for a few reasons: I had confidence that they could replace the players they let go (except for Lackey), I recognized that financial times were tough, and I agreed that it was better to spend wisely than to get saddled with bad contracts because of overspending.

The Angels will be much better next year just by getting Kendry Morales back and having the players start fresh. They’ll spend, add some new players, and they’ll be back on top of the AL West like usual. The only difference is that the Rangers are the team about which we should worry, not the Mariners. It sure is comforting to enter an off-season knowing you have an owner willing to do what it takes to win like Arte Moreno. I love that man.



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