Arte Moreno’s Angels Redefine Organizational Failure

In October of 2022 Angels owner Arte Moreno was seeking to sell the franchise and I penned this article detailing his legacy of abject failure. The Reader’s Digest is that he took the defending World Series champions and a highly rated farm system and turned the team into a dumpster fire through a series of bad hires and nepotism.

As bad as the Angels organization looked at the time, things have somehow gotten worse. Take a look at the top to bottom failure of the organization in 2024.

Yes, the Angels organization is last at every level of organized baseball except AA. Last.

This reflects a lack of talent and development at every single level of the sport. A lack of scouting to identify talent and draft it. A lack of talent brought into the system. A lack of coaching to develop that talent. And a lack of any semblance of a long term plan to create and/or maintain any of that talent.

When USA Today ranked the Angels farm system as the worst in baseball most fans looked at the handful of prospects worth watching and shrugged it off. We still have Caden Dana and Nelson Rada and wasn’t the AA bullpen good a couple of years ago? Well, two prospects and a AA title in 2022 get you what you see above.

That’s not to say the Angels haven’t drafted some good talent over the last decade. Guys like Kyle Bradish who has developed into a stud with Baltimore. Or Mike Clevinger who had a phenomenal career in Cleveland. If we go back a bit we can also see names like Jean Segura.

Last year it was Edgar Quero and Ky Bush shown the door in an ill advised attempt to grab the last post season invite. Quero is currently sporting an OPS over .800 as a 21 year old catcher in AA. Bush has an ERA under 2 in 5 AA starts.

From hiring Tony Reagins to trading good talent for a handful of bad starts by Lucas Giolito, the Angels front office has consistently made the wrong choices. While the GMs have changed over time, the one constant has been Arte and his non-qualified friends running the show.

This organization was doomed the moment the front office Arte inherited needed replacements. Every single quality front office staffer and coach who has left the organization has been replaced by lesser talent if replaced at all.

Arte’s Angels have redefined organizational failure. From World Series champs to utter failures with billions of dollars spent on payroll and the greatest player on the planet gifted to you not once but twice is a level of failure unmatched in my lifetime and possibly ever.

A new ownership group will need at least three years to make this organization respectable. We need to do all we can to get that new group in here as quickly as possible.

It is time we fans do the right thing and stop buying tickets until Arte is gone. Supporting failure is only leading to more failure.

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VictoriousVIC
Trusted Member
9 days ago

Very well written piece Jeff. I was called a bootlicker by I believe 1978 on Monday’s links post, which made me laugh haha. But it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that has these same sentiments towards Arte.

I’ve been a fan of the Angels all my life (granted I’m 28 years old) so life growing up as an Angels fan was sweet up until 2010. Yeah we made the playoffs in 2014 but getting swept by the damn Royals was a real kick in the groin. But time passed and the cracks in the organization didn’t start showing until 2016. You started getting reports how the Angels have the worst farm system Keith Law has ever seen. That was eye opening. But hey fandom blinds you so you keep being invested in this team, especially with Trout taking the league by storm and BOOM Eppler lands Ohtani two days before my birthday. I really thought getting Ohtani was going to change the trajectory of this franchise.

Well, we all know what happened. Arte and his yes men completely wasted the primes of two of the greatest baseball players to ever play this game. The fact that this team did not finish above 500 ONCE is truly incredible. From the reports of Arte treating minor leaguers like dirt, the front office staff being the smallest in baseball, the farm system continuously ranking in the bottom third of the league, and, it’s gotten harder and harder to root for this team. The last straw for me was when Arte sold whatever prospects we had last trade deadline with hopes of making the playoffs in Sho’s last season. Which look, I didn’t blame him for doing that. But then to not even go past offering Ohtani $400 million guarantee was ludicrous to me. I cannot believe Arte genuinely thought Ohtani’s contract would not go past $400 million guarantee when everyone and their moms knew any Ohtani contract had to start at $500 million.

That was the nail in the coffin for me. I will not financially support Arte in any way with hopes this hurts his pocket and decides to sell the team. I have not gone to a single Angels game this season and haven’t even watched 9 full innings in total if Angels baseball. I thought it would be harder but to be quite honest, there is plenty of entertainment out there where I haven’t even missed watching the Angels play. So until Arte officially sells the team, I will continue to boycott the Angels. Hopefully Arte sells the team sooner rather than later.

ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
11 days ago

Its been more due to the schedule in April and my own family commitments but I haven’t been to a game yet. They’ve made it real easy for me to sit out the rest of the season now.

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
11 days ago

The only Angels related event I really pay attention to is CTPG.

nishiogawakun
Super Member
11 days ago

What are some good case studies of a franchises cursed by this level of “patheticism” that have turned it all around? The Warriors? The Patriots? The Astros? The Lightning? I don’t know, man, the only thing I feel like I can do is hope against hope that somehow we get added to that list someday. New owner, new management, new book (no more turning pages, all out of pages), whatever. All I know is I grew up equidistant from both Dodgers and Angels stadiums and boy did I screw up.

I guess according to some this is all CtPG guy’s fault. Er, coach dad, or something…  😉 

Last edited 11 days ago by nishiogawakun
Mia
Legend
Mia
11 days ago
Reply to  nishiogawakun

Red Sox, Cubs.

smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  nishiogawakun

Those teams you mentioned turned it around because there’s a plan in place. The Astros deliberately sucked and sold their plan to Altuve, who was told to stick with the team and stay on the path, and he’ll be rewarded nicely. The Warriors also planned around Curry and ended up changing the league for how to build a team without the traditional player positions on the floor.

The Angels can’t say the same – what’s the plan? Build on the fringes while hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Because rebuilding is such a dirty word for Arte. I’m not sure that fans not buying tickets and not going to watch the games live will deeply hurt his pockets, since he has other major streams of revenue (Bally’s, sponsorships, etc.) but maybe seeing all those empty seats, his food and drink inventory not moving, and being the laughingstock of the league, will shame him enough to get out of the business.

Last edited 11 days ago by smithy610
VictoriousVIC
Trusted Member
9 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Oh man once that Bally’s tv deal is done being guaranteed, Arte is really going to start getting desperate. We’re in May and while I admit I have been checked out this entire season on baseball in general, I bet the Big A is starting to look like a ghost town like it was in the 90s. Next year Arte will have no TV deal, no stadium deal done, one of the worst teams in baseball, and probably the worst attendance he’s had in his entire tenure. Here’s to hoping his sons talk him into finally selling the franchise for good

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

I wonder if we just need to hope that Arte Ages out.

TrojanBoiler
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

The apples don’t fall far from the tree then

smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  TrojanBoiler

I would rather be the kids have no desire to run the team AND actually not run the team. The worst is what Arte is right now – have no clue on how to run the team, don’t/can’t/won’t hire people who can, and then PRETENDS that he can run it. Yes he can. He can definitely run the team….to the ground.

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  nishiogawakun

The Doyers are so well run (the opposite of the Angels) that I though I might get a little interested in them when O left for them. So far I think I’ve only begun to dislike O, even though I think Mookie Betts is a pretty cool guy.

smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Mikeal1st

I can admire the Dodgers as an organization but I just could never warm to them as a fan. Truth is it’s probably a lot more fun and much easier to be a Dodger fan because of all the winning seasons and having most of my friends as fans of the “true” LA team (until you remind them they’re originally Brooklyn Dodgers, hyuk hyuk).

My aversion to them is probably more towards their asinine fans and MSM bootlicking. But the fact that I can’t warm to the team even with Ohtani playing for them now probably cements the fact that I’ll NEVER be a Dodger fan.

I mean, I’m an LA Rams fan first and foremost, but I can root and cheer for the Chargers when they’re on and they’re playing against other teams. But I can’t root/cheer for the Dodgers, and it’s the opposite in fact. I will gladly root and cheer against them.

VictoriousVIC
Trusted Member
9 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

Add into the fact what the Dodgers did to the Mexican-American community at Chavez Ravine and I could never root for the Dodgers organization. I’m an LA Rams fan and a Lakers fan. Especially being a Lakers fan, I have no issues rooting for a team where the standard is all about winning. The dodgers just have a dark history that I can’t shake myself ever rooting for, even with Ohtani on the team.

smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago

It’s really amazing when you look back at everything. With all the players that have been under Arte’s ownership, through FAs and drafts, from Vlad to Pujols to Trout to Ohtani – who would have thought Arte would have PEAKED during the VLAD SR. years?!

Now imagine if Arte didn’t even sign Vlad Sr. This team would have gone straight to hell the moment he bought it.

Marcotor
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

Even during the Vlad years, Stand Pat Stonedman (who’s “genius” was to keep most of the organizational groundwork Bill Bavasi laid) kept the Angels from being a true force in the AL. A couple of trades SPS passed on, Vlad could have a few rings in his trophy case.

Last edited 11 days ago by Marcotor
JackFrost
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

Well.. I don’t think it would have gone straight to hell. Remember, almost all the players who won the 2002 World Championship were all still there : Glaus, K-Rod, Salmon, Anderson, Bengie, Percy, Ersty etc.. Arte of course benefitted greatly from inheriting those players… it wasn’t like he had to do alot to win multiple division titles. But he did manage to stick with Soth WAAAAYY past his expiration date and thus throw away the chance to not only make it to the WS but perhaps win two or three more…

Then if you add the Trout early years with Hunter, Weave etc and then later Ohtain we are talking about underachievement of epic proportions.

2GA2Join
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  JackFrost

I know that some may disagree, but I think what you are saying fits in with the observed phenomenon, that, in general *most* teams must go through cycles of competition and rebuild (if they want to enjoy some seasons of competition). The only exceptions are teams that hyper-spend to cover themselves in years of rebuild (e.g. Dodgers).
The problem is that Arte doesn’t acknowledge this cycle. He has tried to ride the “compete” part of the cycle for 15 years. Our engine burned out. Now our organization is a smoldering pile of burning rubber.

In the last couple of years, I had hope that Arte would either suddenly hyper-spend just before Ohtani left, or the team would be sold and some new guy would hyper-spend and let us have a glorious competitive spike with Ohtani and then short-circuit the rebuild a little. But that ship has long sailed. We are already in a rebuild, like it or not.

At this point, even with a new owner, it would be hard to spend our way out of this mess. It wouldn’t hurt, but I think we’re in for a few years of building up regardless. However, the more important reason for a new owner is of course to completely course correct the direction of the organization… the big issue.

CAoldskoll
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  2GA2Join

‘Enjoy your Hyper spend’ comment that plays a huge part of continued success of Dodgers, yes they bank on FA MVP caliber players from other teams while keeping their best prospects, and developing young talent. Yankees do the same thing. It’s Unfortunate smaller market teams have to sink several years to rebuild. Arte never wanted a full rebuild and just patched holes with with mediocre players and some superstars that our luck would have it, totally flopped. Now being stuck on bottom, the only Angels fans left in LA are going to be the dedicated hardcore.

smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  JackFrost

The major trio of the WS team – Glaus/Salmon/Anderson- were already on the way down and/or experiencing major chronic injuries by the time Vlad arrived. It’s not like Vlad joined a still competitive WS team, much like how Othani joined an already stacked blue team. Remember the team finished 3rd in the division in 2003 after their 2002 WS. Glaus and Salmon played a combined 120~ games in the 2004 season. Glaus gone in 2005, while DNP and eventually retired in 2006. Anderson lasted in the team thru 2007.

Yes there were reinforcements, like Jeff mentioned below, but do we really think a team of Weaver/Howie/Aybar/Saunders/Santana alone would have been consistently competitive enough? Vlad was the major coup when Arte got here.

JackFrost
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

Vlad’s first season in 2004 the Angels won the AL West, and that trio was not “on their way down.” I went to the opening series that season in Seattle. The Angels swept all three games and in the Opener Glaus hit 2 HR’s to CF. Anderson also homered in that series…. I beg to differ. Salmon perhaps was in decline but I think GA and Glaus were still quite good. Not to mention K-Rod and some others… There was ALOT more than Vlad going on. Scot Shields was the best set up man in baseball for several years… And yes, Aybar was really good (especially considering he hit at the bottom of the order) as were Weaver, Howie, Santana.

That 2005 team made it to the ALCS and fell flat after Game 1. Yes, the umps screwed them on a variety of calls in that series but the talent was there, no question.

Last edited 11 days ago by JackFrost
smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  JackFrost

The story of the 2004 season:

Glaus’ slash line in 58 games played – .251/.355/.575, 18 HRs, 42 RBIs.

Salmon’s slash line in 60 games played – .253/.306/.323, 2 HRs, 23 RBIs.

GA’s slash line in 112 games played – .301/.343/.446, 14 HRs, 75 RBIs.

Vlad’s slash line in 156 games played – .337/.391/.598, 39 HRs, 126 RBIs.

Now imagine that 2004 team without Vlad’s numbers. Vlad carried that team and deservedly won MVP that year.

Are we now calling 58 and 112 games played “quite good” and not “injury plagued”? Trout must have played in the wrong era. There are some here calling his 2019 MVP season where he played 134 games, and his 2022 season where he played 119 games and still hit 40 HRs “injury plagued” seasons.

There was ALOT more than Vlad going on. Scot Shields was the best set up man in baseball for several years… And yes, Aybar was really good (especially considering he hit at the bottom of the order) as were Weaver, Howie, Santana.

Just talking specifically about 2004, since that’s the year of Vlad’s signing, Aybar, Howie and Weave didn’t arrive until 2006, Ervin not until 2005.

Last edited 11 days ago by smithy610
JackFrost
Super Member
10 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

On those last three I was talking about the “Vlad era” if you will.. One person you conveniently left out was Bartolo Colon. Are you prepared to say that HE was not very good the year he competed for Cy Young honors?

Last edited 10 days ago by JackFrost
smithy610
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

My point was, you could easily have Arte’s ownership tenure of the Angels in eras:

1. Vlad Era
2. Trout/Pujols Era
3. Trout/Ohtani Era.

There’s no doubt in everyone’s minds which was the most successful.

I highly doubt that without Vlad (and yes, Colon), that a team of Weaver/Howie/Casey/Aybar/Erwin/Saunders – all notable homegrown talents, but not world-beaters (except for Weaver, arguably) can be a consistent, winning, competitive team in the division

Yes, reinforcements were there, but they were slowly being gutted the longer Arte is at the helm. Who is the most notable homegrown Angels player since Trout? No one.

And we all know this chorus is now beaten to death, but there was only one playoff appearance since the highly successful Vlad era, and zero wins, despite 2 generational players of their time.

So yes, imagine the alternate world where Arte didn’t sign Vlad in 2004. Any potential successful seasons you could think of?

What is even scarier is the Arte era were in right now. Injured Trout/Rendon era? And the thing is, despite the promise of the kids, it’s hard to get excited knowing who is still at the helm.

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  smithy610

I’ve been putting the blame on the farm system for a while now. Even the Dodger and Yankees with all of their money lean on a good farm system and wouldn’t be much without it. Those players are relatively cheap and young with a lot to prove as well as cheap currency for trades to fill in holes for those winning seasons that we the Angels used to have. That’s Arte’s failing. A week farm system that doesn’t develop the players, or capitol needed to compete. Signing Pujols, Hamilton and most others aside from Vladi is also very bad and an indication of incompetence, but it is only 1-2 players per team. If he had a decent Farm System, we might have won a playoff game since our last great player and as I recall, the only great one in at least 15 years that was home grown.

Mia
Legend
Mia
11 days ago

For my entire life, my family has had season tickets, with like 8 of us chipping in and divvying them up. When my family gets together we do it at Angel Stadium, as it’s a great central location for everyone.

It was decided this year to not get them for the first time in decades. And it’s not like it’s a money thing, no one wants to dedicate that much time to being at the stadium watching this shitty team.

With Trout and Rendon down already we can see the choice was the right one.

Arte won’t get a cent out of my family this year. The Angels won’t get a cent out of us until ownership changes. But we’ll happily give the Dodgers our money. They have an incredible on-field product. And we can still catch a few Halo games.

I hope losing fan dollars to the Dodgers eats at Arte.

Will always be an Angels fan. But enough is enough.

Angels2020Champs
Legend
11 days ago

Simply put, a masterpiece! Joiner 2024!!!

comment image

nishiogawakun
Super Member
11 days ago

Subscribed. These are the politics that I can get behind!

Last edited 11 days ago by nishiogawakun
RexFregosi
Super Member
11 days ago

I mentioned a couple weeks back that I jettisoned my longtime boyhood NFL team years ago because of the owner, but I said I could never walk away from the Halos.

still holds but one thing that has happened is that they’ve gotten less of my attention this decade. And my daughters and I have spoken a lot about sports this past month but it’s all mostly about Kings hockey.

TrojanBoiler
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Washington?

RexFregosi
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  TrojanBoiler

Jerry

JackFrost
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Ha ha. Same here Fregosi. Though I have not jettisoned them for good. Been a fan since Staubach was QB. I just made a vow that when Jerry didn’t fire McCarthy that I would not follow them or watch games next season… just totally disgusted with him.

Angels2020Champs
Legend
11 days ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

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TrojanBoiler
Trusted Member
11 days ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Not defending his management of the team, but at least he cares about football and winning. That’s better than whatever the heck Arte is doing.

JackFrost
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

The one thing Jerry’s regime of the last decade plus has done well is draft. On that front he is hard to criticize. However, he has been a stubborn ignoramous when it comes to Head Coach and contract decisions (like way over-spending for Zeke Elliot etc.. )

Roy Hobbs
Super Member
11 days ago

 👍 

PedroCerrano
Super Member
11 days ago

Thanks Jeff. I agree and have been voting with my wallet for almost two years. It sucks not be able to support your team but I’ve been a fan since the dark days of the mid 1970s and this is worse.

PedroCerrano
Super Member
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I can’t be critical of anyone nearby to the yard for going. That’s true especially if they have kids as there’s a shelf life on how many of those opportunities we get.

For us, it’s pretty easy as we stream games for free when we want and going to see a game involves at least a five hour drive to Seattle or buying an airline ticket.

Some of my fondest memories as a kid in the 70s involve the Angels. My family didn’t have much money but my mom was a waitress at the Del Rae restaurant in Fullerton was often gifted tickets. She would drop me and my brothers off way before game time and we would have a blast chasing foul BP balls, getting autographs, sneaking into better seats and exploring the stadium.

BTW: I still have my little league glove from when I was twelve with Ryan, Tanana and Frank Robinson’s autographs.

red floyd
Legend
8 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I have tickets to some games, but I also bought on the aftermarket.

Fansince1971
Legend
12 days ago

Jeff – thank you for writing this. It needed to be said in a clear and detailed and dispassionate manner like you did. Makes me very sad that it has come to this. We have said it before but your article connects all the dots.

I agree that the only solution is change of ownership. And that will only be accomplished by hitting Arte with losing money. The best thing die hard fans could do right now for the future of the Org is to stay away and not give Arte any of their money. I believe that losing gobs of cash is the only thing that will get Arte to sell.

Last edited 12 days ago by Fansince1971
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