Last Updated on 08/24/2022 by てんしょく飯
On August 23 (local time), the Angels’ owner Arturo Moreno announced his intention to sell the team.
In a statement released by the team, Moreno said, “It has been a great honor to own the Angels for 20 years,” and explained, “I have finally come to the conclusion that now is the time to sell.
On August 23, local time, the Angels announced owner Arturo Moreno’s intention to sell the team.
Born in Arizona in 1946, Moreno served in the Vietnam War and majored in marketing at the University of Arizona. After graduating, Moreno became very successful in the outdoor advertising business, and in 2003 he purchased the Angels from the Walt Disney Company for $180 million, becoming the first Hispanic owner in MLB history.
At the time, Moreno was as close as possible to the “ideal owner. The first thing he did after becoming the owner was to reduce the price of tickets and beer at Angels Stadium. He personally paraded around the seating area to listen to the fans and improve fan service.
At the same time, he lavished money on reinforcements to maintain the strength of the team that won the world championship in 2002 for the first time since its founding. The team acquired big-name players such as Bradimir Guerrero and Bartko Colon through free agent acquisitions, and with the presence of the famous manager Mike Socia, the team won five regional championships in the six years after 2004, creating a golden era for the team. The Angels were undoubtedly a “model team” in MLB at the time, with a succession of talented players emerging from the farm organization.
In 2003, attendance topped 3 million per year for the first time in the team’s history, and it remained above the 3 million mark for 17 consecutive years until 2019, the year before the Corona disaster. The team’s presence, once completely overshadowed by the Dodgers, was greatly enhanced.
However, the wheels slowly fell off in the 2010s.
The Dodgers acquired the best slugger in baseball, Albert Pujols, in the 2011 offseason, and another former MVP, Josh Hamilton, in the 2012 offseason, both of which failed to make it to the big leagues. The team won its first regional title in five years in 2014, thanks in part to the success of Mike Trout, but since the following year it has been on a losing streak for seven straight years.
The team’s decline since 2015 has been due in large part to Moreno’s “arbitrary” decision-making. While he likes to acquire big-name FA fielders, he has not been interested in improving the overall balance of the team or the minor league organization, and once intervened in a trade that the GM had made and broke it off.
In recent years, the manager and GM have been replaced in short order, and the team has had a series of seasons in which the talents of Trout and Ohtani were unnecessarily squandered without a vision for the team. Finally, some people began to wonder if the team was prioritizing attendance and advertising revenue generated by the star power of Ohtani and Trout over winning.
In the end, Moreno was forced to sell the team without winning a single World Series championship.
But as a business venture, it was a huge success. According to Forbes, the Angels’ current asset value is $2.2 billion, the ninth highest in MLB. This is more than a tenfold increase from the time Moreno bought the team. Moreno himself will reap a huge profit from the sale, but he will leave Anaheim with a huge contract for Trout, who is over 30 years old and has a back injury, Otani, who will become a free agent next offseason, and one of the worst farm organizations in the MLB.
Jim Alexander of the Orange County Register, a local newspaper, was scathing in his criticism of the sale, saying, “I can just picture the parade applications flooding into the city of Anaheim (to celebrate his departure).
Will the man who was supposed to be “the greatest owner in the history of baseball” be remembered in history as “the owner who squandered the great talents of Ohtani and Trout and brought about the team’s darkest days?
#Angels up 1-0 early. Shohei Ohtani reached on this double that left the bat at 109.2 mph and scored on an RBI single from Luis Rengifo. pic.twitter.com/2cGWaYwWas
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 20, 2022