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Sad times are here to stay for the Los Angeles Angels.
Angels owner Arte Moreno dropped a bomb-shell announcement Monday, declaring that he’ll retain ownership of the MLB team after putting the team up for sale.
Misery Business In Anaheim
Moreno’s claim in August that he was preparing to field bids for the team injected Angels fans with the optimism of turning around the club’s misfortunes after yet another losing season, plagued by the promise of housing superstars like two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani and slugger Mike Trout that has gone absolutely nowhere.
Moreno announced Monday afternoon that he still has “unfinished business” left with the Halos, to the chagrin of Angels fans hoping for a 180 after a hypothetical selling of the team.
“During this process, it became clear that we have unfinished business and feel we can make a positive impact on the future of the team and the fan experience,” Moreno said in his statement.
“This offseason we committed to a franchise record player payroll and still want to accomplish our goal of bringing a World Series Championship back to our fans. We are excited about this next chapter of Angels Baseball. We are grateful to Galatioto Sports Partners for their outstanding efforts throughout the process that allowed us to meet with a number of highly qualified individuals and groups who expressed strong interest in the Club.
“However, as discussions advanced and began to crystallize, we realized our hearts remain with the Angels, and we are not ready to part ways with the fans, players and our employees.”
Trout and Ohtani On The Way Out?
The news was an arrow straight through the heart of the Angels fanbase, which now anticipates its two stars in Ohtani and Trout to see the bigger picture after Moreno’s announcement and look for a way out of Anaheim, knowing that things are destined to remain stagnant with the owner still around.
Despite planting his major-league roots with the Angels, the 28-year-old Ohtani has been transparent about winning being paramount to his interests as an impending free agent.
“I really like the team. I love the fans. I love the atmosphere of the team,” Ohtani said in 2021, as relayed by the Los Angeles Times. “But, more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.” Ohtani faces free agency after this upcoming season, barring an extension with the Angels.
The New York Yankees have been floating around as favorites to reel in Ohtani from the anguish of playing in Anaheim.
Early Twitter Reactions To Trout, Ohtani’s Odds of Staying With The Angels
“How long before Trout and Ohtani want to be traded?”
“Ohtani’s looking for an exit strategy.”
“Think Ohtani is as good as gone from the Angels.”
“I wish Ohtani well wherever he ends up. I feel horrible for trout. F*** Arte Moreno.”
“Ohtani, welcome to the Dodgers.”
“Ohtani will be gone and I bet Mike Trout will want out now too.”
When asked about his future in LA late last season, Mike Trout called it a “question mark,” despite being signed with the team until 2030 after agreeing to a 12-year, $426.5 million deal before the 2019 season.
“It’s always a question mark because you don’t know who’s going to come in,” Trout said. “We’ll see how it goes. Obviously, I’ve got a lot more years on my deal.”
Money Won’t Save Moreno, Angels
No matter the lump sum of money that Moreno hopes to throw at the issue, no one’s buying in on moneybags of cash being the deciding factor worth pulling the Angels out of their misery.
Despite boasting the tenth-highest payroll of 2022 at $179 million, the Angels led a miserable 73-89 campaign, missing out on the postseason for their seventh-straight year, tying a franchise record.
The Halos have not reached the postseason since 2014 and have not won a postseason game since the 2009 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.
If there’s hope for the Angels, there’s no way in hell it’s with Arte Moreno at the helm.