Remember when the leathery owner of the Angels smiled side-by-side Josh Hamilton after inking him to a $125 million dollar deal?
If you recall, Arte Moreno had that patented smarmy look on his face like, "I took C.J. and now I've stolen Hambone." $125 million seemingly bought a lot of screw yous to the Texas Rangers back in December of 2012.
Of course, back in Texas we sort of had the sinking feeling that this whole Hollywood marriage would end in tragedy. Hamilton's bouts with addiction are well chronicled but few in Orange County seemed to realize just how high maintenance Hamilton is/was. I'm not trying to kick him while he's down. I'm not saying he's weak. I'm just saying he's always had a ton on his plate and rarely has baseball been his top priority. That probably comes with a decade of wrestling demons every day.
We all saw the lengths the Rangers went to get the most out of Hamilton's unparalleled talent. We all figured the Angels had put a $125 million dollar down payment on that talent without really understanding the effort it took to get Hamilton out there ready to be modern Mickey Mantle every day. It seems now that they thought $125 million dollars was all the motivation and assistance needed.
To the surprise of no one east of Yorba Linda, Hamilton has crashed and burned both on the field and off it. So how have the Angels responded to the sad relapse of an self-admitting addict and team member? By being petulant, borderline evil assholes about the whole thing.
First off, there's the not-so-subtle speculation that the organization itself leaked the information that Hamilton had relapsed themselves in hopes of swaying favor with the commissioner's office when it came time to administer a punishment that would save the Angels millions. An arbiter ruled that Hamilton won't be suspended which caused the rather public ire of both the Angels front office and the commissioner himself.
No one is saying that Josh Hamilton shouldn't accept responsibility for his actions. This seems to be a point the Angels are missing as they fling barbs and then they hide behind new commissioner Rob Manfred's skirt. The fact that Hamilton is reportedly rehabilitating at a friend's ranch in Houston after he himself told MLB about his relapse tells you that he understands that his actions have consequences. Namely, he's now in exile from his wife and kids, having his name dragged through the mud by the team that partnered with him, and is as far removed from glory days in Texas as he was when he was a teenager banished from baseball.
But that hasn't stopped the Angels from making this about them being forced to honor a commitment they made with a player they knew was troubled.
Moreno, asked if he can say Hamilton will play another game with #Angels: "I will not say that."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 11, 2015
Moreno says Angels have separate language in Hamilton's contract vs relapse and they may try to enforce it.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 11, 2015
From a public relations perspective, this has been a nightmare for the Angels. Here is the owner of the team threatening action against the addict the team won't even give a locker to. Not a good luck. C.J. Wilson -- the team's union rep -- has been outspoken about the lack of care for a player going through a difficult time and how that sentiment has found its way into the clubhouse.
Arte Moreno: Hamilton contract contains no special language protecting #Angels from relapse, aside from usual MLB drug policy language.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) December 15, 2012
Be sure the check the dates on the tweets. In 2012, the Angels didn't have protective language according to Arte Moreno on the day he basked in getting one up on the Rangers. Two and a half years later, he has protective language and isn't afraid to use it against the player he shook hands with in front of the player's family just some months back.
We always knew the Angels were the worst. We just didn't know they were so scummy while being the worst.
Monday, April 13 7:05 pm: RHP Matt Shoemaker vs LHP Ross Detwiler
Tuesday, April 14 7:05 pm: RHP Drew Rucinski vs RHP Nick Martinez
Wednesday, April 15 1:05 pm: LHP Hector Santiago vs ?? (Probably RHP Anthony Bass)
Anaheim Angels (2-4, 5th Place in AL West)
Rangers' 2014 Record vs. Angels: 5-14 (1-9 at The Ballpark)
Anaheim's Recent Results: 0-3 swept by the red hot KC Royals
Anaheim's 2014 Road Record: 46-35
The Ballpark 2014 Park Factors (LHB/RHB): HR: 102/88 - Runs: 110/101
SB Nation Angels Blog: Halos Heaven (Just gonna unlink this to avoid any temptation)
|Match-up: (as of 04/10)||Rangers||Angels||Advantage|
|Batting (RAR)||-12.2 (29th)||-7.7 (24th)||Yikes.|
|Base Running (RAR)||-0.4 (21st)||-1.3 (29th)||Yuck.|
|Starters (RAR)||Ace Nick Martinez?||What is a Drew Rucinski?||No Garrett Richards, no problem|
|Bullpen (RAR)||0.5 (20th)||2.1 (12th)||The Rangers take a hit losing Anthony Bass to the rotation|
|Defense (UZR)||Error free for 10 innings running||Mike Trout's no George Springer||Did you know Ron Washington instructed Johnny Giavotella over the winter?|
|Overall (UZR + RAR)||It's too early||Doesn't matter||If there is any justice, Rangers|
Questions to Answer:
- Yay or Nay: Josh Hamilton plays another game in an Angels uniform in his career?
- Who is your Return of the McLemore Approved Player to Watch in this series? (Let's see what Carlos Peguero can do.)
- Over/Under: 2.5 Fox Sports Southwest shows dubious David Freese highlights for no real reason?
- What's your guess for line (IP/H/K/BB/ER) by staff ace Nick Martinez on Tuesday night?
- The Rangers only beat the Angels once in all of 2014 at The Ballpark, do they top that mark after Wednesday?