Thursday, January 20, 2011

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Fug5nS6G78I/S3SIEKo5trI/AAAAAAAAEb8/RBHypdk6xZ8/s400/P3080003small.jpg
Chuck Richter (Left) with Tim Mead (Right) at Tempe Diablo Stadium in 2008

Tim Mead Chat Transcript
Wednesday January 19, 2011

Chuck Richter: The live chat with Angels VP of Communications Tim Mead will begin at 5:00 PM PST. I am simply launching the chat now so that fans who are commuting home during the 5-6 hour can queue up your questions for Tim now.

Are you as excited about the Angels 2011 season as you were about their 2010 season?
Yes ( 35% )
No ( 65% )

Grade the Angels offseason
A ( 3% )
B ( 5% )
C ( 41% )
D ( 33% )
F ( 18% )

If you were the Angels owner, would you shell out the kind of money the Nationals, Red Sox and Rangers did for Werth, Crawford and Beltre?
Yes ( 29% )
No ( 71% )

The Angels will make a move to acquire a lead off hitter or power hitting DH before the teams heads to KC in late March.
True ( 65% )
False ( 35% )

Tim Mead: This is Tim everyone. Look forward to participating with Chuck's event in a few minutes.


Bruce Nye: What can you tell us about progress towards a sign/trade for another power bat?

Chuck Richter: Bruce leads off with the first question this evening for Tim.

Tim Mead: Thanks Bruce. Tony and his staff continue to look at the rosters of the other 29 clubs on a daily basis, as well as have numerous discussions about "concepts" and "possibilities" with other GM's, as well as continue to look at the remaining free agents. There's nothing really pending on that front at the moment that Tony has updated us on in the past few days.

NJHalo: How important is it to have a "face of the franchise", and who do you think is that face now?

Tim Mead: I think it is very important for everyone involved within the organization, and most certainly for the fans. In my mind, that individual is Mike Scioscia, followed very closely by Arte.

Angel25Fan: Tim, as always thanks for the generous time you give to us at AngelsWin.com Taking off your Angels Front Office 'hat', would you call this offseason a success?

Bruce Nye: I echo A25F"s comments about you Tim.

Tim Mead: Great question. I suppose it depends on what one's own expectations are. I really thought at the outset we had a good chance to land one of the premier free agents. So in that regard, I understand completely the concerns. At the same time, I watched and listened on a daily basis last season about how much DO was missed. I think the two bullpen signings have strengthened us, and will help bolster a solid four-man rotation at the moment. That, I am very pleased with.

Tim Mead: As far as the four-man rotation, the reference was in regard to the performance of Ervin, Joel, Jered and Dan last season. Suffice to say we are all very hopeful that Kaz returns to form and provides us an even deeper rotation. There's no reason not to anticipate that.

Geoff: There was such huge expectations going into this offseason. I don't think that this was the outcome anyone had in mind. So, what is the mood of the team and the front office right now? Are people excited, down, hopeful, discouraged?

Tim Mead: I think everyone is quite truthfully looking forward to reporting on Feb. 11th and getting things started. Seasons are not won on paper or via discussions, predictions, etc. We need to start spring training and establish some answers to the questions many have. In a nutshell we are very excited.

Angel25Fan: There are rumors that there will be a significant drop in Season Ticket Holders this year (either because of economy or lack of enthusiasm in the offseason). How many STH were there last year and how many do the Angels expect there to be this year?

Tim Mead: Our Sales staff continues to work very hard (as they do every year) in regard to the selling of season, individual and group sales tickets. There will be a drop off, most of which is based on economical factors according to much of the feedback we have received from our fans. Also, the All-Star year of 2010 played into the purchase of seats in some areas. I don't know what the projections are at this point until I see some renewal numbers a bit later.

Pettis: What are some of the most exciting events taking place for the 50th anniversary celebration?

SP: This being the Angels 50th year, what kind of special promotions can the fans expect?

Tim Mead: Our Marketing Dept, does a tremendous job with our give-away items so those will always be a hit (I say that as a fan!). We're looking forward to First Pitch ceremonies from 81 different alumni, the presentation by FSW of a 50th Anniversary special, the wearing of some of our previous uniforms, the special anniversary baseball that will be used, to name a few.

Tim Mead: As far as specific promotions, there will be no shortage of hat giveaways, some more Bobble Head dolls, and a great hat for the mom's on Mother's Day. John Rozak in our Marketing Dept. is among the best in the game at what he does.

Steve: How do you see the stadium lease situation playing out? Will Arte move the team or build a new stadium?

Tim Mead: While I cannot speak directly for Arte on the topic, I think it goes without saying that the working relationship with the Angels and the City of Anaheim is a solid one. Together we have produced a WBC and All-Star Game since the name change. I strongly believe everyone will continue to work together towards the next 50 years of Angels Baseball. That said, there are definitely things that will need to be tended to for a building that opened in 1966.

Rob Rohm: Do you have any confirmed names of former Angel legends that are scheduled to throw out the first pitch this season? I heard that there will be a different one each game. With that in mind, has there been any reconciliation with Nolan Ryan. He seems to still be bitter towards Anaheim and his new ownership status probably only further distances him from a return.

Mark: After the overwhelming love and support of Tim Salmon during the All-Star festivities last summer, are there any plans to retire his number soon?

Tim Mead: Thanks Rob. We actually have a rough list that we have finalized in the past few days. Now comes the task of contacting everyone and seeing about their availability. A lengthy process indeed. We intend to bring in gentlemen from each era, some who were All-Stars, and others who were here for a short time. They were all Angels. As far as Nolan is concerned, no bitterness on his end. We would very much like to include him and intend to if his schedule allows.

Tim Mead: The question about Tim is a frequent one. I think many of us feel he is quite deserving of that consideration, and for so many reasons. If you look at it strictly from the performance aspect, than you have to have the same conversation about GA as well. The retiring of a number is a very important decision and one that will be held many times over in the future. Both are deserving of that consideration.

pattimelt: OK, let me talk about something fun-- can you tell us anything about the Fan Fest taking place on the last Sunday of March??

Tim Mead: We're making plans for a Fan Fest on the 27th of March, an event that will be held in the parking lot in the same location where the All-Star Sponsorship program was held. It will be held prior to our afternoon game with San Diego and involve some of the players prior to their work on the field. An announcement is forthcoming.

Tim Mead: To many "helds" in the last response!

Light The Halo: The Angels needed more "helds" last season. ;-)

Bruce Nye: We have no grammar concerns

Chuck Richter: I was just going to type that, Light The Halo. :-)

Tim Mead: Light The Halo, you absolutely correct!

Nick Mancini: Can you give us a sneak peak for the after game concerts?

Tim Mead: Marketing is currently holding discussions with a promoter that has several good contacts with various popular recording artists, I have not seen a finalized list, but can tell you that the goal is to find performers that cross the spectrum of satisfying our fans.

Bruce Nye: There were some crazy rumors in the press about the Rangers TV contract. Can you comment on it? Does it affect the Angels contract with Fox (in terms of renegotiation)?

Tim Mead: Those initial reports were quite simply stated, inaccurate. The number seems large until you start to break down taxes and a host of other costs. However, I could certainly make due with what's left. I believe when all is said and done it is for well under two billion and I think for 20 years! We are not affected by their deal and continue to have a very good working relationship with Fox.

Mark: After all of the changes made to concessions at Angel Stadium last year, how much of it worked, and will there be any more changes/improvements for the 2011 season?

Tim Mead: Mark, that's one area that Dennis Kuhl works very hard on with our business partners and Aramark. Sometimes concessions become a key variable of your ballpark's identification. We continue to try and enhance that philosophy. It is important that our fans have choices. As far as some of the areas are concerned, capital expenses to improve our facilities is never-ending!

Nick Mancini: Don't get rid of the hot dogs from around the league. The Kansas City dog is amazing!

Tim Mead: Nick, that will be duly noted and passed along!

Tom Anderson: There seems to have been some tension between agent Scott Boras and the organization in the past, has this relationship improved recently? Since he represents many premier players does any of this put us at a disadvantage? Weaver? Morales?

Tim Mead: Thanks Tom. There is no denying that Scott is the best in the business. In tense situations like negotiations, there are times emotions have to be tempered. I think there is a respect for each other's opinions and stance when it comes to negotiations, but rest assured it can be a difficult process for all involved.

Light The Halo: If I can sneak a question in about Mike Trout. The Angels brass, especially Mike Scioscia, has been decidedly more outspoken about his talents and expectations than any other player in recent years. How much should Angels fans temper their enthusiasm about his future with the club or is the change in approach from management truly an indication that he is going to be special?

Tim Mead: There is indeed a lot of enthusiasm for Mike from not only within the organization, but outside as well. That said, it's one thing to anticipate a future Major League player, and quite another to put a label complete with production expectations around him. I think we emphasize the former rather than the latter.

SP: With the scheduled Double Header on July 16th did the Angels have to agree to it? Can we expect to see scheduled double headers in Anaheim anytime in the near future?

Tim Mead: We did in fact agree to the DH in Oakland, per their request. We had to make certain that it worked out in the schedule from the standpoint of having an off-day on the 18th so that we would not have to make a roster change for an additional starting pitcher. It's an interesting "experiment" that I hope captures mroe attention than it has presently received. As far as one here anytime soon, I don't see that happening.

Chuck Richter: Guys, good news. Tim has agreed to go till 6 PM.

Tim Mead: Better stated, thank you for all of YOUR time.

Light The Halo: AngelsWin.com will likely do our part to promote the doubleheader, Tim. I have a feeling a group road trip might be in the works.

Tim Mead: I know all of the reasons why we do not have doubleheaders now, but I remember growing up with them and how awesome it was to actually see two games in one day.

Chuck Richter: Tim, tons of questions queued up about bringing Vlad back or about the rumored Manny Ramirez to Angels talk. What can you tell us about those two guys? What are the chances either Vlad or Manny are with the team on opening day?

Tim Mead: Vlad remains an interesting question that we receive a lot, and one that I think will stay out there as spring training draws closer. I haven't had many discussions with Tony about the topic and he keeps his thoughts very close to the vest. As far as Manny, there were some false rumors that started Sunday evening about us and a one-year contract for Manny. That's not going to happen.

NJHalo: Are the Yankees good or bad for the overall health of MLB?

Nick Mancini: Are you in favor of shortening the regular season in order to expand the post season (allowing more teams in).

Tim Mead: Great question that I started to type a response, and then really thought it through more. The game is not played with payrolls, it is played with athletes on the field. If we do our job and play to the capabilities we expect of ourselves, then the other variables I am sure you are referring to do not matter. Their resources are certainly enviable at times, but we simply have to take care of our own business!

Tim Mead: Personally I like October the way it is, though I would prefer a seven-game DCS. I must admit the new wild-card concept that was floated out there this off-season has possibilities, but I do not have enough information to go one way or the other right now.

Chuck Richter: After you answer Light The Halo's question Tim, we'll try to go into a 5 minute (5:55-6:00) lightening round. Short answers will do fine to try to squeeze as many in as we can.

Light The Halo: When I was a kid growing up at the stadium, there was an "Angels Museum" that had artifacts such as Nolan Ryan's no-hitter caps and a step-by-step exhibit of how a bat is made. It was in a small room on the field level. I loved visiting that place and wonder if the team would consider bringing something like that back?

Tim Mead: We've been looking into that the past couple of years and I think it is a vision Arte would like to see happen.

Light The Halo: It definitely shaped my fan experience as a child, both in terms of the Angels and their place in baseball history. I think it would be invaluable in creating new Angels fans, Tim, and I'm glad to hear Arte agrees.

Scott: Any progress on a long term deal with Weaver or Morales?

Tim Mead: If there is, Tony has not discussed with us.

haloOne: Is there any new changes to the stadium?

Tim Mead: Nothing major but lots of general upkeep.

William Munoz: Thank you for your time, Mr. Mead. I live in central California. In the '80s there used to Angel games broadcast here. Will the Angels ever try to expand their radio coverage in the Fresno market again?

Tim Mead: I sure hope so. Hear from loyal fans such as you in the area frequently. We're trying.

Tom Anderson: Will there be an opening day flyover?

Tim Mead: I'm not certain what our Entertainment Dept. has scheduled at this point. I enjoy them and hope it happens.

Light The Halo: The home opener being on Big Bang Friday is going to be awesome.

Shane: How come the Angels don't extend players in their first few seasons to contract extensions like other teams did with Evan Longoria, Carlos Gonzalez, Nick Markakis, etc.? It seems like you would be able to get them below their market value if you extended Weaver and Morales a little bit sooner, than a year or less before they become Free Agents.

Tim Mead: Short answer to a complicated question that requires more time -- it takes two parties to reach an agreement!

William Munoz: Is the team releasing a picture book chronicling the last 50 years?

Tim Mead: William we are and it is in the works.

Bruce Nye: Who is your favorite all-time Angel?

Tim Mead: I wish I could say just one, but Jim Abbott, Chuck Finley, Rod Carew, Don Baylor, Troy Percival, Tim Salmon, Brian Downing and Bobby Grich will always be among my favorites.

Andrew: Who is going to win Sunday, Bears or Packers?

Bruce Nye: Go Pack Go!

Tim Mead: If the Packers do not win, my assistant Jen will go nuts!

Dave: How will covering the Angels via bloggers continue to play out? Did AngelsWin.com do a good job covering the team from the Press Box in 2010?

Tim Mead: I think it's an area that continues to grow and one that all PR folks are still learning to get the arms around. It worked out well for both parties I think.

Chuck Richter: Alright guys, that's it for today. I just want to thank Tim for joining us to answer everyone's questions. I apologize we couldn't get to all of them.

Light The Halo: Thank you, Tim. The entire AngelsWin.com community truly appreciates the time you've always taken for us. It has no doubt helped our community continue to grow.

Bruce Nye: Thanks so much, Tim

Chuck Richter: Thanks a bunch, Tim. We'll see you March 3rd - 6th for our 5th annual Spring Training Fanfest.

Tim Mead: Thanks Chuck and all participants. Look forward to the next one! See you in Tempe.
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