Saturday, October 1, 2011

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

When Tony Reagins said that the Angels were “going to try to be creative, aggressive, and see where things shake out”, little did fans realize that he meant the offseason would start with his resignation.

Whether Tony Reagins was fully in charge of Angels, or shared power with Scioscia and Moreno, fans will never know. Whether Tony Reagins made all the decisions on the trades that fans dislike, again, we’ll never know. And whether or not he was fired, or, did the appropriate thing and resigned on his own, we’ll never know. Frankly, at this point, all the speculation about that is immaterial.

Here’s what we do know.

The Good

Under Tony Reagins, the Angels went 363-285 (.560) from 2008-2011. Twice they won the American League West (2008 and 2009).

Tony Reagins signed the ever-popular Torii Hunter as a free agent. He got a steal of a deal when he plucked Bobby Abreu from the bargain basement bin. He also signed Scott Downs as a free agent reliever. Most importantly, he extended Jered Weaver to a below-market deal for the next 5 years.

Unlike his predecessor, Bill Stoneman, Tony made trades. He traded for Dan Haren, Mark Teixeira and Alberto Callaspo. All of these moves have benefitted the club.

The Not So Good

Talking with scouts and executives around the league, the Angels’ front office had a reputation for being stiff or “wooden”. He showed up late to the Winter Meetings, and lost out on several attempts to sign key (or perceived to be “key”) free agents. He fired Eddie Bane. How much all of this hurt the team is unknown.

The Bad

Under Tony Reagins, the Angels have not made the post season despite spending record sums (for the team) over the last two years. In a performance based business, that is unacceptable.

Some of the key reasons why the Angels failed to make the post season directly stem from front office decisions. On the free agent front, Tony signed Fernando Rodney, Brian Fuentes, and extended Bobby Abreu for a year too long.

However, none of that compares to what Tony will always be remembered for: Trading for Vernon Wells. While I still hope that this trade does not look so bad in the long-term (which would require a massive return to form for Vernon), Angels fans will forever be reminded of the deal when they watch Napoli launching homeruns for Texas.

Oh then there's Scott Kazmir, though at the time it looked like a nice risk to take on the young southpaw, two years removed from leading the AL in strikeouts. Kazmir started out of the gate strong in September for the Halos, but failed miserably in the playoffs in '09. Kaz went on to disappoint in 2010 and in 2011 before being released by the team. Some scouts questioned his lack of FB velocity before the trade was made as he went from hitting mid 90's with regularity to 89-92 MPH in 2009.


Some apologists want to claim that Tony is a scapegoat for decisions not made by him and for the poor performance that he had no control over.

I disagree.

As the general manager, Tony was his own man. He worked hard at his job, and was very passionate about the Angels. Baseball is a performance-based business meant to entertain. The results are often determined by the management’s philosophy. The style of Angels baseball played under Tony was not working, and a change had to be made.

At the same time, some fans are of the opinion that Tony resigning is “good riddance”.

Again, I disagree.

Tony did some things to improve the nature of the ballclub. Unlike his predecessor, he made trades to bolster the team, especially at the trade deadline. He made the Angels relevant when for years they were considered irrelevant in July. His moves, particularly for Haren and Callaspo showed foresight and will help the team over the next few years. On balance, he did more good than bad, and can hold his head high with a .560 win percentage.

When I tell my sons about these years as an Angels fan, the way I will summarize the teams under Tony’s tenure as being years of smoldering disappointment. In 2009, when it seemed like the Angels, bolstered by Mark Teixeira would go all-the-way, the disappointment came from the performance on the field, not the front office.

However, in 2010 and 2011, the disappointment came from the decisions made in the front office, which resulted in more frustration on the field. The Angels had several glaring needs and failed to address them, particularly on offense. The failure to improve the offense cost the Angels heavily over the last two seasons.

With the expanded payroll over the last two years, Tony Reagins squandered what could have been the greatest opportunity for the Angels to get back to the World Series. Instead, we watched as Texas built up and surpassed the Angels, and became the class of the American League West. As a fan, that hurts the most.

This article isn’t a “Thanks for the Memories” piece. However, it isn’t a “Hit the Road Jack” piece either. It was time for the Angels to make a change in philosophy. Tony Reagins’ decision to resign was a final class act on his part. It allowed the Angels to make the right changes going forward and once again get the team back to playing October baseball.
Love to hear what you think!

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

AngelsWin Media

We Recommend

 photo 8fbce79f-4964-43ef-a13d-ff1832b5e9a4_zpsd3c2ece7.jpg
Click on the picture above to pick up a copy of Rob Goldman's latest on Angels' great, Nolan Ryan. A Must Read for every fan of the Angels! Website Store

 photo t_zps6af139fc.gif
Copyright © 2013 Los Angeles Angels Blog | is the unofficial website of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Our comments and views do not express the views of the major league club or anyone affiliate with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. blog content, articles and opinions are provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind.  We disclaim warranties, express or implied, including warranties for a particular purpose, accuracy, completeness, availability, security, compatibility and non-infringement.  Blog material, articles and other information furnished or supplied by you to become the ownership of for use at our discretion.  Your use of AngelsWin content is at your own discretion and risk. We do not warrant that any content here be error free that access thereto will be uninterrupted or errors will be corrected. We do not warrant or make any representations regarding  the use of any content made available through  You hereby waive any claim against us with respect thereto. may contain the opinions and views of other members and users. We cannot endorse, guarantee, or be responsible for the accuracy, efficacy or veracity of any content generated by our members and other users. The content of is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Such content is not intended to, and does not, constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used for such purposes. Reliance on any information appearing on is strictly at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in, or accessible through, the without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer or professional licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.