The direction Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is going is a tough one to decipher.
Last season he lured in Albert Pujols and now he's done the same with Josh Hamilton.
I don't know if Moreno realizes this, but he already had a veteran, powerhouse outfielder in Torii Hunter. He was the face of the team. He loved the fans, the fans loved him. His effort, bat, and defense is leading and inspiring. But I guess that didn't matter to Moreno. Instead of having a longtime face of his franchise, he's gone off and bribed two others.
Hunter played it cool, cause that's the kind of guy he is. He was gracious to the Angles organization and the fans before signing a deal with the Detroit Tigers. That's just the way the business side of baseball is these days. You know you're eventually worth a lot of money when free agency arrives and if the team you've been with can't afford you, you bow out gracefully and you continue on.
That's what Hunter did. And now he's a Tiger. His deal is two years, $26 million.
But with the Angels signing Josh Hamilton to 5 years, $125 million — that's where Arte Moreno and the Angels organization stabbed Hunter in the back.
"I was told money was tight, but I guess Arte had the money hidden under a mattress. Business is business, but don't lie," Hunter tweeted when news of Hamilton's signing broke.
Nothing against Josh Hamilton, he's a great ballplayer when healthy, but seriously why would Moreno feel it necessary to replace a consistent, dependable veteran like Hunter with a an injury-prone, on-again off-again athlete like Hamilton?
And I'm sorry, a former drug and alcohol abuser like Hamilton is a big risk. He's come into his national success — despite his past — with the Rangers during his time there and to take him out of his norm into an atmosphere where winning is everything and losing isn't acceptable, and the postseason is expected and to not get there is complete failure, that's not good. He's in a position for relapse. I don't say that to point out faults, I say it out of fear and care that this guy could slip and fall back into old habits.
That issue didn't exist with Hunter and I sure hope he has the best season of his career to prove Moreno and his front office wrong.
As for Hamilton, he literally pulled a Pujols.
He was in a place where he was not only a face for the franchise, but he was in a place where he could've become a legendary identity of the franchise like Nolan Ryan. And in Pujols' case, he could've had a legacy like Stan Musial.
Page 2 of 2 - But once again the almighty dollar prevailed — along with some clever Moreno business tactics, he's certainly good at some sort of manipulation. Whether or not it's good remains to be seen.