Tumultuous week for Angels, wraps up with reunion with an old “friend”
By David Rice
“I hope he takes the opportunity to thank the teammates that supported him, and to reach out to Arte and let Arte know that maybe some of the things that he did weren’t what he signed up to do,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Los Angeles Angels have been in the news a lot this week, unfortunately it hasn’t been for their play on the field, although as of late the team has won three consecutive series over two of the three AL division leaders. A meeting on Monday between the Angels coaching staff including manager Mike Scioscia with general manager Jerry DiPoto produced some fireworks which led to Dipoto deciding to resign on Wednesday. Thursday afternoon the Angels announced that senior advisor Bill Stoneman would be the interim general manager until the end of the season. You may recall Stoneman was the Angels GM from 1999-2007 and was the architect of the 2002 World Championship team. Stoneman’s first move was the hiring of Scioscia as the manager a position he has held for the past 15 seasons.
The Angels are hoping that Stoneman will provide some stability and guidance through the rest of the season. He will have his work cut out for him as the 2015 Angels team is lacking offensively with a team batting average of .242 which is 12th out of 15 teams in the American League. Most baseball analysts believe that the Angels need to add some pop to their line-up by acquiring a power hitter and possibly a lead-off man before the trade deadline on July 31st. This may prove challenging as Stoneman was often criticized for not making big moves at the trading deadline, especially ones that sacrifice the team’s future prospects. This will be an interesting development to follow as the month goes on.
As if there wasn’t enough excitement this week, the Angels will play a series in Texas against the Rangers which will have an interesting reunion with former Angel Josh Hamilton. Hamilton, who signed a five-year 125 million dollar contract in the winter of 2012, had a drug relapse this February while still a member of the Angels. After a tumultuous two-month period where all kinds of stories were popping up about the rocky relationship between Hamilton and the Angels front office, most notably owner Arte Moreno, Hamilton was traded back to the Texas Rangers on April 27th. Less than a month later Hamilton made his 2015 debut on May 25th against Cleveland going 0 for 3. However, four games later Hamilton hit two home runs in a game vs. Boston. After a week he had a .273 average with two home runs and five RBI’s, but then he strained his hamstring which landed him on the disabled list for almost the entire month of June. Hamilton is healthy again playing two of the three games against the Orioles earlier this week and is now ready to face the Angels for the first time this season. The Angels come into Arlington for a key divisional series Friday through Sunday against the Rangers who are one game behind the Angels in the standings.
Scioscia has already spoken about the “reunion” with Hamilton and his former teammates, he said according to NBC Sports.com writer Aaron Gleeman that “I hope he takes the opportunity to thank the teammates that supported him, and to reach out to Arte and let Arte know that maybe some of the things that he did weren’t what he signed up to do.” http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/03/mike-scioscia-says-josh-hamilton-should-apologize-to-angels-owner-arte-moreno/
So let’s see how things play out this weekend in Arlington. Hopefully for the Angels they are able to put all the distractions of this week aside and win the series, continuing their push to overtake the first-place Houston Astros. We will see what happens tonight when Garrett Richards takes the mound for the Angels.