Arte Moreno Makes Influence Felt In Angels' Hiring Of Joe Maddon
The Angels have hired Joe Maddon as their next manager, and from "every indication, Owner Arte Moreno drove the hiring of Maddon, and by doing so, undercut" GM Billy Eppler, according to Ken Rosenthal of THE ATHLETIC. The move shows that the Angels have "serious chain-of-command issues." Eppler is only under contract through next season, so the Angels "must decide: Is Eppler their guy?" Moreno can "answer that question in due course." The hiring of Maddon, who previously spent 31 years within the Angels organization, "at least allows for a sliver of sunshine, with the possibility of brighter days ahead" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/16). MLB Network's Chris Russo noted it was Moreno's "call" to hire Maddon, and said, "This is not Billy Eppler. Moreno took over, he made the decision to fire (Brad) Ausmus and he wanted Maddon and he got him." MLB Network's Bruce Schein said with Eppler entering the final year of his contract, the Angels are "going to be players" in free agency. Schein: "They are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. You bring in a Joe Maddon. ... This is going to be a big, interesting winter for the Angels" ("High Heat," MLB Network, 10/16). In DC, Dave Sheinin writes the hiring of Maddon "represents a significant investment" by Moreno that is "designed to give the franchise some needed credibility on the eve of an important offseason talent market" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/17).
DO SIMPLE BETTER: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes Maddon's hiring "should calm a few nerves, restore a little hope, and at least temporarily slow the ugliest of narratives" for the Angels. A "team in turmoil has hired the epitome of calm." Maddon "embraces cutting-edge analytics, preaches hardball philosophy, and pushes fun." But through all his "frivolity, there has been a common theme, and it is winning." However, Maddon's "most important impact on the Angels will not be as a strategist, but as the new folksy face of their franchise." Since the death of Tyler Skaggs, the organization has been a "plunged into a spiral of revelations and accusations that could eventually shake the franchise to its core." Maddon will be the "one charged with changing the public narrative of an organization in crisis" (L.A. TIMES, 10/17). YAHOO SPORTS' Tim Brown wrote for the Angels, there "would be only one man for the job" and Maddon is the "right man." Still, he is a "small part of the reconstruction" of the team (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/16).