I am incredibly excited to begin covering the Angels for The Sporting Tribune. Born and raised in Anaheim, I have spent my entire life going to Angels games. Having covered basketball as a credentialed media member, my professional background is rooted there; however, my athletic background starts and ends with baseball.
Growing up, the Angels were an AL West powerhouse. Winning the division five times from 2004-2009, the West went through Anaheim when I was a kid. Since then, that has not been the case. I was at Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS, and watched Eric Hosmer’s 11th inning homer gave Kansas City a lead that the Angels would never get back. Getting swept the next game, the Angels have yet to see the postseason since that winless appearance in 2014.
This has all been despite three MVP campaigns from Mike Trout, and most recently, the emergence of Shohei Ohtani as arguably the most talented player the game has ever seen. Despite these two generational talents, the team been lackluster, and the coverage they’ve received has been no different. Outside of the national attention that Ohtani receives, the team itself has generated little media interest. While much of that is tied to their lack of success, the future is brighter than it may seem.
With current owner Arte Moreno beginning the process of selling the team, new ownership is seemingly imminent. With Ohtani’s free agency approaching, it feels like a serious fork in the road moment for the Angels is near. Moreno has proven the inability to properly manage such instances, and none have contained the level of significance that a player like Shohei Ohtani generates. Behind the leadership of new ownership, the Angels have an opportunity to build a new identity. One that is not stained by the failure to build around two of the game’s most generational talents.
While it will not be easy, as the organization has several holes to fill, change is coming. An opportunity to cover that change for The Sporting Tribune, following a team I grew up watching, is one I cannot wait to begin.