Dear Arte: Congratulations! It has been a decade since you donned a sombrero during a press conference announcing you were buying the Anaheim Angels, thereby becoming the first Latino majority owner of a professional-sports franchise. That was the last time you emphasized your Hispanic roots, insisting ever since that people treat you as a sports owner, period.

Well, you've succeeded. No one thinks of you as a Latino owner anymore; instead, we think of you as a pendejo owner. Oh, wait: That's too Mexi for you, so let's just call you a bad owner, m'kay?

Your Halos stink, on pace for a losing record and a fourth straight year without a playoff berth. The dashing CEO who once roamed Angels Stadium asking people, Ed Koch-like, how he was doing, who knew what players to sign, who confidently manned a team to such heights that Forbes named him baseball's best boss as recently as 2009 is gone; in his place now is a recluse in charge of a franchise named this year by Forbes as baseball's worst team for the money—and that dishonor happened before this underachieving flop of a season weighed down by the bloated contracts of past-their-prime superstars Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

In a way, Orange County should be grateful to you; after all, that fans are upset at the Angels' play on the field is a stunning accomplishment, given the Halos' tenure in Anaheim before its improbable 2002 World Series championship was one long string of laughers broken up by occasional winning seasons that ended with epic collapses. But you're now at a crossroads that will inevitably involve usted—sorry, you—screwing us over even worse than when you affixed that ridiculous "Los Angeles" in front of your team's name. Last week, the Anaheim City Council approved a motion to extend your deadline from 2016 to 2019 to decide whether you're going to keep your franchise in that city or move it away. It's also exploring a deal that would make you foot the bill for a new baseball stadium (or renovate the current one, the second-oldest in the American League after Fenway Park); in exchange, you can make like Robert Moses and lease 150 empty acres surrounding the stadium for a buck per year, keeping all tax revenue from any future developments. Oh, and also? The council is proposing to allow you to drop any references to Anaheim in the team's name.

Now, I'm not sure if this gift of public funds is your idea or the council's (more on those pendejos—and they definitely are pendejos—in a bit). But that you're even considering this exposes you once and for all for what you really are: a carpetbagger with no care for Orange County whatsoever, with loyalty only to your pocketbook. And while that puts you in the heartless realm of your fellow OC billionaire Don Bren, we don't need another Georgia Frontiere. So I write to ask: Spare us the coming will-he-or-won't-he tango and get outta here. You don't deserve us, and we sure as hell don't want you.

No one knew you, Arte, when it was announced in 2003 you had bought the Angels. All that was known about you was that you were of Mexican heritage, you were born in Tucson but made your billions in the billboard business, you wanted to drop beer prices in your first official action as owner, and you wanted to win. We liked you, liked your signing of baseball's best free agents—Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colón and Orlando Cabrera—in 2004, your first full year owning the team. And then, in the beginning of 2005, you blew away all that goodwill by insisting on renaming the team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

That should've been our first clue of your true self, but you were able to skate through unscathed because the team on the field was a winner, logging only one losing season between 2005 and 2012 (with the only black mark a not-bad 80-82 record in 2010). Then the relish slowly started falling off the hot dog, exposing the grand sham you had constructed. It started with your insistence on signing even more free agents instead of developing a farm system—and the mercenaries you brought in were mostly laughers: Gary Matthews Jr., Hamilton and the disappointment that is Pujols, a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, sure, but one already on a downward trajectory and whose health has deteriorated so much that his season ended early this year. By acquiring Pujols, you alienated longtime center fielder Torii Hunter, whom you signed during your successful years and who left (he claims) because you suddenly became a penny-pincher; Hunter is having a career year in Detroit, by the way.

Want proof of your megalomania? Although you've stopped wandering the stadium, you emerged from your private box this year to talk to the press, insisting you're spending money because you want to win so badly. But a blistering CBS Sports piece last month blew away that charade, reporting that you had fired nearly 40 employees from across the team, have "one of the leanest game-day staffs in all of baseball" and "gouge hours" from underlings. Even worse? You make them wear those gawd-awful red polo shirts that resemble castaways from a Warehouse Shoe Sale store.

And now, you've got an opportunity to make untold riches by developing the land around Angels Stadium. Where you see a business opportunity, I see an open sore; this is land the current City Council, made up of sycophants of Orange County's Dark Lord, Curt Pringle, see as a piggy bank upon which their wholesale pillaging of city coffers can continue. You're walking into a trap; the council members want you to develop the land to make them look good, so they're making an offer you can refuse but most likely won't. By accepting it, you're going to incur the wrath of Anaheim's Latino yaktivists, who'll protest underneath those ridiculous mega-hats in front of the stadium for years to come. They already think you're a vendido because you don't make explicit overtures to them (signing a bunch of Dominicans doesn't count, in their mind) or didn't comment on your home state of Arizona's noxious Senate Bill 1070. That's fine. But to become a recipient of corporate welfare, in this day and age of a watchful public eye? Beware—beware.

Orange County doesn't need hucksters running its sports teams anymore. It wants stability from them—look across the 57 freeway, where fellow billionaire Henry Samueli has established a model NHL franchise in the Anaheim Ducks, allowing smarter minds to develop the team from within and sign free agents only when needed. So just go. Vamoose. Vaya con Dios. Anaheim will survive. Get out of the city, out of Orange County, and over to the Inland Empire or Las Vegas or some other yokel 'burb that won't mind your pendejo ass.

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40 comments
Baseballgirl
Baseballgirl

arte is a pig. He comes in the strip clubs with his young white friends and throws 100 bills around. So lame

jjwrich
jjwrich

Well, I've been saying this for years.  While everyone has been screaming about Scrubsha (and he absolutely HAS to go!!), I've been pointing out Arte's incompetence or cluelessness as owner.  I don't want the Angels to leave OC; but Arte is a salesman, presumably with a keen understanding of what makes land more valuable and advertisers pay premium prices to hock their wares, and I doubt he's sincere in his interest to leave OC.  He'll try to intimidate the Council to give him what he wants, because they're completely out of their league.  It might be time for Anaheim to open up some preliminary negotiations with Oakland (poor attendance) or Florida/Tampa Bay (poor attendance) to inform Arte that these kinds of things go both ways.  Arte's no fool:  a move to LA (the IE or Vegas is completely out of the question) would be disastrous for this franchise, and he knows it.  The Council needs to negotiate a fair deal with Moreno and not knuckle under to his paper threats.

Paul Malacara
Paul Malacara

Whenever a washed up player from the National league go to the American League to be a DH is a bad trade... Lesson learned Artie

raidergal68
raidergal68

Wow - some of us "ORANGE COUNTY" residents like having our baseball team here ... and for the record, support them through the good and bad years.  Is he a great owner, no he's not, but seriously??????  The fact that he's a latino has nothing to do with the club - he's obviously not the best owner - but he's the one who owns our team now ... hopefully they will have a good season next season and play like they are right now.

JC DeVivero
JC DeVivero

You guys are a bunch of complainers. You guy got a World Series of this deal anyway. Look north to Seattle. The Mariners spend the least amount on players with a payroll of 88M. They never go after 1st Tier players. We have nothing up here and no one ever speaks of World Series. Go Dodgers!

Albert Hernandez
Albert Hernandez

I would have more respect for the franchise if they were The California Angels or The Anaheim Angels. With that being said...LET'S GO DODGERS!!!THIS IS LOS ANGELES, FOOL!!!

Danny Tena
Danny Tena

If I were him and if I wanted to change the name that bad, i would've changed it back to the California Angels. I think ppl wouldn't have been as upset as they are over being called the LA Angels.

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

he also needs to drop the LA out of the team

José-Ariel Cuevas
José-Ariel Cuevas

Arte would have been fine in the Porfiriato era (the 'stache, the "screw the poor" mentality.)

Rob Loeza
Rob Loeza

SMH can't agree with you on this one.

Gary Summers
Gary Summers

Dude he is a rich man. Every filthy rich person has no sense of ethics or appreciation of where they came from. Its all about the mighty dollar and keeping up with the country club elite. When the zeros on the bank account multiply the memory goes bye bye. Sad but true.

Rocio Ochoa
Rocio Ochoa

Pure B.S !!! Not on Independence Day. " ask a Mexican" pls... Por heso dicen que los mexicanos somos como los cangregos..... Sad but true. :-(

HughJasol
HughJasol

I have never agreed with anything that you've penned as much as I do this open letter! I can only keep my fingers crossed that Arte will somehow see this. I would be heartbroken if the Angels were to ever leave. I worked at that stadium when I was in my 20's & met the love of my life while tail gating there. It's where we meet up with friends/family and have some of our best times. I hate that it has come to this :(

YokelBurb
YokelBurb

Agree on so many levels, but you have to admit that Anaheim is not a major city (nor will it ever be), hence the fascination with LA.  He's trying to leave a "yokel 'burb" without having to actually leave and get the name identification with it.  Not a bad play when your are dealing with a yokel Anaheim City Council who is just happy to serve you.

BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

Meh. Let Arte move the team, or not. I don't care. I do care about him and his cronys getting millions in tax breaks and him trying to extort the citizenry to build him a new play-house. Can you imagin if another business tried that shit? Build me a gas station and make it so I can operate without any taxes, oh and I want you to provide traffic control and security for free. I'd be laughed out of the building. Numerous studies have shown that professional sports franchises add nothing to a local economy. I just can't seemed to get too worked up about some guy wanting to move his business, when he clearly want's to be somewhere else. The Angels aren't "our" team. They are a bunch of millionairs who live elswhere and were born and raised elsewhere. They do not represent me. When they won the World Series I didn't get a check or a free t-shirt or free tickets to Disneyland. It had zero impact on my life. Let them go and bring in some minor league teams. At least they are cheaper to see and more fun to watch.

gaftd
gaftd

Wow, a bit sensationalistic and aggressive, don't you think? I'll be as angry as anyone else if Arte moves the team out of OC, but let's not forget that he's doing what ANY team owner, actually any BUSINESS owner would do in his situation - utilizing leverage to get the best possible long-term situation for the team. These situations usually involve a degree of bluffing, and I would expect that's some of what we're seeing here. You can't really get mad at the guy for doing the same thing anyone else would do.

taylor.bird1
taylor.bird1

This is pretty much the worst article I've ever read. It reminds me of some of the whiny tirades you'd hear from members of the California state government. You also need a new fact-checker:

--Orlando Cabrera was not signed along with Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon during the 2003/2004 off-season. The Angels signed him one year later, during the 2004/2005 off-season.
--You list Gary Matthews, Jr. as one of the embarrassing signings made since Moreno started declining as a successful owner. I agree that it was a horrendous signing. However, you then mention Torii Hunter as someone whom Moreno signed during Moreno's "successful years." Gary Matthews, Jr. was signed one year BEFORE Torii Hunter. So, unless Arte Moreno is a time-traveler, Matthews, Jr. was also signed during Moreno's successful years (according to your timeline).

RocketJ
RocketJ topcommenter

You successfully held off on using a first person personal pronoun until the fifth paragraph. It looks like the optometrist has your I disease under control for now.  

-paulc-
-paulc-

while i completely agree, I dont think MLB will let the Angles move...

JoseMaldonado
JoseMaldonado

Gustavo, THANK YOU for this! I was beginning to wonder of any of Orange County's Angels fans had a pulse! I mean, the NERVE of this guy! He comes to town and IMMEDIATELY turns the name of Anaheim into an after-thought! Could you imagine if your wife suddenly decided she wanted to go back to using her ex-husband's last name? Then after you protested, as, a compromise, she HYPHENATES it with yours at the end? Where is the outrage? When my Dodgers had our troubles with McCourt, we came after him with rope and torches. It's your turn, Orange County! The Angels are YOUR TEAM!! This is YOUR TOWN!!

TowelieLama
TowelieLama

I completely agree with these opinions from Gustavo.

I always said Moreno would do more harm to Southern California than Frank McCourt.  

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Well at least Arturo got rid of that annoying idiot Rex Hudler. Go Doyers!

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

I recommend getting some hot latina chicks (who come from a culture emphasizing seeexy instead of the Chapman undergrads to shoot t-shirt missiles into the stands in the 7th inning. The gringas are beautiful...but way too much clothes.

Baseballgirl
Baseballgirl

@jjwrich the brains and money behind arte is William Levine and Andrew M Cohn, two businessmen in Phoenix.

jjwrich
jjwrich

@Brian Reese What was so bad with the California Angels?  In fact, this is how I refer to the team.  I refuse to use the whole LA of Anaheim nonsense.

STOPTHERECONQUISTA
STOPTHERECONQUISTA

@gaftd Gus is right. The major leagues cannot allow constant movement of teams...it will disgust the fan base and damage the overall league. There needs to be balance. This team (when ran well) as been a profit machine for the owners......though I can think of $500 million (that's HALF A BILLION DOLLARS) the owner could have saved if he worked a farm system instead of pouring money on turds. .....AND ARTE.....GIVE MIKE TROUT A $100,000 BILL TODAY. LET HIM KNOW WE WANT HIM TO STAY YOU STINGY SCROOGE!!!

JoseMaldonado
JoseMaldonado

@-paulc- Actually, I don't think MLB can stop him from moving. Unlike the S.F. Giants with exclusive territory to San Francisco and San Jose, the Dodgers don't have those same exclusivity rights to Los Angeles or the surrounding area. If Moreno is to be believed, he's already been talking to sites in Irvine, Irwindale, and "at least half a dozen sites" in Downtown Los Angeles. He's posturing, for sure. Don't think for a minute he WON'T take his team to L.A. so he can finally disassociate himself with what he considers to be a smaller market. Orange County fans of the Angels shouldn't stand for this!

Baseballgirl
Baseballgirl

@GustavoArellano @RocketJ what arte did to poor tony reagins, throwing tony under the bus for the Napoli/Wells deal was obscene. Tony was a good and loyal man. He deserved better.

 
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