For years, Anaheim Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno has made much hay about how Forbes once named him the best owner in professional sports. That was back in 2009, the last year the Halos made the playoffs. Ever since then, of course, the team has bumbled its way through hundreds of millions of dollars in high-priced free agents who haven't panned out and the disembowelment of its farm and scouting system, leading Forbes last year to call the team the worst in Major League Baseball for the money.
Now comes ESPN The Magazine, which wrote a long profile on the team's farm system, in the process calling them "the worst franchise in MLB." And it's not just the Mag who's saying that.
The story begins last year at spring training, when Angels assistant GM Scott Servais gathered all of the Angels' minor league players, coaches, and managers and asked how many of them had made the playoffs in 2012 in their respective minor leagues. Only one person.
"Baseball America thinks we have the worst talent in the game," Servais said, according to ESPN. "How does that make you feel? You play in the worst organization in the game."
Baseball America has once again deemed the Angels dead last in its rankings of franchise's organizational talent–this, on a team with budding superstar Mike Trout, fading superstars Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols…and a whole bunch of nothing afterwards. And this assessment doesn't factor in Moreno's wish to fleece taxpayers in Anaheim, Tustin, or anywhere stupid enough to build him a new stadium.
The ESPN piece ends on a positive note: by the end of 2013, four of the Angels six minor-league affiliates had made their playoffs. Can the same happen at the mother ship this year?