The Los Angeles Angels are what they are this season, an underperforming roster with razor-thin depth across the board, and an interim manager at the helm following the eye-raising firing of Joe Maddon in just his third season with the club.
Maddon is a former World Series-winning skipper who made a name for himself across Major League Baseball for his cool, calm, player-savvy ways and sometimes unorthodox managerial style. The 19-year manager had the unfortunate start with the Angels in the 2020 shortened season, and his fortunes never panned out.
With stints back in 1996 and 1999 when the organization was still the California Angels, he managed 51 games, but on his most recent stop with the team, he posted a combined 130-148 record.
General manager Perry Minasian got the green light from owner Arte Moreno to relieve him of his duties early this year and Maddon recently expressed that he’s moved on from the situation that ended abruptly, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
“It’s like, once that happened, I dissolved my affiliation with them,” Maddon said. “There’s no emotion anymore. There’s no anything. It’s like to me they don’t even exist, organizationally.
Maddon’s exit from the club was in the midst of a now franchise-record losing streak, and interim manager Phil Nevin has been unable to right the ship with the laundry list of injuries, cold streaks, and an exodus of a few players via trades to shift towards the future.
In his time with the team, Maddon had a decent flow of rookies that contributed at different times, but very few continued to play at a high level, and varying factors played into the Angels appearing as if they were going off the rails.
“The infrastructure needs to be improved. There’s a lot of things that need to be improved there,” Maddon said. “These guys can’t do it alone, obviously. It’s the non-sexy stuff that has to get better. It’s not just bright, shiny objects — they have that.
“They need to do the infrastructure better in order to get to where we had been in the past. That was my goal, to get the Angels back to where we had been in the past. That was it. Nothing but pure intentions. I was an Angel. They had every ounce of me. And now that’s done.”
The Angels have gone 25-38 since they fired Maddon, which is a bit of confirmation that the problem didn’t exist with the manager, but was rather the fall guy.
Mike Trout feeling good after return
After missing 30 games with a back injury, Mike Trout returned to the lineup on Friday against the Detroit Tigers. In his first two games back, he is 1-for-8 with three strikeouts, but has made some encouraging contact.
Trout said he was feeling good after returning to the lineup, and hopes he can play every day — or as close to it as possible — for the rest of the season.
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