The Los Angeles Angels fired manager Joe Maddon on June 7 while nearing the eventual end of a franchise-record losing streak. General manager Perry Minasian felt it was time to make a change in hopes he could save this talented club before the spiral got out of control.
The Angels are 2-8 in their last 10 games after wins against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets. Their horrible stretch did not come against poor opponents, but it is tough to clear the cloud that looms when a narrative takes over a clubhouse.
On May 24, the Angels were 10 games up and primed for playoff contention and a few weeks later, Minasian handed the team to bench coach Phil Nevin and is staring up at the American League West in third place, but they still have a chance to make the postseason, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“Right now, I’m not excited where we’re at,” Minasian said in response to the aforementioned question. “We need to play better. We have talent. We have a team capable of winning games. We have a team that’s capable of doing a lot of good things.”
This is an Angels club littered with talent and unfortunately, simultaneous injuries to key players and underwhelming performances from the pitching staff and offense were the driving force behind their freefall:
“We’ve got the right group to get back to (being successful),” Minasian said. “It takes one win, obviously, one game at a time. It takes a whole group of guys preparing the right way doing what they need to do.”
Minasian explained that, with the approval from team owner Arte Moreno, the decision to fire Maddon was his and his alone, and now the Angels will have to be more of a team than they have this season if they don’t want another lost season with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani leading them.
Minasian believes accountability is also a team effort
The Angels have already been through a season of change, firing of Maddon, a horrid losing streak, mounting injuries, and uncertainty if they can turn things around on the fly. But Minasian believes during this stretch everyone needs to take it upon themselves to be a part of the solution:
“All of us are accountable,” Minasian said. “Every single person. Obviously me front and center. Coaches, support staff, players. We’re all held accountable.”
With Anthony Rendon returning and Taylor Ward close to his return, the Angels will have little to no excuses to continue playing poorly.