The Los Angeles Angels stirred up the baseball world on the first day of their 2023 offseason by announcing the departure of their manager, Phil Nevin. This decision has sparked a flurry of debates and discussions about the future of the team. The Angels’ move to part ways with Nevin has left many wondering if he was unfairly blamed for the struggles the organization faced during a challenging season in Anaheim.
While Nevin’s tenure as the Halos’ skipper had its imperfections, it has raised questions about whether he was made a scapegoat by the organization during a tumultuous season. Sam Blum of The Athletic has openly pondered the fairness of this decision, igniting further speculation within the baseball community.
The Angels’ recent history has been marked by turmoil, with managerial changes and disappointing performances on the field. Mike Scioscia, the former long-time manager of the team, overstayed his welcome, failing to secure a postseason victory since 2009 and missing the playoffs entirely after 2014. However, the continuous state of disarray within the Angels’ organization since Scioscia’s departure suggests that managerial dysfunction may not be the primary issue plaguing the team.
A significant contributing factor to the Angels’ struggles has been the lucrative contracts awarded to veteran hitters in their 30s, coupled with budget-friendly pitching deals. These financial decisions have hindered the team’s competitiveness throughout the 2010s. Despite the emergence of Mike Trout as one of the sport’s premier players, the Angels have faced nearly a decade-long playoff drought.
“Reasonable people could argue this is not the right decision. Angels owner Arte Moreno will be on his fifth manager since 2018. He doesn’t look inward when it comes to assessing his team, but assigns blame easily. And it’s hard to know how exactly any manager is going to fix this team’s woes. And with Minasian likely set to return, what manager will want to join a GM who will be on an expiring contract next year?”
As time passed, Trout’s performance was marred by injuries and a lack of support from his teammates. It became evident that even Trout, with his exceptional skills, could not single-handedly carry the team to success. Additionally, Shohei Ohtani, a remarkable talent, has yet to experience postseason baseball in his six years with the team and is likely to explore free agency in the upcoming winter.
While the Angels search for a new manager to lead the team forward, Phil Nevin’s departure raises questions about the deeper issues within the organization, with the spotlight turning to the team’s owner, Arte Moreno. The decision to let go of Nevin may be just the beginning of a broader restructuring effort to address the challenges that have plagued the Angels in recent years.