From the lectern, the grasp of ceremonies glanced over the gang that gathered for the information convention introducing Ron Washington because the Angels’ new supervisor.

“There’s a giant crowd in right here at present,” play-by-play announcer Wayne Randazzo mentioned.

Greater than 100 folks packed the fourth-floor room at Angel Stadium.

The overwhelming majority of them, nonetheless, have been staff staff, who have been principally known as upon to be seat fillers.

They applauded when Washington was offered. They laughed on the jokes he instructed. They gave him a standing ovation when it was over.

There was nothing convincing in regards to the spectacle as a result of the purported pleasure over the subsequent season described by Randazzo doesn’t exist.

Nothing has modified. No matter whether or not they re-sign Shohei Ohtani, the Angels are nonetheless the Angels. No matter pleasure they’re projecting is fully make-believe, and everybody is aware of it.

Washington, 71, was employed to be fired.

The Angels can’t be aggressive so long as Anthony Rendon’s $38-million wage stays on their books, and Rendon’s deal doesn’t expire for an additional three years.

Washington is below contract for 2.

The Angels received solely 73 video games final season and that wasn’t due to how Phil Nevin managed the staff. They received solely 73 video games as a result of they paid greater than $73 million to Rendon and one other part-time participant in Mike Trout.

The Angels as soon as once more have greater than $73 million dedicated to Trout and Rendon subsequent season. Until proprietor Arte Moreno has a sudden change in priorities and begins ignoring luxury-tax thresholds, normal supervisor Perry Minasian as soon as once more received’t have the assets to make important adjustments to the roster. The Angels lack pitching, and pitching prices cash. Additionally they don’t have the form of farm system that may present their main league staff with low-cost, high-impact gamers.

Angeles general manager Perry Minasian, center, and the crowd listen to new manager Ron Washington speak on Nov. 15, 2023.

Ron Washington speaks about his plans as the brand new supervisor of the Angels in entrance of normal manger Perry Minasian, middle, and the remainder of the gang.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Occasions)

Trout and Rendon should stay wholesome for the Angels to have any probability at contending, however how a lot can they be counted on?

Minasian mentioned he anticipated them “to be within the lineup much more than they’re not,” however even that sounded overly optimistic. Rendon has performed a mean of 49 video games a season during the last three years. Trout has regarded like Cal Ripken Jr. by comparability, with a mean of 79 video games a season.

The Angels must welcome again Ohtani if he desires to return as a result of he would keep their relevance and marketability, however their investments in Trout and Rendon increase reputable questions on whether or not re-signing Ohtani is sensible from a baseball perspective. Do the Angels actually need to dedicate greater than half of their payroll to 3 gamers?

Washington sounded unburdened by this actuality, which was why they employed him. Change has to start out someplace, and the Angels figured they might begin with their tradition.

“There must be a perception right here that we will win and we will compete,” Minasian mentioned. “He’s going to assist create that perception day in and time out.”

How a lot can perception compensate for accidents to the staff’s two highest-paid gamers? How a lot can perception make up for the shortage of a beginning rotation?

What, will the Angels win 78 video games subsequent yr as a substitute of 73?

Washington offered himself the way in which Minasian described him.

“I’ve been listening to a variety of negativity in regards to the roster,” Washington mentioned. “However right here in Angel Nation, there’s such a factor because the inside-out syndrome. All people that’s on the surface, you simply gonna have to attend to see what you get, the place all people on the within, [they] will know what is going to occur.

“Will probably be nothing however positivity round right here.”

The extra Washington spoke, the extra he sounded overjoyed to only get one other probability to handle after his earlier alternative led to shame. He reached back-to-back World Collection with the Texas Rangers, however all of a sudden resigned within the remaining month of the 2014 season. He mentioned he did so as a result of he cheated on his spouse.

Requested if he carried out the required due diligence on Washington’s resignation and whether or not he was snug with what he discovered, Minasian replied, “Yeah, I really feel snug with it.”

That wasn’t the one controversy of Washington’s time with the Rangers. He examined constructive for cocaine in 2009. Washington claimed he tried the drug solely as soon as.

Contemplating the Angels’ expertise with substance abusers comparable to Josh Hamilton and the late Tyler Skaggs, was there any hesitation on Minasian’s half to supply him a job?

“I assume I’d say this: He owned as much as what he did, and that was actually, actually necessary,” Minasian mentioned. “To me, it’s extra the human being. All of us make errors. So did he make errors? Sure. Did he pay for these errors? Sure. Has he had any points during the last 9, 10 years? I used to be with him day in and time out in Atlanta [as an assistant general manager of the Braves, for whom Washington was a third base coach]. No, he hasn’t. To me, second likelihood is warranted for good folks.”

Washington was grateful. In his pleasure, he referred to the Angels as each the “California Angels” and “Anaheim Angels.”

The errors drew heat laughs as a substitute of scorn. This was a heart-rending story a couple of beloved baseball lifer who was granted a long-awaited second probability. However an opportunity at what? Washington is the Angels’ fourth supervisor within the 5 years because the staff parted methods with Mike Scioscia. Washington may need traits that distinguish him from Brad Ausmus, Joe Maddon and Nevin, however he’s now in the identical scenario they have been in.

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