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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bengie's Mad At The Angels

And I guess I can understand it, if his story that the team never even gave him a call is accurate:
"The way they let me go without a notice, without calling me, that said a lot," the catcher said Thursday, three days after agreeing to a $5 million, one-year contract with Toronto. "That's what really hurts me."

...

"I think I built a good relationship with them," he said. "They never let me know. They just threw me like a piece of trash."

Molina signed with the Angels when he was 17.

"I don't think I did one thing to disrespect them at all for all those years," Molina said. "If anything I went out of my way for them. I even helped them get Bartolo Colon on to that club. I gave him a call. I called a couple of guys for them. And now when I needed a call, they never called me."

It was kind of obvious that they weren't going to re-sign him, considering the kind of money he wanted, and especially considering the number of years. Thanks to commenter Joe for the heads up.

Comments:
While Bengie may be justifiably miffed, I think he should have taken the high road and not said anything. He makes himself look bad in bashing the team. Tim Mead said all the right things.

That said, the Angels (specifically Stoneman) has a history of alienating players as he pushes them out the door. Troy Glaus, Jarrod Washburn and David Eckstein all told very similar stories. In all likelihood, we'll be reading similar quotes from Darin Erstad and Adam Kennedy this time next year.

I think that chips away at the reputation of the organization, and makes it a less appealing destination for future free-agents....not to mention a less appealing team to root for.
 
Get over it, Bengie. Business is business. The Angels only have some much moolah to spend, and they decided to spend it elsewhere.
 
What the hell did Bengie expect?

1) He was pissed off that the Angels did not offer arbitration. Kendall makes more than $10 million a season, Bengie would have won an arbitration case asking for $10.5 million in 2006. Would you offer arbitration to Bengie under those circumstances?

2) The Angels were not interested in a long-term deal. There was no room for "negotiation."

3) I have no idea how they informed Bengie, Eckstein, Glaus, etc. that the team is going in a different direction. If they never told their agents anything, and never returned a single phone call is one thing, to say upfront sorry no room is another.
 
Recently, Alan Nero, Bengie's agent, said that Bill Stoneman had been very up-front with Bengie and him about the team's plans to go in a different direction -- basically, to give Jeff Mathis a chance to win the job. He didn't sound bitter at all.
 
Bengie was increasingly overweight and his hamstrings were a major problem. Baseball is a business. The days of getting a solid gold watch on the way out the door are long gone. Blame the union, blame the owners, whatever. The fact of the matter is that a player is a contract employee. His contract expired. The Angels owe him no explanation. If he thinks to the contrary, he's very naive about the nature of the business today.
 
I don't think he was increasingly overweight -- he actually lost weight coming into 2005. But his physical condition was questionable, and remains so going into the next season, something that was a factor in so few teams expressing interest in him.
 
Just curious, if Bengie had received a contract offer from the Angels and he turned them down to sign elsewhere, would the Angels have grounds to disparage him in the media? I bet he wouldn't think of it that way.
 
He's looking pretty round in his latest pic at mlb.com (for the story about the Jays signing him).
 
Correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember Bengie saying that there would be no "hometown discount" for the Angels after he declared for free agency. What did he expect? The Angels did not want to block the progress of Mathis and that is their right. A high value multi-year contract for a slow and aging catcher would have been out of the question if the Angels intended to eventually make Mathis their regular catcher. Arbitration would have resulted in a high money contract, higher than what he was able to get on the open market. The Angels did the right thing.
 
Seems that Stoneman told the truth, and Bengie's agent confirmed it:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/angels/la-sp-angels10feb10,1,42798.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-mlb-angels

Bengie owes the Angels an apology.
 

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