Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is exploring the possibility of buying the Los Angeles Angels. (USA Today News photo)
Who is buying the Los Angeles Angels?
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
Arturo (Arte) Moreno bought the LA Angels in 2003 for $184 million. It is now worth about $2 billion. Moreno’s is the first Hispanic-American ever to own an MLB franchise, and now they are for sale. Among the people looking to buy the Angels is Joe Lacob, owner of the Golden State Warriors, who has previously expressed interest in buying an MLB team.
Mr. Lacob once offered to buy the Oakland A’s and said he believes the team belongs in Oakland. According to an interview with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lacob told Shea his offer to buy the A’s was for $180 million in 2005. How much are the A’s worth today? Most MLB teams are worth a minimum of $1 billion.
Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber could have some competition from other interested parties like LA Rams owner Stan Kroenke, LA Lakers part owner Dr.Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Japanese consortium, and even a minority group of LA Dodgers owners, maybe in the picture. Or somebody else could also be out there with a potential offer.
It makes all the sense for Moreno to sell (if the price is right) to the owners of the Golden State Warriors, the most successful sports franchise in the past 10 years in the NBA and in the Bay Area, bringing the Warriors to an elite level of teams in the NBA with multiple championships and a great fan base.
The Warriors always had a good fan base. I covered them when they first won an NBA Championship in Oakland 1974-75 under coach Al Attles and the ownership of the great Franklin Mieuli. In the 1990s during the Chris Mullin era under owner Jim Fitzgerald, and as their play-by-play (Español) for all their games, I remember all the excitement that they brought to Oakland and Bay Area fans.
Those were very exciting teams, and although they never won an NBA championship, their front office was very much involved with the community, The Oakland Arena was sold out most of the time during those years. David McGahey an innovator in Marketing and Broadcasting in the Bay Area for various media outfits, who passed in 2002, was a great VP of Broadcasting.
At that time the Warriors were one of the first NBA teams to broadcast all their games, home and away on the radio in Spanish language, only the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, and Chicago Bulls at the time had Spanish radio.
Arturo Moreno greatly improved his team since he bought them in 2003. One of his first moves was to sign Vladimir Guerrero (now in the Hall of Fame) and later other superstars like Mike Trout and Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. Moreno bought the team from Disney one year after they won the World Series against the San Francisco Giants in 2002, but the Angels have not been able to win again.
Lots of frustrations for a team whose lineup seems to be always very formidable but their consistent lack of pitching has been their Achilles heel drowning their hopes for the big trophy in October. In baseball, many things change, like stadiums, salaries, and rules changes, and even Mr. Moreno changed his team’s name from Anaheim to Los Angeles, but there is one thing that has never changed “without pitching, you cannot win”.
It’s too bad Arturo Moreno’s LA Angels could not win a World Series. Now, sooner or rather, the new owner(s) will be taking over the franchise in Orange County. In any sport winning is the key. Like the great NY Yankees owner, the ever-present George Steinbrenner used to say; “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing”.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com