After such a disappointing off-season, everyone is wondering what the front office of the Angels is thinking. Lucky for you, Monkey With a Halo had some hidden microphones planted in the Angels' offices and recorded* some very interesting conversations that they definitely don't want you to hear. Check out the transcript after the jump...
*And by recorded, we mean totally made up
SETTING: Los Angeles Angels'' executive offices at Angel Stadium. Arte Moreno is seated behind an opulent desk with Tony Reagins standing beside him. Mike Scioscia enters.
ARTE MORENO: Mike, welcome! Have a seat. It looks like the time off has been good to you. I swear you've lost weight.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Thanks, Mr. Moreno, but you can save your flattery for someone else. I've got to say, I'm not real happy with you fellas. Spring Training starts in less than a month and we have the exact same lineup as last season. I can appreciate that free agency isn't easy, but we've got to do something. I swear, if I have to fill out one more lineup card with Aybar or Callaspo in the leadoff spot, I'm going to have an aneurysm.
TONY REAGINS: What can I tell you, Mike? It has been a tough market out there. There just weren't that many guys out there to begin with, and what with all of our arbitration cases coming up, it was just too risky for us to spend big. You've seen the payroll figures, once we settle all the arbitration caes, we are only going to have a couple million dollars in payroll budget left... if that! But hey, I got you those lefty relievers you wanted, right? That'll help.
MS: Yeah, Downs and Takahashi are nice, you did a good job there, but what good is it to have an improved bullped if we aren't going to have any leads to protect. I know all the big fish got away, but there has to be some kind of help out there for the lineup. Just don't tell me you're done looking for bats. That's all I ask.
AM: Of course we are still looking, Mike. Tony and I have merely decided that it would best at this stage to wait things out a bit. The remaining hitters aren't exactly great, so nobody is really clamoring to sign them. By the time Spring Training rolls around, they'll be getting pretty desperate to find a deal and then... BAM! We hit them with a take-it-or-leave-it offer that they have 24 hours to take, or we pull it off the table.
TR: Fifty percent of the time, it works every time!
MS: (Covering his eyes and shaking his head) Are you kidding? We did that with Crawford and Beltre and now both of them are playing for two of our biggest rivals. No offense, Tony, but I think the rest of the league has sort of figured out our whole "this offer will self-destruct" strategy, and I don't think they are taking it very seriously. Negotiating contracts isn't really my area of expertise, but I think it is time for you to try something different.
TR: Nonesense! We've just gotten unlucky and come up against other teams who are just spending recklessly. It isn't our fault that every other team in the league overpays free agents.
AM: And just imagine the ticket prices at those stadiums! Those poor fans. Won't somebody please think of the fans!!!
TR: Actually, it is for that reason, Sosh, that we have decided to forego the free agent route altogether. Don't tell the media, but we are working the phones pretty hard to try and find a trade to improve our roster. Let's face it, we've got a lot of duplication on the roster. Especially, at catcher, we should be able to move one of our four-
MS: Whoa! Stop right there!!! You're going to trade one of my catchers? I need all of those guys, you can never have too many catchers. Heck, I had half a mind to come up here and give you a piece of my mind after you released Ryan Budde.
AM: Gentlemen, let's calm down now. We've still got plenty of time to fix this team. Like I said, I will do whatever it takes to get this team back into contention... as long as we don't break our budget... or risk our long-term financial security... or pay more for a guy than I personally deem appropriate... and still have broad market appeal. Which reminds me, Tony, is that Takahashi guy Japanese or from some other country? I would really hate to lose all that sweet Japanese revenue Matsui brought us last year.
TR: Japanese, sir.
AM: (Tapping his fingers together like Mr. Burns) Excellent. I was worried he might be Korean or something.
MS: That's great and all Arte, but there has got to be a little room in the budget to sign someone like Johnny Da-
TR: Mike, no!!!!!
AM: (Jumps out of his chair in a rage) WHAT?!?!? And deal with Scott Boras! I'd rather eat glass than deal with that lying, two-faced, greedy pig!!!!!
TR: (In a soothing voice) Arte, Arte. Take it easy, remember your blood pressure. Sorry, Mike, he gets like this whenever someone mentions the "B" word.
MS: So I'm guessing I shouldn't ask about Manny Ramirez then.
TR: It would be better if you didn't.
MS: Fine, fine. But is there anything coming up on the horizon? I'm even getting some of the players calling me and asking me if we are going to make any kind of move.
TR: Well, like I said, we're examining all the options out there, seeing if we can't find something that fits what we want-
MS: I don't mean to be interrupt, Tony, but why is it everytrime you speak, Arte's lips seem to be moving a tiny bit, not to mention that his left hand seems to be shoved up your butt? I mean, could you and Arte talk at the same time, or maybe you could talk while Arte drinks a glass of water? This is just starting to get unsettling.
AM: (in Reagins' voice) This meeting is over! I mean (in Arte's voice), this meeting is over!! I, ummm, have to go make sure that, ummm... nobody raised the beer prices while I wasn't looking. Yeah, that's it! Always got to think of the fans first. Let's get out of here Tony. (Arte pulls his arm out of Tony's butt, folds him up, stuffs him into a stevedore trunk and carries it out of the office).