<$BlogRSDURL$>

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

MOUSE EARS
The Halosphere is on to this article at Save Disney about Disney's ownership of the Angels, and what a catastrophe it was for both organizations. It's not all wrong, but ...

... first of all, there is a distinct and proclaimed bias. The Walt Disney Company, you see, has been sputtering for a few years now, and Roy E. Disney is the head of a group called "Save Disney" that wants to pry the company from Michael Eisner's grubby hands and restore its good name. This is an admirable goal, and there is a lot of blame to be laid at the feet of current management.

(An aside: if you ask me, Disney's biggest failure has been with ABC, which has become a total joke of a network. They are renowned for mishandling their best shows [some would say that this goes all the way back to Twin Peaks, which precedes Disney], from My So-Called Life to Sports Night to Alias, not to mention their successful oppression of It's Like ... You Know just as it was hitting its stride. This is also the network that so alienated David E. Kelley [the showrunner for one its few perennial hits, The Practice, which is being replaced by a spin-off this season] that some suspect he made the short-lived Snoops bad on purpose. [I elect Occam's Razor and say David E. Kelley just isn't all that good, but whatever floats your boat ...])

Save Disney's begins a chronology of Disney misdeeds. To wit:

-- Their motives were impure, and only sought to strenghten Anaheim's desirability as a vacation target.

-- They brought silly looking uniforms, jazz bands, and cheerleaders to an unreceptive audience.

-- They made bad trades, like J.T. Snow for Allen Watson and Chili Davis for Mark Gubicza.

-- They didn't trade for Mark McGwire.

-- The regional ESPN (ESPN West) never came to fruition.

-- They signed Mo Vaughn.

At this point in the narrative, Disney begins to offer the club for sale, and the team's fortunes turn around. As Save Disney puts it, "It was after Disney announced that the Angels were up for sale that things started to perk up for the team." I believe they're trying to imply a causal relationship here, but I don't know ...

The above is my summary, so let's let the article speak for itself before I raise my objections. It's a big chunk, so take a deep breath:

Mr. Eisner and the Disney management failed on many fronts:

If Mr. Eisner had a vision for the Angels, it was hard to determine what it was. They started off by running the team strictly for the bottom line. This was then followed by aggressiveness in the free agent market, with poor results.

Disney felt that marketing and cross-promotion alone would bring fans to the stadium, and, in turn, get them over to Disneyland. After awhile, fans felt that Edison Field was nothing more than a Disney "infomercial," and were very annoyed. As a result, attendance decreased at both venues.

The traditional Disney audience and the typical sports enthusiast are not necessarily the same demographic. A realization the Disney strategic planners have been very slow to come to, even as they place ESPN at the center of their empire - nor are their needs and desires necessarily compatible.

Disney management lost the respect of players such as outfielder Darin Erstad (a perennial fan favorite) who questioned if the team was really committed to winning. While the players on the field are professionals and are required to give such an effort on the field, a lack of a commitment to improving the team usually translates to low morale in the locker room which in turn can translate into poor play on the field.

Fans (many of whom followed the team since the Autry days) paid even higher ticket and concession prices at these games and wanted to see a commitment to excellence on the part of team ownership. With the exception of the Mo Vaughn signing (which, at that time, was significant), Disney was not willing to provide that commitment.

The failure of ESPN West resulted in no additional revenue and the cable television rights being sold to a major competitor.
Okay, let's jump into this.

If Mr. Eisner had a vision for the Angels, it was hard to determine what it was. They started off by running the team strictly for the bottom line. This was then followed by aggressiveness in the free agent market, with poor results.
Let's evaluate some of the moves discussed above:

We traded J.T. Snow for Allen Watson. I can't be impartial on this one; I've never been able to stand J.T. Snow. He just drives me crazy. I would have loved this trade if we had traded him for a popcorn-flavored jellybean. But Watson, contrary to popular belief, was not awful for his one healthy year with the Angels, and trading Snow opened up a spot for Darin Erstad to play regularly, and later for Mo Vaughn to move in. Snow was a mediocrity who was 28 years old (he's older than Old Man Salmon, by the way, not to mention Garret, Erstad, and Edmonds, all of whom essentially beat out Snow for a job).

Of course, we also introduced a way-too-old Eddie Murray into the mix that year, because we traded Chili Davis. Okay, Gubicza was hurt and that was a bad move.

So. Mark McGwire.

At that time in human history, the Halosphere was very active on the Angel newsgroup, and whether or not to trade for McGwire was a large topic of debate. I was then, and have not changed my mind, of the school that the cost being demanded for McGwire was too large. Most rumors at that time had the Angels giving up Jim Edmonds and Jarrod Washburn in a package to acquire McGwire, whose permanence on the Angels was far from guaranteed. Save Disney, like many others before them, look upon the decision to not acquire McGwire as one of money alone; of course, salary is not the only cost. Would 2002 have happened had we traded for McGwire? Washburn was a key piece to the championship team, and Edmonds netted us another one in Adam Kennedy (still a bad trade, however -- and one that happened under the Disney aegis). Save Disney also seems to know that McGwire would have re-signed with the club and mounted his 1998 assault on Mount Maris -- but this is far from certain, and not that it didn't bring the Cardinals to the postseasonm, either. (Obviously, this trade did work out wonderfully for St. Louis, which did not trade away its future to get McGwire.)

Save Disney then takes management to task for having signed Mo Vaughn, a move that was universally praised in the traditional media. (My recollection of my own pre-signing reaction, on the Angel newsgroup, was that I was unenthused. It turns out I was more extreme, and right, than I remember, as were many other internet Angel fans: In November, 1998, I wrote: "Vaughn would certainly help, so he'd be a good addition. That doesn't necessarily mean he'd be a good signing." In September, 1998: "I want Mo Vaughn signed to a long-term contract as much as I want my ears ripped from my head." In April of '98, long before the signing: "Signing Vaughn would be a vintage Angels signing, which means it would be bad.")

Well, Vaughn was a pretty good player, but overpaid, and the team was besieged by injuries. He became a malcontent, was traded away, and the rest is history.

The point of this exercise is this: these decisions were baseball decisions, and to the extent that Disney Corporate had their hand in them (which is debateable), the decisions were no worse than decisions made by several other organizations in that time period (Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, etc.) or since (the New York Mets on July 31, 2004). And remember Darin Erstad, hero of the Save Disney account for his doubt in Disney's desire to win, was traded by Bill Stoneman for Chris Singleton. Who stepped in to prevent the trade? Archvillain Tony Tavares of Disney Sports Enterprises. It's hard to argue that move didn't work out.

In terms of player personnel decisions, I do not see the sinister hand of Michael Eisner. The team had its most successful stretch in franchise history under the Disney watch, and built up a formidable farm system which fruits are still on the field today.

Let's move on:

Disney felt that marketing and cross-promotion alone would bring fans to the stadium, and, in turn, get them over to Disneyland. After awhile, fans felt that Edison Field was nothing more than a Disney "infomercial," and were very annoyed. As a result, attendance decreased at both venues.
Whether or not the first sentence truly encapsulates Disney's "feelings" is a matter of surmise. But I think that, much more damning than the Disneyfication of Anaheim Stadium, what led to the decline in Angel attendance was that the team was struggling and inconsistent.

Wait, didn't I just argue that the team had its most successful stretch under Disney? Yes, and the observations are not incompatible. 1997 and 1998 were solid years, but the next three were a struggle. It is well-established that attendance follows performance, and for those seasons performance was lacking. I believe that this is a far more significant factor than the alleged Disney "infomercial," an argument I feel is strained.

I guess I'm in the minority, but I didn't mind the periwinkle uniforms, jazz bands before a game don't bother me, and I don't have much of a problem with cheerleaders, either. So they didn't stick -- did that really have an effect on attendance? I doubt it. What's more, Disney overhauled the park and made it better, a lot better. Doesn't that count for something? I think Angel Stadium is the best place in the country to see a game, and Disney has something to do with that, so let's give them credit where it's due. Such credit is completely absent in the Save Disney manifesto.

Also, I find a connection between declining attendance at Angel games and declining attendance at Disneyland tenuous at best when it is stated thus: "After awhile, fans felt that Edison Field was nothing more than a Disney 'infomercial,' and were very annoyed. As a result, attendance decreased at both venues." Really? People started avoiding Disneyland because of their experience at Edison? Save Disney elsewhere takes Eisner to task, as well they should, for declining cleanliness, saftey, and convenience and, therefore, attendance, at the Disney theme parks. But I would say that the harmful effects move from Disneyland to Edison, not the other way around.

Disney management lost the respect of players such as outfielder Darin Erstad (a perennial fan favorite) who questioned if the team was really committed to winning. While the players on the field are professionals and are required to give such an effort on the field, a lack of a commitment to improving the team usually translates to low morale in the locker room which in turn can translate into poor play on the field.
Bah humbug. Yes, there were questions. So what? Wasn't signing Mo Vaughn a sign that management wanted to win? Wouldn't Darin Erstad see trading J.T. Snow so that he himself could play a sign of desire to win? And the "low morale" argument is a total red herring, and has much to do with the malcontentedness of Mo and the mismanagement of Terry Collins (whose very able replacement, Mike Scioscia, was hired by ... Disney).

The failure of ESPN West resulted in no additional revenue and the cable television rights being sold to a major competitor.
There are many that speculate that this was a bluff by Disney to get Fox to raise its bid for Angel TV rights, and to possibly get Fox to overextend itself. That may very well be spin, who knows. But it's not necessarily a debacle.

Obviously, the Disney years weren't perfect. But when it comes to the primary product, the on-the-field team, they were pretty good, and they laid a foundation for success in the future. Arte Moreno (who I certainly believe will prove to be a superior owner to Disney) has done a lot to improve public relations and marketing, but has not shaken up the baseball organization. Why not? Because he hasn't had to. It's not necessarily a credit to Disney, but we have one of the top farm systems in the game and core talent that precedes Moreno's appearance on the scene.

This is getting way out of hand in lenth, so suffice to say that the Disney years were far from an unmitigated disaster for the Angels, or for sports in general. And where The Walt Disney Company is in chaos, its handling of the Angels is a relatively microscopic stain on its honor.

Comments:
Ahh... Aaron Sorkin's "Sports Night". A comedy so good, it didn't have to be funny.

-Family Guy
 
Step off, dude -- "Sports Night" is my favorite show of all time.
 
Wow, what a great site. I will bookmark this site and return often. It's nice to see sites like this.

Please visit my website and let me know what you think. Disney World
 
We had been blogging trying to find how our world sees bingo game. It has been a lifeline for us. Your site provides some of the best examples of this sort and we will bookmark yours. Another one we found was and appears to be related to yours is bingo game site/blog. It pretty much covers bingo game related stuff.
 
Wow, what a great site. I will bookmark this site and return often. It's nice to see sites like this.

Please visit my website and let me know what you think. Disney World Tickets
 
Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
Disney World
Thanks
 
What a great website. Wish there were more like this one. Keep up the great job.

disney vacations
 
視訊做愛視訊美女無碼A片情色影劇aa免費看貓咪論壇彩虹性愛巴士金瓶梅影片交流yam視訊交友xxx383美女寫真kyo成人動漫tt1069同志交友網ut同志交友網微風成人論壇6k聊天室日本 avdvd 介紹免費觀賞UT視訊美女交友自拍密錄館sex888情人輔助品哈啦聊天室豆豆出租名模情人視訊視訊交友網視訊交友90739影片 圖片av168成人日本A片免費下載 金瓶梅影片交流免費A片下載85cc免費影城85cc日本a片情色a片無碼女優 免費色情電影同志聊天室38ga成人無碼a片小魔女免費影片玩美女人影音秀台灣18成人網18禁成人網聊天室ut歐美嘟嘟情人色網影片18禁地少女遊戲a383禁地論壇成人影城18禁av影片無碼線上LIVE免費成人影片sex女優松島楓免費影片咆哮小老鼠論壇色咪咪情色網 視訊熱舞秀ut台中聊天室貓貓論壇豆豆情色風暴視訊xxx383美女寫真? 線上漫畫免費線上a片無碼dvdxvediox日本美女寫真集免費成人電影小魔女自拍天堂av1688影音娛樂網0204movie免費影片咆哮小老鼠論壇85cc免費影城85ccfoxy免費音樂下載免費視訊免費影片成人影城免費a網 免費視訊辣妹彩虹頻道免費短片av1688天使娛樂網辣妹妹影音視訊聊天室視訊網愛聊天室後宮電影電影院蜜雪兒免費小說洪爺情色論壇sexy girl video movie視訊交友90739無碼dvd維納斯成人用品辣妹貼圖a片天堂月光論壇sexy girls get fucked中國性愛城sex520-卡通影片383movie成人影城ut正妹 聊天室倉井空免費a影片伊莉論壇tw 18 net18禁成人網免費性愛影片影音視訊聊天室av168成人視訊交友視訊美女視訊交友
 
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?