A Tait Re-Election Could Spell an Angels Rejection

Angels Stadium

The Angels are the proud owners of baseball’s best record and should they win the AL West, they’d have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and World Series.  And Angels fans ought to enjoy it while it lasts because if Tom Tait gets re-elected to the Mayor’s Chair in November, it just may be the deathknell for the team’s time in Anaheim.  Angels owner Arte Moreno appears to have no love for Mayor Tait and negotiations are stalled and likely not to resume until after the season is over and election day is behind us.

I’m convinced if Tait is re-elected, the Angels are gone.  The LA Times baseball writer Bill Shaikin all but confirms my fears in a story from yesterday’s paper.  He writes:  “Angels owner Arte Moreno is looking for a better fan experience too, either in a renovated stadium in Anaheim or a new ballpark elsewhere in Orange County.

We are 10 days shy of the one-year anniversary of what appeared to be the resolution, a tentative agreement in which Moreno would pay for the estimated $150 million in Angel Stadium renovations and would get the right to try to make his money back from developing the surrounding parking lot, at no cost to the city of Anaheim.

Mayor Tom Tait objected, saying the parking lot was too valuable to lease to Moreno at $1 per year. A subsequent appraisal commissioned by the city valued that land at $225 million.

But the appraisal also valued the land at up to $325 million if the stadium were demolished, and Moreno was agitated that the city would assess that option if it were intent on keeping the team.

There have been no negotiations since the appraisal was released in May, and the Angels have considered sites in Tustin and Irvine, with the Tustin site currently considered the most feasible alternative.

And Shaikin does reveal a new detail from the Moreno camp not previously disclosed; the Angels are willing to share profits from any development in the stadium parking lot.

“Moreno already has four of the five City Council votes, if the council cares to vote before the election. The Angels have agreed to share profits from any development. There is a deal to be made here, if the City Council cares to stand up and make it.”

So if the Angels will share profits with the city, what exactly is Tait’s problem?  Critics of the deal originally proposed always lacked a reaction from the Moreno camp.  Now there’s evidence of profit sharing.  Since the city has had nearly 50 years to actually development to site to have every plan go away, it is time to let Moreno have a shot at doing what the city is unable to do.

So if the Angels do well through late September in late into October on the diamond, will Anaheim residents who are Angels fans realize that the team will more than likely leave if Tait is re-elected and cast their votes for anybody but Tait?  If the Angels go, the city is on the hook for demolishing the stadium (estimated between $15 and $30 million) and say goodbye to the millions of dollars the Angels give to local charities.  And say goodbye to the political career of Tom Tait with it.  Just ask those leaders in Baltimore and Cleveland how things went when the Colts and Browns left town.

Rob Manfred

Bud Selig is on his way to the West Coast to a farewell tour of sorts.  I sure hope he brings Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred with him.  Rob’s from my hometown which is about 40 miles from Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.  We went to high school together.  I played high school basketball with his brother Lee (a great Tennis player) and Rob’s dad was my basketball coach on a junior high-level summer travel basketball team that played tournaments around New York State.  Now I haven’t seen any of the Manfred family in years, but I can’t forget the core values of the family I knew.  Rob Manfred is very much an owner’s baseball executive; Arte Moreno wasn’t one of the owners who initially cast a vote for Manfred but he eventually came around and gave Rob his vote.  The Rob Manfred I knew will be the sort of person who will reach out to those “no” vote owners first to build a better relationship with them.  At 55, Rob may be commissioner for 20-30 years.  He’s a great choice.

And with a stadium issue facing Moreno, Manfred is in a position to help Moreno in two ways.  Manfred, being an outstanding lawyer by profession, will be very active in either helping the Angels renew their stay in Anaheim or move quickly to get them a new stadium built somewhere else.


  16 comments for “A Tait Re-Election Could Spell an Angels Rejection

  1. Ed Widman
    August 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Dan you are an inconsiderate bully.

    If Greg Diamond doesn’t win this lawsuit, how is he going to feed his family? ??

    Think of the children Dan. I am certain Greg pays those bus fee’s he writes about! No subsidy there! Rumors of his unpaid party dues…..just that rumors.

    He says he wants ” nothing” in return.

    He should refuse payment as a good faith move.

  2. Martin Wisckol
    August 25, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Where is Moreno going to get a better deal? What city in OC has a location and would be willing to subsidize a stadium? Not Irvine, judging from my previously published interviews with officials there.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    August 26, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Tustin has held several closed session meetings about Moreno. But all Arte needs is about 20 acres with freeway access anywhere in SoCal so OC could be out altogether.

    • Martin Wisckol
      August 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Democrat Lorri Galloway has also been critical of the framework for stadium negotiations, right? So which mayoral candidate do you consider best on the stadium lease issue?

      • Greg Diamond
        August 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        She was quite good on the issue last fall. For the last six months or so, I can’t remember saying a single thing about it. Of course, for some people like our host here, staying mum is perfect.

        As for your legitimate questions of “where’s Arte going to go?”, bear in mind that you’re talking to someone who can say with a straight face that “all Arte needs is about 20 acres with freeway access anywhere in SoCal.”

        Yes, that’s all he needs — plus a billion dollars (or more to get the amenities he wants), and this in the post-redevelopment boondoggle era (!) and possibly a time machine allowing him to stop time during stadium construction unless he gets the City of Anaheim to give him even more free time to plan his escape.

        Just think: with a smarter City Council, he’d be locked into the current (itself deficient, but much better than what is proposed) stadium lease by now.

        But if they HAD called Moreno’s bluff, how could the City Council majority’s patrons have arranged the profitable side deal potentially (if not already a done deal in principle) allowing them to use Arte Moreno’s business enterprise as a cutout to funnel the proceeds of up to almost a century of control over a major public asset into the hands of the developer of Arte Moreno’s — NOT Angels Bareball LP’s — personal choosing? The tail is wagging the dog here, Martin; the more you look into the story, the better.

        I’m very glad to hear that Arte Moreno is now willing to share proceeds from parking lot development with the City — which was news to me, if it is true. (How much sharing, if so? That’s something that I’d like to know.) On behalf of CATER , I will accept Mr. Chmielewski’s thanks for that development if and when he figures out that Moreno wouldn’t have made such a concession without our lawsuit. (Of course, Dan would only thank us if he cared a whit about the finances of the residents of Anaheim, so I won’t hold my breath for such gratitude.)

        • Dan Chmielewski
          August 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

          Greg — this negotiation shouldn’t be so contentious. All along, you’ve proceeded without anyone knowing what Moreno was willing to offer in return. We have a glimpse that he’ll share profits but no details. We still don’t know what else is on the table from Moreno, but what is clear is Moreno no longer wants to deal with Tait. And there’s no proof your lawsuit had a thing to do with it whatsoever. Your two-person organization you represent and gaggle of anonymous cowards who won’t reveal their identities for fear of what exactly is a speed bump here.

          • Dan Chmielewski
            August 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

            Greg, how many millions in Angels charities for Anaheim’s neediest goes away if the Angels leave?

  4. Mike D
    August 26, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    “Since the city has had nearly 50 years to actually development to site to have every plan go away” – this is not true, Autry had a deal with the City that they (the City) would not develop the parking lot around the stadium. He wanted surface parking for his customers. It wasn’t until the City’s General Plan update about ten years ago that developing the parking lot became a potential reality. Otherwise I’m 100% in favor of the Angels in Anaheim. Dump Tait!

  5. August 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Lorri Galloway has been critical of the current MOU but has a better track record of negotiating fair deals. Tait is a hard line his way or the highway sort of person. Arte isn’t going to negotiate with Tait because the two have separate ideas of what “fair” means.

    There are rumors of a Spring training visit by Tait to Arizona and a handshake agreement with Moreno that Tait alledgedly reneged on, probably because he hadn’t been yet cleared by the FPPC to negotiate with the Angels on anything due to some property owned. The city hasn’t told me when Tait made the trip and Moreno’s people are not returning phone calls. But until any of that is confirmed, it’s just an unsubstantiated rumor.

  6. August 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    With no real competition for the incumbents, why wait? This turned into a sham a few months ago. The profit sharing was in the mix all along. Like the district elections litigation, just another point of power to abuse and a way to gain unfair advantage. Taxpayers should be permitted to sue the council members personally for staff time wasted on these theatrics. Hear that!?! Mr. Steward of tax-dollars? Anacrime indeed. Why vote? Why participate? I am mad and sad because of all this. You all should be aswell.

    • LittleGayDan
      August 27, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Queen (drama)

      • August 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

        Mr. lamb, this comment comes from the same IP address as your two previous comments. I am not sure why you chose to use this name, but it clearly originated from your PC

        • August 29, 2014 at 2:14 am

          I have a blog! lol. I assumed you guys would know. Just trying to have fun, but thanks for blowing my cover!

          • August 29, 2014 at 7:58 am

            The name you chose was designed to insult your earlier comments. I couldn’t figure out how the comment slipped past us so I looked up the IP address. If you want to beat yourself up, do it on your blog and use as many aliases as possible. Honestly. Get help

            • August 29, 2014 at 11:24 am

              In addition to reason, you lack a sense of humor. But just so you know I am keeping score:

              Dan at LibOC
              Integrity: +.01
              Charm: -5
              Presentation: no change

              Happy … Err… Have a nice holiday weekend. Don’t take any long walks on short piers.

  7. August 27, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Galloway is a wild card: she says little, knows less, and leans in every direction for political support. She has provided zero in the way of substance. But I’m seeing lots of campaigning for her, and none for Tait and Kring. I am justly frustrated. If Galloway pulls it off, it will be because Team Tait blew it ala Norby AD73.

Comments are closed.