ESPN on Why Angels Owner Arte Moreno Isn't an Aztlanista or a Vendido

When it was announced that Arte Moreno purchased your Anaheim Angels to become the first Latino owner of a professional sports franchise, I wrote this piece for your favorite rag excoriating the expectations of local Latinos that Moreno be all Mexican-loving and down with the brown because he's Latino. It's a strange position for me to have, because a big part of me would love to see Moreno blasting away at Barbara Coe and marching along with his team in support of amnesty--but, hey: I get it. He's a sports owner, not Nativo Lopez (and thank God for that).

But it's an issue that occasionally bubbles up, and ESPN took a crack at it this week.

Written by Angels beat writer Mark Saxon (the former Angels beat writer for the Orange County Register), the piece examines why Moreno is so silent on his ethnicity with a quick study of the Angels and its once-invisible Latino fan base, using me as the main source for quotes. I told Saxon that I do understand why Moreno stays quiet, citing that he's from a different generation than I, one that Chicano scholars call the Mexican-American Generation: the group of wabs that figured the quickest way to success was assimilation, and that sure worked out for the multibillionaire Moreno. One thing that didn't make it into the piece, however, was an anecdote I told Saxon about briefly interviewing Moreno for ESPN the Magazine a couple of years back that speaks volumes about Moreno's approach to his mexicanidad.

I spent a good week at Angels Stadium interviewing players, coaches, executives and the like, but spokesperson Tim Mead kept telling me that Moreno was unavailable for comment for the story (just like he was for Saxon's ESPN piece). I kept pestering and pestering, though, so Mead finally allowed me to meet with Moreno like for literally a minute. Even then, the polite Moreno said he only had time for one question, which was this: what did he think about the increasing popularity of the Angels among Latinos? I don't have the article in front of me, but his answer was boilerplate we-try-to-appeal-to-everyone claptrap. DUH.

I'll always remember how uncomfortable Moreno was in even addressing the issue--in fact, I felt so bad for asking him the Latino question that I thanked him for his time instead of badgering him like the time I yelled at Mike Carona from the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse to his car. Okay! We get it, Arte: you're American, first and foremost, then a sports owner, then a Mexican-American. You're committed to producing a winner, and that's what ultimately people care about, as well they should. But even Morrissey eventually broke down and acknowledged his Latino fan base. Stop being so pinche wary of the issue, cabrón, and just deal with the question when asked, make a cerveza joke, and move on. Until then, stories like Saxon's will appear--and we have this conversation anew.


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34 comments
lz4evermore
lz4evermore

He's a great owner. Period. He has made a concerted effort to sign excellent Latino players, (Vlad Guerrero and Pujols both leap to mind) and retain homegrown Latino talent (Aybar, Santana and Morales). He's been great for the Angels, great for southern California sports and great for baseball. I notice that your neglected to mention he is also a Vietnam vet, having fought for his adopted country, Regardless, he has respected the Latino fan base (long ignored by the Angels-regardless of ownership) and worked hard to cultivate it. Kudos Arte, keep up the great work!

urbanleftbehind
urbanleftbehind

Well shit, giving away 10 years and 250 mil to a near 40 years old steroid freak from the DR has to count for something.  Plus getting Dan HalfBreed Haren last year.  Anyways, the Angels have about the same fan base demographics as the Chicago White Sox minus the blacks. 

CHS
CHS

I think Mr. Moreno has his focus on only two things with the Angels - winning and money.  The ethnicity, national origin, etc. of what or who brings him those two things is irrelevant to him.

Jerry
Jerry

I remember the Racist gringo listeners on kfi saying that Mexicans from Mexico were stealing the Angels. What Moreno needs to do is spend a few weeks in Mexico with me and my cousins and trust me he would have so much fun and learn so much that he would be so proud of his heritage. He would even change the name of the angels to the Los Anjelitos! 

Serpio
Serpio

Seriously who fucking cares if that culero no quiere dar Una respuesta... He can suck his pee pee for all I care

José-Ariel Cuevas
José-Ariel Cuevas

The closest thing Art did for "La Causa" was affix his OC-based team to Los Ángeles (emphasis on the tilded "A".)

Dangerouseducatedchicano
Dangerouseducatedchicano

It is VERY important for Moreno to keep hush on THAT topic. Call me El Gran Culero, but you must admit, the majority of the Angel fan base isn't as down with those who are Brown in comparison to say, the majority of the Dodger fan base. I still remember the rage that went around the majority of Angels fans after reading news of the new owner (Moreno) handing out Angels sombreros during his first day.

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Let's face it. Arturo Moreno is a coconut! Simple as that. Has a huera for a wife, he seems more comfortable around hueros, has yet to make a "serious" push to attract more Latinos or make the environment in and around the stadium more Latino appealing, I've yet to see any player under his reign make an autograph appearance at any Latino business (Northgate, La Curacao, etc). Well I can go on forever but anyway Arturo is a sellout

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Maybe it's because he believes in tearing down racial walls instead of building them, eh?

909Jeff
909Jeff

I dont think you'll ever get your answer... Not as long as he owns a popular sports team that draws fans from Latino and us Gabacho's... Its a smart business move.

Besides if you google long and hard enough you can find Moreno's political contributions... 

I'm not gonna say who he gave the max contributions to but one may be the subject of Ask a Mexican! 

mitch young
mitch young

Didn't Disney own the team when it won the WS? Has it won since? Wouldn't buying a winning franchise and failing to have it return to the top be considered failure?

909Jeff
909Jeff

Albert is 32 and has never been implicated in any steroids scandal... Nor has he tested dirty... Now Ridin Durrrty is a different story! 

Vikingo
Vikingo

I have seen and talked to the Moreno's in Mexico. Also, on other occasions, other people have also seen them south of the border. Please, no more name changes. 

mitch young
mitch young

There's about 30 million more you can invite too! Maybe they'll have so much fun they'll stay down there.

mitch young
mitch young

I suggest having swap meets in the parking lots on weekend home games. Nothing attracts 'Latinos' then 1990s vintage stereo equipment, old hubcaps, and VHS's of Cantinflas for sale al aire libre.

DAngerouseducatedchicano
DAngerouseducatedchicano

Ohhhh man I'd KILL to see some of Dodgers squad sent around Northgates just to make a point.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

By your rationale, the Boston Celtics are the most racist team in professional sports (and don't even talk about the average Bostonian fan...)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Sports analysis from the man who thinks Celtics great Bill Russell is a white man.

lz4evermore
lz4evermore

The Angels won a division title only three times in their existence before Arte bought the team, '79, '82 and '86. They were wild cards the year they won the series. Arte bought the team the following year, and in 10 seasons won 5 division titles (04, 05, 07, 08, 09). I guess you might say not winning the series a failure, but by most measures winning your division 1/2 the time makes your a great organization and therefore, Arte a great owner.

Jerry
Jerry

mitch I'll tell you what if you go back to berlin germany I'll go back to Mexico. Oh wait a minute this is Mexico. Thats why it's called Los Angeles California. 

Rocket J
Rocket J

Boston and the color line.

Red Aurbauch tried to sign the first African Ameican player to a contract but the league nixed the deal. Celtics still were one of the first teams to play an African American in 1950. Celtics had the first African American coach, Bill Russell.

In 1958 Wille O'ree was the first African American to play in the NHL, for the Boston Bruins.

I laud them but will still yell "Boston Creates A Partial Oral Vacuum" or something to that effect at sporting events.

mitch young
mitch young

Llaman los ochenta --quieren que se devuelva su MEChIsta.

Oh, and those mostly white guys won -- a lot.

Tehuanaechada
Tehuanaechada

remember that he even invited and had the visit of the biggest culero in the world.......VICENTE FOX.

mitch young
mitch young

When you can ask to see it in Chumash, get back to me.

909Jeff
909Jeff

No worries... 5 yard penalty still 1st down!

Rocket J
Rocket J

Nothing whatsoever. Was intended for cuautemoc. Posting foul, my b

909Jeff
909Jeff

What does that have to do withe the Spaniards decimating whole populations and their love of little plates of food? 

Rocket J
Rocket J

Mankind not native to this continent thus no Native Americans, First Americans works. We are all immigrants.

909Jeff
909Jeff

"the native americans want to see your green card"The path to the new world was paved with the blood of the native americans and it was laid down by the people who share your Castillian nombre!

Tell your Great great great great great grand Papi thank you for the new country and Tapas! 

cuautemoc
cuautemoc

the native americans want to see your green card mitch,show it or go back to pendejolandia

mitch young
mitch young

Yeah -- Serra and Portola. Mexican just like Pau Gasol.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

With their gabacho center, Bill Russell. Pinche pendejo tonto GABA as always...

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