Reagins: “No Personality Conflict” in Bane Dismissal

The Orange County Register quotes Angels general manager Tony Reagins as saying there was “no personality conflict” that led to scouting director Eddie Bane’s dismissal.

Angels GM Tony Reagins denied Wednesday’s dismissal of scouting director Eddie Bane was the result of a rift among the Angels’ decision-makers or the sign of a philosophical shift in the way the Angels will approach scouting and drafting players in the future.

“That’s not accurate,” Reagins said. “There was definitely no personality conflict. I have great respect for Eddie and what he’s done in this organization. But you have to make difficult decisions in this business sometimes.”

Reagins did indicate there is dissatisfaction within the organization over what recent drafts had produced. “We have good players. It’s more about the process,” Reagins said, denying that Bane’s firing was a direct referendum on his draft strategy. “In order to be successful, you have to have talented players in your system and we feel we do. But some of the players that we have that are very talented have not materialized with that talent within the system.”

Personal comment … If a “very talented” player does not materialize from “within the system,” that’s the player development department, not scouting.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Angels’ player development program. It’s one of the most respected in baseball.

As I wrote yesterday, the perceived lack of talent at upper levels might have more to do with the Angels losing high-round draft picks for several years earlier in the decade due to signing free agents.

Register columnist Mark Whicker comments:

Ah, philosophical differences.

Apparently the Angels fired scouting director Eddie Bane because they liked John Stuart Mill and Bane was partial to John Locke.

Or maybe they mean differences in the ways to assemble baseball talent. Since Bane’s philosophy was to draft and sign really talented guys, it is left to the reader to determine the Angels’ philosophy.

What we do know is that Bane was not fired for lack of performance.

Whicker talked to Bane briefly, who didn’t comment at length, but notes that “one of the few bright spots Wednesday was the supportive call Bane got from [Nick] Adenhart’s father, Jim.” Eddie was the one who negotiated the deal for Nick to sign despite his recent “Tommy John” surgery. The Angels offered to supervise his rehab at their minor league complex in Mesa, and Eddie arranged for Nick to attend nearby Arizona State, Bane’s alma mater, to begin his college education.

Whicker quotes long-time Angels scouts Tom Kotchman and Chris McAlpin as saying of Bane, “”He let you do your job.” Whicker wrote, “That was at least a majority opinion,” suggesting that Bane trusted his people and gave them the freedom to succeed without interference.

One comment


    Bane has failed to produce top-tier major league talent. Bane’s much publicized idea of drafting a bunch of football players who were great athletes and teaching them baseball is old-fashioned and particularly out of the ordinary when set against the backdrop of the “moneyball era.” There is a reason why NOBODY does things this way anymore. If you are the scouting director, you are supposed to find baseball players with baseball skills, not guy with bat speed who hack at anything and fast guys who can’t get on base. The idea that Bane wasn’t fired for lack of performance, as Whicker says, is totally silly. Exactly, who has the farm system produced? Basically, a bunch of guys who aren’t good enough to win the weakest division in the American League, and Jared Weaver. Coincidentally, Weaver is the one guy who DOESN’T fit the “high risk/high reward” mold of Bane’s drafting strategy and he is the best one.
    It’s true they have recently traded away a number of guys, but have those turned up for other teams? Not really. I don’t know of any guys who were traded away that would really be helping the Angels right now, specifically in the bullpen.
    If you draft on athleticism, you get Howie Kendrick instead of Dustin Pedroia (who was called unathletic early in his career), if you scout other organizations for athleticism you get Erick Aybar instead of David Eckstein, and if you look for a nice fastball instead of a pitcher, you get Fernando Rodney instead of someone more effective. The Angels minor league system has not produced because they haven’t signed baseball players, but in Bane’s tenure they may have ruined the careers of some great college quarterbacks.

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