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Minor leaguers take aim at Angels for lack of off-the-field support

Minor leaguers take aim at Angels for lack of off-the-field support

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MINNEAPOLIS — Los Angeles Angels minor leaguers have fired public salvos at the organization, specifically owner Arte Moreno.

A day after a minor-league advocacy group reported on the living conditions of players in the Angels' system, ESPN.com published comments Friday from two minor leaguers who were critical of their treatment from the organization.

The crux of their argument is that players have not been provided the resources to live or eat comfortably while earning minor league salaries. It's been an issue for decades in minor league baseball, but it's become more serious since the pandemic because players can no longer rely on host families to provide housing.

Kieran Lovegrove, a pitcher with the Angels' double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas, said he is living with six other teammates in a three-bedroom apartment.

"It's frustrating when you're sitting in the 'pen and you're hearing guys just harp about how bad the ownership is and how bad the organization is because you don't want guys to be somewhere that they are unhappy," Lovegrove said. "Is Moreno completely out of touch with the reality of what it's like to be a player? Probably. I don't see that really changing because I don't know that he really does care about the quality of the organization so much as the amount of money it produces."

Angels general manager Perry Minasian responded on behalf of the organization with a statement.

"What is being reported is unacceptable, and we will look into it and address it," Minasian said.

The ESPN article also quoted Shane Kelso, who retired after spending part of the 2021 season with the Angels' Class-A affiliate at Inland Empire.

Kelso said he was losing $1,000 a month playing minor league baseball and could not afford to finish out the season.

"People don't understand the mental strain that comes along with that, that you don't know how much money you're going to have at the end of each month and not knowing how you're going to make ends meet," Kelso told ESPN. "I was a late-rounder. I didn't sign for a lot of money. The vast majority of players are in my position."

The Angels have three locals in the organization — Ocean City H.S. graduate Daniel Nunan, a left-handed pitcher with the ACL Angels in the Rookie League; Buena Regional grad Denny Brady, a right-handed pitcher with Rocket City; and, of course, Millville grad and three-time American League MVP Mike Trout.

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