Stoneman to act as a consultant for Angels after stepping down as GM
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bill Stoneman spent so much time building the Angels into a perennial contender that he knew when he didn't have enough energy to stay on as the team's general manager.
Stoneman stepped down Tuesday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Diane. He was replaced by player development director Tony Reagins.
I've known Tony since coming on the job here. This is one of the brightest, most energetic and dedicated guys I know. He's able to get things done.
--Bill Stoneman on Reagins
"She didn't know when she married me that I would have a mistress," Stoneman said, alluding to the demands of his baseball career. "Right now, I'm leaving my mistress."
The 63-year-old Stoneman, who will remain with Los Angeles as a senior adviser, became the Angels GM in November 1999 and the team improved by 12 wins in his first season.
After making the playoffs only three times previously, the Angels advanced to the postseason four times under Stoneman. They won their only World Series championship in 2002.
Los Angeles won the AL West this season for the third time in four years but was swept by Boston in the first round.
Choking back tears at times at a news conference, Stoneman said he wanted to have time for other things.
"I'm getting older. You have to face that, and this job requires a ton of energy. I really don't have the same energy I brought to the job," he said. "The main thing is, I was worn down and I didn't think it would be right to continue."
Stoneman will help Reagins make the transition into the job but the switch shouldn't be too difficult. Reagins joined the Angels as an intern in 1992 and was the organization's player development director for the past six years.
"I've known Tony since coming on the job here," Stoneman said. "This is one of the brightest, most energetic and dedicated guys I know. He's able to get things done."
Owner Arte Moreno said the transition would be seamless.
"Bill will be a direct adviser to me," Moreno said. "I've always felt it's important to keep our brain trust together."
Reagins said the job carries "extreme responsibility, and I'm ready for the challenge."
"I've worked for four GMs," he said. "Each one of them had talents and skills that were unique. I got the opportunity to pick their brains."
Dan O'Brien was the Angels GM when Reagins started with the organization, followed by Whitey Herzog, Bill Bavasi, then Stoneman.
Manager Mike Scioscia believes Reagins will carry on Stoneman's philosophy, which is built around good pitching and grooming young players.
"I think Bill's done a great job of laying the foundation for where were are now," Scioscia said. "I know Tony has the same vision for where we want to go. The continuity will be there."
Some of Stoneman's significant moves include hiring the relatively inexperienced Scioscia as manager before the 2000 season, signing pitcher Bartolo Colon in December 2003 and slugger Vladimir Guerrero in January 2004.
Guerrero was the league MVP in 2004, and Colon won the Cy Young Award in 2005.
Stoneman drew some criticism over the past several seasons for his inability to land a power hitter to protect Guerrero in the lineup.
Scioscia said the Angels do need a deeper offense.
Stoneman pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, and the Angels over eight years in the majors, compiling a 54-85 record and 4.08 ERA and pitching two no-hitters. He retired in 1974.
Reagins was a high school running back who hoped to play college football before he was injured. He last played baseball as a teenager in American Legion.
But he said, "I grew up around baseball, always loved it."
He has done a little of everything with the Angels, he said, including, "They used to have me moving boxes around."
Scioscia said Reagins was going to be great in the new job.
"Tony has a lot of similarities to Bill, his sense of duty and diligence," the manager said. "He's a great communicator, great with people. He's not afraid to go out there and take chances."
Stoneman thanked Moreno, practically everyone in the club's front office, and got choked up again when he thanked several players, including Garret Anderson and Justin Speier, for coming to the news conference.
Abe Flores, manager of baseball operations, replaces Reagins as director of player personnel.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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