C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton are no longer faces of the Angels’ franchise.
The Angels on Thursday shared a photo on Twitter that shows which players will be featured on the six banners adorning the front of Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Three of the players are the same from last year: Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver. Three are new faces: Garrett Richards, Erick Aybar and Huston Street.
Gone is Howie Kendrick, who was traded to the Dodgers, Hamilton, who is facing a drug suspension, and Wilson, who disappointed last season and was supplanted by Richards as the team’s No. 2 starter.
“It’s the big leagues,” Wilson said via Angels.com. “You lose 10 or 11 games, you’re not going to be the face of a franchise. It’s fine.”
Though Wilson says “it’s fine,” how can he not be hurt by that? The guy signed a five-year, $77.5 million contract with the team and was touted as a franchise cornerstone. Now he’s had his face removed from the front of the stadium. That has to bother him. But as he acknowledged, he was not very good last season and was pulled from an ALDS game against the Royals in the first inning. That’s embarrassing.
You should also keep this in mind when it comes to trade talks. The players on the banners are probably the least likely to be moved, while guys who have been taken down might be closer to being axed. Then again, when you do cocaine and go to strip clubs and the public knows about it, you’re probably not going to be on many banners.