Scout’s 27-year career with Angels ends “in a 30-second call”
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Rich Schlenker’s 27-year career with the Angels ended ‘in a 30-second call’ in which the club told the 68-year-old scout his contract was not being renewed, the latest in a front-office purge that has cost GM Tony Reagins, top assistants Ken Forsch and Gary Sutherland and farm director Abe Flores their jobs.
‘It’s a cold business,’ said Schlenker, who spent the past 12 years as a professional scout after serving 15 years as a national cross-checker. ‘I was hurt. I was with them for 27 years ... but I’m over it.’
Schlenker was informed of his firing Friday by Justin Hollander, a player development and scouting assistant. Schlenker acknowledged that Hollander asked if there was anything the Angels could do for him, and if it was OK for him to send an e-mail to the other 29 clubs informing them of the move.
‘I said, ‘OK,’ and that was it,’ Schlenker said. ‘There was no ‘thank-you’ for all the years I put in. They just told me they weren’t renewing my contract.’
Tim Mead, the Angels’ vice president of communications, confirmed Schlenker’s dismissal but added, ‘the service of everyone who has worked in this organization has always been appreciated, on all levels.’
Schlenker, who worked for the Padres from 1970-80 and the Kansas City Royals from 1981-83, joined the Angels in 1984 and was part of the decision-making process on the selection of several players from the 2002 World Series championship team, including Tim Salmon, Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus, John Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez.
He became a pro scout in 2000 and said he has not decided whether he will retire or pursue other scouting opportunities.
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Arlington, Texas