Angels owner Arte Moreno once asked Jaime Jarrín, who recently retired as the Dodgers’ beloved Spanish-language broadcaster, how the Dodgers had built such a successful Spanish radio listenership.
Jarrín’s answer was simple: If you build it, they will come. Produce the broadcast, invest time and money into making it worthwhile, and soon, the listeners—and fans—will follow.
“He heard everything. But they didn’t care,” Jarrín said to The Athletic’s Sam Blum. “That’s my feeling. They didn’t care about the Latino market.”
The feeling isn’t wrong. Instead of investing, the Angels cut back. They slashed the salary of their own broadcaster, José Tolentino, from $80,000 per year for all 162 games of the season to $350 per game as a freelancer for select games. They even took away Tolentino’s spot in the booth, leaving him with the option of calling the game from a soundproof closet in the stadium, a studio in Los Angeles, or his home, where the quietest option was the laundry room.
For both Tolentino and Jarrín, who saw the Dodgers’ Latino fanbase grow significantly during his time in the booth, the lack of attention to what could be a huge portion of the Angels’ fanbase is nothing short of a tragedy.
Jimmy Kalmenson, the general manager of Angels broadcast partner KWKW, thinks otherwise.
“Anyone who would suggest that Angels management doesn’t care greatly about the Latino market...is really off their rocker.”
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