Jerry Dipoto left his post in Anaheim under a cloud. There were several reports that he and manager Mike Scioscia clashed on any number of issues and that owner Arte Moreno was content to take Scioscia’s side in most matters. This is not really how most baseball teams operate these days.
Ideally there is cooperation and communication between the front office and the field manager. If that can’t be achieved, the typical case is that the GM’s vision for the franchise takes precedence. With the Angels, however, Scioscia was clearly in charge. It was reported that he and his coaches routinely ignored Dipoto and his analytics department’s input. It was an untenable situation for Dipoto given that the owner didn’t have his back. So he left.
Dipoto runs the Mariners now, and he was on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel today with Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette talking about his current gig and, for really the first time since he left Anaheim, his last one. His words about Scioscia were about as diplomatic as could be expected under the circumstances, but if you read between the lines it’s very, very clear that Dipoto was fed the heck up with the guy who, apparently, has the best job security in the business:
“The four years that I spent in Anaheim, and I appreciate those four years and for much of that time I had a great time. And I got an opportunity to work with a manager who I believe is very likely to wind up in the Hall of Fame. And I got a chance to work for an owner who never spared any expense in throwing as much money at a roster as he could, and the aggression they showed was great. There were times where it was very difficult to do the job that I was asked to do because I was caught in between perhaps two different dynamics. And I would say the same of them, I had some different ideas that maybe they weren’t as comfortable with. And therefore we end up where we are four years from now. But we did put a winning product on the field three out of the four years and one of those seasons we led the league in wins, and understood that we had flaws and warts but kept trying to adjust as the car was moving down the road to make the appropriate adjustments that would allow us to get into the win zone.”
Given that the Angels are thought to have the worse farm system in the game and are already starting out the spring with Albert Pujols — a very Scioscia/Moreno signing — injured again, the “win zone” is going to be hard for the Angels to find. I don’t think it takes too much interpretive magic to see that Dipoto knows this and offers these words as a nice form of “Welp, they are gonna stink because they didn’t listen to me. Oh well!”
Dipoto went on:
“I have a manager now in Scott Servais who I do see eye-to-eye with and we have discussed every move, we have disagreed on many ideas as we’ve gone through this offseason but in a really productive way. And, you know, fair or unfair, that was not always the case with Mike [Scioscia]. And [with] Scott we talk about it, we cut it up on the floor, we’ll introduce it to coaches and scouts and at the end of the day I think that’s healthy. And healthy disagreement is a good thing and sometimes in Anaheim, as you saw played out nationally multiple times over the four years, it wasn’t quite as healthy.”
Ultimately baseball wins and losses will tell the tale of who did better post-breakup, Dipoto or Scioscia, but for now this is the equivalent of a guy filling his Facebook feed with pictures of himself with his new girlfriend, happy as can be, knowing that they’re gonna get back to the ex.