Will Dipoto Resort to Online Help?


Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So I’ve got this idea for a new dot-com start-up. I call it FreeAgentMatch.com. It’s like those dating websites where you put in all your personal information and, through the use of a complex series of algorithms or logarithms or whatever those complex math equations are called, they find you the perfect match based on 19 levels of compatibility. I have several friends who met their spouses using these sites and everything seems to have turned out ok, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. But my site has a twist to it. It’s not for lonely hearts looking for Mr./Miss Right; my site would be for MLB general managers.

Here’s how it works: once the offseason begins, GM’s would – for a nominal fee, of course – log in to this site and fill out two questionnaires. The first would compile information about the team’s strengths and weaknesses and dynamics and chemistry. This would create a team profile that would be entered into the FreeAgentMatch.com database. The second questionnaire would ask the GM to articulate what he is seeking as a “perfect match” for his team. A starting pitcher. A utility infielder. A speedy base runner. Whatever he feels is his top priority in improving the team. Then wham, bam, thank you ma’am, FreeAgentMatch.com will give the GM a list of the current free agents and players on the trading blocks who best fit his needs. It would use all that scientific and mathematical stuff that the dating sites use, but it would be all about baseball.

Now I’m sure you’re imagining where I might be headed with this; if only Jerry Dipoto had signed up for such a website a few years ago, then we might have very different memories of the last two seasons. Perhaps Josh Hamilton or Albert Pujols wouldn’t have ever donned an Angels uniform. Perhaps Torii Hunter or Dan Haren or Zack Greinke wouldn’t have been allowed to leave.

But I’m not bringing this up to call into question the personnel moves made by the Angels front office over the past couple of seasons. Instead I am pitching my idea to the world to say that Dipoto could really use such a service during this offseason.

I feel like this offseason is a sort of make-or-break moment for the Halos. Dipoto has made a few smaller moves so far – trading Peter Bourjos for David Freese, signing Joe Smith – and will hopefully continue his shopping and bartering to fill the holes in the line-up and rebuild the starting rotation. It is unlikely he will make any big splashes; doing so might bring demands for his head on a platter. He is good at making big moves, but there is plenty of room for questioning whether he’s made the right moves.

I – like so many fans out there – want to see Dipoto succeed; we want to see him make the right choices that will produce a winning ball club in 2014. It just seems like he could use a little help in making those right choices, whether that help comes from Mike Scioscia, other members of the coaching staff, or an online matching service. Whatever it takes.

P.S. – any computer programmers out there want to go in on this with me??