Don’t forget to hand in your parking pass on the way out.
With the friction between Jerry Dipoto and the Angels coaching staff growing this past week, we see the first casualty. Just as the Angels were taking care of business on the field, winning a big game against the Yankees, GM Jerry Dipoto was packing up his office. I’m not a huge believer in karma, but you can’t tell me that the Angels winning 2-1 last night while Dipoto was stepping down isn’t a good sign.
What sparked the tension between Dipoto and Scioscia?
As I said in previous posts before, this Angels season has felt like a volcano waiting to erupt in one way or another. And it was proven to be true. The front office and clubhouse kept tensions in house as much as they could, until it became an enormous problem.
The rift between Dipoto and Scioscia started early in 2012 when Dipoto criticized the way Scioscia was handling scouting information & analytical data. In 2013 it really became a problem, after Dipoto spent a ton of money on free agents such as: Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett, and Joe Blanton. None of the signings proved to work and the Angels finished 18 games back that year. This past season tensions rose once again when Josh Hamilton relapsed and was ultimately traded for nothing to division rival Texas Rangers. Between the front office and coaching staff there were a ton of heated meetings regarding the handling of the troubled slugger. But just this week it was the final straw when Dipoto criticized Scioscia and the coaching staff again, saying they weren’t working hard or providing players with correct scouting information.
. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Whatever happens behind closed doors is between the front office and the coaching staff, so we can only speculate. But when well-respected veteran players like Albert Pujols immediately fire back at the GM and take the coaches side, it is pretty telling of the environment.
What does the future hold?
Ultimately, the tension between Dipoto and Scioscia was an underlying problem for years. And for the benefit of the team, one of them had to go. With another half of the season still left to play this is the perfect time to make a change. The problem with Dipoto was his lack of a resume compared to Mike Scioscia. Listen if Jerry Dipoto was a Brian Cashman or any other front office executive with championship history his criticism would be welcomed with open arms. But he’s not.
For as bad as Scioscia has looked this season and other times throughout his tenure with the Halos, he still has a championship in Anaheim. For that reason, owner Arte Moreno ultimately took his side over Dipoto. Which is the smart move. But it still doesn’t mask the fact that Mike Scioscia is a thick headed, old school manager, that has been extremely difficult to work with for everyone in the front office. His ability to manipulate and essentially act almost like the GM these past few years is unfortunately impressive. Ideally, Arte Moreno would have waited until the offseason and fired both Dipoto & Scioscia.
If you think Scioscia will be gone this season, you are sorely mistaken. Will Scioscia be with the Angels next year? Probably not. As of right now, this season, he is too vital to this club and their goal of winning a World Series. His style of play has been proven to work. Albeit once in the past 15 years, it still counts. And according to Pujols, he still has the backing from players in the clubhouse.
Dipoto stepping down is the ultimate move of where he stood in this organization. He lacked the respect and resume to succeed in a big market like LA, because of this he should have kept his mouth shut and made the team better. Justify it however you want, but the main reason for the Angels early season struggles is due to the roster and the roster was Jerry Dipoto’s responsibility.