What if they both stayed? …

Jerry Dipoto, Mike SciosciaSometimes the highest degree of accountability isn’t altogether prudent.

The Angels are wrapping up a season in which they were never really in the playoff mix, about to make it four consecutive postseason absences despite back-to-back marquee signings, and the prevailing sentiment – in the media and within the organization – is that either Jerry Dipoto or Mike Scioscia will be dismissed by owner Arte Moreno when it’s all set and done. They haven’t worked well together, the team has disappointed, and you can’t have another season like this, on a team with a payroll this high, and not make organizational changes.

But would that really make the Angels better?

What if the perceivably impossible scenario took place?

What if they both did stay?

Replacing Scioscia means eating the roughly $27 million that’s owed to him over the course of a contract that runs through 2018, not to mention parting ways with one of the most accomplished and respected managers in all of baseball. Parting ways with Dipoto means starting all over again – for the second time in three years – with an entire front-office team, from scouts to execs, all over the country and in Latin America.

This is too important an offseason to be transitioning to a new front office, or assembling a new coaching staff, or structuring new organizational philosophies. This team needs to worry about its on-field roster, one that needs to get back into contention quickly because (A) the Angels can’t reload, (B) Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are only getting older – and more expensive – and (C) the farm system needs to keep cultivating.

The best course for the Angels may be to give Dipoto and Scioscia another chance to foster a productive working relationship and actually use their differing views for the betterment of the organization.

Dipoto loves new-aged statistics, Scioscia is of the old-school mentality. Dipoto doesn’t have the autonomy to decide on Scioscia’s employment, making it difficult to establish any authority, and Scioscia is used to being more heavily involved in baseball-operations decisions. They “get along to get along,” as one person said. The Mickey Hatcher dismissal put a significant strain on their relationship last year and they’ve bumped heads on several quandaries this season, from Ernesto Frieri‘s recent demotion to Garrett Richards‘ role to Grant Green‘s upside.

But their relationship isn’t considered to be so fractured that they can’t work together (though solidifying a hierarchy might be necessary). For what it’s worth, they’ve been said to be just fine lately.

That’s what winning can do.

“Winning changes everything,” one player said of outside speculation regarding Dipoto and Scioscia. “If we were winning, none of this would be going on.”

If Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas didn’t combine for 18 missed starts due to fluky injuries, or if Pujols weren’t limited to 99 games because of plantar fasciitis, or if Hamilton hadn’t struggled so mightily in his first season in Anaheim, the Angels would be much better off and the narrative would be completely different.

And that’s what we have to keep in mind in this situation.

Yes, Dipoto and Scioscia both shoulder plenty of blame for what has taken place in 2013.

Dipoto was unsuccessful at turning limited funds into necessary pitching depth, with Joe Blanton (2-14 with a 6.04 ERA), Tommy Hanson (5.66 ERA in 70 innings), Sean Burnett (limited to 13 games) and Ryan Madson (released after missing a second year post-Tommy John surgery) all flopping in 2013.

Scioscia’s teams have started slow each of the last two seasons – 27-38 in 2013, 18-25 in 2012 – and up until their recent, too-late run, had done little right. They’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball (26th in Defensive Runs Saved), they’re tied with the Rangers for the most outs made on the bases and are 16th in the Majors in run-differential, despite winning 22 of their last 31 games.

But Dipoto is the savvy GM the organization wanted after parting ways with Tony Reagins two Octobers ago; one who would prioritize the farm system and is well-thought-of throughout baseball and isn’t afraid to express his own opinions. And simply put, the Angels aren’t really going to find a better, more respected field manager than Scioscia.

Would replacing one of them move this organization forward in 2014, or would it actually set them back — only to create the illusion of accountability?

That’s the question.

Alden

21 Comments

Well said Mr. Gonzalez. Interesting new take on thi story.

Every time I open the pnp page my eyes go straight to the rigtseer tab, where the the letters blend with the white of the jersey. It drives me crazy; so much so that I have to scroll down before reading to not be distracted.

Your argument for Scioscia rests on “respect” rather than “results” and is pretty weak after his slow start machine has missed the playoffs four straight seasons. I agree with the logic in keeping DiPoto.

Parting with Dipoto now or later, it’ll still have to happen. Better now than later.

Dipoto hasn’t had a chance to enact his true vision. Arte has had too much of a hand. If he wan’ts to get rid of him, then he is basically firing him for his own mistakes.

What makes him great? It’s a serious qetiuson. Because he won a shitty division a bunch of years, won a World Series a while back? Does a great job with strategy?I personally think he’s horrible. Then again I think most managers are pretty bad so I’m probably not the person to ask

Dipoto should at least get two more years without any Arte intervention and Scioscia needs to go. The Angels need change and it isn’t in the front office. The lost revenue from ticket sales and losing is surely greater than the 5 million a year owed to Scioscia. Plus, I’m sure he will get a managing job somewhere else soon so Arte wouldn’t even lose any money on the situation.

When the article said “Keep them both”,I thought you were talking about Howee and Trumbo,which I would like.But yeah,Dipoto has made some stupid moves,and Soch can’t motivate his prima donnas to play better.I say give them one more chance.A healthy Albert,hopefully a Hammy that is more used to his surroundings,a healthy Weave,Vargas,Howee,and a full season for Calhoun might make a diference.What we have now is not bad.We just need to keep them healthy and consistent.I I would love a new pitching and hitting coach though.

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Gotta find a way to get either Trumbo or Pujols to play 3rd base. Sign one more pitcher and we’re fine. Changing Hitting coach again? I don’t think that’s the answer. Butcher? Not unless we can get Young from Oakland or Dave Duncan.

I love the way that Scioscia used to manage. Angels just seemed to be less aggressive this season. 1st to 3rd used to be what Angels baseball was all about. I want to go back to that style of baseball. I understand waiting for the big blast but it just didn’t happen. Let’s get back to scrappy good old fashioned fun to watch baseball Mike!

I’ve said it before . . . Give Scioscia more decision-making authority and let Dipoto oversee rebuilding the minor system. If one has to go, it should be Dipoto.

Scioscia already had too much authority and that’s why the Angels are in this mess. He was one of the main cogs for getting Vernon Wells and getting rid of Napoli. And you still want to give him MORE power??? Dipoto is the one that needs to stay. Scioscia has stayed here long enough and his words and moves have become stale.

Veteran, contract ladden roster does not match well with “blowing up” the front office and starting over. Give autonomy and authority to Dipoto and get Scioscia to a) figure out why his teams are starting so slow the past two years and correct it, and b) go back to small ball, regardless of the “big” bats in the lineup. If Arte puts those changes in place, than Dipoto and Scioscia should both stay. If not, keep Dipoto and trade Sciosica to the Dodgers for a front line AAA pitcher.

Alden is right. Give Dipoto and Scioscia another chance. It would be a mistake to replace a whole front office or coaching staff at this point in time. Sure they made a lot of bed decisions, but maybe they can learn from it. Yes, the Angels has some holes to fill on their roster, but the biggest problem is the bullpen, not coaching or the front office. Can you imagine how many more wins they would have had with a good bullpen these past 3 years.

What series is the one Eric poestd then? I’m confused. Please keep links active since I don’t believe any of this Prescription material is actually available at Mystery Poster. Mystery Poster has five or six Prescription downloads available, but they appear to be different from the one’s Eric is sharing.If you do, however, go to Mystery Poster, at least get the Azalia Snail – that’s a pretty amazing LP.

I bow down humbly in the presence of such greatness.

Dipoto needs to go, he seems to find only .500 talent just like he was.

After watching Moneyball recently, this article reminds me of the dysfunctional relationship between Beane and Howe. The results on the field is not either the effort of the manager OR the GM but BOTH. Perhaps Dipoto stays and the organization builds a layer between the Manager and GM or we see Dipoto look for a bench coach that represents his vision. But in the end the two of them need to work together. I also wonder how other MLB teams have GM’s and Managers that get along?

They don’t have to get along, let them argue, but Arte has to lay ground rules and they both have to abide. Arte needs to own the team and let Dipoto manage. Scioscia needs to go back to “little ball” like he did when he first managed. We have terrific talent everywhere, they just need to do their jobs.

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