Saturday, October 29, 2011

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

Moving quickly after the World Series, the Angels opened their offseason by announcing the hiring if Jerry Dipoto on Saturday, September 29th, 2011. Of all the moves the Angels will make this offseason, this one will be the most significant because this will shape the direction for the team for the next decade or so.

From his very introduction, Dipoto made it clear how he wants to run the Angels organization. As Angels fans, we should be excited to hear him say “Championships are what it’s about . . . That’s what the expectations are going to be here. We will be accountable as an organization. We will be accountable to one another. And maybe, most of all, is that we will have a passion about what we do, and you will see it everyday.” Dipoto will be the leader of this organization.

In listening to Dipoto speak, two things immediately impressed me. The passion that Dipoto talked about was truly present. He loves the game and loves the opportunity that he has. He wants to be a student of the game and use that knowledge to make the Angels world champions. He isn’t married to any one school of thought, but instead, seems to be listening to both current statistical analysis as well as old school scouting and development. As John Carpino said after the press conference “He is thinking 24 hours a day about baseball. And that was one of probably the most appealing points about him.”

Secondly, and more importantly, he gave long answers to questions. He answered tough questions and compound questions. However, he didn’t ramble. That tells me that he has a keenly analytical mind and has thought through most of the issues inherent in being a GM. He wasn’t afraid to get into a variety of issues, from player development (which he firmly believes in) to international scouting (which he wants to expand) to how he will work with Mike Scioscia (they have defined jobs). Under Dipoto, the Angels will be more become more efficient.

After the interview, I spoke with Dennis Kuhl about the hiring. In congratulating Kuhl on the hiring, he said “We got the right man.” After listening to Dipoto speak, I couldn’t agree more.

To listen to the entire press conference, including the question and answer session, please click below.

Some quick hits

On how to win games, by Jerry Dipoto: “I believe that the team that controls the counts controls the game.”

On player development, by Jerry Dipoto: “I don’t believe in creating passive players. I believe in creating aggressive, what I would call makeup players. . . I like pitchers who throw strikes, I like pitchers who get them to hit the ball on the ground a lot and/or miss the barrels.”

On the next wave of scouting and player development, by Jerry Dipoto: “It’s going to be refined. It’s going to be efficient. We’re going to know exactly what we’re looking for. We’re going to know exactly what we’re teaching and our players are going to take part in that process.”

On payroll, by Arte Moreno: “I would say that the $130-$140 (million) range, we’re pretty comfortable in.”

On the offseason, by John Carpino: “Jerry (Dipoto) is every bit of an opportunist, as is Arte. And if an opportunity presents itself to fill a need by an opportunity, be it a free agent or a trade, and economically it makes sense, we’re going to do that. We always have.”

On the search process for a new GM, by John Carpino: “We looked at our people, and then their skills came up and then we developed those qualities as part of the overall person that we were looking for. But, we weren’t going in with a predetermined let’s look for a guy that played and came through the front office and scouted. We weren’t doing that.”

On the role Bill Stoneman will play in the organization, by John Carpino: “We think the world of Bill Stoneman. He is an invaluable resource to us. And this process could not have been possible with him.”
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