Our long wait is over, Arte Moreno has finally made his decision. Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto will return for the 2014 season.
Mike Sciscoa and Jerry Dipoto both returning to jobs next season. Only changes: Hitting coach Jim Eppard and bench coach Rob Picciolo— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 9, 2013
Picciolo and Eppard weren't quite so lucky, however. Both will be repalced in a development that only adds to the mystery of what the status of the Scioscia-Dipoto power struggle really is.
On one hand, Scioscia was originally rumored to be demanding that all of his coaches be retained. Losing Picciolo and Eppard certainly suggests that Scioscia lost that round, but it was never totally clear how attached he was to either man, Eppard in particular. Suffice it to say, it will be interesting to see if Scioscia gets to make his own hires or if he has new coaches foisted upon him by Dipoto. As I write this, it is being announced that Dino Ebel has been promoted to bench coach, so that solves half the equation, but the hitting coach hire should remain a point of intrigue.
Even if Dipoto wins the coaching staff battle, Scioscia still has an edge on him in that he has five years remaining on his contract while Dipoto is heading into the final year of his pact. Unless the team subsequently announces that Jerry is getting an extension or has his club options picked up, that places him firmly on the chopping block, which is never a good thing as it can lead to a GM making reckless moves in order to save their job.
What this announcement won't change is the overall pressure for both Scioscia and Dipoto to turn this club back into a winner. The second the 2014 Angels struggle even a tiny bit, speculation about one or both getting fired will crop up once again. In other words, this is less of a vote of confidence for either man and more of a stay of execution.
The fun times in Anaheim, they never stop.
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This really sucks for DiPoto. KLaw convinced me of the veracity of his theory that a GM needs five years on the job to be evaluated correctly. Think about it: How have the drafts been going? Has the farm system improved? Has the GM shown the ability to sign targeted FA's? That kind of stuff takes a while to settle in.
Jerry was hobbled in his first two years (I'm taking this theory to the grave with me) by being forced to sign Pujols and Hamilton. That may have set back/changed his draft strategy by several degrees. In his favor, those first two drafts were about near-ready pitching (college) so he has been at work shoring up his assessment that a team needs to feed the beast with farm product, at least in the bullpen, AND have some arms stockpiled for trades.
Also in his favor, he was actually able to sign the FA's he was ordered to sign. And that's a mission Tony Reagins was *unable* to accomplish. Now, it could easily be argued that the team is better of for not going whole hog on Tex and Carl Crawford, but that's a different issue. The perception in Arte's eyes was probably that the guy wasn't getting the job the owner wanted done, done. Huh?
OK, Jerry missed out on Zach Greinke. Who knew this guy was going to chase down every quarter an owner could find laying on the ground? There is still a pretty good chance the team will be better off for having five years of Hamilton rather than six of an even more expensive Greinke.
All we are saying, is give Jerry a chance! The guy seems to have something going on, baseball-wise, and we should see how it turns out. Will a new GM do things much differently? Not if his orders are to keep winning during the few Trout years we have left.
@Rick K. I completely agree. Even with the missteps that Dipoto has made, two years just isn't enough time to really evaluate him. My rule has always been that even the most incompetent GM needs three years if only because nobody is perfect (or even very good) at that job right away. Just the mere act of overhauling the front office twice in such a short period of time seems like a devastating decision to the future and progress of the franchise.