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Monday, October 31, 2005

Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Meta: Sea Changes

And so the blog goes full circle. I hadn't intended on this becoming a 24/7 diatribe against the McCourts, although it surely started that way. Nonetheless, for those here for Angels material, consider yourselves perhaps a bit warned while Hurricane Frank revs back up to a category 5 storm.

Other GMs Surprised At Frank's Hairtrigger

Other GMs, perhaps used to thinking of the Dodgers in their glory days, find DePodesta's firing disconcerting:
"It's very surprising to everybody within the industry," said Jim Duquette, who was recently hired by the Baltimore Orioles as vice president of baseball operations.

"A lot of people scratched their heads that after two years Paul would be out."


Duquette said he could relate to DePodesta's plight because he was replaced by the New York Mets in 2004 after 15 months as GM. He's hoping for a longer leash with Baltimore.


"Typically, the first year is for evaluating the operation," he said.

"Year 2 is often a transition year, and Year 3 is the make-or-break year for many GMs.

"From Paul's standpoint, I think it is a little unfair to pull the plug on a process that he was just in the process of building."

What did I say about the Dodgers being run like the Mets?

Billy Beane in Oakland said he would welcome back DePodesta as an assistant.

"Paul is a capable, bright and talented guy," said Mark Shapiro, general manager of the Cleveland Indians. "It's hard for me to believe that given enough time in the right environment, he wouldn't be extremely successful."

Veteran Presence GM Pool Shrinks

I wonder that the Dodgers ultimately don't come down to a situation like that in Oakland, where Billy Beane ultimately decided to re-sign Ken Macha after failing to find a better manager available on the open market. First, we discover that the Red Sox have re-signed Theo Epstein, and second, the Times reports that Pat Gillick is nearing a deal with Philadelphia. Who's left? Jim Bowden? Orel Hershiser? Tommy Lasorda? The mind boggles...


McCourt has scaled back an earlier promise of a $100-million payroll, and now says somewhat vaguely, "We will spend what it takes to win." But sources said DePodesta operated within a strict budget that is more likely to shrink than grow.

What A Lousy World Series -- For Fox

Acknowledging the incremental improvement over last year's dull sweep, this year's Fall Classic remained a sweep with little drama over the series as a whole, though the individual games themselves still held my attention. Nonetheless, Maury Brown writes, this was the worst-rated World Series in the history of the game, even worse than the 2002 Angels/Giants matchup, in my view the most exciting series played since 2000. Yet, what most coverage of the ratings fail to report on is the fact that the World Series collectively still had more viewers than any other program in those time slots. That is, the Series suffers from the same problem afflicting all other TV these days, and that is it's just one of many things to watch on an increasingly fragmented dial. That it still holds sway as the main event on the days it's going is something baseball should be proud of, and extremely pleased with.

Bobby Jenks Offers To Turn The Other (Butt) Cheek

A sight to remember

Bobby Jenks, on those in the Angels system who gave up on him:
"For everyone that ever doubted me," Jenks said. "I say, kiss my ass."
It'll be interesting to see just how long the Wizard Named Ozzie will be making those "big boy" calls...

Short-Season Leagues May Yet Return

Baseball America says that as time grows from the original proposal to eliminate the AZL and GCL, so does opposition to it and inertia to keep things as they are. This is good news for the Angels, let's face it: they love longshot prospects that can't be tested any other way than in these situations.

Silver Sluggers Awarded

Jeff Kent of the Dodgers and Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels both won Silver Sluggers. Kent was the only NL player to have been previously awarded the trophy.

> Billy Beane ultimately decided
> to re-sign Ken Macha after
> failing to find a better manager

Actually, Rob, the NorCal consensus is that it was Macha who cried "Uncle." Beane would've been happy to promote one of the coaches, at a cheaper salary to boot. Macha was offered a "take it or leave it" contract, and it was he who could not find anything close on the outside. When he ultimately signed, it was for the exact same amount Beane offered the first time. Beane could have made a symbolic gesture of upping the annual salary by $25K, but chose not to do so, and Macha sucked in his pride and went for it anyway.

Putting that aside, would McCourt re-hire DePodesta? I don't think so, because I happen agree with you that there's a power struggle going on involving Lasorda and DePodesta, and that Lasorda and his fellow traditionalists are calling the tunes.
And why would DePodesta want to come back with Slim-Fast Tommy looking over his shoulder the whole time.
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