Last July, the Angels experienced a cataclysmic shift in their front office. Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia's different philosophies for how to run the team came to a head, and over the course of a few days, their entire relationship blew up. There were reports of an ultimatum that backfired for Dipoto, and while that was later refuted, the fact is that he left the Angels very suddenly, and their franchise was forced to install an interim GM in the lead up to the trade-deadline.
Fast-forward to today, and all parties have moved on. The Angels have former Yankees AGM, Billy Eppler, calling the shots; and Dipoto was hired by the division rival Seattle Mariners to reshape their organization in ways that Jack Zduriencik was unable or unwilling to do. While everything that happened between Dipoto and the Angels was seemingly in the past, earlier today, Dipoto was on MLB Network Radio, and had some interesting things to say about his former club.
"The four years that I spent in Anaheim, and I appreciate those four years, and for much of that time I had a great time...But there were times where it was very difficult to do the job that I was asked to do because I was caught in between, perhaps two different dynamics. And I would say the same of them. I had some different ideas that maybe they weren't as comfortable with, therefore we end up where we are four years from now...
Since I've come over here to the Mariners I've been fortunate enough to really, I believe I've developed a very nice relationship with our ownership group, including Howard Lincoln our chairman, and Kevin Mather our president, they've been nothing but good to me since the day I got here. And they've been on board with a lot of the ideas that I've had through the course of time, and the collective ideas that we've come up with just in the months since I've been here, and given us the resources to do what we need to do...
And as importantly, I have a manager now in Scott Servais who I do see eye-to-eye with, and we have discussed every move and we've disagreed on many ideas as we've gone through this offseason but in a really productive way. And fair or unfair, that was not always the case with Mike."
There's a lot to digest in Dipoto's interview, but the key point to takeaway is that he now feels that he has the resources to do exactly what he thinks is in the best interest of the Mariners franchise. When he was with Anaheim, for various reasons Dipoto didn't feel like he had the same resources, or the same autonomy to make decisions that needed to be made.
Throughout the movie Moneyball, there's a constant disconnect between Billy Beane, and Art Howe over how to use the players that have been assembled (although Howe has emphatically denied that anything like that occurred in reality), and that appears to be exactly what took place between Dipoto and Scioscia. They reportedly disagreed on the use of advanced analytics, and how to convey them to players before game time; which ultimately destroyed their relationship.
However in Seattle, that's no longer an issue. While Dipoto noted in his interview that he and Servais disagree, it's in a productive way that allows them to reach another conclusion, or approach an idea differently. There's no animosity, or power struggle between the two, but instead just two people having a healthy dialogue in an attempt to make their team as good as it can be.
Now that he's with the Mariners, with an ownership group that's behind him, and a manager that he see's "eye-to-eye with", we finally get to see what Dipoto can do. He's already reshaped the Mariners franchise in order to be competitive in 2016, but he did so in a way that didn't compromise their farm system; like A.J. Preller did with the Padres. It's too early to know how Dipoto's moves will play out, but at the very least, we can now begin to evaluate his decisions, as they truly are his own.