When Jerry Dipoto was hired as Angels GM a few months ago, he was considered an excellent candidate because he was a former player, but also a progressive thinker who was up to speed with modern statistical analysis. In his brief tenure, his resume of transactions and decisions suggests that he may not be relying on knowledge from his playing days or highly detailed statistical studies, but rather crowdsourcing.
Just look at these moves he has made since taking over:
- Signing Albert Pujols to a ginormous contract
- Signing C.J. Wilson away from the Rangers
- Releasing Bobby Abreu
- Calling up Mike Trout
- Firing Mickey Hatcher
These are either well thought out orchestrations of a very smart baseball executive, or so it would seem.
Now, here are snippets of conversations we’ve all had with a friend:
- “You know what would be so awesome, I know they’ll never do it, but the Angels should totally sign Albert Pujols.”
- “Dude, I hate the Rangers. You know what would really burn them, signing C.J. Wilson. Plus, it would make our starting pitching unstoppable!”
- “God, Bobby Abreu is so freaking useless and he’s acting like a prima donna too. We should just cut his ass.”
- “This team is so horrible. Why don’t they just call up Mike Trout? He’s killing it in AAA. Call him up and he’ll fix everything.”
- “Auuughgughg! Why don’t they just fire Mickey Hatcher already?!!?!! Rabble! Rabble!! Rabble!!! Rabble!!!!!”
Now, tell me how they are different?
Whether or not any of those five decisions prove to be smart remains to be seen. But what they have already proven is that they are WILDLY popular with Angels fans. That may or may not be a good thing. Call me skeptical, but there is a reason that professional sports teams aren’t run according to the wants and wishes of the unwashed masses.
It almost doesn’t even matter to me if these five decisions were smart at this point. What matters to me is how he came to these decisions. It is entirely plausible that he came to all of these conclusions on his own after careful consideration and research on what the best move for the team’s future success should be. If that is the case, and it probably is, then great. But if it isn’t and Dipoto is really just making moves to appease the angry mob, then maybe we shouldn’t be so excited about his “genius” moves.