Currently, there is much speculation about who, exactly, is in charge of the Angels. Do the roster decisions get made by the general manager or the field manager? As of now, there is no way to tell with any certainty. That will change, however, with the outcome of one roster decision.
Jeff Mathis is one of the worst offensive players in the history of Major League Baseball. Furthermore, he has come to represent the ineptitude of the previous decision maker as the Angels offense continues to struggle while Mike Napoli enjoys a career year and postseason success. It is safe to say that his lack of production led in some way to the "resignation" of Tony Reagins.
He is also an arbitration eligible player which means the Angels must decide whether to tender him a contract or designate him for assignment and essentially cut him from the roster. This is a decision which is guaranteed to occur and will tell us who is in charge of the franchise for the time being.
Obviously, no general manager with true roster authority will tender Mathis a contract. Building a potent offense and having Jeff Mathis are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, the last thing a guy wants to do when taking a job is exactly what got the last guy fired. With that being said...
If Jeff Mathis gets tendered a contract, it is obvious that Mike Scioscia has the final say on roster decisions and that the title of "General Manager" is merely symbolic.
However, if Mathis gets justifiably DFA'd then we will know that Arte has decided to place roster decision making power in the front office, not the dugout.
Rarely are the inner workings of a front office as publicly demonstrated as those in the Angels are about to be. To me, this decision looms larger than who they name as general manager. After all, if the new G.M. is a puppet does it really matter who he is?