Angels' Next General Manager, Day 5: THE FINALS

...you want to replace me with someone from Oakland? - USA TODAY Sports

The challenger has been selected. Is he worthy?

Decision time.

You have selected the worthy opponent for our current GM. In this match, you will decide whether our current GM should KEEP his job, or whether he should be fired and replaced with the opponent.

In the semfinals match, the voting totals came the closest of any of the matches we've had yet. By a total of 69 votes to 58 (54% to 46%), Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane moves on by defeating Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman.

Before getting to the match itself, because these are the finals, I will leave the polls open until SUNDAY at 9:00 PM PDT, as opposed to tonight at 9:00 PM PDT. The same rules will apply to the finals of the managerial gauntlet that will come Monday.

Now...for the match!

BILLY BEANE vs. JERRY DIPOTO

Billy Beane's strategies as general manager of the Oakland Athletics have led the team to two different eras of success: the first from 2000 to 2006 (4 AL West titles and a wild card in that span), and the second beginning last season. The years in between (2007 to 2011) saw a five-year period of cultivation that many saw as simply a major-league farm team, as Beane made a practice of growing young talent and then trading it for lavish prospect packages. Such trades included those for Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey; those three players alone yielded ten prospects in return (well, 9 if you don't consider Josh Reddick's whipping-boy tenure with Boston as being a prospect). Is that what Anaheim needs to do--let the young talent they've cultivated, like Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick, yield its maximum value in trade? And is Beane the guy to do it?

Jerry Dipoto, after a brief stint as interim GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks (which incidentally saw him trade Dan Haren to the Angels for Joe Saunders and three other prospects), came aboard to steer the Angels after the disastrous talking-head era of Tony Reagins came to an unceremonious halt. Since his hiring, he's completely remade the front office with like-minded colleagues, and before his first regular season even began, acquired Brad Mills, Chris Iannetta, LaTroy Hawkins, C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols (though the latter was more Arte Moreno). Although he's come under fire for his scrap-heap method of acquiring pitching this past offseason, much speculation has stirred about how much money he was given to work with after Moreno pulled off the biggest offseason shocker--again--by signing Josh Hamilton. Is Jerry still the guy to right the Angels' ship?

When voting, keep this in mind--only vote for Billy Beane if you truly want HIM as the next GM. There are no third options. If you would like to see Dipoto leave, but not for Beane to take his place, carefully consider how you vote, if you vote. A vote for Dipoto is a vote to keep him. A vote for Beane is only to fire Dipoto if HE would be available as the successor.

Vote in the poll below! You have from now until 9:00 PM PDT on Sunday.

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