Yes, as we all had assumed was coming, and had been mentally preparing for the past week or so, Matt Klentak has been tabbed as the new Phillies GM, making him the second assistant GM to leave the Angels in a matter of days. Klentak was one of Jerry Dipoto's hires, and worked as de facto GM while Bill Stoneman held the official interim title in Dipoto's departure. I am relieved at this news, and not one bit upset. Perhaps it was because we all should have seen it coming, thus giving plenty time to realize the situation at hand and how it really left no place for Klentak, or Scott Servais(Dipoto's other main hire and new Seattle Mariners manager).
Why relieved? Look, it'd almost be a strange line of thinking to imagine either Servais and Klentak hanging around after the guy that put them there in the first place had stormed out of stadium and headed for greener pastures. Both guys, especially Klentak, were bright, analytically-inclined baseball guys, but the fact remains their primary champion in the organization had bailed, and there is a new GM sheriff in town. Some may still miss Servais or Klentak, and maybe had hopes that they'd remain with the team and instill whatever Dipoto magic they had in them(if any, at all), but Eppler is our guy now. Let's give him a chance.
We were all elated when, just days into his new job, he fired pitching coach Mike Butcher(and to a lesser extent, hitting coach Don Baylor). We praised him for that decision, and thought "Ok, we have a guy in that office again who is trying to help the team." Well, if we're really going to buy into Billy, then we need to let him hire his own staff, and let the Dipoto remnants go on to bigger and better things. Therefore, while it may sting a little, losing two assistant GMs in a few days is just natural growing pains you'd expect out of acquiring a new head honcho. We should wish all of those guys...Dipoto, Servais, Klentak, Bogar...good luck in their new endeavors. But now it's time to rebuild the organization with people who Eppler explicitly believes in and hires.
Having those others around, as useful and knowledgeable as they may have been after years in Anaheim, may have proven to be an uneasy and awkward alliance. Now, Billy Eppler has full control of the reins(well, at least as much as Arte Moreno lets him have, but that's the same no matter who is GM), and we get to see what he can do, who he can bring in and how they can all work to build the Angels back into a World Series contender.