With pitchers and catchers finally taking the field for the Angels today and kicking off Spring Training, it's time to say goodbye to the 2015 season, and its terrible off-season, for good. The Angels' former GM, Jerry Dipoto, probably agrees that it's time to ceremoniously let bygones be bygones and focus on what's ahead, but not before he kicks the dead Arte Moreno horse one more time for good measure.
Earlier today, Dipoto joined host Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio to talk about his feelings about the 2016 season outlook and the chances his Mariners have at competing, but at one point, things turned towards his old team and that Arte Moreno/Mike Scioscia beef he had last season, which boiled over in July and culminated in his resignation. Here's what Dipoto had to say (courtesy of Alden Gonzalez transcription):
Jerry Dipoto made some comments about the Angels on MLBNetwork Radio. Here they are (1/2) ... pic.twitter.com/DILkS65nmf— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 19, 2016
2/2 ... pic.twitter.com/YsRLFcqxyk— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 19, 2016
Jerry DOES seem to go to great lengths to give some credit to Arte and Sciocsia, no matter how much he probably had to lie through his teeth to do so. It's also funny that in seemingly trying to compliment Arte Moreno by saying he "threw as much money into the roster as he could", it's almost a backhanded compliment, perfectly highlighting the EXACT reason that the Angels have been an organizational mess the past few years.
After those opening lines, though, the truth comes out: the Angels front office, specifically Arte/Jerry/Scioscia, was a dysfunctional unit. It was something that we all knew to be true regardless of having no proof or insider sources. The only proof needed was the public interactions, which were embarrassingly evident in the large sportswriting spotlight. Now, we hear it come straight from his mouth that while things were at one point good, they devolved into disagreements and arguments between Dipoto and Scioscia over how the personnel should be managed and apprised of statistical and developmental info.
The Dipoto/Scioscia feud and subsequent resignation was one of the uglier passages of Angels fandom I can remember, and luckily with baseball activities commencing out in Tempe, we can begin to put it towards the back of our minds, along with all the other screw-ups the team presented to fans last year. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to Jerry and cower in this confirmation of all we fear about the two-headed monster that is Arte and Sosh. Jerry is in a good place now, and appears to finally have the full support of and good rapport with the people he is supposed to work with on a day-to-day basis. Good for him.
As fans, we can only hope this taught something to our intrepid manager and/or the billionaire who signs his checks; and maybe something was learned, given the re-stocking of hitting and pitching coaches, the hiring of good baseball minds like Ron Roenicke, etc. Maybe Arte is listening and wants the attention shifted back to the dysfunction on the field and the farm, rather than the Red Polo brigade in the front office.
For better or worse, we'll find out soon enough.