We are zero mark plus 10 on the Jack Zduriencik Era and, despite Kevin Mather expressing a desire to have a new GM in place by "Mid-October" there has been little in the way of juicy or concrete rumors thus far. Hit it, Bob Nightengale. No, not the music silly, the tweet. Hit the tweet.
Jerry Dipoto is expected to be the first candidate outside the Seattle organization to interview this week for the #Mariners GM position.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 8, 2015
Of course it's nothing but an interview; the first in what I expect will be many interviews, although I confess to not remembering all that well how this went with Jack Zduriencik's hiring.
The Mariners appear to be set on finding a general manger with "experience". I happen to think the goal should be to find the best general manager regardless of experience and find the team's public stance of "let's do the opposite of the last thing that failed" to be limiting and overly simplistic. HOWEVER, if the organization intends to stick to this stated goal then they could do far, far, far worse than Jerry Dipoto.
Dipoto, in case you forgot or never knew, was the Angels general manger from October 2011 until July 1st of this year, when long standing disagreements between the front office and Mike Scioscia's coaching staff boiled over and led to Dipoto's resignation. He quickly found an interim position with the Red Sox but that was under the since deposed Ben Cherington regime and, only 47, appears to have plenty of life left in his career. Here's a bit of what we know:
- Much of Dipoto's disagreement with Scioscia was built upon Dipoto's desire to implement more analytical data into the daily preparation and execution of the Angel's lineups, scouting reports and bullpen management. It will surprise no one that we here view that as a positive attribute in a potential general manager.
- Dipoto's competency and ability to function in the role of general manager is not in question. Jonah Keri's look at Grantland offers further insight into what eventually caused the rift in Anaheim to become irreparable. Namely, Mike Scioscia held greater sway with owner Arte Moreno and was able to win a power struggle over organization philosophy as it pertained to player instruction.
- Jerry Dipoto is not Dan O'Dowd, Kenny Williams or Frank Wren, just a few of a litany of "experienced" general managers rumored to be interested in the Mariners, or vice versa. None of these names excite me, in fact to varying degrees they all frighten me.
- Pettiness and vindictiveness are not becoming attributes, and the accumulation of years makes them less so. As I age I find that my sports grudges and petty squabbles with teams and players have largely disappeared. I root for the Mariners to win, primarily because I am a fool, but also because they are my team. Very rarely do I find myself upset at whichever team or individual benefits from defeating my team. It's the passing of time, and the realization that hate hurts the hater first and foremost.
Mike Scioscia has escaped this maturation process. I find him detestable. Every time he comes out to argue a call with an umpire I scream at my television. I relish in his failures and think him riding a hot Scott Spiezio for three weeks in 2002 has granted him an unjustly won and ill-deserved margin for error with his organization. He is petty. He is argumentative. He apparently has a strong anti-nerf hoop platform. He seems like embodiment of many things I find distasteful about persons in power. If the Mariners can hire someone with a potential ax to grind against Arte Moreno and Mike Scioscia, thus granting me an extra layer of schadenfreude to enjoy with every Angels defeat, then I am all for it.
I am petty. I am weak. I am a sports fan. We'll update the story if anything comes of it.