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 Post subject: Paul DePodesta fired
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
Some observations:

1. There's a lot of talk about how the media — led by full-time DePo-basher Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times — pressured Frank McCourt into the move. Also, Tommy Lasorda apparently can't keep his beak out of the Dodgers' business, either.

2. Since DePo, the man with Harvard degree and laptop computer, was a key figure in the "Moneyball" revolution as Billy Beane's No. 2 in Oakland for many years, there'll be a lot of renewed old-school vs. new-school debate in regards to talent evaluation and future performance projection. The Joe Morgans and John Kruks will be happy; the Baseball Prospectus types will be in mourning.

3. Is two years really long enough to evaluate a GM's ability to do the job, given that part of the job is in developing and implementing long-term organizational philosophies and strategies about how much to spend on what types of players, which types of players to draft, the extent to which international scouting should be supported, etc.? I think it probably isn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Paul DePodesta fired
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Baltimore
I haven't been reading about this situation. Nevertheless:

1. Tommy Lasorda helped cure me years ago of cheering for the Dodgers.
Now that other teams have caught up with the Dodgers' signing of Latin American players, the team has lost a big advantage.

2. Baseball team owners are, above all else, multimillionaire businessmen. (Are any women left as MLB team owners? The ones I can think of have died.)
Few businesses consider the long term anymore. Everybody wants to make their money NOW.
The Dodgers have a big payroll. They didn't win this year. So, someone must be fired. Getting a fair chance to succeed is beside the point.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
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Location: Albuquerque, N.M. USA
Who's Paul DePodesta?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:33 pm 
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Location: Washington
As of today, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sorry, I didn't think thread readers here needed a nut graf.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 2266
Location: New Jersey
jjmoney62 wrote:
Who's Paul DePodesta?


Until today, he was general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He is beloved by statheads and is the bete noire of traditionalists. He's from the Billy Beane so-called "Moneyball" school of baseball. In part thanks to that book, he's perceived in the baseball world as a computer geek who is either a) a genius or b) a sheltered nerd, depending on who you ask.

I tend to think he's a smart guy who deserves to be in an organization that will give him time to ply his trade -- specifically, an organization that is, unlike the Dodgers, willing to have a dynasty in a few years rather than one championship now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 741
Location: The Empire State
Bill Madden in today's New York Daily News writes that the last straw for McCourt was DePodesta's decision to hire Terry Collins as manager.

Collins was manager of the Angels most recently. He was fired from that job when he somehow got every single player to dislike him intensely.

McCourt, Madden writes, decided DePodesta's choice of Collins and this year's 71-91 record (helped by DePodesta's decision to destroy the team at last year's All-Star break by trading popular players like Paul LoDuca and Guillermo Mota) were enough cause for firing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:07 pm 
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Location: N 36° 57' 9", W 121° 24' 2"
I give DePodesta props for one thing: He had the guts (or something) to stick with Milton Bradley after last season's ugliness. Bradley reportedly got counseling in the off-season for his anger, and until injury sat him down he was easily the Dodgers' MVP, and I include Jeff Kent in that consideration.

Other than that, I'm not sorry to see DePodesta go. And I'll make book that Bradley won't be in LA in 2006, either.


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 Post subject: Rip job on the Dodgers by Murray Chass
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 741
Location: The Empire State
In today's N.Y. Times:

November 8, 2005
On Baseball
Dysfunctional Dodgers Are Far From Camelot
By MURRAY CHASS

ONCE, in the land of the angels - that would not be the Angels of Anaheim - a proud and successful baseball team played at Chavez Ravine. Owned by the O'Malley family, the Dodgers were a first-class outfit.

Although the family patriarch, Walter O'Malley, had deserted the borough of Brooklyn and was reviled there, he prospered in Los Angeles. The Dodgers did not win every season, but they finished on top 13 times in 40 years and won the World Series on five occasions.

The team that Walter built, however, began crumbling at the core under Peter, Walter's son, and Peter decided he wasn't having fun anymore. He had lost favor with Bud Selig, or King Bud, who shunned him in major matters, and he put the Dodgers on the market. They would never be the same.

Rupert Murdoch and then Frank McCourt turned the once-stable O'Malley kingdom into the Dysfunctional Dodgers. After winning nothing in the six years of the Murdoch reign, they finished first in McCourt's first year, but then McCourt's general manager shredded the gang of warriors, and the Dodgers won 22 fewer contests in 2005 than they did the previous season.

Today, McCourt seeks a new general manager, but he has already bungled his search. Changing general mangers became a popular sport this off-season, and most of the positions have been filled. McCourt waited until four weeks after the end of the season to fire Paul DePodesta and was instantly behind in his search for a replacement.

On the other hand, if there's one thing McCourt has done well, it has been to fire people. About a dozen high-level team executives or baseball operations staffers have departed in the 21 months since McCourt and his wife, Jamie, bought the Dodgers. One former employee estimated that over all, 75 to 100 people had left the Dodgers during that period.

Of the first 14 executives, other than the McCourts, listed in the team's 2005 media guide, McCourt hired and fired three of them - DePodesta; Lon Rosen, who was the team's executive vice president and chief marketing officer; and Gary Miereanu, vice president for communications.

"As much as I'd like to speak to you, I can't," said Rosen, who lasted about a year. "I have an agreement with the organization that I won't."

More recently, the club fired John Olguin, the public relations director for five years, whose employment went back to the O'Malley regime, and two of his aides.

The Dodgers keep shuffling these people because they don't feel the right message is getting to the public. But what sort of message is McCourt sending to the public when he gives a general manager a five-year contract, then fires him two years later?

In one of her early acts with the Dodgers, Camille Johnston, hired recently as senior vice president for communications, urged that this column not be written until I could speak with McCourt, who has not returned phone calls. McCourt would not be speaking, Johnston said, until the Dodgers hired a general manager.

That the Dodgers have to hire yet another general manager raises questions. In the O'Malleys' 40 years in Los Angeles, the Dodgers had three general managers - Buzzie Bavasi, Al Campanis and Fred Claire. The new general manager will be the fourth in the eight years under Murdoch and McCourt, after Kevin Malone, Dan Evans and DePodesta.

Malone was especially destructive, shedding people whose jobs he wanted to fill with his own people.

Among those he jettisoned were Mike Scioscia, a Dodgers coach; Ron Roenicke and Mickey Hatcher, minor league managers; and Gary Sutherland and Eddie Bane, two of the team's top professional scouts. All now work for the Angels, who may yet become the more popular team in Los Angeles, geographically correct or not.

McCourt should not be saddled with those bad acts. It should also be understood that when McCourt bought the team, he was faced with the large expenditures to which Murdoch's Fox organization had committed.

He had to reduce expenses and increase revenue. But giving a general manager a five-year contract, then firing him after two years, isn't a recommended way of reducing costs.

The Dodgers are expected to name a general manager this week, perhaps at the general managers meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., but their pool of candidates was reduced because some had no interest in the job. That development doesn't speak well for the Dodgers.

The possibility was raised here last week, not entirely seriously, that with Tommy Lasorda exerting influence as a special adviser to the McCourts, Bobby Valentine could wind up as manager and general manager. A few baseball people said such a development would not surprise them.

Some others suggested that the Dodgers could hire Jim Bowden, the presumably lame-duck Washington Nationals general manager, who is also a Lasorda favorite. Bowden, they said, would have no problem with Valentine as manager.

Bowden would be a smart move. What a change that would be.


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