Dipoto resigns; Stoneman named Angels' GM
ANAHEIM -- Jerry Dipoto ultimately felt he'd had enough.
After more than three years of persistent discord with long-time manager Mike Scioscia, Dipoto abruptly resigned as general manager on Wednesday, five days after what sources described as a heated meeting that proved to be the final straw.
Bill Stoneman, who helped lead the franchise to its only World Series title in 2002, will step in as the interim GM for the rest of this season and will "rely heavily" on Dipoto's former assistants, Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, Angels president John Carpino said.
Dipoto expressed "regret" that he left in the middle of the season, but believed "it was the right thing to do for my own position, my own state of mind, my family."
"I felt like I was in a position where I wasn't able to help the club get better, in the way that I wanted to," Dipoto said in a phone conversation late Wednesday night. "I had a lot of unbelievable experiences over the last three and a half years -- some incredible, some really unbelievable. I love a lot of the people here, and I feel proud of what we accomplished as a group. I think the organization is in a better state than the day I got here."
Dipoto essentially made his decision on Monday, the same day a FOXSports.com report detailed a series of meetings in which Albert Pujols and one of the Angels' coaches had a heated exchange with the fourth-year GM. By early Tuesday afternoon, his office had been cleaned out. By Wednesday morning, a decision was finalized. And in the seventh inning of that day's series finale with the Yankees, the Angels made the announcement.
Dipoto didn't go into details about what took place, but he categorically denied reports that he issued Angels owner Arte Moreno an ultimatum to choose between him or Scioscia. Speaking on the dais alongside Scioscia after the Angels' 3-1 loss to the Yankees, Carpino simply called Dipoto's resignation "a personal decision."
Carpino felt Dipoto and Scioscia had "a normal relationship."
"We're all trying to get to a goal, every day," Carpino said. "When you have passionate people going after a goal, that [disagreements] happens, whether it's in the clubhouse or up in the business offices or in your offices. It just happens. To be honest with you, I think it's healthy."
Dipoto took over after the 2011 season and constantly bumped heads with Scioscia in his first two years, disagreeing on the implementation of scouting information and advanced analytics and drawing the ire of Scioscia for the dismissal of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher. The two got along better while in the midst of a 98-win season in 2014, but tensions boiled over this past weekend, when Dipoto reportedly insisted Angels coaches to do a better job relaying scouting information to players.
"This isn't about a singular event," said Dipoto, who was signed through 2016. "This is about what I thought was right for me and right for my family. It's as simple as that."
The popular narrative is that Scioscia prevailed in the proverbial power struggle, a point Scioscia refuted.
"I can only speak for myself -- there's never been a power struggle," Scioscia said. "I understand what the role of a manager is in the organization. I'm hard-headed, I have opinions, I give my opinions much like I did whether it was Bill or Tony [Reagins] or Jerry, to John, Arte, whatever my opinions are. I understand that a manager gets the word 'no' more than he gets 'yes'. I understand that, and it happens here. There was no ego, no power struggle."
Dipoto, a longtime Major League reliever, joined the Angels after front-office stints with the Red Sox, Rockies and D-backs, with whom he briefly served as interim GM. In three-plus years with the Angels, Dipoto agreed to extensions with core players Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar; traded for Huston Street, Chris Iannetta, David Freese, Hector Santiago, Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney; acquired C.J. Wilson and Joe Smith in free agency; and helped with the signings of Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
Along the way, Dipoto acquired a bevy of pitching depth for an Angels farm system that was sorely lacking in that area. But he grew frustrated by not having the autonomy of a traditional GM -- a reality bred largely by Scioscia's contract, which runs until 2018 -- and he also had some hiccups.
In 2013 -- after the offseason additions of Hamilton, Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson, Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson all backfired -- the Angels finished 18 games out of first place. And for most of 2015 -- from the early part of Spring Training until the end of April -- the Angels' brass was engaged in an awkward, contentious situation with Hamilton, who had a drug relapse in February and stayed away from the team until being traded to the Rangers.
Almost every one of Dipoto's executives and scouts are expected to stay on and Scioscia said "there will be absolutely no problem" with that. Scioscia believes Stoneman "is going to be that guy who will keep us together, keep the communication going."
"Bill's decision-making process is incredible, the way he's able to process stuff," Scioscia added. "Right now, since everything's up in the air, it will definitely be a calming effect for not only our front office, but our relationship down here with the staff."
Stoneman, 71, served as the Angels' GM from 2000-07. During that time, he hired Scioscia and oversaw a club that won the World Series as a Wild Card team and then claimed three American League West titles in four years.
"He's connected with the club," Carpino said, adding that Stoneman will only be with the club through the end of the season. "Bill's a world champion general manager. He's going to do it on an interim basis, and we're excited he took that opportunity."