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Scioscia: Communication vital to success

Angels manager says it won't be 'hard fix' with new GM

ANAHEIM -- Former Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto sat on the dais from Safeco Field in Seattle on Tuesday morning and proclaimed that the way things ended for him in Southern California "will not define my career."

"It's a moment in my career," Dipoto said, minutes after being introduced as the Mariners' new GM and nearly three months after resigning from that same post with the Angels.

"You go through ups and downs in a career. I consider my time in Anaheim to be more up than down. We achieved a lot of good things. … Now I'll let them move on with their lives, and I'll move on with a new start here with the Mariners."

Soon, the Angels will move on with a new GM -- the fourth one since Mike Scioscia took over as manager in 2000.

Asked what he has learned through the turnover, specifically from the reported fallout with Dipoto, Scioscia said: "I just know how important communication is, not only with the GM and the manager, but also communication with the people who are controlling your depth chart in the Minor Leagues, getting an evaluation of players. When you have that communication, the decision-making process is very, very clean and we have positive situations on the field. And when you don't, some things fall through the cracks."

Dipoto on Tueday said "the popular narrative" that he and Scioscia were "constantly at war" was "the furthest thing from the truth."

But the two certainly had their differences. One of their biggest stemmed from what is perceived to be a fundamental divide between the Major League staff and those in Minor League player development, though there is debate over which side was at fault.

There were disagreements over philosophies, with the Major League staff believing their prospects should be bunting more frequently and running the bases more aggressively. But the core of the issue, Scioscia said, was the flow of information.

"Communication," Scioscia said when asked what needs to change about the dynamic between his staff and those in charge of developing the Angels' young players. "Communication needs to change, and it will. It will not be a hard fix."

Scioscia declined to provide specifics, but one of Dipoto's first moves as Angels GM was to run player development directly through the front office. Scioscia is said to want more of a say again, or at least have a direct line with the coaches at the upper levels of the Angels' farm system.

"You can always get better," said Angels assistant GM Scott Servais, who's in charge of scouting and player development. "I'm sure that whoever the new GM is, when he comes in, I'm sure he'll have a certain process that I think he wants done his way. He and Mike will figure it out, set the direction of what they want to happen, and we'll do everything we can to make sure we're meeting all their needs."

Scioscia can opt out of his contract, which runs through 2018, after this season. The 16th-year manager declined to discuss the possibility before Tuesday's game against the A's, but Scioscia is expected to stay. He'll be here when the new GM comes in -- the Angels have interviewed at least nine internal and external candidates -- and he wants to be more in tune with the players promoted from the Minor Leagues.

"I know, from being a manager, what a manager's responsibility is, and it goes past the 25 guys in this room," Scioscia said. "That needs to be reconnected."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast.
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