Ace-Of-Diamonds

Heartbreaking’: Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto forced to adjust organization to new realities

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https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/mariners/heartbreaking-mariners-gm-jerry-dipoto-forced-to-adjust-organization-to-new-realities/

Jerry Dipoto knew the initial reaction would be emotional from people around baseball — a small world filled with hundreds of people in scouting, player development, baseball operations and game staff — and from Mariners fans already skeptical of the organization’s tactics and frustrated by the team’s lack of on-field success.

Over the past three days, the organization, specifically Dipoto and Andy McKay, the director of player development, have been informing employees in the scouting department, baseball operations and player development about their future with their organization, specifically whether their contract would be renewed for 2021 or the team would let it expire after Oct. 31.

As rumors from text messages were verified by MLB sources and news reports began to permeate to people not being brought back, the expected feedback and backlash within the inner circles of the game and from fans on social media followed. The Mariners were being labeled as cheap or penny-pinching on Twitter, while texts from scouts and player-development people in and outside of the organization criticized the Mariners’ motives, saying they were already one of the worst-paying organizations in baseball and now they are reducing the number of employees, while others accused Dipoto of being a megalomaniac and a tyrant to work for.

“It is what it is,” Dipoto said in a one-on-one, socially distant interview in a boardroom at T-Mobile Park. “It reads how it reads.”

He labeled the calls “heartbreaking.”

“Each of the last three days, I’ve had to make a lot of these phone calls, and not just to our scouts, but people around our baseball operations. This is an ongoing thing,” he said. “We started making organizational changes some months back. This dates back to May, June, and through, really no control of our own, we as a human race have been put in a position to have to adapt to a new world around us, and we as an organization have had to adapt as well.”

On Thursday, multiple MLB sources confirmed that more than a dozen members of the scouting department, including Tom Allison, the team’s director of scouting, were informed they would not have their contracts renewed and should begin the process of seeking new employment with another team.

The exact number of scouts that were non-renewed was not given by the Mariners, who have a club policy to not speak about the job status of employees unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

On Saturday, the Times confirmed that McKay had begun the process of informing members of the player-development staff that they would not be retained in 2021. The extent of the staff reductions are not known, but MLB sources confirmed that Rainiers manager Daren Brown, a fixture in the organization and Mariners interim manager in 2010, was not being brought back along with Rainiers trainer Tom Newberg, who has been the affiliate’s longtime trainer.

Brown was entering his 20th season with the organization and his second stint as the manager of the Rainiers. He is the winningest manager in franchise history with 494 wins. But it was mildly curious that he wasn’t invited as part of the coaching staff for the alternate training site in Tacoma.

Also not returning will be Dave Berg, who was slated to manage Class AA Arkansas and Denny Hocking, who was supposed to manage High-A Modesto.

The Mariners won’t give the exact number of staff removed from player development either.

Upon first glance, it’s a bad look. But staffing reductions for the Mariners have already taken place in other parts of the organization, particularly non-field staff like business, marketing and sales. And staffing reductions for most companies are prevalent with an uncertain economy and very little current optimism about slowing the coronavirus spread.

Dipoto reiterated what Mariners chairman John Stanton had said on Friday, that there were layers to these decisions.

“Incredibly difficult, but the obvious is that we are all being forced to adjust to a world that is different than it was four or five months ago,” Dipoto said. “The changes that we’ve made in scouting, some in player development on some level were inevitable because the game is just getting smaller. But the biggest part is just simply trying to adapt to conditions worldwide, both in terms of the need to be more efficient and in our process economically, based on the world we’re living in. That’s just the reality and incredibly painful.”

Dipoto was adamant they weren’t dismissing employees. All of the employees will be paid through Oct. 31, but some won’t be brought back.

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There is more to this story. Dipoto is using COVID as a cover.....this reminds me of the purging that occurs when a narcissist gets rid of people who have expertise or knowledge that are threatening.

Edited by eligrba

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The Mariners were being labeled as cheap or penny-pinching on Twitter, while texts from scouts and player-development people in and outside of the organization criticized the Mariners’ motives, saying they were already one of the worst-paying organizations in baseball and now they are reducing the number of employees, while others accused Dipoto of being a megalomaniac and a tyrant to work for.

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2 hours ago, RBM said:

These are really difficult times but I understand the roots of fanaticism in that sentiment.

Are other MLB teams doing the same kind of layoffs?

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2 minutes ago, Taylor said:

Are other MLB teams doing the same kind of layoffs?

I don’t know. Do you?

The point is this is not a General Manager decision. This is ownership.I get it that a lot of you guys want to rip on Dipoto and I guess he deserves it. The reality is we are in a pandemic and every single industry is affected right now. People are losing their livelihood. This is not about what happened to your favorite baseball team five years ago. 

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14 minutes ago, RBM said:

I don’t know. Do you?

The point is this is not a General Manager decision. This is ownership.I get it that a lot of you guys want to rip on Dipoto and I guess he deserves it. The reality is we are in a pandemic and every single industry is affected right now. People are losing their livelihood. This is not about what happened to your favorite baseball team five years ago. 

His response suggests that he doesn’t care. Even if what you write is true, the GM is the voice of the organization. This has little to do with COVID. Baseball is nothing like any other industry.

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5 hours ago, Ace-Of-Diamonds said:

Dipoto was adamant they weren’t dismissing employees. All of the employees will be paid through Oct. 31, but some won’t be brought back.

This is purely semantics. Whether you are dismissed or not being brought back, the end result is the same. You're unemployed.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan

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1 minute ago, Vegas Halo Fan said:

This is purely semantics. Whether you are dismissed or not being brought back, the end result is the same. You're unemployed.

Yeah I had a laugh at that one too. If anything it only makes the not dismissed employee more angry.

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22 hours ago, Taylor said:

Are other MLB teams doing the same kind of layoffs?

I would think so. If there’s no MiLB, then there’s no need for coaches and scouts.

Once things open back up, however, I’d think there’d be a big hiring rush. Hopefully this is just temporary for everyone.

Edited by Tank

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15 minutes ago, Tank said:

I would think so. If there’s no MiLB, then there’s no need fo roaches and scouts.

Once things open back up, however, I’d think there’d be a big hiring rush. Hopefully this is just temporary for everyone.

That depends upon whether MLB moves forward with the plan to contract the minor leagues. Fewer leagues means fewer players needed, therefore fewer scouts, fewer managers and coaching staffs, etc.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan

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14 hours ago, RBM said:

How is baseball different from another business having to harm families during this pandemic ?

It is a legally protected monopoly that generates billions of dollars in revenue annually with no outside oversight.  Not many other businesses can claim that privilege.

Dipoto is telling long-time employees, in key positions to go away and seek employment elsewhere. Dipoto is rebuilding the organization from the ground up with "his people" using COVID as cover.

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I have no sympathy for the Mariners in this situation. This is similar to what the WWE did with releasing a ton of their talent (Wrestlers) despite having a ton of cash on hand, and reporting its highest profits ever this past quarter. I don't know how much of this was Dipoto/McKay or how much was Mariners ownership, but I find the timing of this to be very callus.

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40 minutes ago, eligrba said:

It is a legally protected monopoly that generates billions of dollars in revenue annually with no outside oversight.  Not many other businesses can claim that privilege.

Dipoto is telling long-time employees, in key positions to go away and seek employment elsewhere. Dipoto is rebuilding the organization from the ground up with "his people" using COVID as cover.

I don’t think the reserve clause and anti-trust law factor in here. And I’m not certain this is a Dipoto thing. 
 

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34 minutes ago, RBM said:

I don’t think the reserve clause and anti-trust law factor in here. And I’m not certain this is a Dipoto thing. 
 

It may not be a Dipoto thing, but he has not established a trustworthy persona for me to exclude him. You are probably more correct than I am.

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2 hours ago, John Taylor said:

I have no sympathy for the Mariners in this situation. This is similar to what the WWE did with releasing a ton of their talent (Wrestlers) despite having a ton of cash on hand, and reporting its highest profits ever this past quarter. I don't know how much of this was Dipoto/McKay or how much was Mariners ownership, but I find the timing of this to be very callus.

I think JD is a snake but given the economic situation it's hard to pin it on him or any GM that may find himself in a similar situation.. 

Say what you will about his time as GM of the Angels, one thing he didn't do was to go in firing all the scouts and installing his guys.  The Ms had assembled a really good scouting department, they struggled to develop guys but they were good at spotting guys. So Jerry deserves credit for having mostly kept the status quo.

It looks bad, but so did the Angels furloughs...

 

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