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The case against Dipoto


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I have fully accepted that this team may struggle to win 70 games this year.  I was on board the Scioscia is the problem.  But, I'm now on the Dipoto is the problem train. 

 

Starting pitching:  Other than Blanton, the team has actually had good enough starting pitching to compete. 

 

Jerome Williams - 2.87 ERA

Jason Vargas - 3.74 ERA

Jered Weaver - 3.77 ERA

CJ Wilson - 4.02 ERA

Tommy Hanson - 4.12 ERA

Joe Blanton - 5.87

 

Take away Blanton, you actually have a decent staff.  Who's call was it to sign Blanton?  That's right. 

 

Relief Pitching:  4.20 Bullpen ERA is very mediocre.  But, the team has had to deal with lots of injuries in the bullpen to the point where guys like Enright, Lowe have seen some time.  Burnett and Madson were expected to contribute, but that hasn't panned out.  Both of those acquisitions were high risk high reward types. 

 

Offense:  Middle of the pack as far as runs scored.  But, the big money players have contributed very little.  Bourjos who was playing well early in the season spent a significant time in the DL.  Kendrick, although leading the team in batting average, has failed in many key situations where doing anything besides GIDP would score a run.  There are only 4 players with a 1+ Offensive War at this point of the season, one of which is Iaanetta who really only contributes with his ability to draw walks.  These mistakes are compounded by Scioscia taking too long to adjust.  For example, Aybar with his .283 OBP is clearly not suited to lead-off, yet he spent a month there.  Trumbo finally became the clean-up hitter after about a month of watching Hamilton do his best impression of Mathis. 

 

Defense:  The fact that this team is tied for last with the Astros, pretty much says it all.  Not necessarily Dipoto's fault. 

 

Bottom line.  Dipoto took a lot of gambles that haven't paid off.  Yes, he got rid of Vernon Wells, only to replace him with a player worse than Wells.  His call to extend the likes of Aybar and Kendrick is looking like it'll hurt the team long term.  And, with no real payroll room to work with, there's really no signficant FA moves to make. 

 

 

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Blanton was a horrible signing, but so was Ryan Madson.

 

Who in their right mind signs a player not yet healthy enough to perform at even the most basic level?  There's not much difference between a person confined to a hospital bed and an athlete told he can't resume sporting activities for months to come. 

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Blanton was a horrible signing, but so was Ryan Madson.

 

Who in their right mind signs a player not yet healthy enough to perform at even the most basic level?  There's not much difference between a person confined to a hospital bed and an athlete told he can't resume sporting activities for months to come. 

this

 

it's mind blowing to me.

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Dipoto took a lot of risks and just about none of them have worked out. I like the fact that he tried but I think its now questionable how smart of a baseball man he is. But being a forgiving sort of guy, perhaps to a fault, I'd like to see what he can do to fix this mess and even as I'm no longer enamored of him, I'm also not convinced that he is NOT a smart guy and can't fix this. He deserves a chance. I think you don't consider firing him until May of next year, but if I were Arte I'd have Jerry on a short leash; I wouldn't settle for less than contention next year.

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Dipoto took a lot of risks and just about none of them have worked out. I like the fact that he tried but I think its now questionable how smart of a baseball man he is. But being a forgiving sort of guy, perhaps to a fault, I'd like to see what he can do to fix this mess and even as I'm no longer enamored of him, I'm also not convinced that he is NOT a smart guy and can't fix this. He deserves a chance. I think you don't consider firing him until May of next year, but if I were Arte I'd have Jerry on a short leash; I wouldn't settle for less than contention next year.

 

Ya, I mostly agree with this.

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Also, how are the Kendrick and Aybar extensions "looking like they'll hurt the team long term"?

I think it's just me thinking over and over that extending Aybar enabled or gave the green light to trade away Segura. I mean, Aybar isn't a bad player, but there's absolutely no upside to him. He pretty much is the player he has been for the past 4 years. But? It just stings that this team could throw out a line-up that has Trout and Segura in it everyday.

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I never bought into the genius tag. I saw the look on Scioscia's face at the Pujols presser. He didn't look very happy about all the "Thank you Jerry" shouts. Dipoto still brags about his so-called stealth deal to acquire Chris Iannetta. Enough said!

Yeah, it really doesn't take a genius to get a player to sign on by throwing a quarter of a billion at 'em.

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It's dipoto's fault that just about every player on the team has underperformed, and this teams plays awful fundamental baseball? What about nearly every free agent that's come here playing significantly worse than before they got here? And the terrible bullpen decisions, handling of the lineup, and motivation of guys to play hard and give a damn? That's all on dipoto, huh.

The GM has made a couple questionable moves, but eventually the coaching staff has to be held accountable for how this team performs (or not, in the angels case). The coaching, managing, and player development has been piss poor in this organization for the past 4 seasons now. And it starts with the fat man at the top.

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I have fully accepted that this team may struggle to win 70 games this year.  I was on board the Scioscia is the problem.  But, I'm now on the Dipoto is the problem train. 

 

Starting pitching:  Other than Blanton, the team has actually had good enough starting pitching to compete. 

 

Jerome Williams - 2.87 ERA

Jason Vargas - 3.74 ERA

Jered Weaver - 3.77 ERA

CJ Wilson - 4.02 ERA

Tommy Hanson - 4.12 ERA

Joe Blanton - 5.87

 

Take away Blanton, you actually have a decent staff.  Who's call was it to sign Blanton?  That's right. 

 

Blanton has never been as bad as he is this year. The next worst full season (he was injured for much of 2011) was 2006, when he had an ERA a full run lower than it is now (same ERA in 2010) and a WHIP just a little lower than his current 1.63. So this is the worst year of his career. Was Dipoto supposed to expect this? He's still only 32, so age shouldn't be a factor yet.

 

Don't forget, Dipoto traded for/signed most of the rest of the "decent staff" in CJ, Vargas (who deserved to win tonight), and Hanson.

 

Relief Pitching:  4.20 Bullpen ERA is very mediocre.  But, the team has had to deal with lots of injuries in the bullpen to the point where guys like Enright, Lowe have seen some time.  Burnett and Madson were expected to contribute, but that hasn't panned out.  Both of those acquisitions were high risk high reward types. 

 

How was Burnett a high-risk high-reward type? He had not been on the DL since returning to the majors in 2008, and in that 5-year span averaged 68 appearances/year. Madson was actually low-risk high reward, considering that he signed a small contract with lots of incentives that he won't make. And he traded two AAAA players to get Frieri, who, while inconsistent, has been one of the better relievers on this team for the last year.

 

Offense:  Middle of the pack as far as runs scored.  But, the big money players have contributed very little.  Bourjos who was playing well early in the season spent a significant time in the DL.  Kendrick, although leading the team in batting average, has failed in many key situations where doing anything besides GIDP would score a run.  There are only 4 players with a 1+ Offensive War at this point of the season, one of which is Iaanetta who really only contributes with his ability to draw walks.  These mistakes are compounded by Scioscia taking too long to adjust.  For example, Aybar with his .283 OBP is clearly not suited to lead-off, yet he spent a month there.  Trumbo finally became the clean-up hitter after about a month of watching Hamilton do his best impression of Mathis. 

 

Pujols was not Dipoto's signing. This was all Arte, probably to secure that fat Fox Sports contract. Obviously, his injury (up to this point, he's never played fewer than 143 games) has sapped a lot of his ability, and there was risk in giving him a 10-year deal, but I firmly believe that this was Arte's idea and not Dipoto's.

Hamilton, we all knew, was not going to be as good as he was in Texas. But none of us thought he would be this bad, either. Yes, he looked bad most of last season, but he's always been hot and cold. When he's hot, he can carry a team. Unfortunately for this year, even if that happens, it's too late for it to do any good.

By the way, guess who is hitting .298/.354/.561/.915 with RISP this year? Surprise, it is one Howard Joseph Kendrick. And he was extended on a very team-friendly contract, and is still one of the top 2B in the league.

Aybar? Yeah, he's sucked so far this year, as he did in the first half last year (.264/.297/.365/.662), and with those stats, should not be leading off (that's certainly not on Dipoto). But just remember last year's second half (.326/.361/.484/.845) shows that he can still be a quality player (stupid mental/baserunning errors notwithstanding...of course that can be fixed with coaching).

 

Defense:  The fact that this team is tied for last with the Astros, pretty much says it all.  Not necessarily Dipoto's fault. 

 

Not on Dipoto, correct. That's coaching. This team is better than that. We've seen it in the past.

 

Bottom line.  Dipoto took a lot of gambles that haven't paid off.  Yes, he got rid of Vernon Wells, only to replace him with a player worse than Wells.  His call to extend the likes of Aybar and Kendrick is looking like it'll hurt the team long term.  And, with no real payroll room to work with, there's really no signficant FA moves to make. 

 

Who did he replace Wells with? Hamilton was already here. If anything, Hamilton was Hunter's replacement, which does look bad in as much hindsight as we can muster two and a half months in. Aybar and Kendrick don't have the kind of contracts that will hurt long-term. Pujols and Hamilton do, certainly (mostly Pujols), but not the team-friendly deals that our middle infielders got. And at least Blanton is only here another year, and Madson's deal was only one year. So little pain there.

 

This team has a lot of blame to go around, but Dipoto, in my book, gets much more than he should.

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I think it's interesting how we as a society (or mini-society) are so willing to cast blame.  Why is that?  Couldn't it be that the sum of the parts just doesn't work? Why has Scioscia lost his ability to lead and coach?  Why have we assumed that DiPoto is "to blame"? Perhaps Arte's will to market is the real culprit.  A reason in which he overrules his GM because he wants to "make a splash." Perhaps after Hamilton, Moreno said to DiPoto that there wasn't much money left in the budget and get what you can and we'll worry about additions later. 

 

I dunno, I guess that the simple fact is that NOBODY here knows the answer and this rampant speculation only serves to cast negative lights upon everybody in the organization, completely devoid of facts or logic.  All of the negativity gets really tiring and I wonder about the ultimate purpose or benefit of this incessant collective negative narrative.

 

Maybe we shouldn't watch anymore. 

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I am still not sure how to isolate fault for this season.  The only team effort this franchise has achieved from the top down is failure.  

 

Owner, President, GM, Manager, Coaches, Players, Trainers, Scouts etc.  It's quite the effort

 

Has dipoto made mistakes? Absolutely

 

The biggest question is can we truly blame JD for the failure of pujols and hamilton this early in each's contract?

 

I say no freakin way.  That is on the individual player without a doubt. 

 

But if you think so, then I could see how the large portion of this debacle would be on him. 

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I think Aybar is seriously overrated.

 

If anything Aybar is underrated. Before this year three of his last four seasons had WARs of 3.6 to 3.9, which while not being a true star makes him a very good player. As Mark68 pointed out, he started slowly last year as well and had a very good season. That said...

 

I think it's just me thinking over and over that extending Aybar enabled or gave the green light to trade away Segura. I mean, Aybar isn't a bad player, but there's absolutely no upside to him. He pretty much is the player he has been for the past 4 years. But? It just stings that this team could throw out a line-up that has Trout and Segura in it everyday.

 

Good point. I think the "Segura Situation" is another example of poor talent judgment on the part of the Angels. Segura has already started to cool off (a bit) and my guess is more of a .300/.850 player than the .340/.950 player he's been so far. But that's still very, very good - and better than Kendrick and Aybar. If you have a star prospect who is more talented than your regulars, why extend the regulars and trade the prospect? I know, I know - how could Dipoto have known Segura would be this good? But the problem, again, is that time and time again Dipoto seems to miss the mark.

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If anything Aybar is underrated. Before this year three of his last four seasons had WARs of 3.6 to 3.9, which while not being a true star makes him a very good player. As Mark68 pointed out, he started slowly last year as well and had a very good season. That said...

 

I don't think WAR tells the full story about Aybar.

 

1.  His success is attributable to pure talent because...

2.  He's dumb as an ox. 

 

Guys of his mold very rarely make it to age 35 in MLB.  You know the ones I'm talking about -- the small guys who are great defensively, but with little to medium offensive potential.  Their skills suddenly begin to erode and many of them don't have the brains to adapt and succeed in other ways.  A familiar case in point is Chone Figgins, but there are many, many more. 

 

My rationale for saying Aybar is overrated isn't so much his current performance, but in thinking he's so great that he deserves a contract extension through 2016.  This could easily turn into a mistake.

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I have yet to see someone against Dipoto tell me who he should have signed/traded for instead. Even with hindsight, no one has a good answer. If these players were living up to expectations, we would be fine. But they are not and we want to blame him?

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I have yet to see someone against Dipoto tell me who he should have signed/traded for instead. Even with hindsight, no one has a good answer. If these players were living up to expectations, we would be fine. But they are not and we want to blame him?

Exactly! The free agent starting pitching available was weak last off season. People called for JD to sign a Saunders or Haren or McCarthy who have produced almost identical stats to Blanton and Hanson. Sadly it seems he had no choice but to take a chance and hope his picks worked out. Unfortunately for jerry he was forced into such moves due to a lack of pitching already in the system which we cannot really blame him for.

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