One of the names that Red Sox fans had been hearing a good deal about over the last couple months was Jerry Dipoto. After leaving his post as general manager of the Anaheim Angels on July 1st following a much discussed rocky relationship with manager Mike Scioscia, Dipoto was hired by Boston to be a consultant tasked with primarily evaluating minor leaguers and prospects within the organization. While it’s difficult for an outsider to truly grasp the job Dipoto did, all indications from those within the organization suggested that he brought a good deal of knowledge with him and was doing a stellar job.
That all changed on Tuesday when the Seattle Mariners officially announced that they had hired Dipoto to be their new general manager, replacing Jack Zduriencik who hadn’t met expectations with a solid Seattle roster on paper. The fact that Dipoto was without a job as general manager for only three months should tell you how he is thought of around the league.
“His basic task was to review our personnel in the organization and then report on them, which he did. He did a great job…”
According to an AP article on ESPN.com, at his introductory press conference, Dipoto said, “I think the one that we are missing right now is just a general roster depth. The lineup needs to be a little longer, the rotation needs to be a little deeper, the bullpen needs to have more layers than it presently has. That’s something through hard work, scouting, the use of proper analytics you can turn over a couple of rocks and find a guy here and there, and create depth on a roster that allows you to be competitive quickly.”
While Dipoto was important to Boston over the course of the summer, John Henry elected to hire Dave Dombrowski as team president of baseball operations in August. With then GM Ben Cherington stepping down, Dombrowski focused on the big league club with help from what was left of the front office including the recently promoted Mike Hazen and relied heavily on Dipoto’s voice in regards to the minor league portion of the organization.
According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Dombrowski explained Dipoto’s role with the team – “His basic task was to review our personnel in the organization and then report on them, which he did. He did a great job, had a very thorough assessment of our talent, and gave me the information. He also, when he was around, contributed to other ways in talking about general baseball. It was great. He supplemented the information I already had from people in the organization, so the combination of getting that from within, but while also getting it from an outside observer, was great. It was very good and really good information.”
Dombrowski also stressed his desire to see Dipoto stay with the Red Sox in some fashion for the foreseeable future, but that wasn’t in the cards with other teams in the league swooping in for interviews and Dipoto eventually coming to terms with the Mariners. Sure, it would have been nice to see all of these bright minds working in unison with the success of the Red Sox as the ultimate goal, but that was almost impossible with Dombrowski hand selected by ownership to be the decision maker. With Mike Hazen being selected to move up to general manager and the hiring of Frank Wren as the VP of baseball operations, it seemed inevitable that Dipoto would find a more prominent role with another team.
While there are certainly high hopes for the Red Sox going forward under the leadership of Dombrowski, it will be interesting to see how Dipoto fairs in Seattle compared to Dombrowski’s tenure in Boston. Only time will tell, and hopefully Red Sox fans aren’t left wondering “What if…” when it’s all said and done.
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