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  • Dodgers dump DePodesta

    Report: Dodgers on verge of firing general manager news services

    Owner Frank McCourt might fire Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta this weekend, two Los Angeles newspapers reported Saturday.

    The team is continuing its search to hire a new manager, but it's apparently on hold pending McCourt talking to DePodesta, sources in the organization told The Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.

    DePodesta has been with the team since 2004 and has three years remaining on his contract.

    Earlier in the week, Orel Hershiser interviewed for the manager's job. Hershiser, one of the key members of the 1988 World Series championship team, met with McCourt and adviser Tommy Lasorda, but not DePodesta, The Times reported.

    The Dodgers' managerial job became vacant Oct. 3 when the team and Jim Tracy agreed that he would not return. Tracy and DePodesta cited "philosophical differences" as the reason for the mutual decision to call it quits.

    Tracy, 49, signed a three-year contract Oct. 11 to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Hershiser, current pitching coach of the Rangers, was the sixth candidate to be interviewed for the Dodgers' job. The others are Terry Collins, the team's director of player development who previously managed the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels; Alan Trammell, fired as manager of the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 3; Jerry Royster, manager of the Dodgers' Triple-A team in Las Vegas; Torey Lovullo, a manager in the Cleveland Indians' system; and Ron Wotus, bench coach for the Giants.[/b][/quote]

    DePodesta on the Way Out
    Dodger general manager, who has been searching for Tracy's successor, is expected to be fired. McCourt will make the decision.

    By Steve Henson and Tim Brown, Times Staff Writers

    On the heels of a fourth-place finish and in the midst of a managerial search, the Dodgers are expected to fire General Manager Paul DePodesta, perhaps as early as this weekend, highly placed sources in the organization said Friday.

    Barring a change of heart by Frank McCourt, all that is left is for the Dodger owner to meet with DePodesta and make an announcement. DePodesta did not speak with McCourt as of late Friday, although the owner and his wife, team President Jamie McCourt, were in their offices into the early evening.

    Neither DePodesta nor McCourt would comment. Dodger spokeswoman Camille Johnston said she could not confirm that DePodesta, who has three years remaining on his contract, would be fired. However, a conference call DePodesta had scheduled with reporters to discuss the managerial search was canceled and McCourt postponed a dinner with Terry Collins, who had been considered the leading candidate.

    DePodesta had philosophical differences with former manager Jim Tracy, and the new hire was to be a final piece in transforming the Dodgers into his vision. DePodesta presided over organizational meetings for three days this week, giving lengthy reports to scouts about every player on the major league roster.

    But he did not meet with managerial candidate Orel Hershiser on Tuesday. Hershiser, the Texas Ranger pitching coach and former Dodger, instead had a lengthy dinner with McCourt and senior advisor Tom Lasorda.

    DePodesta's departure would bring an abrupt close to a turbulent chapter in Dodger history characterized by complex statistical analysis and Ivy League credentials.

    A Harvard graduate, DePodesta was only 31 when McCourt hired him shortly after purchasing the team in January 2004. DePodesta had been the assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics, a small-market team that thrived in part because of innovative roster building. Athletic General Manager Billy Beane declined an invitation to be interviewed then, and recommended his protege.

    The Dodgers flourished in DePodesta's first season, winning the National League West Division title, making their first postseason appearance since 1996 and winning their first playoff game since 1988. But DePodesta stunned Dodger fans and many players by trading popular catcher Paul Lo Duca and two other players at midseason, providing the first hint that he was less concerned with team chemistry than assembling the pieces he believed necessary to win.

    The off-season brought an avalanche of changes. Popular outfielder Shawn Green was traded and power-hitting third baseman Adrian Beltre was allowed to leave as a free agent. The Dodgers spent $144 million on free agents — second in baseball to the New York Mets — and among the signings was second baseman Jeff Kent, who led the Dodgers in most offensive categories.

    Yet many observers believed DePodesta should not have re-signed enigmatic pitcher Odalis Perez and that he overspent for outfielder J.D. Drew and pitchers Derek Lowe — both of whom are represented by agent Scott Boras.

    The Dodgers jumped out to a 12-2 start, but injuries and poor play soon derailed the season, and the team's record of 71-91 was its worst since 1992 and second-worst since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. Among the injured were closer Eric Gagne, outfielder Milton Bradley, shortstop Cesar Izturis and Drew — whom DePodesta had signed to a five-year, $55-million contract despite a history of injuries.

    The holes were filled mostly by rookies — 20 first-year players were used, the most in baseball — but few stood out. No Dodgers were on Baseball America's first or second All-Rookie teams.

    When Bradley and Kent feuded near the end of the regular season, leading to confusion and enmity among the players, it was McCourt — not DePodesta — who addressed the clubhouse in a closed-door meeting.

    The low-key, introverted DePodesta gained a reputation for not communicating well, both within and outside Dodger Stadium. Although he is personable and articulate, he has never seemed entirely comfortable in the public eye, whether talking to the media, players or Dodger administrative employees.

    Losing was new for DePodesta. The teams he worked for every year since breaking into baseball as a low-level front-office employee with Cleveland in 1997 had posted winning records. Yet he seemed to gain resolve, saying the last week of the season, "This experience has made me feel taller. I'm more convinced than ever that the Dodgers eventually will be a dynasty."

    As the season wound down, he pondered whether to fire Tracy, who could barely conceal his resentment toward the plethora of roster changes and had given the Dodgers an ultimatum: Either extend his contract and give him a raise, or he would opt out of the last year of his current deal.

    On Oct. 3, the day after the season finale, the Dodgers announced they had "parted ways" with Tracy, who was hired to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates eight days later. DePodesta soon announced a list of five managerial candidates, and it became clear that the leader was Collins, the Dodger farm director.

    McCourt gave DePodesta a vote of confidence during an interview with The Times on Oct. 6, but he also made it clear he would not tolerate another losing season.

    "The tremendous success we had last year and the huge disappointment this year just reinforced that it is a path, a plan, an overall approach to win consistently," McCourt said. "You can't get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. We're not as smart as we seemed in 2004 and not as dumb as we seemed this year.

    "You've got to be steady and have a plan and be smart enough to adjust the plan, but stay the course."

    Now it appears the course has changed dramatically. Collins' interview with McCourt was perhaps the last step before he would be hired. However, the interview is postponed until Monday.

    The Dodgers announced Friday they have eliminated from consideration triple-A manager Jerry Royster, San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus and Cleveland minor league manager Torey Lovullo. That leaves only Collins, Hershiser and fired Detroit manager Alan Trammell among those who have interviewed. But the Dodgers also have made contact with former Met manager Bobby Valentine, whose team won the Japan Series this week.

    DePodesta personifies the new wave of well-educated young executives who have not played in the major leagues. The trend hasn't abated if the recent hirings of 28-year-old Cornell graduate Jon Daniels by the Texas Rangers and 35-year-old Josh Byrnes by the Arizona Diamondbacks are an indication.

    But given his displeasure with DePodesta, McCourt is likely to seek a general manager with a verifiable track record.

    Pat Gillick, who interviewed for the Dodger job before it was given to DePodesta, is vying to become general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Gerry Hunsicker, the architect of the World Series runner-up Houston Astros, quit after last season and has interviewed with the Phillies as well.

    John Hart this month resigned from the Rangers. Jim Bowden has interviewed with the Dodgers before, and while he recently received a six-month extension with the Washington Nationals, he was a candidate in Arizona.

    Other potential candidates include Mark Newman (senior vice president, New York Yankees), Kevin Towers (general manager, San Diego), and Dennis Gilbert (special advisor to the chairman, Chicago White Sox).

    "I have gained an appreciation of how difficult it is to win, that's fair to say," McCourt said three weeks ago. "It's a huge task to win, and we have set the bar higher to win on a consistent basis. I'm mindful and respectful of the task and aware of how high we set the bar here."[/b][/quote]

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."


    • #3
      I think DePo might be getting a bit of th shaft here. He got shafted on the Brad Penny deal, where first he was supposed to get Randy Johnson before the Backs changed their end of the deal, and then he got hurt Letting Beltre go ended up being a good move. Signing Kent was a good move. The Drew signing stung, but I wonder how much of that had to do with pressure from McCourt to make a big signing when he was being accused of being cheap.
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      • #4
        Good move by the Dodgers. DePodesta was awful, which was pretty surprising to me.
        In Construction

        (the move messed it up)


        • #5
          QUOTE(Brosnan2715 @ Oct 29 2005, 02:09 PM) Quoted post

          Good move by the Dodgers. DePodesta was awful, which was pretty surprising to me.
          you know who is especially awful? Frank McCourt....

          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy


          • #6
            It's on the front page of the LA Times. Thought DePodesta might be in a bit over his head--building your team on the Brittle Brothers, Drew and Bradley, wasn't a good idea--but canned this soon? Bit of a hair trigger there.
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            "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011


            • #7
              QUOTE(kah @ Oct 29 2005, 02:47 PM) Quoted post

              It's on the front page of the LA Times. Thought DePodesta might be in a bit over his head--building your team on the Brittle Brothers, Drew and Bradley, wasn't a good idea--but canned this soon? Bit of a hair trigger there.
              Yep, he's officially canned now.....

              McCourt is a moron....

              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy


              • #8
                For some reason I thought Bud Black might be in the running for manager. Doesn't look like he's even gotten an interview.
                Of course you do.


                • #9
                  There's a certain ring to a Hershiser-Bobby V pairing

                  By Peter Gammons
                  Special to

                  Oct. 29

                  Two days from Halloween, baseball was a week from its annual general managers meetings in Palm Springs. And the Dodgers, Phillies and Devil Rays did not have general managers, and likely won't have GMs, before the meetings begin on Nov. 6. Then there's Theo Epstein, who may or may not be a free agent come Halloween night.

                  For weeks, L.A. owner Frank McCourt had insisted that, despite media pressure, GM Paul DePodesta's job was safe. After all, in his first year with the Dodgers, DePodesta's team won the National League West and won a postseason game for the first time since 1988. This season, they fell with players spending more than 1,400 games on the disabled list.

                  But after meeting with Orel Hershiser and Tom Lasorda, McCourt, ever sensitive to the Los Angeles media, changed direction. Friday, DePodesta was ordered to meet with ownership at 10 p.m. PT, and was subsequently dismissed. Now, what could be better PR to sell the Dodger tradition than hiring Hershiser as GM and bringing Dodger blueblood -- and Lasorda favorite -- Bobby Valentine back as manager from his historic triumph in Japan.

                  "Don't bet against it," said one person acquainted with the scene. "Tommy really wants Bobby back with the Dodgers."

                  It's different with the Phillies, who have acted with patience and diligence since firing Ed Wade, waiting to see if Brian Cashman and/or Epstein were available before interviewing proven GMs Gerry Hunsicker and Pat Gillick. It's also different with Tampa Bay, where 28-year-old Andrew Friedman is seeking a baseball man with whom he can work (don't bet against Billy Owens, Oakland's director of player personnel, here).

                  Meanwhile, Epstein's extension with the Red Sox could be announced Monday, after hashing out the relationship between baseball operations and the business/spin floors of the Red Sox offices. The biggest question is whether or not Epstein wants to remain in a situation where revenues and publicity rule, or whether he wants to do social work like his brother, Paul, and find a situation where he can do what he loves -- developing a team with talented young players.

                  Larry Lucchino has been fingered as the heavy, which is unfair; with all they expend on expanding revenues and spinning the Red Sox Nation schtick, they are addicted to the immediacy of the talk-show callers, afraid of taking a necessary step back from selling Fenway tours and pieces of sod at $150 apiece to build a better team for a longer view than 2006 (of course, if Manny Ramirez sticks to his trade demands, the Red Sox will have no choice but to step back).

                  If Epstein stays, he has to replace Josh Byrnes, now the Diamondbacks' new GM. Jed Hoyer will move up into Byrnes' spot, but as everyone in the organization knows, Byrnes did just about everything, which means Boston may have to find a director of professional scouting.

                  Credit Jeff Moorad. Arizona's general partner was immediately taken by Byrnes, who contrary to those who do not know him, is not only a brilliant office detail man, but an emotionally stable person who has tremendous relationships with his scouts.

                  "Josh is first and foremost a scout, not a stats guy," said Red Sox assistant GM Craig Shipley. "He has great scouting instincts."

                  "Everyone I talked to referred to Josh as 'one of the finest persons they'd ever met,' " said Moorad. True.

                  What most frustrated DePodesta was that -- with arguably baseball's best farm system about to give the Dodgers a potential dynasty by 2007 -- he was not given the opportunity to implement what he saw as his viable plan.

                  "There is talent here to build a Dodger dynasty for a long period of time," said DePodesta.

                  "I told Paul he is better off being out of that situation," said another general manager. "It is crazy."

                  Like the Dodger situation, Byrnes has taken over a team with a bevy of outstanding prospects like Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin, thanks to Arizona scouting director Mike Rizzo. The D-Backs, unlike the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers, are not addicted to the here and now.

                  At the general managers meetings three years ago, Billy Beane agreed to a $2.5 million-a-year deal to run the Red Sox, then changed his mind because of family concerns. He has never regretted that decision.

                  "I have the autonomy to run the A's the way I want, within the parameters of the owner's economics," said Beane. "I told John Henry at the time, 'you have the right guy in Theo.' "

                  But with all the CEO, corporate marketing, spin doctoring and media pressure that come with the Yankee, Red Sox and Dodger brands, it makes one wonder: If what you wanted all your life was to be a general manager, do you want a baseball job, like Beane and Byrnes, the Indians' Mark Shapiro and Ken Williams of the world champion White Sox, or do you want to be a part of a soap opera? [/b][/quote]

                  "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                  Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                  -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy