Dallas, Tex. -- Six weeks ago, Jerry DiPoto was hired as the Los Angeles Angels' new general manager.
Thursday afternoon in Dallas, at baseball's Winter Meetings, DiPoto took center stage in a press conference to announce the Angels had entered agreements to sign free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
While DiPoto wouldn't discuss contractual specifics, he did respond to a question about the general nature of the process by saying, ""It's a tribute to the aggressive nature, the competitive nature of our owner." Which rings true, considering what these two contracts will do to the Angels' payroll in the coming years.
Fortunately, one reporter in the press conference did bring up the question that's been in everyone's mind ... How old is Albert Pujols, anyway? DiPoto did address the question, but of course didn't express any doubt ...
"Albert Pujols's age, to me, is not an issue. He is an honorable man, he is a respectable man."
"I don't think that we've seen the last of Albert Pujols's great seasons."
"He hits like a 27-year-old."
DiPoto was also asked about Mark Trumbo, who a) finished second in this year's Rookie of the Year balloting, and b) as a first baseman, seems to have just lost his position. Particularly with DH Bobby Abreu under contract in 2012.
DiPoto on Trumbo: "We have first-base at-bats, we have DH at-bats, we have outfield at-bats. Mark Trumbo is particularly athletic, has played a little bit at third base, he's got a history in the outfield."
Well, okay. But they don't have many first-base at-bats or many DH at-bats. They've also got Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout in the outfield. As for third base ... I played a little bit of third base, too. That grand experiment lasted for three games and five errors. I doubt if we'll see Trumbo over there for more than a couple of games in March. Just a proof of concept, however failed.
So hey, if you're looking for a first baseman who needs to learn the strike zone, call the Angels.
At one point, DiPoto said, ""I can't say in my wildest dreams I thought I would be sitting here today."
That makes two of us, Jerry. That makes two of us.