On the future of Angels management

Jeff Gross

Tuesday morning, I went to ESPN.com's scoreboard page and found this very quick video blog from Buster Olney, which was all about the Angels' management situation ...

Angels owner Arte Moreno gave an interview to MLB.com, in which he does not guarantee the future of manager Mike Scioscia or general manager Jerry DiPoto with the team beyond this season. He essentially said, "This is something that will be evaluated after the 2013 season."

Now, in my opinion I don't know how you could fire either Scioscia or DiPoto, given what's gone on there the last couple of years. They were not the ones who made the decision to invest the big dollars in Albert Pujols, or Josh Hamilton. That was really Arte Moreno's decision. You can't blame the state of the pitching staff on DiPoto, who hasn't been there long enough, really, to put his imprint on that team. And you can't blame it on Mike Scioscia. The bottom line is they're not gonna win unless their pitching gets better. Currently they rank 29th.

But they may have reached a point where Arte Moreno just wants to have different people in place in those jobs.

Well, "they" may have reached that point. "They" also might have.

I will quibble for a moment with one of Olney's points ... DiPoto hasn't been there long enough to make his imprint on the pitching staff? He took over as general manager at the opening of the 2011-2012 off-season. This season, six pitchers have started at least a dozen games for the Angels, and four of them -- C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, and Tommy Hanson -- have been acquired by DiPoto. The Angels' two busiest relief pitchers -- Ernesto Frieri and Dane De La Rosa -- both were acquired by DiPoto.

I am not really second-guessing DiPoto, because I didn't take serious issue with any of those acquisitions, really. At the time, they all seemed reasonable enough to me. But this pitching staff is largely Jerry DiPoto's pitching staff. It's been awful because Blanton and Hanson have both been complete busts, and it's been awful because almost nobody in the bullpen has pitched well this season. Yes, it's been awful.

* Although it's hardly been the second-worst in the majors, as Olney suggests. Figuring in the DH and ballparks and stuff, it's been more like the fifth-worst in the majors. Which is plenty bad enough.

About Hamilton and Pujols ... well, Buster Olney would know better than I. Of course, one of the general manager's big jobs is talking the owner into spending money. And on some clubs, one of the general manager's big jobs is talking the owner out of spending big money. Which is why I can't completely excuse a general manager for the stupid things his boss might do. Jerry DiPoto does seem like a smart guy, and there's no way anybody could have predicted just how disastrous both of those contracts would look, this soon. It's worth recalling that the Angels were the favorites in the American League West in 2012, and (approximately) co-favorites in 2013. On paper, they were supposed to be a lot better than they actually were (and are).

It's unlikely that Jerry DiPoto has become dumber, or that Scioscia has become a lesser manager. But Moreno wouldn't be the first owner to think that everything in the organization was messed up but himself.

For much more about the Seraphs, please visit SB Nation's Halos Heaven, forthwith.

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