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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Something Ventured, Nothing Gained: DePodesta To Be Fired
2005-10-29 10:19
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Won't take long to analyze this one. I have spent too long showing why Paul DePodesta has, while not being perfect (a standard no person meets), improved the Dodgers and positioned them to be a perennial title contender.

Like Jim Tracy or not, like DePodesta or not, the firing of first one and then the other proves that the McCourt ownership is incompetent.

The McCourts can't even follow their own counsel.

"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," Frank McCourt told the Times on October 6. "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."

Despicable.

It's not the end of the world - the Dodgers will have a winning season perhaps as soon as next year and intermittently down the road. But there's no celebrating having your team run by folks with the sophistication of 3-year-olds in the sandbox.

Stay cool, everyone.

Other reaction: 6-4-2, Baseball Analysts, L.A. Observed

Comments (401)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-10-29 10:24:57
1.   Rich Lederer
This is a(nother)sad day for the Dodgers.
2005-10-29 10:25:10
2.   Romyrick
Count me out.
2005-10-29 10:25:52
3.   underdog
I'm just reposting what I wrote in the previous thread, now that this topic has been raised here, to get this going again...

I woke up to see the LAT story, too. Unless McCourt has something up his sleeve that we're currently in the dark about, this would be so embarassing. You'd think they'd have a better understanding of PR, for one thing, and this would be bad PR, a sign the franchise is basically in disarray, instead of how it appeared, which was, franchise with a bad season behind it, looking for a manager to get the team back on the winning track. I don't understand this at all - we were supposed to believe in DePo's system for another year at least, to give him time after his first full year was a mess caused by mostly injuries and, arguably, a mediocre manager that he hadn't hired.
Now what are we supposed to believe?

Maybe he's going to hire Collins as GM and Hershiser as manager?

Well, if he does fire DePo he could solve some of the PR chaos by hiring Kim Ng to replace him. Or, uh, Theo Epstein (won't happen). Otherwise, this is a serious mistake. I'll keep my eyes and ears on it...

Lastly, help! Is there anything we can do? A McCourt batphone we can call?

2005-10-29 10:26:56
4.   Warren
Pure speculation but who thinks Hershisher might get a shot at GM? After his meeting with McCourt talk of him being the manager almost instantly took a backseat to rumors about him taking a front office position. And if I remember 1988 we were told over and over how brillant Orel was.
2005-10-29 10:27:40
5.   Steve
Are we all so excited for the Dodger front office to be on the same page now?
2005-10-29 10:27:58
6.   Telemachos
How can a Dodger fan continue to support a team run in this fashion?

(I'm asking rhetorically, not trying to inflame anything)

When a franchise has a down year or a rebuilding year, what gives fans hope is the thought that there is a plan in place. When McCourt hired Depo, it seemed very clear there was a plan in place. Even when Depo's moves were controversial, the plan was being followed and led to a division title and a playoff win. It also seems clear that it'd be so easy to write off this year to tremendous injuries and continue with the plan in the off-season.

Now, we can look forward to months, if not years, of more turmoil -- and how can anyone believe anything McCourt says again? (And I say this as one who's given him every benefit of the doubt and felt he had a bad rap, up until now).

2005-10-29 10:28:34
7.   Odysseus
I just sent a long, and very respectful email to the Dodgers from their website. I'm sure I will get a response along the lines of "we value your input" and the Dodgers will make this boneheaded mistake.

I suggest other Dodgers fans send similar respectful and heartfelt pleas not to fire DePodesta.

Whatever we end up with will almost surely be worse.

2005-10-29 10:29:14
8.   Kayaker7
Hello....Angels.

--Ex-Dodger Fan.

2005-10-29 10:30:42
9.   SMY
I don't think it's likely that Orel would be GM, but it wouldn't surprise me if Tommy were GM and Orel was his assistant and heir to the throne.
2005-10-29 10:30:54
10.   Humma Kavula
Reposted from the other thread:

I'm not ready to go as far as Kayaker -- I'm still going to renew my season tickets, because I want to watch live major league baseball and I don't want to drive to Anaheim -- but I agree that at best this is foolish and at worst it's a disaster for the franchise.

I am sad that DePodesta is gone. All depends on what his successor does. DePodesta protected the uberprospects at all costs, and I think it ultimately cost him his job. The next GM will probably have a mandate to trade some or -- gasp -- all of them. All we can do is wait and see how much of the future is mortgaged for 2006.

2005-10-29 10:31:58
11.   Steve
I think 4 raises a good issue -- we should wait until we see who gets hired. There are other peple who can advance the ball than DePodesta -- and DePodesta never helped himself in PR and communications issues -- that even his greatest supporters can agree with.

If Kim Ng is promoted, that might save this move. If he hires Towers or Bowden, then you have everything Jon said.

2005-10-29 10:32:55
12.   Odysseus
5 There is a very good chance I will lose interest in the Dodgers and begin following the exploits of the A's and/or Angels more closely.

It's not so much a conscious decision as the inevitable result of such a clearly boneheaded move that will likley result in dismantling the farm system and returning to "old school" conventional wisdom GMing that will likely prove unsuccesful.

2005-10-29 10:34:35
13.   Identity Crisis
I'm glad you wrote "Stay cool, everyone" at the bottom of your latest blog. That is what I have been trying to do since reading the LA Times and Daily News' respective sports pages. My first reaction was, "I'm through with this team until a new owner comes along....however long that may be." Now I just feel confused and angry.

When Orel went to dinner with the McCourts, Plaschke blasted DePo for not being there. But I thought there had to be a reason he was not there and it might be what is now coming to the surface.

So does DePo quit if McCourt says you have next season to prove your worth?

2005-10-29 10:34:48
14.   Dark Horse
God, what a nightmare. I'm not even a tremendous DePo supporter--the jury's been out so far, as seem(ed) appropriate--but the notion the McCourt's are merely tacking frenetically with the wind...the idea that Plaschke, Simers and (worst of all) Lasorda have as much influence...the idea that Jim Bowden (Oh God) or (please--) Tommy himself (no, noooooooo!) might succeed Depodesta...

Wake me when this is over, please. If we hire Terry Collins on top of this I may well have to abandon ship.

2005-10-29 10:34:51
15.   Odysseus
Rotoworld suggests that Pat Gillick is the only potential hire that would not be substantially worse.

He's pretty old though

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Gillick

2005-10-29 10:35:29
16.   Kayaker7
12 Yeah, well I live only 40 minutes' drive from the Angels Stadium. There is no point in steadfastly support a team with children for ownership.
2005-10-29 10:36:41
17.   Steve
14 tracks my thinking on this perfectly, and should give pause to even those whom are pleased by this decision.
2005-10-29 10:37:41
18.   King of the Hobos
I'm willing to wait to see who the replacement is (assuming there is one). I'm not too wrried if someone in the FO takes over (Ng, Smith, White, etc), as our prospects will be safe. There are some other replacements that I also wouldn't mind. However, if Bowden becomes GM of the Dodgers, then I could be done for the present time. I don't want Repko starting...
2005-10-29 10:38:11
19.   underdog
7. Where did you send them an email? I couldn't find it on the Dodgers.com site. Not that it will do any good, except make us feel better. But maybe if there's a massive uproar...

I could refuse to buy season., or any, tickets, but then I don't live in LA so that's not much of a threat.

If this is true, there better be a good plan in place immediately, rather than yet another long drawn out process. (And by good plan, I of course don't mean hiring Tommy Lasorda.)

2005-10-29 10:39:16
20.   Steve
18 -- another good point; a new guy will be feeling the pressure to trade prospects for middle relief crap and Joe Randa.
2005-10-29 10:39:44
21.   Telemachos
11 (a) Why would the McCourts make another "risky" move by hiring Kim Ng?

(b) Perhaps more importantly, why would Kim Ng want the job? Yes, it would be a tremendous accomplishment to be the first female GM -- however, she's just been witness to how cavalier and thin-skinned her owner is. Wouldn't it be better for her to wait for a better situation?

I wonder what Jeff Kent and Eric Gagne are thinking at the moment.

2005-10-29 10:40:07
22.   Marty
Unfortunately, I think that for the majority of fans this will be a positive development. I'm afraid the McCourt's stock will rise with this.
2005-10-29 10:40:07
23.   Bob Timmermann
I think Terry Collins is now thinking, "Well, I'm not going to be manager of the Dodgers now."

Maybe I should actually call back the Dodgers ticket office person now who keeps leaving messages asking me to renew my mini season ticket plan and vent on that person. Those people must have REALLY hard jobs now. They were hard enough to start with. They better have a lot of patience or a very thick hide.

The Dodgers went from a team without a skipper to a team without a skipper and an engine for the boat and any navigational equipment.

This is going to be one heck of a three hour tour.

2005-10-29 10:40:29
24.   Odysseus
http://tinyurl.com/boeo8

Takes you directly to the email form. I suggest everyone who thinks this will be a disaster send a respectful email explaining why.

2005-10-29 10:41:19
25.   Steve
Eric Gagne is thinking Payday! Jeff Kent doesn't care.

I agree with you. McCourt is going to hire someone steeped in old, tired and stupid baseball tradition.

2005-10-29 10:42:11
26.   Monterey Chris
I agree with Steve's earlier comment (#11). It would be interesting to see how much DePo's poor PR and communication skills played a role behind the scenes. PR and communication is an essential part of his job. We only see the ultimate decisions...which players are signed, etc. I'm not saying this was a good decision...I'm just saying that the puzzle is probably much more complex than we can appreciate.
2005-10-29 10:43:44
27.   HomeDePo
GO [Depodesta's Next Team]!!!!!!
2005-10-29 10:44:22
28.   Odysseus
26

I'm sure that DePo's allegedly poor PR and communication skills didn't help.

But the truth is, we've only heard one side of the story, from the likes of Plaschke, whose thought process went something like this:

Who is DePodesta?

He uses computers.

He has a Harvard degree.

I hate him.

Therefore he is bad.

Therefore he has poor interpersonal skills.

I just made a haiku.

2005-10-29 10:44:39
29.   underdog
23. There's a boat??

24. Thanks!

2005-10-29 10:46:08
30.   Odysseus
23 If there is, McCourt decided to throw the rudder away and pour sugar in the engine.
2005-10-29 10:46:37
31.   dzzrtRatt
Sorry, didn't this thread go up until after I'd posted the following on the prior one:

For two years, Dodger fans have talked to each other over a series of fault lines: Pro JT/Anti JT...Pro DePo/Anti DePo... Cora vs. Kent...Beltre vs. Somebody cheaper...Heart and Soul vs. Provable Performance.

But if Frank McCourt in fact does fire DePo, as I would agree appears 99.99 percent likely, all these factions will unite. Because I don't care how much disdain you might've had for DePodesta, firing him in the middle of the managerial search, just days before free agents start to arrive on the market, makes the McCourts look simply incompetent.

Just compare the McCourt quotes from October 6, cited in Henson's story, with what apparently will happen now. What kind of chief executive says 'we're committed to a plan,' and then three weeks later, pulls the plug? An unsuccessful chief executive, that's who.

Camille Johnson, you can put as much perfume on this pig as you've got, but you will not save the McCourts from becoming the most hated owners in LA sports history (and that's saying something.) I can live without DePodesta. What I can't stand is squirmy, reactive, insecure, p=== your pants leadership, and that's what McCourt represents.

2005-10-29 10:46:41
32.   King of the Hobos
What happens if Phaschke and the media harshly criticize this? Even if McCourt gains favor here, it will quickly evaporate, and with his alleged patience, we'll have another GM in no time
2005-10-29 10:46:47
33.   Bob Timmermann
29

Like the joke about the economist stranded on an island:

Let's assume a boat ....

2005-10-29 10:47:27
34.   rageon
4 My first thought, once the initial shock passed, was that Hershiser would be the replacement.

If it's true, I have to wonder how Lasorda ended up with so much power in the organization? And why? The fact he managed for 20+ years really doesn't mean that he knows anything about building a winning baseball team in present day. Afterall, isn't this the guy who once forgot (or never knew in the first place) that 10/5 players can demand a trade from their new tream if traded in the middle of a multi-year contract?

If DePo is on such thin ice that he could be fired 3 weeks later without really doing anything, why let him fire Jim Tracy?

I've got to think that McCourt HAS to make a statement to the press very quickly reaffirming his faith in DePo, and if he doesn't, then the report is probably true. If it's not, then the LA sportwriters seem to have reached a new low by reporting DePo was going to be fired, not because of an actual source, but because they just don't like him.

Until it's official, I won't spend too much time worrying about it. But if it is, well, it would be just crazy.

2005-10-29 10:47:48
35.   kngoworld
Peter Gammons reporting that Hershiser will replace DePodesta and Bobby Valintine will be the new coach
2005-10-29 10:48:49
36.   Bob Timmermann
35

That means Benny Agbayani should be making his triumphant return to MLB!

2005-10-29 10:49:57
37.   Steve
It really all depends on what happens next. You could have a situation where DePodesta becomes a transitional figure, who needed to shake up things for a couple of years, and served a purpose but ended up becoming too controversial. That might then pave the way for someone to step into those shoes and keep the ball rolling without the controversial elements of the past.

We should be as careful of the cult of personality as our opponents are not. There is no magic to the name DePodesta. He is not the only person in the world who can get us where we need to go. He happens to be creative and on the right track, but he has significant flaws and is, unfortunately, a polarizing figure. We may welcome a future with the positives of the past two years combined with a fresh start from someone who will keep the system largely intact.

Or not. But only McCourt knows.

2005-10-29 10:50:26
38.   kngoworld
I wish Depodesta the best with whatever team gets lucky in hiring him. I truely believe he will be a very successful General Manager one day.
2005-10-29 10:50:40
39.   Kayaker7
28 I don't know why he is skewered for poor PR and communications skills. The mark of a good GM is doing what needs to be done, and ignoring the media.
2005-10-29 10:50:40
40.   HomeDePo
Last Weeks Respectometer out of onehundred:
DePo: 89.5
McCourt: 65 and Growing
Lasorda: 40 for being a jerk

Now...

DePo: 96
McCourt: 2 and Falling
Lasorda: -25 for pushing for the firing...

I am at the point of moving from Los Angeles I am that upset.

2005-10-29 10:51:05
41.   Telemachos
35 OMG, it's like watching a train derail in real-time.
2005-10-29 10:51:08
42.   HomeDePo
38 - And I thought we were so smart for hiring him...
2005-10-29 10:52:07
43.   SMY
35 -- Man, I love Orel. But what qualifications does he have to be a GM? If that's true, it just screams cluelessness on the McCourts' part. They deserve to be run into the ground. The Angels have got to be loving this.
2005-10-29 10:52:20
44.   King of the Hobos
35 People complained that DePo had never been a GM before. Orel has never been working near a GM's office...
2005-10-29 10:52:47
45.   Steve
"If DePo is on such thin ice that he could be fired 3 weeks later without really doing anything, why let him fire Jim Tracy?"

The answer to this question is the only thing that gives me hope.

2005-10-29 10:53:12
46.   Telemachos
35 Following up..... what on earth is McCourt doing? He fires one young "bright mind" and hires another, neither with GM experience (though of course Depo was far more qualified for the position than Hershiser is right now).

And Bobby Valentine? Gag me with a spoon.

I went through this when John York fired Steve Mariucci and replaced him with Dennis Erickson. I can't believe it's happening again to one of my teams.

2005-10-29 10:55:37
47.   rageon
37 Good point Steve, and I'd like to believe that someone else could be hired that wouldn't screw things up. I just don't think that will happen. I'm pretty sure that if this is true, the entire team, front-office and down, will be as "anti-moneyball" as possible. I just don't believe that it's going to be a smooth transition. I think it's going to be a rah-rah organization throughtout.
2005-10-29 10:56:08
48.   Telemachos
37 Steve, that's an excellent point. However, right now, do you trust the McCourts to be making that sort of savvy decision?
2005-10-29 10:56:19
49.   Kayaker7
I'm going to start www.firetommylasorda.com.
2005-10-29 10:56:31
50.   King of the Hobos
Maybe Valentine will convince Chibe Lotte management to give up their best players so they can play for the Dodgers. Or maybe we can move them here, and the Dodgers can go play in the Japanese League
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-10-29 10:57:03
51.   HomeDePo
35 - NOT BOBBY VALENTINE.

(I would curse but I respect the clean-ness of this blog).

2005-10-29 10:57:10
52.   Odysseus
37 I'm assuming the worst until proven wrong. If McCourt makes a good hire, fine. I'm convinced he will screw this up because of the points made in 31. McCourt looks like he is panicking and making a hasty decision because of bad press on DePodesta. After letting Tracy go/Depodesta fire Tracy because of their differences.

That suggests that the guy at the top (McCourt) is clueless and, in fact, has no plan. In addition to nepotism and firing a bunch of lower level staffers for no reason that has been explained.

That is bad. Usually when organizations start firing a bunch of people because bad things happened and there was bad press, and there is no rational explanation, it means that the person at the top is clueless and he thinks hiring new people will solve all the problems.

When the better answer is that there is no guarantee new people will be better, and that the person at the top is likely the problem and if this is the case, his new hires will likely be no better and are likely to be worse.

That's why this is so bad.

2005-10-29 10:57:26
53.   HomeDePo
49 - Not if I start it first...
2005-10-29 10:57:59
54.   Steve
What qualifications does one need to be GM? Jim Bowden is a GM. Ed Wade had his job for eight years, . The best qualification for being a GM appears to be never having been one.

Would Valentine be any worse than Terry Collins? Other than the Plaschke-love?

2005-10-29 10:58:18
55.   Kayaker7
Maybe this is a factor?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2207122

2005-10-29 10:59:30
56.   Steve
48 -- No, I'm only hoping they do, though I have little reason to hope.
2005-10-29 11:00:17
57.   King of the Hobos
55 I must admit, I would prefer Theo over just about anyone else...
2005-10-29 11:00:28
58.   Bob Timmermann
I will bring up my point again that this smacks of an attempt to put the Dodgers into a time machine and travel back to a time that is not remembered correctly by those around now.

The Dodgers of the 1960s and 1970s (the good ones, not the 67 and 68 teams for example) can't be replicated under today's conditions. It's impossible with baseball's financial setup. It's a fool's errand.

But people think it can be done. It can't. You have to look forward. You can only look back if you try to learn something from that time. And I don't see this looking back as being productive for the makeup of the Dodgers now.

2005-10-29 11:01:26
59.   Telemachos
54 Yet McCourt tried the "new, untested" GM already -- everything seems to indicate he'd now go in a completely different direction.

As to Valentine, I just have a strong personal dislike of him.

2005-10-29 11:02:11
60.   Steve
It's a fool's errand

Well at least they're qualified for something.

2005-10-29 11:02:34
61.   Odysseus
55 The boston globe has a different take, that the are negotiating, close on pretty much everything but Henry and Epstein essentially just need to agree on the $ figure

http://tinyurl.com/e4dsm

2005-10-29 11:03:08
62.   dzzrtRatt
I've noted before that the Dodgers' new PR person is a Clinton/Gore and corporate PR veteran. Her lack of experience in baseball is compensated by her experience in the real world of politics and business.

She might even be hip enough to read a blog like DT. So let me address you personally, Camille Johnson.

Before you talk to your new bosses again, ask yourself: Is it your experience that CEOs thrive if they are seen as overreacting to negative PR, or to a short-term setback such as the 2005 season?

True, the LA Times does not like Paul DePodesta. But if the McCourts thinks the Times will respect them more if they fire DePodesta, that's amateurish and naive. You, Camille, should know this as well as anyone.

Go do your job, PR expert. Go speak truth to power. (But you might want to put a few souvenirs of your brief baseball career in the trunk of your car first.)

2005-10-29 11:03:51
63.   Ken Arneson
What two owners have the most World Series rings since 1970? George Steinbrenner and Charlie Finley. What two owners have fired people more often than any others since 1970? George Steinbrenner and Charlie Finley.

McCourt is only trying to emulate the best. Never fear, Dodger fans, a dynasty is on its way!

2005-10-29 11:04:54
64.   Robert Fiore
I was wondering how long McCourt was going to have the nerve to stick with DePodesta, given his demonstrated unwillingness to take heat when things go wrong, but I thought he'd at least give him another year, if only to defend the decision to hire him. One problem DePodesta had was that he tried to take the high road. That is, when his decisions were challenged, he wouldn't say that Paul LoDuca was expendable because he was a late season liability heading into the declining part of his career with a much higher price tag; he wouldn't say that he didn't think that Adrian Beltre was really a superstar level player (and I guess nobody could say whether he was juicing in 2004 or not), he wouldn't say that Steve Finley had outlived his usefulness, at least at the price, he wouldn't say that Jose Lima and Jeff Weaver were walking park illusions. The people who detest a DePodesta were utterly unscrupulous in exploiting this. The most idiotic example was when Plaschke (of course) said that the Beltre decision shouldn't be judged on how Beltre actually performed this year but what he "would have done." What I'm thinking when I read this is, if we're going to base decisions on make-believe, why not pay the players in play money?

Last week I heard an interview with a phenomenally successful investment manager for Yale University, who was asked what the biggest mistake individual investors make, and he said that what they do is that they base decisions on what has just happened rather than anticipating what's going to happen. This practically guarantees you're going to buy high and sell low, because you're buying something when the peak of its value appreciation has already been reached. The sports equivalent of this is signing Adrian Beltre, Paul LoDuca and Steve Finley. The sports equivalent of anticipating what's going to happen is signing Jeff Kent. The state of things with DePodesta at the end was that he had demonstrated that he knew who not to sign, but (Kent aside) he hadn't proven his ability to find the players that were going to be stars.

Fortunately for the Dodgers there seems to be a lot of top quality GM talent available just now, and the Dodgers have got to be in the most attractive position of any team looking for a GM – if it wasn't for the McCourts.

2005-10-29 11:06:09
65.   DXMachina
43 Man, I love Orel. But what qualifications does he have to be a GM?

I can't see it, either. I figured the big problem was that McCourt wanted Orel for manager, and DePo wanted someone else, and refused to cave in. This is just nuts.

2005-10-29 11:06:45
66.   MikeB
The McCourts are pandering to the media (we all know who they are) and to the MSM's perception that all us Dodger fans want a return to the 'glory days.'

So its roll back the clock time (how appropriate) - replace all the old blue seats with pastels like 1962, bring back Tommy, Orel, Bobby V and hordes of other stars of yesteryear. Who cares if we trade away the future? It's the past that matters!

Good luck to DePo. I think he'll be successful elsewhere - maybe back to Oakland if Beane moves up the ladder.

2005-10-29 11:07:14
67.   Bob Timmermann
So if I turn on Fox will Scooter be telling me that Paul DePodesta's wife is a CIA operative?
2005-10-29 11:07:20
68.   Steve
There are several prerequisites for manager:

1) Don't bunt

2) Disappear all the Jasons

3) Bat Izturis/Robles eighth

4) Don't treat every Weaver start like a Frat Hazing

5) Play good players and bench bad players

6) Stop blaming everyone else for your problems

I have no idea of Valentine's proclivities to do, or not do, any of these things. I don't care about his fake mustaches.

2005-10-29 11:07:57
69.   SiGeg
"If DePo is on such thin ice that he could be fired 3 weeks later without really doing anything, why let him fire Jim Tracy?"

So that the new GM wouldn't have to make that decision and take the PR hit for it?

If wouldn't have anything against Orel as GM, or even really against Valentine as manager. If these decisions had been made two years ago, I would have looked forward with optimism to see how they worked out. But now?? The turmoil just makes me ill. What a classless, anchorless, visionless ownership this has turned out to be.

2005-10-29 11:08:36
70.   alnyden
What a disaster. I'm not a huge Depot fan but I was willing to give him and his vision a chance for the next year or so. Now all that is left is chaos, half-finished ideas, a team in transition with nobody in charge. And now the Tracy firing becomes a complete waste.

Anything McCourt said about taking the long view was a bunch of hot air. This will be a team in chaos for years to come.

2005-10-29 11:08:44
71.   Steve
64 -- well said. Excellent analysis.
2005-10-29 11:08:51
72.   SiGeg
69 - I wouldn't...

Don't kow who If is.

2005-10-29 11:09:03
73.   Mark
Wait...

...wait for it...

...wait for it!!!...

http://tinyurl.com/dtod2

2005-10-29 11:10:28
74.   Odysseus
64 If they fire DePo, I would submit the Dodgers job just got a lot less desirable. Two years. Won the division in one of them. Helped build the best farm system in baseball. Also had a disastrous second year, for which he must take some of the blame, but in large part was due to injuries and managerial incompetence. Fired. Manager left. Lots of other people have been fired.

Doesn't sound like a particularly appealing job, unless it's going to be offered to someone with the last name McCourt.

2005-10-29 11:13:59
75.   Odysseus
I think it's pretty obvious that McCourt graduated cum laude to the Jim Tracy School of Blame Assignment.
2005-10-29 11:14:00
76.   Kayaker7
My weekend is ruined...
2005-10-29 11:15:25
77.   dzzrtRatt
Yet another setback for Hee Seop Choi's career.
2005-10-29 11:16:02
78.   HomeDePo
76 - I sympathise with you completely. (is that how you spell sympathise)
2005-10-29 11:16:29
79.   Bob Timmermann
Choi will now end up getting platooned with the Korean Jason Phillips at the WBC too.
2005-10-29 11:17:10
80.   MikeB
77. Hee Seop will get traded to Oakland, hit 40 HRs, file for free agency and get signed by the Yankees for an astronomical salary.
2005-10-29 11:17:12
81.   Bob Timmermann
78
It's correct, but that's the British spelling. We use the letter z in this country!
2005-10-29 11:18:17
82.   Steve
So I looked out of mild curiosity and...

http://fireterrycollins.blogspot.com/

2005-10-29 11:18:33
83.   HomeDePo
81 - Okay. I am sorry for my colourful spelling...
2005-10-29 11:22:55
84.   Bob Timmermann
83
So I guess you're ready to pass judgement, while the rest of us pass judgment?
2005-10-29 11:25:08
85.   HomeDePo
84 - And what are you going to do aboot it? Nevermind, that is Canadian.
Um...
I think this McCourt business belongs in a comedy at the cinema, but you probably think it belongs at the "movies."
2005-10-29 11:25:41
86.   CharlieBrown
First of all, I just wanted to say how intelligent everyone's comments are on this thread. It takes some of the sting out of this punch to the stomach.

My first reaction to seeing the story: the Dodgers are going to be horrible for the next five years--Malone era bad. Reading the above comments made me re-think a bit. Kim Ng might be interesting. But then realize, as people have, that the new GM's identity does not matter--any negative press and the McCourts will cave, no matter how much money they are making. It's not that Paul DePodesta walks on water, but its that he was basically making good moves and had the franchise moving in the right direction. Why fire this guy?

Another part of me is mad at DePo. Why did he never try to court the media? You can say the Plaschke crowd was against him no matter what he did, but what about all the stories about DePo not calling people when they were fired, let go as FA, etc.? Could all of those have been false? Maybe he really didn't manage people well. There are a lot of facts we don't know, but is anyone else kind of mad at him for letting this happen? Why DIDN'T he explain the thinking behind letting Paul "slightly above average but overpaid and past his peak" LoDuca go? I mean, who would you rather have next year, LoDuca at 5 or 6 million or Navarro or Russ Martin for the minimum? I think fans were capable of understanding that, but DePo did not get out into the mainstream media and explain stuff like that, it seemed to me. Any thoughts on this?

2005-10-29 11:27:47
87.   MikeB
Who would have believed that USC and UCLA would have better, more stable upper management (AD's Garrett and Guerrero) than a professional sports team like the Dodgers with the McCourts?

They've hired excellent coaches, and have backed their choices long enough to see the vision become reality.

Too bad our baseball team can't do the same.

2005-10-29 11:28:49
88.   HomeDePo
I am reading Animal Farm for English class, and I think it represents communism AND the Dodgers.

Old Major: Dan Evans (starting the Farm System)
Snowball: DePodesta
Napoleon: Tommy Lasora/ Frank McCourt
Mr. Jones: Dan Evans/ Kevin Malone
Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick: The Yankees and the A's or Indians

Napoleon kills Snowball and brings his own revolution which crumbles after a good beggining...

2005-10-29 11:28:50
89.   Telemachos
The million dollar question is what happened behind the scenes these last three weeks.

Given T.J. Simers' obsession with The Screaming Meanie, will we see a pro-Depo column tomorrow?

2005-10-29 11:31:15
90.   Dr Love
This is embarassing. I stopped rooting for the Phillies, the team I grew up with, because of inept ownership. And now McCourt appears to be doing an even worse job. Does the inept ownership follow me, or do I follow it?
2005-10-29 11:31:51
91.   Odysseus
Here's a lovely thought. What's going to happen to the team if the real estate bubble bursts? If I'm not mistaken, McCourt's wealth is essentially based on a lot of leverage and one asset, a piece of downtown Boston real estate.

I remember reading stories that McCorut had a number of offers for this real estate but refused to sell, and instead of using it at its economically highest use (most likely a commercial highrise) he keeps operating a parking garage rather than developing it.

This suggests that he is not a very good businessman. In addition to having a porfolio that is not at all diversified.

2005-10-29 11:34:41
92.   HomeDePo
Editing my 88 post, I did not mean to make Dan Evans Mr. Jones... just Kevin Malone
2005-10-29 11:34:50
93.   SMY
86 -- I don't think the average fan would have accepted that explanation. And if DePo had come out and said "We traded LoDuca because he falls apart in the 2nd half of the season and is overpaid," he would have been relentlessly attacked as being cold and unprofessional. I don't think most fans really want to hear that kind of stuff.
2005-10-29 11:35:36
94.   Telemachos
In terms of diversifing, I'll definitely root for whatever team Depo ends up with (please, dear God, don't be cruel and have it be the Giants or Yankees). :)

But as a Dodger fan, unless some minor miracle happens and the franchise somehow ends up being stronger, I think we're going to hit another phase of tightening our belts, getting through some years of bad ownership and mediocre teams, and pining for past glory (in other words, the last decade or so).

Pity... it seemed like we were about to turn the corner.

2005-10-29 11:36:56
95.   Kayaker7
93 Exactly...a good GM just ignores the public and the media, and does what needs to be done.
2005-10-29 11:37:14
96.   King of the Hobos
What if we're all taking this the wrong way? Maybe DePo really didn't like being GM, because of all the negativity, and wanted to return to where he thrived, assistant GM? Maybe McCourt is complying, and the new GM will just be someone more willing to take shots from the media. Or maybe Hershiser, as the media can't touch him. If he had DePo, Ng, and Smith telling him what to do, we should be fine

Is this too much of a dream?

2005-10-29 11:38:55
97.   Telemachos
96 Yes. :)
2005-10-29 11:39:55
98.   Dr Love
Maybe DePo really didn't like being GM, because of all the negativity, and wanted to return to where he thrived, assistant GM?

Then he would have resigned, not rumored to be fired.

2005-10-29 11:41:37
99.   MikeB
86. I don't think the problem was DePo's communication skills. He's just not a spotlight hound and is very careful about what he says and how he says things. He never attacked Tracy in the press, he never said unkind things about Bradley or any other ballplayer that took shots at him. He never responded to insults, slanders or endless name calling from the press. He always took the higher ground. That kind of behavior doesn't help the MSM sell papers or boost TV ratings. He could not win over the media because he wouldn't play their game - colorful quotes or provide inside gossip.

The communication problem for the Dodgers is a disfunctional ownership that with a severe case of rabbit ears.

2005-10-29 11:42:20
100.   Odysseus
Regarding Hershiser. I have no evidence to support the supposition that he openly embraces or is even open to sabre-type ideas. I also have no evidence that he's hostile to them.

But I believe that the media would be much more likely to embrace someone like Hershiser using virtually the same methods as DePo.

Here's an example: I was watching the NFL last Sunday and Troy Aikman was doing color. He said that the way people have been ranking offenses is all wet. He said that he looked at the stats and he thought that yards per carry, yards per passing attempt, third down percentage and red zone percentage were the most important stats. He also said that the old way of total yards was nonsense. He also said that the teams that led in "his" preferred stats generally scored the most points and had the best records.

This is essentially what football-sabre people like Football Outsiders have been saying.

But Aikman was not ridiculed. Why? Because he was a Pro-Bowl, multiple Super Bowl winner.

So, IF Hershiser were to use the same strategies as DePo, I think the MSM would be much more likely to accept it.

As long as he doesn't write a book bashing Joe Morgan.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-10-29 11:44:49
101.   Steve
But I believe that the media would be much more likely to embrace someone like Hershiser using virtually the same methods as DePo.

Right. I have no reason to be optimistic, but I choose to have hope.

2005-10-29 11:45:22
102.   Steve
Or put another way, that is the reason one should not rely on the cult of personality to make one's decisions.
2005-10-29 11:45:24
103.   MikeB
99. Correction:
The communication problem for the Dodgers is a "dysfunctional" ownership with a severe case of rabbit ears.
2005-10-29 11:45:24
104.   King of the Hobos
98 Why would he resign if he can take another position? If he doesn't want to be GM, and can be an assistant here, why bother leaving?

I realize there's little to no chance of this, but it makes everything a lot nicer =)

2005-10-29 11:46:18
105.   HomeDePo
100

I have a book that you need to read, and it takes 'Football-Sabre' to a new level.

It is called Scientific Football, and you can find it at thefootballscientist.com. It tells all, but it is pretty expensive. I deem it worth the price.

I vote for a moment of silence for Paul DePodesta at 12 noon.

2005-10-29 11:46:56
106.   Dr Love
RE: 100

Aikman has been saying that for years. He's even developed his own metric for ranking offenses and defenses. And Football Outsiders leaves a lot to be desired. Personally I find their work to be essentially useless.

I agree with your point though: it means a lot more coming from a great player.

Back on topic....

2005-10-29 11:47:08
107.   Telemachos
100 Silly Odysseus, everyone knows that Depo didn't write "Moneyball" -- Billy Beane did!

(do anyone else find it suddenly ironic that Telemachos is correcting his father?)

2005-10-29 11:49:23
108.   Dr Love
Why would he resign if he can take another position? If he doesn't want to be GM, and can be an assistant here, why bother leaving?

I can not imagine that DePo would desire to take a demotion within the organization. If he didn't feel comfortable as a GM and wanted to be an assistant GM instead, he'd go elsewhere.

Regardless of that, the point remains that he wouldn't be fired if it was something of his choosing.

2005-10-29 11:49:32
109.   HomeDePo
100
Are you going to take that guff from you little squirt, Odysseus?
2005-10-29 11:51:54
110.   Tommy Naccarato
Well, it looks as if my sources were right from last weekend regarding the McCourts.

Bob, How was the drive last night?

2005-10-29 11:53:41
111.   Odysseus
109 I've always been too busy to really be a good dad. Sirens, bad boat trips, etc
2005-10-29 11:55:44
112.   HomeDePo
111 And now it is payback time.
2005-10-29 11:55:55
113.   SiGeg
86 I agree with what others have said in reaction to this post, e.g., 93. I would add that I had earlier presumed that DePo acted the way he did because he had the backing of the owner, and his main concern was that, in the next couple of years, he could transform the team into a consistent winner. THAT would essentially be his response. He didn't need to justify every move he made to the press with a detailed analysis, he just needed to get the job done and get results -- if not right away, than over the next couple of years. Turns out that goal was irrelevant, I guess.
2005-10-29 11:56:09
114.   Bob Timmermann
Out of curiousity, just how is the method of computing total yardage in the NFL outdated? It's pretty straightforward. Does Aikman think it is sometimes deceptive because some teams get better field position because of good special teams and turnovers?

USC had a game against Arizona a few weeks ago which was considered a "disappointment" despite winning by a comfortable margin. USC rolled up over 700 yards of offense. They didn't score a lot because they had to go 80-90 yards all the time. Then against Washington, the total yardage was a lot lower because of the reasons I stated above.

2005-10-29 11:56:54
115.   TheDictator
If this is true, I will start feeling like a Cubs fan (having lived in Chicago for 5 years finally to leave last year) I understand what Cub fans feel like (Go WhiteSox).

My heart will not let me stop rooting for the Dodgers, yet my head knows things are terribly bad in Dodgerville. I am a co-dependent Dodger fan. I guess I am like Cubs fans.

It is a truly sad day.

2005-10-29 11:58:41
116.   Vishal
[110] what did they tell you, tommy? and which DT post was it last weekend?
2005-10-29 11:59:55
117.   dzzrtRatt
86 It's a myth that DePodesta didn't explain the LoDuca trade. I don't have the quote in front of me, but the gist was: "This is a playoff-bound team that lacks sufficient playoff quality pitching." Brad Penny--less than a year off a shutout victory over the Yankees in the World Series--was the key to the deal and, as you might recall, Penny himself was possibly going to be flipped for Randy Johnson.

Whether it came out of DePo's mouth or not, the media all reported dutifully that LoDuca's production always plummets in the second half.

Paul DePodesta is in part a victim of an incredible streak of bad luck. Penny's arm injury. Gagne's injury (for which Tracy deserves much blame). Bradley's multiple injuries. Valentin's injury. J.D. Drew's extremely slow start, followed by his injury.

He was also a victim of the "hole" in the Dodger prospect chain, which happened to have settled over the AAA team just as the major league injury wave hit. While the Braves were able to call up Jeff Francouer, we had to settle for the likes of Mike Edwards.

DePodesta is not blameless. The LoDuca trade had one flaw--it left a contending team with basically no catcher. The Charles Johnson refusal was an embarassment. The dealings with Arizona and New York left a poor aftertaste, even if that wasn't all DePo's fault.

Above all, he showed no leadership with regard to Milton Bradley. This was a challenging issue. But unfortunately for DePodesta, there was a precedent just down the street: Jose Guillen. The Angels got huge kudos for how they handled him. Scioscia, Stoneman and Moreno seemed to work as a team in addressing that problem. The poor level of communication between and among Tracy, DePo and McCourt really showed itself in how the Bradley issue was allowed to fly off the rails.

After DePo is gone, all of this becomes just part of history. What will not change is the clear impression being left by Frank and Jamie McCourt that they are wretched owners, weak, narcissitic, grasping, small-time fools with no sense of the value of the property they own.

The powers that be--from the city government to the commissioners' office, need to be on high alert. If this is how the McCourts handle the baseball and management side of their operation, imagine the true financial condition of the team. Bankruptcy does not strike me as a far-fetched outcome of the McCourt era of misrule.

2005-10-29 12:00:03
118.   MrTim
According to espn.com's article, the Dodgers will have a press conference at 5 p.m.

Would that be EST or PST?

2005-10-29 12:00:31
119.   John A
In terms of diversifing, I'll definitely root for whatever team Depo ends up with...

In a sense, Sandy Alderson helped get the "Moneyball" thing rolling by hiring Billy Beane and exposing him sabermetrics.

Sandy Alderson is now team president for the Padres.

There are rumors that Kevin Towers is about to get canned.

What if Moneyball comes full circle and Alderson hires DePo to replace Towers?

I'm a lifetime Dodger fan, but wouldn't it be poetic justice to see a lean, mean Padres organization own the Dodgers for about ten years?

2005-10-29 12:01:29
120.   TheDictator
BTW, in the "Art of War" Sun Tzu said that if there is a problem in the ranks, it is indicative of a problem with the general.

I might mail McCourt a copy. Does anyone have an address?

2005-10-29 12:01:46
121.   Dr Love
Out of curiousity, just how is the method of computing total yardage in the NFL outdated? It's pretty straightforward. Does Aikman think it is sometimes deceptive because some teams get better field position because of good special teams and turnovers?

Aikman is thoroughly annoyed that offenses and defenses are ranked by yards, not points scored/allowed; and things like 3rd down percentage were more important as well. It doesn't have anything to do with the way it's computed, but the way it's percieved. And he's right, of course.

2005-10-29 12:02:19
122.   King of the Hobos
118 Usually press conferences are eastern time when stated by ESPN, as they're on the east coast. That's what I'm hoping anyways, find out exactly what's happening sooner rather than later
2005-10-29 12:06:52
123.   King of the Hobos
MLB.com says 5 pm ET, 2 pm PT
2005-10-29 12:08:00
124.   Bob Timmermann
Tommy, the drive to Ojai was pretty nice, but my trip on Highway 118 was stopped outside of Somis when a produce truck flipped over and caught on fire. No one was hurt, but I think a lot of fruit went up in flames.
2005-10-29 12:09:01
125.   Tommy Naccarato
I was told last weekend form a source that will remain nameless who has been close to scene that the Dodger front office was a horrible place to go to work everyday--that the McCourts, especially Ms. McCourt have created an environment of fear to those who simply are trying to do their daily jobs and that there was much infighting with-in the front office.

While I had made some observations that it had all seemed similar to the way Georgia Frontiere had run the Rams when they were in town, some of us did make it silly suggesting that a move to Portland was imminent. (I'm guilty of that!) But the facts are that the McCourt's are ruining this franchise and from my source, it isn't going to get any better. only worse.

Dssrtrat has pretty much summed it all up.

2005-10-29 12:09:15
126.   Steve
DePodesta, classy, yadda, yadda, yadda. But there is no one out there who will say simple things like "Those of you who are so interested in clutchosity will never admit that Paul LoDuca is a September dog turd on the shoe of life." Frankly, the number one prerequisite for the GM job is someone who can communicate this kind of message where no one else will.
2005-10-29 12:11:12
127.   gregsmokler
dodgers.com has an article about the news conference:

"The Dodgers have scheduled a press conference for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET) Saturday amid published reports that general manager Paul DePodesta is expected to be dismissed."

2005-10-29 12:11:14
128.   Tommy Naccarato
Bob,
I hate when that happens. Nothing worse then spilled cosaba(sp) melons for which to cry over.

Pretty cool at there though isn't it? Had to believe that kind of area exists so close to Los Angeles.

2005-10-29 12:11:52
129.   dlt2
The firing will be announced at a 2 p.m. press conference.
At first glace, there is the whiff of panic about this. The timing is inexplicable. The McCourts support DePodesta's firing of Tracy, then can him in the middle of the managerial search? There's something, maybe a lot, we don't know. Perhaps the season ticket renewal rate is shockingly low. Maybe they've just looked at the loss of parking and concession revenue resulting from late season no-shows. Maybe DePodesta said something to anger them, like his public comment that he alone would be hiring the new manager (subsequently overruled by McCourt).
One thing for certain: DePodesta failed to develop his own constituency. When the McCourts, for whatever reason, soured on him, he couldn't fall back on support from the players, the fans or others in the front office. His demeanor_shy and cerebral to some, aloof and arrogant to others_worked against him. The chief operating officer of any company, and that's what he was, has to build an internal support mechanism. He never did that.
2005-10-29 12:12:18
130.   SMY
If the front office is so bad, maybe DePo wanted to get fired. Now I have this image of him as Peter in Office Space.

And Frank as Milton.

2005-10-29 12:12:43
131.   Bob Timmermann
I also discovered that if you get to Ojai after 6 pm on a Friday night, there is no place to sit around and have coffee until the football game starts at 7:30. I had to get coffee from a gas station and drink it in my car.
2005-10-29 12:15:20
132.   Tommy Naccarato
Bob, Not true! There is a really cool place on the Easterm side of the town with an outdoor patio and all. Also that little trendy farmers market was a great place to pick-up some of my more obscure diet food for a few days.
2005-10-29 12:15:27
133.   Bob Timmermann
There's something, maybe a lot, we don't know. Perhaps the season ticket renewal rate is shockingly low.

I'm sorry, the Dodgers ticket people always called when I wasn't home! :-)

Buster Olney in his blog had two different sources with slightly different takes. One said that DePodesta wasn't at the Hershiser interview, because McCourt and Lasorda wanted him out of the loop for that.

The other source depicted DePodesta as a loner who holed up in his office and didn't talk to anybody.

2005-10-29 12:16:38
134.   Bob Timmermann
Tommy, I didn't want to keep driving around Ojai to see what I could find. I didn't want to end up on the road to Fillmore!
2005-10-29 12:18:34
135.   Jose Habib
Considering some of the alternatives, the Dodgers could do a lot worse than just rehiring Dan Evans.
2005-10-29 12:18:37
136.   HomeDePo
VERY Wishful Thinking:

Ummm... If they say they will fire him at 2:00 pm, does it mean that they WILL do it or could it be a publicity stunt?

I know what the answer is but I just wanted to ask... I'm sorry.

2005-10-29 12:20:01
137.   werthgagne31
anyone know how to listen to the press conference, any radio station covering it?
2005-10-29 12:20:56
138.   Tommy Naccarato
Sounds like a Hope & Crosby film, "The Road to Fillmore!"

The place is right there in town, and across the street from it is an outdoor Mexican restaurant.

2005-10-29 12:21:07
139.   fanerman
Well I sent an email to the Dodgers. It's not as concise nor as articulate as what others are capable of so there's no need to post it here.

One more year of DePo means another year closer to getting the kids up with minimal damage. Now I don't know what's going to happen. I hope Hershiser or whoever gets the wheels knows what they're doing.

2005-10-29 12:21:09
140.   Tommy Naccarato
Sounds like a Hope & Crosby film, "The Road to Fillmore!"

The place is right there in town, and across the street from it is an outdoor Mexican restaurant.

2005-10-29 12:21:27
141.   Bob Timmermann
Having the press conference on a Saturday at 2 is pretty savvy since the big name columnists for the papers are going to be out at the Coliseum most likely for the USC game.
2005-10-29 12:21:36
142.   King of the Hobos
MLB Radio plays a lot of press conferences in the off season, not sure if they're playing this though. I haven't seen anything concrete
2005-10-29 12:23:24
143.   rageon
According to ESPN.com:

"Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt fired general manager Paul DePodesta on Saturday."

Not "will announce" or "may", but "fired."

2005-10-29 12:23:50
144.   King of the Hobos
Saenz and Weaver both have filed for free agency, joining Dreifort and Valentin
2005-10-29 12:24:01
145.   Tommy Naccarato
Sorry for the double post. I wish they had a way to delete and edit.

I suspect the Bulldog will be the man, right now I have to go, but I'm going to try to find out from the source if he knows more and I'll report back later. In fact, he may be at that press conference IF he hasn't been fired yet! :)

2005-10-29 12:25:40
146.   SMY
As if things weren't bad enough, now it's snowing at my house. It went from summer to winter with only like 2 weeks of fall.
2005-10-29 12:25:57
147.   dzzrtRatt
While waiting for 2 p.m. to roll around, here's some background reading--a basically laudatory, but highly instructive, article about Jamie McCourt that ran in USA Today a couple of months ago.

http://tinyurl.com/ceouy

You read this and it's pretty clear that DePo was doing the job Jamie herself covets. In terms of management orientation, they seem quite similar, although vastly different in personality. This was probably a train wreck long in the making.

While even the McCourts might fear the public reaction of having the owner's wife appointed GM, I would not be surprised to see the new GM essentially become a puppet for her.

But if Frank is smart, what he'll do is not hire a cipher to please his wife, but instead hire a grizzled veteran whose expertise Jamie will have no choice but to respect. Don't kill me for saying this, but given the personal and management dynamics at play, hiring a guy like Pat Gillick might be the only way to salvage things.

2005-10-29 12:26:21
148.   Louis in SF
110 GIven your good sources and remembering your post from last week, what changed so dramataically at the the end? Have DePodesta and McCourt been feuding all along? Was DePodesta lied to about money that he was promised and didn't get? Is the hand of Tommy Lasorda behind all of this, I seem to recall an article a while back that said Tommy had gotten disenchanted with DePodesta and was letting Mr.Mcourt know his feelings.

I would love to hear some real information. What is so bizarre about the whole thing which shoots holes in some of my own theroies. According to published reports, Daily News earlier in the Week Lasorda felt that Collins was the best guy for the job. Supposedly DePodesta and him got along real well. As far as Hershiser being interviewed at the end, but not by DePodesta, Billy Beane before he went back to Macha had a great interview with Hershiser and may have passed some of that info on to DePodesta. Hence why he was willing to only initially interview Hershiser by phone.

At the end of the day though while many on this site dislike the Plaschkie's of the world, if and when DePodesta is fired it will have far less to do with bad PR, but obviously some major split between DePodesta and McCourt. The question will be when did develop and how did it build so quickly.

2005-10-29 12:27:51
149.   King of the Hobos
143 The article starts in the past tense, but then switches to say the press conference is in the future. I have no idea what's happening, but it all seems pretty obvious at this point
2005-10-29 12:28:01
150.   still bevens
Bob I used to go to high school in Ojai. Its a weird town. They have strict rules about chain stores opening up within city limits (much to the benefit of local one horse town Oak View) and BofA and Ralphs are one of a few exceptions, and they have a law on the books that only allowed development of 7 new houses per year. Its also a big new age power center comparable to Sedona, AZ.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-10-29 12:28:04
151.   Kayaker7
There is a 2 pm press conference. We'll find out for sure now.
2005-10-29 12:28:45
152.   tomb
I know there is a ban on politics at this site so i'll keep this general: Did anyone else see the Jon Stewart show last week when he interviewed the woman who had written the book about Lincoln? In one of his off-hand but brilliant moments Stewart, in genuine admiration and disbelief, balked at a time when debates were won by the person with the strongest logic. The person who proved the best point. This seems antithetical to our whole culture. Perhaps DT is a microcosm within the microcosm of sports that is fighting a loosing battle. Perhaps we are refusing to accept the general trend of our whole culture-- a place in which there is no place for logic, but only sentimentalization.

i know I'm blowing smoke but tragic moments will do that to you.

2005-10-29 12:30:25
153.   King of the Hobos
What are the chances that the press conference will name a new GM rather than specifically fire DePo? I don't really understand such things...
2005-10-29 12:30:49
154.   John A
148 I can't help thinking that this fiasco has Tommy Lasorda's fingerprints all over it. My hunch is that he publicly supported Terry Collins for manager to cover his tracks...while he continued whispering in McCourt's ear.
2005-10-29 12:34:17
155.   student of the game
At one point, wasn't Bobby V. very critical of J.D. Drew on baseball tonight?
2005-10-29 12:35:06
156.   the OZ
After some adventures with my new laptop, I've found the perfect headline to announce DePodesta being fired. It contains both references to computers AND the Dodgers:

"Blue Screen of Death - DePodesta Fired"

OR

"Dodgers Fire DePodesta; Reboot with Hershiser"

2005-10-29 12:35:29
157.   Bob Timmermann
I saw the place Tommy was referring to.

It was closed when I was there Friday.

The football game was very exciting although the Daily News ended up shrinking my story to about 3 sentences. Oak Park 28, Nordhoff 22.

I wonder if the DePodesta story played havoc with space in the paper.

2005-10-29 12:36:25
158.   dlt2
152: I saw that show, too. I think Stewart was referring to the current tendency to rely on spin, rather than the logic of your argument, to sell political ideas and the tactic of personally attacking your opponent rather than debate his/her ideas. It's not so much about sentimentality.
2005-10-29 12:36:55
159.   Rich Lederer
Here is my take on the situation...

As the (Dodgers) World Turns...

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2005/10/as_the_dodgers.php

2005-10-29 12:40:23
160.   Bob Timmermann
I think the ban on politics only means "Don't post a political opinion that someone may disagree with."
2005-10-29 12:47:20
161.   Sospiro0
"This seems antithetical to our whole culture. Perhaps DT is a microcosm within the microcosm of sports that is fighting a loosing battle. Perhaps we are refusing to accept the general trend of our whole culture-- a place in which there is no place for logic, but only sentimentalization.

i know I'm blowing smoke but tragic moments will do that to you"

Great point 152. I think that is absolutely true and I can think of nothing sadder than that.

2005-10-29 12:47:36
162.   rageon
McCourt, at the time of DePo's hiring:

"This place has tried quick fixes, they don't work. This is about stability and continuity."

Yep, everything about McCourt just screams stability and continuity, right? Well, that and nepotism.

2005-10-29 12:48:18
163.   John A
159 Rich, I just read your blog. Honest, I didn't see it before my own post referred to "Lasorda's fingerprints"! Evidently the speculation of a lot of folks is running in this direction. My Tommy Lasorda heartburn was already bad enough from watching Paul Konerko in the World Series. Another interesting (and plausible) suggestion in your blog: the McCourts fired DePo as GM so they could hire Bobby Valentine as FIELD MANAGER. That would suggest that they think the field manager is more important than the GM, which is nuts. But does anything about the McCourts shock us any more?
2005-10-29 12:48:23
164.   Sospiro0
I think that's the saddest thing about all of this. Someone in a business was making decisions based on logic and he is chastized by the press and then fired for it. I find that depressing.
2005-10-29 12:49:28
165.   SMY
I'm conflicted. Of course I still want the Dodgers to win and the players to do well. But that means the McCourts succeed. What to do?
2005-10-29 12:51:40
166.   Odysseus
165 Hope that the Dodgers win and the players do well but that the team financially flounders and the McCourts can't service their debt and have to sell.

Everyone wins! Except the McCourts, who lose, but that's a good thing.

2005-10-29 12:51:58
167.   popup
I hoped that the bad FOX years were in the past. DePo deserved better and Dodger fans deserve better. I say that as someone who is not a particular devotee of statistical analysis. I am a devotee of hiring good people to do a job and giving them the time and resources to accomplish a goal. That is obviously no longer the Dodger way. Quite frankly, if I was a Dodger employee, I would be looking elsewhere. McCourt looks to me like George Steinbrenner without Steinbrenner's money.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-10-29 12:52:42
168.   HomeDePo
164

Amen.

2005-10-29 12:53:15
169.   Sospiro0
I think this also proves how baseball is still in the stoneage when it comes to progression. Billy Bean is still detested within the baseball community for denouncing traditional baseball wisdom and going his own way. All it's done is create a perennial contender with one of the league's smallest budgets. How can you ever criticize this guy? I imagine Lasorda is not too fond of Beane as well.
2005-10-29 12:54:06
170.   Dr Love
McCourt looks to me like George Steinbrenner without Steinbrenner's money.

Nah, he's more like Red McCombs. Hopefully his tenure as owner will last about as long as McCombs' did.

2005-10-29 12:54:14
171.   HomeDePo
167 I think I said the same Steinbrenner comment a month or two ago but said that McCourt 'wanted' to be like Steinbrenner.

The prophesy is complete, now comes the apocolyps.

2005-10-29 12:54:14
172.   John A
165 I'm guessing that if the McCourts flounder financially, they'll cut player payroll and it will affect the on-field product. They could hang on like this for a while before they sell.
2005-10-29 12:54:46
173.   Odysseus
To revisit an old DT theme, I think Tommy has watched The Godfather too many times, and he thinks he's Michael, but in fact, he's Fredo.

It's very sad that he's disgraced his legacy.

2005-10-29 12:57:45
174.   John A
173 Tommy might be performing a pretty good Iago, too.
2005-10-29 12:58:26
175.   Mark
147 That really, really makes the team out to be the Indians in "Major League".
2005-10-29 12:59:22
176.   HomeDePo
175 And we even have a screaming meanie woman who runs our team just like the team in Major League...
2005-10-29 13:01:13
177.   dlt2
164, 168, 169 We don't know if that's true. DePodesta's methodology may have had nothing to do with this. It's more likely his results led to his firing. The team lost 91 games. That, plus he had few friends and supporters in the organization.
2005-10-29 13:01:22
178.   John A
I hope He Seop Choi gets traded to Oakland and hits 40 home runs.
2005-10-29 13:01:56
179.   Bob Timmermann
166
Why does the English language have the words "flounder" and "founder" which can have very similar meanings when used as verbs?

Whom do I complain to?

2005-10-29 13:04:59
180.   Bob Timmermann
Tommy mentioned also that the Dodgers are a tough team to be working for? But really who's left? It's the McCourts, Camille Johnston, and then they have to build some superintelligent cyborgs to run the rest of the operation don't they?

It's like the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant after Homer led the workers on strike to save the dental plan!

2005-10-29 13:09:01
181.   fanerman
"Dental plan!"
"Lisa needs braces!"
"Dental plan!"
"Lisa needs braces!"
"Dental plan!"
"Lisa needs braces!"
"Dental plan!"
"Lisa needs braces!"
2005-10-29 13:09:50
182.   rageon
180

Lenny - "Dental Plan."
Marge - "Lisa needs braces."
Lenny - "Dental Plan."
Marge - "Lisa needs braces."
(and so on)

2005-10-29 13:09:59
183.   fanerman
I hope every DePo acquisition has a monster season on our way to the NL Pennant...
2005-10-29 13:10:05
184.   dzzrtRatt
179 From what I can tell, "flounder" derived from "founder," although their meanings have diverged somewhat. When a ship founders, that means it's sinking. When a shipmate flounders while the ship founders, that means he can't keep his balance.

Right now, I'd say the McCourts are floundering and the Dodgers, as a result, are foundering.

2005-10-29 13:10:19
185.   bokonon42
152- I WROTE THAT BOOK! Dorris Kearns Goodwin stole it from me, and then got on the Daily Show when it should have been me. I've sworn my vengeance.

Unrelated: I always hated it when Plaschke et al. called for ticket boycotts, so I can't see getting on that bandwagon, now. But I will, calmly, lay out my well considered proposition--Molitov Cocktails. I bet a twenty million dollar house burns real nice. "When in the course of human events. . ."

2005-10-29 13:10:46
186.   rageon
181 Seriously, I didn't copy your post.
2005-10-29 13:11:19
187.   Score Bard
I would suggest the "whom" you complain to is James Thurber, but he's dead:

http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~heycock/thurber-who.html

2005-10-29 13:12:32
188.   John A
180 I like the McCourt-era Dodgers/Simpsons analogy. Except Montgomery Burns seems light years smarter than Frank McCourt. Or else it's just that Burns has Smithers but McCourt only has the Screaming...you know.

Things have gotten so dire today that I'm falling back on T.J. Simers terminology.

2005-10-29 13:16:50
189.   Odysseus
Simers is no idiot. Plaschke is an idiot.

Simers is many things. Self-centered, juvenile, egotistical, not an especially fine writer, to name just a few. But he's no idiot.

2005-10-29 13:20:54
190.   TheDictator
Theory - a schema or principle that explains certain events.

Of course everyone knows a theory is only as good as it explains phenomena that occurs around us. For example, Newton's laws of motion were abandoned when relativity better explained the universe.

For the third time I am posting this theory. Lasorda has been trying to rest the control of the direction of the team from DePo. McCourt who badly needs positive press and fans at Dodger stadium favors Lasorda because of his charisma and the fact that the media loves him. Besides a return to "Dodgerball" will be enough to get media backing and sufficient excitement about the upcoming season to sell tickets. (of course Penny and Choi have to be traded to erase the anger from the LoDuca trade)

My theory, however much I hate it, still continues to adequately explain what the hell is going on with the Dodgers. I wish I could say it is false but the damn thing continues to adequately describe the events we keep reading about in the papers. Someone please find a better theory please. I would hate to think I am right on this, it makes the "I told you so"s no fun.

Lasorda wins, DePo loses

Do the Dodgers lose? Let's hope not.

BTW, I am giving up thinking about the Dodgers. It is too depressing. Since I think for a living (I teach philosophy), I will stick to my field and let blissful ignorance fill my mind on those rare occasions the Dodgers are on in Dayton Ohio.

But at least Jim Tracy isn't managing the Reds. If that were the case, Adam Dunn would be benched for sure.

The Dictator

2005-10-29 13:21:22
191.   John A
189 Plaschke: idiot
Simers: Self-centered, juvenile, egotistical, mediocre writer.

It's nice that the L.A. Times sports page reader has so many good options! :)

2005-10-29 13:24:18
192.   Odysseus
191 and the sad thing about that is Jim Murray used to write there. And that despite all the bad things I've said about Simers I still think he's ten times the sportswriter Plaschke is.
2005-10-29 13:25:27
193.   fanerman
2005 has not been a good year.
2005-10-29 13:26:30
194.   Kayaker7
If McCourt was going to fire Depo, then he shouldn't have let Depo fire Tracy.
2005-10-29 13:26:32
195.   John A
190 I teach philosophy
Well, perhaps the reign of the McCourts will turn out to be Hobbesian: nasty, brutish and [thankfully] short.
2005-10-29 13:28:09
196.   underdog
Ah, but you can't pan-fry founder, so there's a difference.

Mmmm.... pan fried founder.... ooohhhh.... [[drool]]

Whatever this decision is, I really hope it wasn't made because of the p*-poor journalism coming out of the LA Times sports pages the past year.

And as a previous poster brought up, while I still don't miss the Fox ownership days, I do kinda miss Dan Evans now. He was a pretty solid GM during some rough times.

As opposed to now! Um... Anyway, I dunno why he'd want to come back, but I agree with the idea they may want to bring in a much more veteran, respected GM. If they don't do that, then I really don't understand this at all.

2005-10-29 13:29:10
197.   John A
192 Personally, I've always thought of Simers as a third-rate Don Rickles who somehow lucked into sports columnist's gig.
2005-10-29 13:29:12
198.   underdog
Also, why isn't there a www.firebillplaschke.com blog somewhere?
2005-10-29 13:29:50
199.   capdodger
Wow.... I hope somebody in the Dodgers Front Office has a plan. The timing of this is so strange and poor that I doubt anyone does, though.

Back to quick fixes, I guess....

2005-10-29 13:31:12
200.   TheDictator
195- It sounds more Machiavellian - long, drawn out, self-centered, but (and here he differs) in need of serious PR. Unfortunately, I think McCourt would be seriously helped by reading "The Prince". That way he wouldn't have to change, but do good PR.

However, I think the "Art of War" would help him the most. It would teach him how to run his business.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-10-29 13:31:29
201.   Odysseus
194 You're asking for McCourt to have some sort of organizational philosophy. Clearly, this asks way too much.

DePodesta actually had a long-term strategic vision.

Tracy had a short-term tactical vision.

DePodesta and Tracy had to part ways because of the clash between the tactical and the strategic.

I personally preferred DePo's long-term strategic vision.

But as much as Tracy drove me crazy, the Dodgers could do a lot worse.

But McCourt clearly has no vision. He's too busy panicking, trying to please idiots like Plaschke, engagin in nepotism, and shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic (chaning the colors of the chairs) to worry about whether there is any sort of philosophical consistency in firing everyone.

There isn't. It's just panic and ineptitude.

2005-10-29 13:31:32
202.   HomeDePo
What is McCourts address... It is halloween and I have too many toilet paper and eggs at my house...

Frank, if you are reading this, do not take this as a threat but more as a much-deserved punishment/time out.

2005-10-29 13:32:00
203.   Shaun P
Gee, and Yankee fans like myself thought our team had a dysfunctional, fractured front office. My condolences to you all - especially if you end up with Bobby V in the managers' chair.
2005-10-29 13:32:20
204.   John A
199 Yeah, this was quick. I'm not sure it "fixed" anything, though.
2005-10-29 13:32:28
205.   CT Bum
167

As a Vikings fan also...this move definitely fits with something Red would have done. I'm totally bummed. I thought Depo was on the right track and you would have hoped McCourt would have at least given him 3 seasons to prove himself. McCourt obviously doesn't have the thick skin to be this much in the public eye. His moves are too reactionary.

I feared this could be the outcome after reading Plashke yesterday...although I'm shocked it happened this fast. I was thinking more along the lines of in a couple of months.

The only thing that could make this OK is if Theo is named as our GM. That I could live with.

2005-10-29 13:32:31
206.   HomeDePo
What is McCourts address... It is halloween and I have too many toilet paper and eggs at my house...

Frank, if you are reading this, do not take this as a threat but more as a much-deserved punishment/time out.

2005-10-29 13:33:02
207.   HomeDePo
sorry for double post but that is how angry I am...
2005-10-29 13:34:29
208.   dzzrtRatt
192 One of the McCourts' many mistakes is thinking the LA Times matters. How does it matter? The circulation is dropping like a rock. According to many recent stories, influential people in Los Angeles can barely be bothered to read it anymore, preferring to get their news online or from authentic news sources like the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.

The LA Times used to be so thick with ads you needed a back brace to pick it up off your stoop. Nowadays a stiff breeze will blow that little newsletter into your neighbor's yard. And, as bad as the LA Times is, its new owners, the Chicago Tribune, thinks its management spends too much money on trying to be good!

The LA Times is going to be the first major newspaper in America to fold as a result of new communications technologies.

The idea that a guy like Bill Plaschke should be seen as some kind of important molder of opinion is like saying the telegraph is a vital communications link. Other than to make fun of him, who reads him? Who takes him seriously?

Not only does the Times lack a "Jim Murray," but the Jim Murray of today wouldn't bother working for the LA Times. If he wanted his opinion to matter, he'd start a blog or get a radio show.

2005-10-29 13:35:32
209.   capdodger
I was making a reference to McCourt's comments when he hired DePo. Bob T. reprinted them further up the thread.
2005-10-29 13:36:13
210.   TheDictator
Another theory, (damn I have become a Cubs fan) is that Lasorda got upset when Tracy was let go (it is well documented Lasorda loved Tracy)that he became offensive in restling the direction of the team away from DePo. Add some media support (anyone noticed how much good press Lasorda has gotten recently couched in the middle the DePo bashing articles by Plaschke?) and McCourt is all over it.
2005-10-29 13:37:22
211.   HomeDePo
208 - One of the funniest and best posts I have read in a long time. Thank you and BRAVO!

Go Wallstreet Journal......

2005-10-29 13:37:37
212.   GoBears
Wow. If ever there was a need for a place to deal psychologically with the Dodgers, it is now. Thanks again Jon.

I'm flabbergasted. I'd taken all the swipes at McCourt with a huge grain of salt, mostly because I had been impressed with the DePodesta hire, and with the public support for the long-term plan. Now I see that it was all BS, and that the McCourt detractors were right.

Steinbrenner withoutt the money in---d.

Flabbergasted and furious. I'm hoping that this was DePo's decision to leave, but that he made McCourt fire him instead of resigning.

2005-10-29 13:38:53
213.   Nick Iyengar
One hopeful point to make:

When it comes to the "moneyball" approach, personality isn't very important. Anyone can execute the plan, whether it's DePodesta or someone else. Thus, I don't really care who the Dodgers' GM is as long as the moneyball approach is implemented.

My hope is that the McCourts will replace DePo with another GM from the moneyball school.

However, I'm not at all optimistic that this will actually happen.

2005-10-29 13:42:01
214.   John A
208 Agreed: the influence of the L.A. Times is not that significant. What were the final numbers for their online poll on the Tracy firing? As I remember, the number of votes was ridiculously low, given the size of the L.A. metro area--something like 10,000 cast?
2005-10-29 13:44:19
215.   Linkmeister
Who in his/her right mind would accept this job, after observing this kind of lunacy? I speak as one who suffered through 8 bosses in 2 years once; I always wondered why none of those people ever asked the people on the ground what the job was really like before accepting it.
2005-10-29 13:49:04
216.   John A
214 And that's taking into consideration that I voted FIVE TIMES in support of the Tracy firing. Bit I sure no one else on DT voted more than once ;)
2005-10-29 13:51:00
217.   fanerman
216 - I voted a couple times, too.
2005-10-29 13:52:59
218.   Zach
anyone know where to listen to the press conference on a webcast?
2005-10-29 13:53:41
219.   alex 7
I voted 20 times.

What strange timing. I keep hoping it's April 1st today, but alas no luck.

Where's Steve? Is it hard picking a new team to care and root for like the A's? I would think it's too half-hearted being that there's really no emotional attachment. Is it worth the years that will take?

2005-10-29 13:53:57
220.   student of the game
Does anyone know of a site to view/listen to the news conference?
2005-10-29 13:55:04
221.   alex 7
At least some of us have suddenly retro Home Depo shirts.
2005-10-29 13:55:30
222.   Linkmeister
It also occurs to me that this is a dumb financial decision. DePodesta has what, 3 years left on the contract? So you end up paying somebody not to make decisions about your team as well as paying someone else to make those decisions. Given the purportedly shaky financial situation the McCourts are in, this is beyond dumb.
2005-10-29 13:58:45
223.   John A
216 But you won't tell us how you voted? :)
2005-10-29 13:59:19
224.   dlt2
208, 214 Let's see, the LA Times is irrelevant, but McCourt fired Depodesta to please the LA Times. Seems there's an inconsistency there. And where exactly, did everyone learn about the DePodesta firing this morning? Gee, it was in the LA Times. (The Daily News put it on the website after they saw it in the Times)
In truth, every fact we know about this (as opposed to speculation, which is fun, but shouldn't be confused with fact), comes from the Times and other MSM. It's silly to blame this on the media. The McCourts respond to the bottom line, not sports columnists.
2005-10-29 13:59:28
225.   dlt2
208, 214 Let's see, the LA Times is irrelevant, but McCourt fired Depodesta to please the LA Times. Seems there's an inconsistency there. And where exactly, did everyone learn about the DePodesta firing this morning? Gee, it was in the LA Times. (The Daily News put it on the website after they saw it in the Times)
In truth, every fact we know about this (as opposed to speculation, which is fun, but shouldn't be confused with fact), comes from the Times and other MSM. It's silly to blame this on the media. The McCourts respond to the bottom line, not sports columnists.
2005-10-29 14:00:10
226.   fanerman
222 - This is dumb on all levels. ALL.
2005-10-29 14:01:46
227.   Louis in SF
Has anyone figured out if there is a place to listen to the newsconfrence? I live in SF
2005-10-29 14:02:40
228.   dlt2
Sorry for the double post.
2005-10-29 14:04:19
229.   Odysseus
200 McCourt combines the strength of the Fox with the cleverness of the Lion.
2005-10-29 14:04:30
230.   John A
225 As for me, I never wrote that McCourt fired DePo to please the L.A. Times. But even so, how would that be inconsistent? Just because the influence of the Times with fans is overrated doesn't mean Fank McCourt gets it.
2005-10-29 14:05:08
231.   fanerman
227 - I don't know. I was just hoping to catch the gist from the rest of DT.
2005-10-29 14:05:17
232.   Kayaker7
My initial reaction has been anger and confusion, as you can see from my previous posts. Even saying that I will no longer support the Dodgers. I'm looking for reasons to be optimistic. The only way that this firing makes sense is that Depo is responsible for letting Tracy run roughshod over his authority. How many times during the season have you thought to yourself, "How can Depo allow Tracy to get away with this sh--!" Well, maybe McCourt was thinking the same thing. Maybe Depo would still have a job if he fired Tracy mid-season.
2005-10-29 14:05:46
233.   dzzrtRatt
224 No inconsistency. I don't think you really read what I said.

My point was the McCourts were overreacting to the Times. If they just ignored Plaschke, the consequences would be zilch. Plaschke doesn't have the power to create a movement of fans, advertisers, ticket buyers, whatever. Most fans don't even know who he is. He's just a mosquito in terms of impact.

I'm certainly not blaming the media. I'm blaming the McCourts for being bad at what they do. One way I know this is: They take the media too seriously. They've confused their image with reality. They think they can win by looking good to the Bill Plaschkes of the world. That's a classic mistake in the sports world, but also in the worlds of politics and business.

When you try to run things according to popularity polls, you end up like Bill Clinton--popular in the short run, but empty-handed in the long run.

2005-10-29 14:07:43
234.   Telemachos
232 Yet if you're going to fire him, surely you do it immediately after the season, so you can start a new GM/manager search with a clean slate?

This whole idiotic situation makes no sense.

2005-10-29 14:07:49
235.   Mark
BTW, Steve, firejamiemccourt.com appears to be available.
2005-10-29 14:09:24
236.   Steve
Is anybody actually listening and/or watching the press conference?
2005-10-29 14:10:14
237.   Screwgie
212- "I'm hoping that this was DePo's decision to leave, but that he made McCourt fire him instead of resigning."

This sounds like a reasonable scenario. Given the fact they're serarching for a manager, perhaps this whole situation is really Depo resigning over McCourt picking a manager against Depo's wishes. Like Tracy and Dan Evans, Depo is forcing McCourt to fire him rather than resign. This seems like the only reasonable motive for McCourt firing Depo now. Assuming of course McCourt has some semblence of reason.

Just speculating...

2005-10-29 14:10:24
238.   fanerman
Has the press conference started?
2005-10-29 14:11:27
239.   Odysseus
224 It's not that the LA Times doesn't have some importance. It's that (1) not nearly as much as the LAT thinks it does, (2) nowhere near the importance of other major dailes like NYT, WaPo, etc.

Nobody thinks the MSM is more important than the MSM does. And there is some importantce. But the LA Times is the worst major metro daily. And honestly, I think it's about as important as second-tier dailies like the NY Post.

The problem is that McCourt thinks it's way more important than it actually is.

Therefore, there's nothing inconsistent with the LAT not being as important as they think they are, and still being responsible for this debacle.

2005-10-29 14:13:45
240.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if the press conference isn't going to be webcast. The one for Tracy was a disaster. Mainly because after DePodesta came out, you could hear the writers (Plaschke, Simers, and Modesti among others) publicly bemoaning the firing and also getting in shots at McCourt.

I think this one will be more controlled. Which means less access.

I wonder if the Tracy press conference was one of the contributing factors (of which there were no doubt many with the mercurial nature of the McCourts) to Olguin's ouster?

2005-10-29 14:16:53
241.   Adam
Xtra sports is reporting that he was fired at the news conference...not clear what was said, though.
2005-10-29 14:18:15
242.   dlt2
233 Sorry, but none of us knows what the McCourts were reacting to, unless you've talked to them this morning. I think it highly unlikely they're trying to placate Bill Plaschke, but it makes for interesting discussion. Let's see what they say at the press conference(not that you can necessarily believe that).
2005-10-29 14:19:44
243.   King of the Hobos
So probably nothing special or unexpected...

And a third Dodger has hit an AFL home run. Joining Kemp and Loney is...Abreu. Laroche doubled though, but is still looking for that homer

2005-10-29 14:22:24
244.   Rich Lederer
Just in...excerpt from Peter Gammons' column:

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."

2005-10-29 14:25:28
245.   Nolan
Several thoughts (all revolving around my belief that this is a terrible decision):

1) First and foremost, this decision, as Jon said, shows the McCourts' incompetence. Firing Tracy AND DePo shows that neither was particularly well thought out. The two were diametrically opposed to one another - to fire both is nonsense.

2) There's a strange sort of irony going on here. The McCourts are firing DePo seemingly because they aren't satisfied with what they perceive to be rash and hurriedly-made personnel moves. In fact, it has been the McCourts who have made a series of rash personnel decisions. The turnover in the front office and business side of this organization has been so astounding, that MLB has started to ask questions. In addition, the McCourts seem to be buying into the criticism that DePo isn't a good communicator and doesn't deal with the media well.

There is a word for this: projection. The McCourts have identified their OWN failings but, instead of being accountable for them, have pinned them on DePo.

3) The media does deserve a share of the blame here. DePo's philosphy challenges their worldview of the game but, rather than engage in a thoughtful debate with him over the substance of their disagreement, the press lashed out like an insecure teenager, complete with name-calling. Their coverage of DePo's tenure has been truly embarrassing.

To contradict an earlier post, yes, the McCourts do care about the bottom line first. However, the media affects that bottom line by shaping the fans perceptions of the club.

4) Personally, I am deeply saddened by what's gone on here. Even though the '05 season was pathetic, there are few organizations as positioned for long-term success as the Dodgers. I fear that opportunity will be squandered by a return to the days of trading Jeff Shaw for Paul Konerko and signing the likes of Carlos Perez and Devon White.

I guess we should be ready for a GM who "goes with his gut" and signs "gamers" who "know how to win."

Truly pathetic.

2005-10-29 14:26:07
246.   Odysseus
244 In other words, those of us who speculated that it was the media and/or Tommy, were right. At least according to Gammons.

And the plan sounds disastrous.

2005-10-29 14:29:56
247.   Odysseus
I said it eariler. Tracy's tactics were at odds with DePo's strategy. If you're going to fire Tracy, you keep DePo and find a manager who will execute complementary tactics. If you're going to fire DePo, you keep Tracy and find a GM who will bring in players who complement Tracy's tactics.

Especially because, as I stated before, Tracy drove me crazy, but the Dodgers could do a lot worse.

2005-10-29 14:30:07
248.   Telemachos
Every fact that comes out makes this whole situation worse. I can't wait to see what pearls of wisdom are used to explain why the McCourts chose this path.

And Tommy Lasorda, what on earth are you doing??

2005-10-29 14:30:36
249.   fanerman
I'm scared.
2005-10-29 14:30:59
250.   underdog
Man, I think we're crashing the blog with all our freaking out.

And the one time I want ESPN News to show one of those usually irrelevant (to me) press conferences, this was the time! Instead it's blathering college football coverage.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-10-29 14:32:11
251.   Rich Lederer
Excerpt from Buster Olney's blog:

DePodesta made serious mistakes over the last year, but it's not like he's the only one to mess up in the majors. His rapid departure tells us how unstable the situation is in L.A. Now that Tommy Lasorda has the ear of the Dodgers' owner, you have to wonder if Bobby Valentine will come into the mix in the search for the next L.A. manager.

The final straw in DePodesta's relationship might have come on Tuesday night, when Orel Hershiser was being interviewed for the managerial opening. According to someone close to DePodesta, the GM was not invited to join the Dodgers' group for dinner; according to a highly ranked major league baseball source, DePodesta simply chose not to join the group for dinner. "Paul hasn't been talking with people in the office very much lately," said the source. "He's stayed behind a closed door lately, and nobody knows what he's doing."

No matter which version is accurate -- whether he wasn't invited, or chose not to go -- a situation in which the general manager does not attend dinner with a prospective manager is a clear sign of unworkable dynamics.

2005-10-29 14:33:31
252.   fanerman
250 - Yeah. It's insanely slow for me.
2005-10-29 14:34:40
253.   King of the Hobos
250 Same here, very slow
2005-10-29 14:35:01
254.   Odysseus
252 It could be that DePo saw this coming and he was behind closed doors trying to fend this off and/or looking at other options.
2005-10-29 14:35:19
255.   bokonon42
250- FSNW and FSNW2, our LOCAL sports channels, think high school football, and beach volleyball are too important to be pre-empted. KCAL, the local broadcast station set to carry next years Dodger games is broadcasting some show hosted by that NRA guy with the french name. No local radio coverage, no webcast. I agree with Bob; the McCourts wanted as little attention as possible.
2005-10-29 14:35:27
256.   dzzrtRatt
242 Where have you been? The McCourts' sensitivity to the media, and the Times, especially, has been manifest throughout this season. Milton Bradley? Remember McCourt's gassy interviews after that incident? I also think Bob T. was correct; the Tracy press conference was a botch, it made the McCourts look bad, so out went Olguin, and now DePo after him.

People who have the media in perspective don't hire the most expensive PR agency in town, and then replace them with a former political flak. It's apparent as can be that if you get a Dodger paycheck, your primary job is to make the McCourts look good in the media, which means the Times above all.

I've worked for people who have the same overblown fear of, and respect for, the Times. It's a mistake to run your life or your business that way. I can't emphasize that enough. Even from a PR perspective, coverage in the Times only matters if you're trying to influence other Times readers. Have you looked at the demographics of newspaper readers generally? Their average age is something like 53! That might be important if you're trying to get a vote on the City Council, but not if you're trying to sell tickets to young families.

2005-10-29 14:38:27
257.   Kayaker7
255 The NRA guy is Wayne LaPierre.
2005-10-29 14:38:51
258.   Bob Timmermann
I'm wondering who showed up for the press conference. Probably just the beat writers: Henson, Plunkett, Otto, Jackson. Tim Brown is likely there.

I'm sure Plaschke and Simers are either at the Coliseum or up at Stanford for the UCLA game.

Kevin Modesti is covering the Breeders Cup.

2005-10-29 14:39:07
259.   fanerman
Let's get drunk.
2005-10-29 14:43:31
260.   bokonon42
For those too tender hearted to join me in my Molitov Cocktail Campaign, consider venting a little frustration over at: http://tommy.mlblogs.com/ , Lasorda's blog. 10 to 1 it's maintained by some intern and Tommy's never heard of it. Still, it's public, and the sort of thing that sports journalists could pick up as evidence of dissenting fans protesting the dump.
2005-10-29 14:45:30
261.   Ken Arneson
Sorry about the slow speed, guys. Our ISP is still having huge troubles with their new router. Why they don't just back out and reinstall the old one, I don't know. At this point I think they're about as competent as the McCourts.

It's nothing to do with the traffic on the site; the load on the server is actually pretty low, since it's a weekend. Just bad timing.

I'll get a new ISP at some point, but there's a chance I can get someone to host it for us for free, and I'm waiting to see if that option comes through or not before I move things.

2005-10-29 14:45:58
262.   FirstMohican
I'm depressed...
2005-10-29 14:46:27
263.   bokonon42
Proposed shorthand catchphrase for this little catastrophy: The Big Dump. Like the Big Dig, but a little more tawdry.
2005-10-29 14:46:47
264.   Linkmeister
256 That's it, then. Zev Yaroslavsky for GM!

I have bad memories of that guy for non-Dodger related reasons having to do with conditional use permits.

2005-10-29 14:48:49
265.   Steve
The big concern is that we have to go into Phillips Mode -- the Dodgers must lose to save themselves. Phillips Mode is not fun.
2005-10-29 14:55:36
266.   GoBears
ESPN is all but pretending this didn't happen. They did have as Breaking News on right-hand corner of the bottom scroll "Dodgers to fire GM Paul DePodesta," which was later updated to remove the "to." But now that's been replaced by Breeder's Cup news. They did a baseball story amidst the college football blitz, but it was that Manny has had another mood swing and asked for a trade, again. Need any more evidence that only the Yankees and Red Sox matter?
2005-10-29 14:56:18
267.   DXMachina
If anyone's interested in how at least one group of non-Dodger fans is viewing this, here's a link the the Sons of Sam Horn thread about DePo, which is where I heard about it indirectly, when one of my Sox fan friends e-mailed me to ask "WTF?"

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=1574&st=0

2005-10-29 14:57:49
268.   dzzrtRatt
It's almost 3 Pacific time and neither the Dodgers.com site nor ESPN.com have been updated. Is there a delay in the press conference, or just a delay in getting stories filed?
2005-10-29 15:02:33
269.   dan reines
Wrote my first-ever letter to the Times this morning:

If the McCourts are going to let Whinin' Bill Plaschke make their personnel decisions for them, perhaps they ought to just bring him in full-time. At least then we wouldn't have read that tripe four mornings a week.

2005-10-29 15:02:40
270.   Rich Lederer
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/13031400.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

It's official, folks...

Dodgers fire GM Paul DePodesta

KEN PETERS
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Paul DePodesta was fired as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

Team owner Frank McCourt cited the team's lack of success as the reason DePodesta was let go.

"Our high expectations were not met," McCourt said.

McCourt hired DePodesta after buying the team in January 2004 from News Corp. The Dodgers won the NL West title in his first season, but DePodesta riled fans by trading popular catcher Paul Lo Duca and two other players at midseason.

"I met with Paul DePodesta this morning and let him know that the Los Angeles Dodgers were moving on," McCourt said at the afternoon news conference at Dodger Stadium. "I thanked him for his contributions."

The Dodgers went 71-91 this season, the team's worst record since 1992 and second worst since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, after DePodesta made many offseason changes.

2005-10-29 15:03:50
271.   SMY
There's an interesting column by Jerry Crasnick on ESPN.com. I'm looking forward to Paul Oberjuerge's take.
2005-10-29 15:04:04
272.   dzzrtRatt
LAObserved.com is not impressed, and his concerns echo some of what's been said here:

http://tinyurl.com/b6nct

2005-10-29 15:04:28
273.   MikeB
256.
For the record - I'm 53. I saw my first Dodger game in 1958 at the Coliseum. I grew up listening to Vinny call games on the radio from Forbes Field, the Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Sportsman Park, Seal Stadium, Candlestick, Wrigley, Crosley, etc. I use to watch the games on a black & white TV set when the only games televised before cable, ESPN, & Fox came along were the 9 games played each year SF - with a few key additions. Don Drysdale is my favorite all-time Dodger.

I hate what has happened today. But firing DePodesta has nothing to do with the age of fans, or demographics, or the importance of LA Times, or even the man in the moon. It has to do with lousy ownership.

From my perspective, the McCourts are the ones in over their heads, not DePo. They manage the team like their managing a duplex rental. They are small-minded cowards who will reap what they have sown.

2005-10-29 15:04:30
274.   trainwreck
A's fans are turning on the Dodgers. Quite Frankly I am so mad I do not know what to think. I was mad enough to post on the Dodgers board...I better hear the name Epstein next week (and no the guy from "Welcome Back Kotter" does not count).
2005-10-29 15:05:44
275.   molokai
I refuse to get upset until I see how this shakes out. Until we see what the next step is, why the hysteria? Calling a regime pathetic or despicable without knowing the inner dynamics of why this decision was made just smacks of hyperbole which I can get from the LA Times if I want it.
The McCourts may be idiots, or they may have made this decision based on information from many sources that having Depo stay as GM would not be in the best interest of the LA Dodgers.
2005-10-29 15:08:08
276.   dzzrtRatt
I don't pay for ESPN. Without destroying their profit model, can you summarize Crasnick's take?
2005-10-29 15:10:58
277.   King of the Hobos
Remember when we all thought we'd have a manger (and DePo) named before the World Series?

But 275 has a point, DePo isn't the only person who can bring the Dodgers to the promised land. The next GM could be very good. That means it can't be Bowden or Lasorda. At this point, I'll complain about McCourt, but I have nothing wrong with the Dodgers. If we sign Jacque Jones to a Drew contract, I'll find a new team at that point (likely the Brewers or A's)

2005-10-29 15:11:17
278.   Steve
275 -- This point can not be emphasized enough. The Plaschkes and their ilk are the ones that draw specious conclusions, get caught up in the personality cult, and make silly premature judgments. Bob Keisser claimed just last week that Orel Hershiser was a tool; now Gammons says he's the GM.

There will be plenty of time (and reason) to crucify McCourt after we see how this shakes out. Sure, we all have reason to be very, very nervous. But as others have said, Epstein is out there, Kim Ng is still out there, and Hershiser is still on the finalist list for manager. Let this play out.

2005-10-29 15:11:43
279.   GoBears
275 Yeah, it could be that McCourt knows that DePo secretly eats babies for breakfast.

Please.

2005-10-29 15:12:29
280.   Jesse
I think the idea of risk/reward is what we deal with in our society. To risk an out, and your reward is only a base, I think is not quite what we want to do. It's not good economics of baseball.
-- Bobby Valentine on Baseball Tonight, 5/4/03

Googled Bobby Valentine and beane count and got a Rob Neyer article with this. The Dodgers are still screwed and I've been sick to my stomach all day, but it's interesting.

2005-10-29 15:13:29
281.   molokai
276
The Los Angeles Dodgers don't have much credibility as an organization these days, but they're certainly setting the pace for offseason transactions.

Most teams fresh off a 91-loss season would be content to offer up the manager or general manager as a human sacrifice. Not Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife, club president Jamie McCourt. They christened October by parting ways with Jim Tracy, and brought it to a close by firing Paul DePodesta.

Think about it: Is there a more dysfunctional scenario than ownership cutting loose the manager and general manager three weeks apart? Short of walking around wearing sandwich signs with "We're Clueless" on the front, the McCourts couldn't have provided a greater gift to media critics who view them as an easy target.

Of course, the Tracy and DePodesta departures pale in comparison to the biggest transaction of the month. On Oct. 14, the Dodgers fired three loyal public relations people and hired a PR firm headed by Camille Johnston to craft a more positive image. At Chavez Ravine, it's all about style over substance, and clinging to the misguided notion that the saps in the press are too thick to discern the difference.

"The McCourts can't deal with the media pressure," said a person close to the Dodgers situation. "So every time they start getting hammered, they try and figure out who they can get rid of that's not helping them alleviate the pressure or is hurting them.

"It's all ego-driven with the McCourts. That's the sad part. They think if they sell themselves, the Dodgers will rise up as an organization. But it's really the other way around."

DePodesta is a good person at heart, and it says something about his intellect when A's GM Billy Beane calls him the smartest person he's ever been around. But after DePodesta's one-dimensional, computer-nerd portrayal in "Moneyball," he inadvertently became one of the most polarizing figures in the game.

There will be a mourning period for stat-geek Web sites, where posters worshipfully refer to DePodesta as "Paul" and revel in seeing one of their own entrusted with the responsibility of roster-building. The cynics on these sites love to recycle the same, tired jokes about Paul Lo Duca and "clubhouse chemistry," and were shocked that Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent might have problems co-existing in the same universe.

The anti-DePodesta faction -- made up of purists and scouts -- will reflect upon DePodesta's brief tenure with the Dodgers and write it off as a failure. The scouting community will advocate for some team, any team, to declare a moratorium on Harvard number-crunchers in favor of general managers who can actually evaluate talent.

There's no disputing that DePodesta's personal style was detrimental to his job security. He was harder to find than Sandy Koufax during spring training in Vero Beach. And in crisis time -- for instance, when the Dodgers took a pounding for backing out of the Javier Vazquez trade last winter -- he was slow to return phone calls and articulate his position to the press. Maybe he just felt that he shouldn't have to, that he was smarter than everybody else.

But this much is clear: DePodesta deserved more than 21 months to execute his vision and prove himself, just as his predecessor, Dan Evans, didn't deserve to be canned after two years on the job. There has to be a happy medium between Chuck LaMar's decade-long tenure with Tampa Bay and management-by-turnstile in LA.

DePodesta could have used more friends at the end, when the McCourts panicked and took the easy route yet again. He has three years remaining on his contract, which gives him time to take a breather and find the right spot to rehabilitate his career. As a friend of DePodesta's observed, "How many 32-year-old former general managers do you know out there right now?"

It's telling that just about every former Dodgers employee you talk to expresses relief at being away from this mess. It's common knowledge that Tommy Lasorda, who wants desperately to be heard, felt free to badmouth DePodesta and promote his own agenda with the McCourts.

Two years ago, before Frank and Jamie hired DePodesta, Lasorda pushed for Pat Gillick to get the job. And while DePodesta wanted Terry Collins or Giants coach Ron Wotus to succeed Tracy as manager, Lasorda lobbied passionately for Orel Hershiser or Bobby Valentine.

Lasorda's argument: The best way for the Dodgers to repair the damage is by evoking feel-good images from the past.

If only it were that easy. Dodger Blue once had great meaning to lots of people because of the organization's reputation for loyalty, integrity and class. The version making the rounds these days is nothing more than a pale imitation.

2005-10-29 15:13:56
282.   Steve
280 -- !!!!!
2005-10-29 15:14:00
283.   rageon
278 But in the meantime, can I go to my halloween party as an ex-Dodger fan?
2005-10-29 15:14:24
284.   King of the Hobos
Now I'll have to wait until some information regarding a new manager/GM is leaked. I plan on being very bored for the next many hours/days. Teh SC game just hasn't been very interesting, and I don't plan on a great UCLA game

Can I assume McCourt won't clean the entire house?

2005-10-29 15:15:45
285.   Dr Gonzo
Sorry for coming late to the wake...

I know this is decidedly the wrong board to say this on, but if you listen very closely, you can hear Jim Tracy chuckling...

And I know Depo was the first GM the McCourts had ever hired, but even they should have known that being able to communicate is a huge part of that job, particularly in a major market. It's not enough to have a plan, and it's not even enough to have the ability to carry out the plan... you have to be able to sell the plan to your subordinates, your superiors, and your customers. In the end, DePo had lost all three...

And (at the risk of being harsh), if your primary selling point is that you're the smartest kid in the class, you don't get any room for error. You walk in with a target on your back from Day One.

And tomorrow? If it's Orel, then I'm optimistic, 'cause he may be inexperienced, but he's not an idiot. Of course that also makes me pessimistic; he's probably too smart to take this gig...

And if it's Bobby V., well, hell, at least the mediocrity will be colorful and bizarre and only a little sad, kind of like watching VH1's celeb-reality shows...

2005-10-29 15:16:42
286.   Steve
Thank God he's chuckling somewhere else.
2005-10-29 15:17:48
287.   dzzrtRatt
275 Well, according to Frank McCourt, DePodesta was fired because the team did not do well last year. As he put it: "Our high expectations were not met."

Note to Camille Johnston: Nice phrase, but it's not good PR to have your boss contradict his own words from just three weeks prior. The Dodgers haven't lost any games since October 6th. You've just made him look like a liar--and that will show up in the coverage, which won't be as laudatory as your boss apparently expects.

2005-10-29 15:18:50
288.   chitown dodger
this actually brings up a paradox associated with the depo philosophy. If your philosophy is dedicated to exploiting inefficiencies in the market, you are buying when everyone else is selling and vice versa. in a sport such as baseball, where you need public support to succeed, it takes a willing suspension of disbelief of the fan base. billy beane as a charismatic public figure overcomes this because he is ultimately a great salesperson. but he has never fully understood the theory (he was a guest speaker in one of my business school classes and made a few contradictory statements that wouldn't have occurred if he really understood the theory.) so, can depo really be a gm? or is he destined for the second in control - the guy who really gets it - who works for the guy who can sell it?
2005-10-29 15:21:06
289.   King of the Hobos
OK, the big question now: Is Choi non-tendered or traded?
2005-10-29 15:22:51
290.   Steve
Does Grabowski play first base or left field?
2005-10-29 15:24:22
291.   Odysseus
288 It's not enough to know what the inefficiencies are. You have to find a willing buyer/seller as well.

After the last few years, I think a lot of GMs were wary that "Paul" and Beane were going to screw them in any deal.

Also, take this July, it was a seller's market. Even if you know how to get a good deal in a normal market, that doesn't mean you can get a good deal in a world where teams are demanding (and getting) multiple prospects for the likes of Joe Randa.

2005-10-29 15:25:10
292.   Odysseus
My post 291 is not really a defense of DePo, it's more of an explanation.
2005-10-29 15:26:40
293.   King of the Hobos
More good news, our new GM will be more willing to acquire Zito. I don't want to start to think of what we would have to give up though
2005-10-29 15:26:42
294.   Scanman33
I had a phone conversation in July with McCourt after emailing him to give my support for the direction the Dodger organization was headed. This morning, I fired off this email to him:

Mr. McCourt,

In July, you and I had a great telephone conversation about the direction the Dodgers were headed. I stated to you my enthusiasm for this vision and my full support of it. At that time, injuries had hit the Dodgers hard (and continued to do so) and we both agreed that this was a major factor contributing to the problems the team was facing. I also shared that I felt you were getting a bad rap in the local media and stated that I hoped you would ignore them and stay the course.

I read this morning that you are reportedly set to fire Paul Depodesta. This news filled me with anger, frustration and disappointment. When we spoke, you made the analogy that much like Branch Rickey was a visionary in bringing in Jackie Robinson, Depodesta was a visionary in how teams are put together. Imagine if Branch Rickey had caved to all the outside pressure that was put on him and sent Robinson back to the Negro Leagues two seasons after being in the Dodger farm system. This is what you are doing to Depodesta.

When you gave him a three year contract, you made a committment to him and his vision. Rescinding this deal twenty months in would be a colossal mistake and an injustice. The perception is that you are doing this to placate the local media and certain antiquated elements within your organization who just don't get it. Those people will never be happy or are only happy when they are miserable and have something to complain about. Throwing your general manager under the bus doesn't gain you any real good will with them. It just gives them another reason to point at you and assert that you do not know what you are doing.

As a Dodger fan of 31 years, this is the most disappointing moment I've ever experienced. Paul Depodesta deserves the extended period of time to complete the creation of the vision that you so enthusiastically endorsed to me in July. Playing to the whims of the fans and the press gets you what is tantamount to a sugar high. It's a great feeling short-term, but then you end up feeling the same, if not worse, afterward.

If this firing does indeed happen, count me among those who will stay away from Dodger Stadium for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Frankm@ladodgers.com

2005-10-29 15:26:58
295.   Steve
If DePodesta had fired Jim Tracy last year when he should have, he would be eating eel with Hee Seop Choi right now.
2005-10-29 15:27:30
296.   bokonon42
Where are the, "stat-geek Web sites," where DePo was called Paul?
2005-10-29 15:28:22
297.   Marty
It's all so confusing to me. A move like this tells me that McCourt doesn't want to wait for the Jacksonville kids to make him a winner. So he axes Depo and brings someone in who'll trade for established players. On the other hand, I don't think McCourt wants to take on the salary that those trades would demand. This is going to be interesting to watch.
2005-10-29 15:30:30
298.   Bob Timmermann
Guzman to Cora to Konerko! A Dodger double play!

Except that will be Cristian Guzman.

2005-10-29 15:30:51
299.   Odysseus
297 again, you make the mistake of thinking McCourt has anything like a coherent plan, or uses anything people like us call "logic." Based upon McCourt's actions, I would say that these assumptions are unfounded.
2005-10-29 15:31:28
300.   trainwreck
Come on UCLA I need you to win badly today.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2005-10-29 15:32:16
301.   Marty
299 That's pretty much why I said it was confusing.
2005-10-29 15:32:36
302.   trainwreck
298-
Oh god your'e scaring me. It is not halloween yet no need to tell horror stories.
2005-10-29 15:32:56
303.   Bob Timmermann
Most of UCLA's win have been of the "bad" variety lately.

Jon is home cooking up crow to send me along with some humble pie as a dessert.

2005-10-29 15:33:05
304.   Odysseus
301 It's not at all confusing if you just stop assuming that McCourt is acting out of anything than panic and fear.
2005-10-29 15:36:13
305.   Steve
Since we're sharing:

Please make sure that you give Jim Bowden or Ed Wade every opportunity to win the GM's job. Whether it's non-tendering or burying young talent, or trading it for replacement-level middle relief, clearly that's the sort of experienced GM that the Dodgers need and deserve. Particularly the latter.

This is not Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock gets his name over the title, though of course, your brilliant firing of Ross Porter led to the debut of "Frank McCourt's Psycho," making this year's telecasts virtually unlistenable. But I digress. It is becoming apparent, even among people like me who have attempted to defend your leadership, that your only vision for the Dodgers is, in fact, as "Frank McCourt's Dodgers."

Believe in statistics, scouts, or both, that vision of the Dodgers is one virtually no one can get behind.

2005-10-29 15:36:29
306.   King of the Hobos
298 When Izturis gets back, who moves to 3B? Or does Cora move to LF?
2005-10-29 15:37:28
307.   chitown dodger
291 - other teams are just another constituency that you have to sell to tho. beane can do it; can depo?

don't get me wrong. i think it is unfortunate in our society that the most qualified may not be perceived as the most qualified because they don't sell it (or perhaps, depo didn't want to sell it and let other teams onto his philosophy). i do really believe that the dodgers would be better off with depo than without. i just am questioning whether this was the inevitable end.

2005-10-29 15:38:12
308.   DaveP
what is McCourt's email address?
2005-10-29 15:39:37
309.   trainwreck
305-
Bring back Malone!
2005-10-29 15:40:49
310.   Bob Timmermann
Which websites have posters who call Paul DePodesta "Paul"? I don't think anyone called DePodesta here "Paul".
2005-10-29 15:41:22
311.   King of the Hobos
I'm going to go off topic to deliver some good news. Dodgers had a good day in the AFL today:

Kemp 1-5, 3B
Loney 1-5
Laroche 4-4, 2B, SB
Abreu 2-3, 2B, HR, SF

Dannemiller .2 IP, BB

2005-10-29 15:41:23
312.   dzzrtRatt
Okay, so as not to get too depressed, keep in mind-- no one's traded any prospects yet. A new GM gets a mulligan for 2006--whereas DePodesta knew it was win or done. That pressure could've only led the team down the wrong path.

It is disturbing that the team has such terrible owners, but hey, they've not had good ownership since Walter O'Malley died.

It's very disappointing, what happened today. The palpable optimism of the post-Tracy moment is all gone. But something will happen, undoubtedly, to provide reasonable hope for the future. McCourt and McCourt can only do so much damage, and if they go beyond a tipping point, I think the league will start eyeballing the situation out here.

Which brings to mind a name I haven't heard for a long time: Whatever happened to Corey Busch?

2005-10-29 15:42:59
313.   King of the Hobos
Rotoworld's take:

Dodgers fired general manager Paul DePodesta.
We suppose this will bring an end to the Hee Seop Choi era, too. ESPN's Peter Gammons believes the Dodgers could make Orel Hershiser their general manager and Bobby Valentine the replacement for Jim Tracy. Maybe it will work. One thing is for sure: with a payroll around $100 million, a loaded farm system and a weak NL West to contend with, whoever gets the GM job will be stumbling into a great situation. Even if things don't work out in 2006, the media will probably just keep blaming DePodesta

The sad part is the last sentence is 100% true

2005-10-29 15:44:16
314.   bokonon42
306- You can't move Cora to LF, you lunatic! LF is the hardest outfield position; Psycho told me so. Jeez, you computer owners are so stupid. . .
2005-10-29 15:44:36
315.   Dr Gonzo
307: not inevitable... DePo's a bright guy, and if he wanted to have a long career he would've learned how to 'sell it.' I wasn't a huge DePo fan, but he should've had that chance...
2005-10-29 15:45:28
316.   Vishal
from an ESPN.com article:

*McCourt said he will consider "leadership a very important characteristic" for a new GM.

"He would have a keen eye for baseball talent and experience to do the job," McCourt said.*

what does that last sentence mean to you?

2005-10-29 15:46:22
317.   Linkmeister
McCourt's behavior here is truly quixotic. Don Quixote got a bad rap. He was just a little eccentric.
2005-10-29 15:47:48
318.   DaveP
316 - Theo Epstein?
2005-10-29 15:51:05
319.   Dr Love
Theo Epstein?

I would be completely shocked if Epstein is even on a short list. If it's not Lasorda, it's someone Lasorda will hand pick.

2005-10-29 15:51:20
320.   King of the Hobos
316 Jim Bowden.
2005-10-29 15:52:46
321.   Dr Gonzo
316: the first sentence says a lot about how he felt about DePo. The second sentence says that Gammons is probably wrong about Orel as GM, but it may be a boost to Terry Collins.

Hey, wasn't Dave Wallace being groomed for a front-office deal before he bolted back east? Any buzz on him? Or were there details of his departure I'm not aware of?

2005-10-29 15:54:27
322.   fanerman
Theo Epstein! A kid can dream...
2005-10-29 15:54:32
323.   fanerman
Theo Epstein! A kid can dream...
2005-10-29 15:54:56
324.   King of the Hobos
What are the thoughts on Gillick? I don't really know much about him, namely his thoughts on prospects. Rotoworld likes him, not sure what that means
2005-10-29 15:55:27
325.   trainwreck
Nice way to start UCLA. Here is an idea Karl tell your team to play in the first half. Eventually only playing in the second half is going to burn you.
2005-10-29 15:57:44
326.   Dr Love
What are the thoughts on Gillick?

Well, that would be a hell of a 180. From a major player in Moneyball to a guy who claimed not reading it was a badge of honor, whom Michael Lewis called "the Grand Poobah of the Goold Old Boys Club."

2005-10-29 15:58:04
327.   Odysseus
321 Considering that I've been underwhelmed with McCourt's leadership, I don't trust him to be a good judge of that trait in others.

That's not even saying DePo was a good leader, just that I don't think McCourt will be able to pick one. And didn't he pick DePo in the first place.

Again, though, I too make the mistake of assuming McCourt possesses any logic, semblance of a coherent plan, or any plain old common sense.

2005-10-29 16:02:02
328.   Louis in SF
It is now almost 2hrs since the press confrence. Did McCourt take any questions? GIven the way news comes out of the Dodgers these days, perhaps the old Soviet Union has one colony left?

Seriously, when McCourt came on many at the LAT questioned his ability to run a franchise, everything that has happened in the past few months is an indication that they were correct. As much as they may have hated DePodesta, the way all of the firings have been handled from PR to this one reak of bad management.

While Rich's analysis makes sense, I really wonder if Lasorda is that capable of pulling something like this off, I question it. I hope to hell Depodesta comes out with his side of all of this. Eating 3 years of Depodesta's contract probably means the Dodger payroll will drop accordingly

2005-10-29 16:03:59
329.   Steve
310 -- Nowhere. That is fantasyland again.
2005-10-29 16:05:07
330.   Odysseus
329 I beg to differ. After reading that article, I called DePodesta "Paul." But I did it ironically.
2005-10-29 16:07:22
331.   trainwreck
McCourts wants to be like Steinbrenner. He wants his name to be synonymous with the Dodgers. He wants his name to be on equal level with the whole team. You can not mention the Dodgers without mentioning his name.
2005-10-29 16:11:50
332.   Steve
Irony doesn't count, indeed.
2005-10-29 16:12:33
333.   Kayaker7
Well...alls I gotta say is that I'm no longer interested in supporting the McCourt Dodgers. Is there some way to wrest control away from this guy? Are half-empty stadiums the only way to force him out?>
2005-10-29 16:12:41
334.   Dr Gonzo
323: I suspect that Theo would be too DePo-like... can you see Frank stumbling down the hallway at the Stadium next year, passing Theo in the hall, and thinking, "hey, didn't I fire that guy?"

If we're going old-Dodgers, I vote for Dave Stewart. Can you imagine those press conferences? Hee hee hee...

327: On target.

2005-10-29 16:15:05
335.   King of the Hobos
So are we going to have a GM after the 15 day filing period ends?
2005-10-29 16:16:16
336.   trainwreck
When are free agents able to be signed?
2005-10-29 16:16:34
337.   Ken Arneson
Oh, Dave Stewart, yes, that would be entertaining. I'd love to see him give some of those reporters that death stare.
2005-10-29 16:17:51
338.   Jon Weisman
Folks, I just got home and read the thread. Can I just say that although many of you are disappointed, this has been a high point for the Dodger Thoughts comments. An emotional issue dissected intelligently and almost without hyperbole. I really tip my hat to all of you.
2005-10-29 16:18:17
339.   Steve
What does McCourt drink? I'll have what he's having. A lot of it.
2005-10-29 16:18:51
340.   Bob Timmermann
Dave Stewart was considered a disaster as the assistant GM of the Blue Jays. My friend always sums up his tenure with two words: Joey Hamilton.

Apparently he was Stewart's pet project.

Stewart is an agent now I believe.

2005-10-29 16:18:57
341.   Kayaker7
My wife is happy to hear that I won't be watching the Dodgers on TV, nor making the 1.5 hour drive to the stadium. Little does she know that I'll cheering on a different team...
2005-10-29 16:20:32
342.   Kayaker7
338 Yeah, and we did it without a moderator. :-)
2005-10-29 16:20:40
343.   Bob Timmermann
I'm more disappointed with events up on The Farm.
2005-10-29 16:21:06
344.   trainwreck
The only other team in our situation at this time is the Devil Rays. That can not be a good sign.
2005-10-29 16:21:39
345.   Vishal
[339] i believe the it's called "Kool-Aid"
2005-10-29 16:22:26
346.   dzzrtRatt
335 Maybe this means Lasorda gets to be "Acting GM" again.

Wouldn't it be funny if he signed free agent Paul Konerko to a $12 million, five-year contract?

2005-10-29 16:23:37
347.   regfairfield
346 He should get Lilly back too.
2005-10-29 16:25:07
348.   Steve
Could somebody please post a Why We Hate Bobby Valentine Primer of some sort? I, of all people, get the hating a manager thing, but I need some substance with the sizzle.
2005-10-29 16:25:49
349.   Kayaker7
345 Jim Jones' cult drank Flavoraid, BTW.
2005-10-29 16:26:35
350.   Kayaker7
346 It looks like he's been acting GM all along.
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2005-10-29 16:28:09
351.   Vishal
[344] it'd be funny if depodesta got the devil rays job

[335] i would imagine that frank mccourt has a good idea of who he wants as the next GM. as little sense as it makes already, it would make even less if he fired depodesta randomly with no plan for a possible replacement.

2005-10-29 16:28:14
352.   Uncle Miltie
Depodesta was given 2 years to implement his plan. I can't think of another GM who was given such a short period of time to put together a team. It's a shame that McCourt is using Depodesta as a scapegoat. Bring in former Dodger great and "real baseball men" isn't going to make the situation any better. I wouldn't be surprised to see McCourt hire a "real baseball man" like Pat Gillick. I can hardly contain my excitement.
2005-10-29 16:29:27
353.   Dr Gonzo
340: Oh I know I'd be a disaster... but I'm trying to picture Dave Stewart, Bobby Valentine, Jamie McCourt, and Tommy Lasorda in one room trying to run things. It'd make for great reality TV. Nobody comes out alive.
2005-10-29 16:29:44
354.   regfairfield
I think we should hire Bo Jackson as the replacement.

We already know that he knows baseball. The football part is just a bonus.

2005-10-29 16:30:14
355.   dzzrtRatt
341 My Dodger fan status won't be shaken. It has survived worse than this, although I can't recall a single more sickening day as a fan that didn't involve an actual game, or someone dying.

But it was worse, in many respects, to have hopes for Kevin Malone based on his pedigree, only to find out he was in fact a clown. The early Fox moves were pretty bad. The Sheffield trade (another Plaschke special as I recall) was depressing. The Konerko trade was disturbing. Beltre. Hershiser's shoulder. Many painful moments. Just ask Nick Hornby. To be a fan is to suffer.

2005-10-29 16:31:20
356.   King of the Hobos
I can't believe I've been so oblivious. Who has McCourt listened to more than anyone (ather than Lasorda)?

Time to welcome our new Gm: Bill Plaschke

2005-10-29 16:32:51
357.   trainwreck
Wow just read John Sickel's response to DePo's firing. I would cut and paste it here but there is a few swears there. Basically he says this garbage and it is a Steinbrenner move.
2005-10-29 16:33:59
358.   Kayaker7
355 I know this will sound contradictory, but at this moment, I feel nothing towards the Dodgers as long as McCourt is in charge, while I remain a Dodger fan. I feel like the Dodgers no longer exist...
2005-10-29 16:34:37
359.   Kayaker7
357 Can you post a link?
2005-10-29 16:35:23
360.   Bob Timmermann
7-3 in the first half? In a Pac-10 game?
2005-10-29 16:36:02
361.   Vishal
[359] http://www.minorleagueball.com/comments/2005/10/29/124216/35/11#11
2005-10-29 16:38:00
362.   Kayaker7
361 Thanks. Short and to the point.
2005-10-29 16:39:41
363.   Kayaker7
Can we do something along the lines of the Green Bay Packers--city ownership of the team? I'm sick of idiosyncratics owners who have no business owning sports teams.
2005-10-29 16:39:49
364.   Odysseus
At this moment, the Dodgers are dead to me.

I compared McCourt to Fredo earlier. This is the moment where he gets the speech from Michael:

"Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?"

2005-10-29 16:39:54
365.   trainwreck
360-
This is a positive for UCLA frankly.
2005-10-29 16:41:11
366.   Bob Timmermann
But who kidnapped Drew Olson and switched in Joe Ayoob for him?
2005-10-29 16:41:23
367.   Ken Arneson
340 Yes, Stewart is the agent of Eric Chavez, among others, and negotiated Chavez' long-term deal.

353 I'm sure it would be a disaster, too, but man, it would be entertaining. There would be so much for Jon to blog about! Take it from me, it's really hard to keep blogging about a completely logical organization like the A's. It's like trying to dance about arithmetic.

2005-10-29 16:42:42
368.   Steve
"city ownership of the team"

Scary.

2005-10-29 16:43:48
369.   Bob Timmermann
Municipal ownership of a team in baseball, such as the Packers model, is prohibited by MLB's Constitution. As are public stock offerings.
2005-10-29 16:45:08
370.   Kayaker7
368 Antonio Villaigosa vs. Frank McCourt...interesting dilemma.
2005-10-29 16:45:48
371.   Kayaker7
369 Dang it, Bob! Why do you have to be so wonderful?
2005-10-29 16:47:15
372.   Odysseus
369 Therefore, a private "hostile takeover" would be the only way to remove McCourt.

I have no idea how McCourt's ownership is structured. Does he have partners, is there a private corporation or LLC?

The best way to force him out would be to make his lenders squeeze him.

Rising interest rates from the Fed certainly won't help. Expect lower spending on player salaries in the near future. I bet he just pockets the funds now available after the money from Dreifort, et al. comes off the books.

2005-10-29 16:49:09
373.   Dr Gonzo
364: Understood (and great quote). When my Rams packed up for St. Louis I tried to stay a fan, but it eventually just died... it was too different an organization than the one I had known. I didn't know them anymore.

The Dodgers that I knew (I idolized Wes Parker as a kid) are headed the same way for me, I'm afraid...

2005-10-29 16:49:15
374.   Odysseus
Excuse me, I meant to ask whether the Dodgers ownership is a "closely held" corporation. If so, the shareholders could form a voting trust or some such organization and elect board members hostile to McCourt.
2005-10-29 16:49:18
375.   Kayaker7
Well guys, I'm all Dodgered out. I spent half the day fretting about 'em. Gotta go make din din.
2005-10-29 16:50:42
376.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers are an LLC.

There is a Los Angeles Dodgers LLC and a Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company LLC.

Jamie McCourt in an LABJ interview early in the year said they were looking for an equity partner, but could not comment nor name anyone approached.

2005-10-29 16:51:52
377.   Bob Timmermann
374

AFAIK, the Dodgers are not a "closely-held" corporation.

That scenario you described was how O'Malley was able to wrest control of the team away from Rickey in Brooklyn.

2005-10-29 16:52:24
378.   Odysseus
Any DTers know a good investment banker? That's the only way this problem will ever be solved.
2005-10-29 16:53:43
379.   Ken Arneson
A good investment banker would not, by definition, try to solve this problem.
2005-10-29 16:55:53
380.   Bob Timmermann
Right now if I were working for the Dodgers, I would buying a copy of "What color is the anvil that got packed in your parachute bag?"
2005-10-29 17:03:16
381.   dzzrtRatt
378 I've got the perfect guy:

http://tinyurl.com/8jyto

2005-10-29 17:04:33
382.   jeongers
What a crappy day . . .
2005-10-29 17:05:49
383.   trainwreck
Lets hire Roger Dorn.
2005-10-29 17:07:42
384.   regfairfield
Dorn's lack of defense clearly isn't Dodger baseball.

(Actually, if Dorn existed, I wouldn't be surprised if a sabermetric team gobbled him up. That bat at a low price can't be a bad thing.)

2005-10-29 17:08:00
385.   dzzrtRatt
USC's BCS dance partner is stumbling:
http://tinyurl.com/c6gmp
2005-10-29 17:08:15
386.   Dr Gonzo
381: now that was perfect...
2005-10-29 17:08:16
387.   Jon Weisman
I have a new post up top.
2005-10-29 17:09:27
388.   Kayaker7
Okay, I'm back. My wife and I are not hungry yet, so din din deferred for an hour.

I just had to ask. Just how much of a factor do you think it was to McCourt that the White Sox won the World Series, using a pseudo-Smallball?

2005-10-29 17:10:25
389.   Steve
Just how much of a factor do you think it was to McCourt that the White Sox won the World Series, using a pseudo-Smallball?

Does anyone have a couple of bananas handy?

2005-10-29 17:12:54
390.   Vishal
bobby valentine is the same guy who once returned to the dugout in a disguise after he'd been ejected, thinking nobody would notice or recognize him if he was wearing a fake moustache and dark glasses, right?
2005-10-29 17:13:48
391.   Vishal
[385] HAH!!! go oklahoma state!!!!
2005-10-29 17:15:44
392.   King of the Hobos
The White Sox won by getting guys people didn't want because of character issues. I'm not sure McCourt will allow the Dodgers to do that
2005-10-29 17:23:10
393.   Dr Gonzo
388: I think there may be something to that, and DePo's quick dismissal is evidence. McCourt apparently didn't hire DePo because he shared DePo's Moneyball philosophy; he hired him because that philosophy was the hot new trend at the time. If McCourt is convinced that a different philosophy is the new trend, I'm afraid he'll swing that way next.
2005-10-29 17:25:59
394.   dagwich
This whole baseball year has been wacky, so this Saturday afternoon massacre puts the cherry on top of the sundae, so to speak. At this point (today) I'm more a Depo fan than a Dodger fan, and I am glad he has 3 years to find a good situation for himself, on McCourt's dime. Unless the next GM really blows it the Dodgers will be fine for the next year or two, thanks to the good foundation Depo has built -- lots of key players will move back to or exceed their expected performance (O. Perez, Lowe, Penny) and/or have healthy years (Gagne, Drew). Choi will be dealt for something useful or used wisely, and the new GM can jettison some of the deadwood. At this point the high minors are stocked. Somebody is walking into a wonderful situation -- even the press will give him (or her) a honeymoon.

The White Sox reminded me how much luck figures into success -- if enough players exceed expectations at the same time, and players stay healthy, anything is possible. For the Dodgers (and Depo) it was the exact opposite this year.

2005-10-29 17:34:40
395.   dagwich
394 To edit my message....I can't really tell the future -- I should have written that "lots of key players are likely to move back to or exceed their expected performance".
2005-10-29 17:42:46
396.   fanerman
In an episode of the West Wing, they try to get free elections in some South American country. They end up getting the guy they want elected but through military means and not through an election, so one person says, "You got your guy." But the chief of staff says, "The process matters more than the outcome and that's what we wanted. And therein endeth the lesson."

That's the most frustrating part. The results would have come. And if they didn't, then DePo could be fired and everybody would know it was the right decision. I just wish he was given an actual chance. Not 1 offseason.

2005-10-29 18:04:12
397.   the OZ
Regarding Theo Epstein:

If it is true that McCourt is after Steinbrennian fame, there's no way he would hire a GM more famous and popular than he is, even if he used to be with the Red Sox.

Whoever he hires will be lower in media stature than he is. Even with all of the venom, DePodesta had better name recognition than McCourt, which may be a reason that contributed to his firing.

It's gonna be Kim Ng, guys, with Hershiser replacing her as an Assistant GM. This is Jamie's call. I bet she'd LOVE to promote the first woman GM in sports.

2005-10-29 18:08:58
398.   the OZ
396 - I've had that scene in my head all morning. Seriously.

"The process matters."

2005-10-29 18:44:04
399.   LAT
I have not read the thread but I intend to. Perhaps someone said this above. The person to blame for this entire mess, is not Depo, not Plaschke and Simmers, not Tracy, not even Lasorda (who's new found power is very scary) but Bud Selig. This is what happens when you relax the rules to let a carpet bagger into an exclusive club that he does not belong in in the first place. Just when you thought things couldn't get worse. I will think long and hard about giving Frank & Co, $14K for season tickets this year.
2005-10-29 18:52:16
400.   alex 7
It is a shame that a family who by all indications knows very little about baseball is now free to make all baseball-related moves.

The feeling of helplessness is no fun at all. And though some are asking that we be patient and see who McCourt hires as GM, what in any of their previous moves or comments should lead us to think it will be a sensible move?

Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2005-10-30 11:57:14
401.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
First off: I am dumbstruck and disappointed and felt rather sick for the past however many hours. However:

I think it is easy to question McCourt (whom I resisted criticizing in the past due to his seemingly brilliant move of hiring DePodesta in the first place and making other, seemingly like-minded, economics-focused decisions). Easy: he gave DePodesta only one winter negotiating season, isn't a baseball person, etc.

What I think is harder to do is understand where DePodesta fell short, outside of the reasons being cited in the media (poor record this year, some moves others without the capacity to analyze questioned, etc.)

My belief, formed from observations screened through the absurd press and my general understanding of business, is this: DePodesta didn't make a good executive.

The key mission DePodesta had when he joined the Dodgers was to exact a change: a change in philosophy, a change in practice, a change in how the game was to be viewed. From all observers' points of view, he didn't communicate especially well. My guess is that he did not lead the change well, either.

In the spring of '04, I read Moneyball and became exceptionally excited that the Dodgers had hired DePodesta. I was so excited, I wrote a letter to DePodesta, offering my observations -- from a business perspective. The key point I provided was that of change management.

Would change management skill or a change management strategy change what happened in 2005 on the field? Maybe: perhaps Jim Tracy could have been swayed to play certain players more. But that's not the point. If Paul DePodesta had succeded as an executive, he would have had the rest of the organization thinking his way, and that would have included Frank McCourt.

And hence, today, the Dodgers would still have a GM who views the game with modern lenses.

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