Anthopoulos now wears Dodger Blue
By Bob Elliott
And now let’s go upstairs to the booth and Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully:
If you do impressions do your best Vin ...
“Ladies and gentlemen ... let’s please extend a warm Dodger Stadium welcome to our newest vice president ... he comes to us all the way from Montreal, a former Dodger triple-A outpost where Jackie Robinson broke into pro ball, via Toronto ... here he is ... Alex Anthopoulos ... No. 19.”
Anthopoulos officially became the 19th vice president in the Dodgers organization when Los Angeles made the news public Tuesday on their official Twitter feed.
He walked into Dodger Stadium on Tuesday and headed down the left field line gazing out at the chaparral hills behind the left field fence.
“I’ve been to Dodger Stadium before -- in 2008 when the Jays were here -- but I was mostly in the clubhouse and walking out to centre field to catch the bus,” said Anthopoulos from his Dodger Stadium office Tuesday night. “I’ve never really seen if from left field.”
There are 18 others on the VP chart covering everywhere from executive VP, stadium operations, general counsel, planning and development, corporate partnerships, international scouting, marketing, finance, information, merchandise, security and tickets.
He’s No. 2 when it comes to having the title of vice president baseball operations. Josh Byrnes is the Dodgers senior VP of baseball ops.
And in season all the front office staff have cookies delivered to there desks (after every sellout) and ice cream (if the club increases its first-place lead). Part of the Dodger Way.
Coming off a 92-win season as his July airlift remade the Jays roster, Anthopoulos didn’t see working with new president Mark Shapiro as a “good fit.”
He turned down Shapiro’s two-year offer and the later five-year offer presented by Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, three days before Anthopoulos left.
Shapiro hired former Cleveland executive Ross Atkins, who was given a four-year deal.
The day Anthopoulos left the Jays he was named the executive of the year by his peers.
Anthopoulos, 38, will be the seventh former GM to try to have his voice heard in a crowded conference room which consists of:
President Andrew Friedman, former GM with the Rays for 10 years, GM Farhan Zaidi, former No. 2 man in the Oakland A’s system, Byrnes, nine years as GM with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, Gerry Hunsicker, senior advisor of baseball operations, the former Houston Astros GM, GM Ned Colletti, who spent 10 years running the Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda, who served as interim GM in 1998 and Anthopoulos.
How close are Zaidi and Anthopoulos? Well, twice with the Blue Jays he called Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane to hire Ziadi to come to Toronto.
“Billy kept saying no and Farhan would get a promotion,” said Anthopoulos.
Atop the Dodger pyramid sits president Stan Kasten, no shrinking violet, who is also actively involved.
Zaidi, Freidman and Anthopoulos became close friends over the past decade.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Alex on board,” Friedman told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. “Farhan, Josh, and myself all have long-standing relationships with him and believe his experience and perspective will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
While Brynes oversees scouting from San Diego, Anthopoulos will work in the office every day with Friedman and Zaidi.
“I knew Andrew from trying to make deals with him over the years -- our philosophy is a lot a like,” Anthopoulos said. “Josh I know but not as well as the Andrew and Farhan. I enjoyed discussing players with him after the draft.
“I don’t view it as having a title. I look at it as talented baseball guys who are here and that’s part of appeal.”
The Dodgers, who also won 92 games and won the National League West, visit the Rogers Centre May 6-8.
Where ever Anthopoulos ranks in the pecking order and how much his voice is heard in the DDR (Dodgers Decision Room), he will likely be a hot ticket the next time there will be an opening among one of the other major league clubs.
Anthopoulos will move his wife Cristina along with their children Julia, five and John, three, to L.A.
“I wouldn’t move my family out here if this was going to be a quick stay,” he said,
However, Anthopoulos did say he would listen if a GM job presented itself.
And one should come available about the trade deadline -- in time for another airliftÉ We`ll see.