By Jon Weisman
As word spread of Alex Anthopoulos joining the Dodgers as vice president of baseball operations, one big question naturally followed. How long would a lead actor (just named 2015 Sporting News MLB Executive of the Year) want to take on a supporting part in another organization?
But Anthopoulos worried about the spotlight, nor is he putting a time limit on his move to Los Angeles. In fact, he’s doubling down on his commitment by moving his family to Southern California after school lets out in Toronto this year.
“That came up with a few of the clubs that I spoke to,” the former Blue Jays senior vice president and general manager said in a conference call with reporters today. “A few of them said, ‘You’re probably only going to be here for a year.’ It was flattering to hear that, but at the same time, we know that there’s only 28 of these jobs with other teams. I wouldn’t move my family out here if I felt this was going to be a quick stay.”
Anthopoulos interviewed with other clubs, as well as media organizations, about potential work, before alighting happily with the Dodgers.
“My mindset was not on going somewhere short term,” he went on. “I don’t want to jump around. I’m not someone who does that. I commit to somewhere, and I give everything I have and I’m immersed in whatever I do. I think that was reflected with me sitting down with my wife and my family and me deciding to make California home, and to really, really commit to the community, commit to the organization. If things come up down the road, I’ll evaluate them as they come, but my focus is not on any other jobs. I would be thrilled if this is where I spent the next 20 years.”
The 38-year-old said he will “meeting in the office daily” with Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi in a role that could evolve but will touch on all aspects of baseball operations.
He voiced little concern of a “too many cooks” environment with a Dodger baseball operations department topped by Friedman, Zaidi (whom Anthopoulos said he twice tried to lure from Oakland to Toronto) and Josh Byrnes.
“I just look at it as really talented baseball guys that are here, and that’s actually part of the appeal,” Anthopoulos said. “All these guys, they come from different backgrounds (and) experiences. … Ultimately Andrew has the final say, which is the way it should be, but he is someone who values opinion and input. It’s a great collaboration on his end. I guess I respect those guys so much, it’s really exciting for me, because I do think it’s a great fit.
“From a philosophical standpoint, they’re all unique in their own way. … They all bring their own elements to the table, and they balance each other and complement each other very well. From my experience, any time you take executives from other clubs, they’re not going to necessarily look at the world the same way. When you bring them all together, we can consolidate our ideas and thoughts, and hopefully that leads to great decisions — and wins.”