Specifically, there was the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers, who derided DePodesta time and time again in their columns. The pair had been vehemently opposed to DePodesta’s hiring from the start, lambasting him as a “computer nerd,” someone who “relies on equations” and “speaks in megabytes.” Simers added the nickname “Google Boy” in a column entitled “Dodgers Come Up Short on New General Manager.” The pair continued to deride DePodesta over the following year—saying he was someone who could only “study the sport at a keyboard and play it in a basement”—while continuously ripping the “Moneyball” approach itself, claiming that “when with Oakland, [DePodesta] had been the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game.”
“At the time, I didn’t feel he was suited for his job,” Plaschke explains today. “He was very, very shy and wasn’t into being the public speaker that the Dodger GM had to be. He had to be out there—this was a job Branch Rickey once did…. [But] he wasn’t a great communicator.”
To Plaschke, it was thus DePodesta’s personality, not his qualifications, that were the problem.
“Everyone thought I was against him because he was a saber guy, but that wasn’t true—I think numbers are great,” Plaschke explains. “But there’s also a human element involved…. He’s a great number two guy, great guy behind the scenes, but with his role with the Dodgers, he was out front every day. He was clearly not comfortable with that role, and the team sort of took their lead from that, and I think it affected the whole organization.”