Bill Stoneman is in it for short haul with Angels

Bill Stoneman is in it for short haul with Angels
Angels owner Arte Moreno greets General Manager Bill Stoneman at a spring training workout in 2006. Moreno has made Stoneman the interim GM after the resignation of Jerry Dipoto. (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times)

It was a logical first question to a 71-year-old who is eight years removed from his stint as the Angels general manager and was enjoying a comfortable semi-retirement as a senior advisor before being pulled back into the 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week demands of the GM job.

Are you nuts?


"We'll see," Bill Stoneman said with a chuckle Thursday, one day after being named interim GM for the rest of the season. "I don't know. All of this came up so quickly, and it's only a three- or four-month type thing, so we'll give it a run."

Stoneman was driving with his wife, Diane, from Atlanta to Savannah, Ga., for his son's wedding Friday. Two nights earlier he was in an Angel Stadium suite, like he normally is, watching a game against the New York Yankees when owner Arte Moreno and President John Carpino came in for a chat.

Jerry Dipoto was about to resign as GM in the wake of renewed friction with Manager Mike Scioscia, the man Stoneman hired back in 1999. Would Stoneman take an interim GM post just one month before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and the Angels in dire need of an offensive upgrade?

Stoneman, company man to the core, loyal to the team he helped guide to the 2002 World Series championship, agreed.

"Hopefully I have the energy to do it and my mind still works well enough to do it," Stoneman said. "I did it for eight years. We'll see how much I've lost over the years. Mike and I always got along fine, and I always got along with the players. I don't know why it should be any different. I just have to get caught up."

That process will begin Monday, after Stoneman returns from the wedding and sits down with assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais and other members of the front office.

Stoneman said Klentak will handle much of the trade talks and day-to-day operations of the club until he can get up to speed.

"I'm going to want to know what they're talking about, and when we get a chance to sit down, we'll figure out how communications will get done," Stoneman said. "We'll see where it goes. There are good people there, guys I know and trust. We'll get all of that taken care of."

Almost all of those people, including Klentak, were hired by Dipoto — which could be a source of conflict or tension between the front office and field staff — but Scioscia said it will not be awkward moving forward with the current regime.

"There will be absolutely no problem with the guys who are still here and doing their jobs," Scioscia said. "I think Bill will keep us together, he'll keep the communication going, and his decision-making process is incredible. I think it will be a calming effect for the front office and staff."

Stoneman, a former big league pitcher who threw two no-hitters, has worked closely with every member of the front office, and he has long-standing relationship with Scioscia and his coaches.

As volatile as the situation might be following Dipoto's departure, Stoneman does not enter as an outsider. He has been spending four or five hours a day in the office and attending home games.

"We'll work things out," Stoneman said. "I know everybody on the staff. I have to get caught up, but the relationships should be good. I just don't see that there will be issues going forward."

Stoneman said Dipoto also has reached out to him to offer guidance and information on trade talks.


"Jerry and I got along fine, and if I have to call him, I'll call him," Stoneman said. "He said he will help if he can. He wants to make sure things run well too. The guys who are working there, he cares for. He wants this to work out as much as anyone."

Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna