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Angels introduce Billy Eppler as general manager

Angels introduce Billy Eppler as general manager
Billy Eppler, right, sits with New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman in 2011. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

The Angels introduced Billy Eppler as the team's general manager at a news conference Monday.

"I want Angels fans to know that I am committed to championship standards, that I will work relentlessly, ethically and efficiently toward making the Angel organization a model of excellence," Eppler said.

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Eppler replaces Jerry Dipoto, who resigned from the position in July amid rumors that he and manager Mike Scioscia weren't seeing eye to eye. But Eppler seemed unconcerned with the prospect of working with the longest-tenured manager in the MLB, saying it was "a non-issue" and that he was "looking forward to getting to work with Mike.... He's a phenomenal manager."

An assistant GM for the New York Yankees since 2011, Eppler said he'll start working with the Angels immediately.

"We have to evolve, and we have to continue to challenge ourselves," Eppler said. "That's what championship organizations do, and that's what I intend on doing here."

In his opening remarks, Eppler emphasized what he believes are the four aspects of a baseball player that are most vital to building a successful franchise:

"The fundamental baseball development, the strength/speed development, the mental and cognitive development, and the life development of the player," Eppler said.

He also touched on the role of analytics, adding, "I appreciate the contribution that analytics can have on all facets of baseball operations. It is an important tool and another way of injecting objectivity into the decision-making process."

Eppler didn't divulge many details about his specific plans for this coming offseason, noting that he didn't want to give away his "secret sauce." He did, however, make clear that he's "pleased with the core of the team. There are some thoroughbreds that can pull the cart, so we're going to try to land some other horses that can help pull it."

As for what he might do with the front office members still on staff from the Dipoto era, Eppler hinted that he would take a conservative approach.

"I walk into situations wanting to learn about the people and the process that's in place," Eppler said. "I don't look far ahead, and generally, I'm a little bit more resistant to change. I believe in working with the people that are here and I know a lot of the people that are here. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better."

Angels president John Carpino said he and owner Arte Moreno interviewed roughly 10 candidates before deciding on Eppler. Moreno added that he and the front office have kept tabs on Eppler since he first interviewed for the position four years ago.

"We spent a lot of time with Billy," Moreno said. "When we talked about attitude, he was probably 1A. He was very close to getting the job last time. We spent a lot of time talking, sort of stayed in contact whenever we crossed paths. I'd see [Yankees owner Hank] Steinbrenner at meetings and I would talk to him about his staff and how Billy was doing.

"Then we went through this process again, we found the same energy and creativeness coming from a winning organization. We really felt that he stepped up and was very confident in the four years that he stayed with the Yankees."

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