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Draft director White happy with GM
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2004 First-Year Player Draft
05/24/2004  6:50 PM ET
Draft director White happy with GM
Potentially clashing styles not a problem for Dodgers
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Scouting director Logan White (left) will again be in charge of the Dodgers' draft room. (Mark Langill/Dodgers)
When Paul DePodesta was named general manager of the Dodgers, there were two comments heard most often:

1. He's how old?

2. Poor Logan White.

The age issue is understandable when a 31-year-old becomes the boss. The Logan White question is just as understandable if you know that White runs the Dodgers' draft and you've read the book, "Moneyball," which put DePodesta on the map in his role as assistant general manager of the Oakland A's.

The book, however, portrays DePodesta as a new-wave stat geek with no appreciation or tolerance for old-school baseball scouting methods. If you read the book, it wasn't hard to connect the dots and predict that White's days were numbered.

That was the overwhelming sentiment in baseball scouting circles from the day DePodesta was hired. Yet, the Dodgers are only two weeks away from the June draft and White remains in place, about to call the shots for his third Dodgers draft. asked White how that is possible. Why are you still here? Didn't you read "Moneyball?"

Logan White: I absolutely read the book. Was I concerned? Sure. I was absolutely concerned and a lot of scouts were concerned with scouting in general. But after working with Paul, I'm impressed with the type of person he is. We are a lot alike. We don't like to lose.

Then I got to know Paul and found he's not the way he's portrayed in the book. One thing I don't like about the book is that it's mean-spirited in the way it picks on people, ways that are not necessary. It is exaggerated. I think Paul is a kind and caring person. We all know he is very intelligent, but he is open to other ways of doing things. I think he realizes, as we all do, that you're in trouble if you think you've got the game figured out. But it's pretty well known that your drafts have been built around top high school players, while the Oakland drafts when DePodesta was there focused on college players. That's a pretty significant difference in philosophies, isn't it?

"The biggest difference from what I had heard the industry expected to what I have seen is that Paul [DePodesta] is open-minded. He's very receptive to not eliminating any player or type of player. We should take the best player available."
-- Logan White

White: Obviously, from my drafts, that's what people think I do. But my strategy is to draft the best available player. I react to the trend in the draft. We took Jonathon Broxton with the 60th pick. I believe with his stuff he will be a very hot commodity in trade talks.

That draft was deep in high school pitchers. I anticipate this draft to be different. We have three picks in the first 33. Don't be surprised if our first three players picked are college players. And not because Paul came in and imposed his theories on me. He's allowed me to do whatever it takes to pick the best player. Oakland could take a high school player this year. They realized they've missed out on some good high school players.

I try to stay ahead of the trend. There's a strong chance we will take a college player early and it has nothing to do with Paul's strategy. He hasn't tried to do that. I like to think he respects the fact that I've been in the draft room longer. That's my field of expertise. He's been involved in a lot of fields that are not my expertise. So, no, he hasn't imposed anything on me. But he has said he will be very active in the draft. Doesn't that imply that you are under the microscope?

White: I look forward to him being involved. My job is like Jim Tracy's. I'm the manager of the draft. I do believe he'll allow me to run it, but I look forward to him being in there. If the general manager doesn't care or doesn't want to be involved, I don't know if he's doing his job properly. I want him involved. Ultimately, he's the decision-maker. He has the right to fire me. In the end, I think he respects the people that work with and for him. As long as you have a reason for what you do, it seems that he's fine with it. Just don't blindly be doing something.

But I told him that two years ago people probably thought I was nuts with taking James Loney because he wasn't a consensus guy as a hitter and he wasn't rated that high by Baseball America. It wasn't a great decision in terms of the industry. But you can't always look at the moment. That's a short-range vision and that can get you beat. That's what the CEOs of companies like Enron were doing, trying to make the quarter numbers. I take the long-range view. It sounds like you wound up with a different DePodesta than the one in the book.

White: For me, the biggest difference from what I had heard the industry expected to what I have seen is that Paul is open-minded. He's very receptive to not eliminating any player or type of player. We should take the best player available. It's my job to decide which to take and which to leave.

Paul is quiet, but once you get to know him, he opens up. I think he would agree that we don't see that much difference in how we go about it. If there are ways to improve on it, we're here to strive for perfection. If there's any great change, I haven't seen anything.

I will say this: We have more similarities than differences than anybody expected. You hear about reliance on statistical analysis. We use a blend. If James Loney had been batting .220, I wouldn't have drafted him as a hitter. I knew he was batting .580. So, we utilize the statistics too.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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