Every sports fan has something they would like to personally express to a person in power representing their favorite team(s).
Whether it be a trade suggestion, concern over player salaries, frustrations over loyalty to the manager or coach, ticket prices, or any number of on and off the field issues, they would simply relish the opportunity to be heard, and maybe even acknowledged.
Truth is, most of those thoughts end up being yelled at the television and/or vented to disinterested beat writers on Twitter.
But there's one Los Angeles Angels fan out there — a man named Aaron, who also writes under the moniker of Of Maicer of Men on the Angels blog Halos Heaven — who took the time and put forth the effort to write his well thought out trade suggestion on a piece of paper, placed it in an envelope, licked a stamp, and mailed it to their new general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Like I said, it's something we've all considered at least once or twice in our sports loving lives, but I don't think any of us would anticipate what Aaron would receive: An actual direct response from Dipoto, handwritten on a postcard.
Sam Miller of the Orange County Register transcribes Dipoto's response for us:
A quick note to thank you for your recent letter. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the creative idea you shared. Clearly you have a solid knowledge of the league and potential "players" on the horizon. Unfortunately, trades are always very complex, as you alluded to in your letter. Salaries and finance tend to become an overriding factor.
Know that I do appreciate the suggestion and creativity you've shown.
All my best,
Writing direct responses to individual fans is not something Dipoto is expected to do, obviously. I don't think we'll be hearing many stories about other GMs sacrificing their valuable time to do so anytime soon, and that's not a mark against them at all.
But it's no secret Dipoto established a reputation during his front office stints with the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks of being a polished communicator and someone who's open, honest and confident. He's not threatened by feedback or dissenting opinions, he actually values them. And apparently that extends all the way to the fans.
It's that approach that helped Dipoto earn the respect of his teammates and coaches throughout his eight-year career in the big leagues, and it's that approach that continues to bring him success off the field as a scouting director, a director of player personnel and now a general manager.
By the way, Aaron noted in the comments section on Halos Heaven that his proposed trade would send Bobby Abreu and Alberto Callaspo to the Baltimore Orioles for minor-league infielder Jonathan Schoop and minor-league pitcher Clayton Schrader.
File those names away just in case there are any Angels-Orioles trade talks heating up in the coming weeks.