Browns hire baseball executive DePodesta to direct strategy

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CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns have made an out-of-the-batter's box hire.

Paul DePodesta, a baseball executive with 20 years of major league experience, has been appointed their new chief strategy officer.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who fired coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer following a 3-13 season, has brought in DePodesta to help his organization with decision making. DePodesta, a longtime aide to Sandy Alderson, had been the New York Mets' vice president of player development and amateur scouting.

DePodesta began his baseball career as an intern with the Indians in 1996 and became an advance scout and special assistant to the general manager. He worked in Oakland alongside GM Billy Beane, whose ''Moneyball'' strategies helped the Athletics overcome budget constraints and win.

DePodesta also worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. DePodesta admitted he has a lot to learn but he wants ''nothing more than to help bring consistent, championship caliber football back to Cleveland.''