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Redsland
01-24-2006, 03:49 PM
"I truly enjoyed being a part of the Reds organization and living in this community Ė it was great.

When I originally accepted the job, I was very honest in portraying the current condition of the organization and what our plan was to rebuild the Reds into a championship-caliber organization.

The only means to accomplish this goal was by building a solid organizational foundation with a productive minor league system. I promised that we would not take shortcuts, and I never wavered from that commitment.

While I do understand the frustrations involved, immediate results at the major league level were not a realistic goal. I was very forthright in explaining the timeline necessary to accomplish our goals. Unfortunately, I was not given the requisite time necessary to carry this plan to the ultimate conclusion, which is a championship.

I understand that itís new ownershipís prerogative to make changes and hire their own people. It is a difficult part of the business, but I respect Bob Castelliniís decision.

I want to assure everyone that the minor league and scouting foundation thatís currently in place is there for future success. Iím very confident in the quality and the depth of the talent base at the lower levels of our minor league system, due primarily to the last two yearsí free-agent drafts and the restructuring of our Latin American operations.

I commend everybody on the scouting staff for a job well done, and our minor league managers, coaches and instructors have every reason to be proud of what theyíve accomplished at this point in time. I want to personally thank each and every member of the front office staff for their hard work and dedication. I have great confidence in these individuals to continue to move the organization forward during this transition period.

In addition, Iíd like to commend Jerry Narron and his major league coaching staff. Jerry is the right man for this job, and Iím very certain that the team will play to its potential under his leadership.

Iím convinced that this organization is headed in the right direction and Iím genuinely proud of the effort that was put forth over the last couple of years. Whatís been accomplished to date will play an important role in the future success of this franchise. The quality of the work that has been done will stand the test of time and validate the decisions that have been made.

In closing, Iíd like to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Lindner for presenting this opportunity. Iím genuinely grateful and appreciative, and I think all of you know that I truly care about the Reds organization and I respect the people who work here behind the scenes."
Translation:

"The plan didn't involve winning at the major or minor league level, so it was working, despite the lack of meaningful acquisions or apparent progress. Given more time to keep on keepin' on, you'd've really seen something, let me tell you. Your loss." :mooner:

:obrien:

top6
01-24-2006, 03:52 PM
That is a classy statement. I will save other comments I may have for another thread. Exiting gracefully in a situation like this is a sign of true character. I wish Mr. O'Brien good luck in the future.

Puffy
01-24-2006, 03:56 PM
I don't even know how to respond to that. He drafted three postition players in two years that have even a little chance of helping the major league team in the next 10 years (Bruce, Rosales and BJ) and he thinks he stockpiled the lower minors.

OK, he got Bailey and Wood.

I don't even know what to say.

Redsland
01-24-2006, 04:00 PM
That is a classy statement. I will save other comments I may have for another thread. Exiting gracefully in a situation like this is a sign of true character. I wish Mr. O'Brien good luck in the future.
Classy? He claims the minors are sparkling, thanks to him (they're 24th or something, right?), he claims the organization is moving in the right direction, thanks to him, and he claims that if he'd only been left in place, The Plan would have become a championship. Who here believes any of that?

Sour grapes.

CincyRedsFan30
01-24-2006, 04:04 PM
:laugh:

That's all I've got.

BTW, he really likes the word "requisite," doesn't he? He used that word a number of times during the course of his run as GM.

Red Leader
01-24-2006, 04:06 PM
Classy? He claims the minors are sparkling, thanks to him (they're 24th or something, right?), he claims the organization is moving in the right direction, thanks to him, and he claims that if he'd only been left in place, The Plan would have become a championship. Who here believes any of that?

Sour grapes.


and, better yet, he claims that even though his "plan" was cut short, it will be the foundation that he layed in his 2 years here that leads to the success of the future.

Hey Mr. O'Brien: :censored:

pedro
01-24-2006, 04:13 PM
While I don't agree with his POV, I will say that that this is the kind of statement that he neds to make in order to have any chance of finding another significant job in baseball.

I also find it kind of ironic that this "statement" was more direct than anything he ever said while he was the GM.

TRF
01-24-2006, 04:20 PM
I don't even know how to respond to that. He drafted three postition players in two years that have even a little chance of helping the major league team in the next 10 years (Bruce, Rosales and BJ) and he thinks he stockpiled the lower minors.

OK, he got Bailey and Wood.

I don't even know what to say.

He got the steal of the draft in Sam LeCure too. during his tenure he aquired a lot of ML talent that was better than the dreck the reds had. I still defend Reitsma for Bong/Nelson as a good baseball trade even if the results are poor. The reasoning behind the trade was sound, and was about as good a return as you could expect from a Reitsma. I was also a fan of the Randa trade. Two pitchers for a 36 year old 3B on a one year contract ain't bad.

DanO's problem wasn't evaluating minor league talent. It was an inability to quickly pull the trigger to get major league talent. And an almost Jimbo like ability to be wrong about major league pitching (Wilson, Milton, Ortiz). Had he done better with the starters, I think he's here through 2006, with a pipeline in the making at Sarasota and below.

It was a classy exit statement though. I wish him well. I doubt he's ever in the GM seat again, but he would make a good director of minor leagues for some team out there.

traderumor
01-24-2006, 04:21 PM
Hey, the guy has to put his head on the pillow at night and try to sleep. But, we no longer have to watch his snail crawl across the landscape with no apparent destination.

One of the most depressing times of the season last year was doing daily minor league updates and watching most of the teams lose on any given day. There is so little to get excited about in our current system that it just really takes a lot of cajones for the self portrayal that he accomplished anything. I sure cannot think of anything productive off the top of my head.

In fact the funniest thing I've read in a while was when one of the Enquirer writers gave DanO credit for Harang and Lopez breaking out last year. What did he do? In fact, he hindered Lopez breakout, only a well timed hammy injury to Aurilia changed that fortune (and I have an alibi :p: ). What a ridiculous exit statement.

Matt700wlw
01-24-2006, 04:21 PM
I also find it kind of ironic that this "statement" was more direct than anything he ever said while he was the GM.

No strings attached.

Chip R
01-24-2006, 04:27 PM
I want to personally thank each and every member of the front office staff for their hard work and dedication.

I'm surprised he didn't thank each one personally in his statement.

Johnny Footstool
01-24-2006, 04:31 PM
While I do understand the frustrations involved, immediate results at the major league level were not a realistic goal. I was very forthright in explaining the timeline necessary to accomplish our goals. Unfortunately, I was not given the requisite time necessary to carry this plan to the ultimate conclusion, which is a championship.

If immediate results at the major-league level were not a realistic goal, WHY DID YOU INVEST $25 MILLION IN ERIC MILTON?

Redsland
01-24-2006, 04:33 PM
I also find it kind of ironic that this "statement" was more direct than anything he ever said while he was the GM.
That's because he didn't write it.

I agree he had to say something to save face, but dude, keep it believable.

Fans;

By now some you have been made aware and others have not of a recent reorganization of the front office in which certain members of the staff were given new responsibilities outside the organization. As one of a number of such people both of and approximately of the status under discussion here, I can say with all candor that my feelings on the matter are both relevant and not. Rather than focus too much on the particulars of this or that eventuality, let me say that a rising tide lifts all boats, and so I wholeheartedly embrace this new challenge with all the vim and vigor I did the last one.

Yours;

DanO

:)

Doc. Scott
01-24-2006, 04:33 PM
If immediate results at the major-league level were not a realistic goal, WHY DID YOU INVEST $25 MILLION IN ERIC MILTON?

Because he was there, of course.

registerthis
01-24-2006, 04:36 PM
If immediate results at the major-league level were not a realistic goal, WHY DID YOU INVEST $25 MILLION IN ERIC MILTON?

...or re-sign Wilson.
Or sign Womack.
Or re-sign Aurilia.
Or sign Ramon Ortiz.

Actually, it's all starting to make sense. Clearly, the goal WASN'T to win at the major league level. Pouring over the O'Brien free agent crap-a-thon list, it becomes readily apparent that there was never an impetus to win at the major league level. So it appears that we are, in fact, in agreement.

Unassisted
01-24-2006, 04:39 PM
If the statement were closer to the reality of the situation, the man would still have the job. I agree that the biggest foundation he laid since he was hired was the one laid by this statement for his future employment.

RedsManRick
01-24-2006, 04:46 PM
If immediate results at the major-league level were not a realistic goal, WHY DID YOU INVEST $25 MILLION IN ERIC MILTON?

Because he had 60MM to spend and NOBODY else would sign with us. Not spending the money wasn't an option -- or not an option Dan O was willing to consider. So instead he gave a 3 year (low risk compared to, say, Chan Ho Park) deal to a guy who he thought could be adequate, likely knowing he overpaid but hoping it would buy time while his 'plan' took hold in the minors. Of course, you can't come out and say "We just overpaid for a guy who's a #4 starter on a good day because nobody else would sign with us and Lindner gave me more money to spend." Instead you say that you think he's a "solid veteran guy who knows how to win."

But instead of Milton simply being somewhat overpaid, but servicable, he turned in one of the worst pitching performances ever. The misjudgement was thinking he gave Milton 10 million more than he deserved and that he'd help keep the ship afloat when he really gave him 25 million too much and blew the hole in the ship even wider.

Chip R
01-24-2006, 04:56 PM
Because he had 60MM to spend and NOBODY else would sign with us. Not spending the money wasn't an option -- or not an option Dan O was willing to consider. So instead he gave a 3 year (low risk compared to, say, Chan Ho Park) deal to a guy who he thought could be adequate, likely knowing he overpaid but hoping it would buy time while his 'plan' took hold in the minors. Of course, you can't come out and say "We just overpaid for a guy who's a #4 starter on a good day because nobody else would sign with us and Lindner gave me more money to spend." Instead you say that you think he's a "solid veteran guy who knows how to win."

But instead of Milton simply being somewhat overpaid, but servicable, he turned in one of the worst pitching performances ever. The misjudgement was thinking he gave Milton 10 million more than he deserved and that he'd help keep the ship afloat when he really gave him 25 million too much and blew the hole in the ship even wider.

Your real name isn't Alibi Ike by any chance is it?

SteelSD
01-24-2006, 05:00 PM
If immediate results at the major-league level were not a realistic goal, WHY DID YOU INVEST $25 MILLION IN ERIC MILTON?

I almost pity Dan O'Brien at this point. What a poor poor self-deluded man.

Guy was handed a top-notch offensive ballclub an a small fortune to spend on pitching. Yet "immediate results" were not a realistic goal. And yet, there were "immediate results" on Dan O'Brien's watch. The team got worse.

Outlined a five-year plan to do nothing but act as Director of Scouting and Development while signing a three-year contract to be a General Manager. Next time he applies for a position he needs to read the job description.

Promised no "shortcuts", but he's a guy who'd take two days to figure out which toy he wanted in his McDonald's Happy Meal.

And my favorite passage:


Dan O'Brien: "The quality of the work that has been done will stand the test of time and validate the decisions that have been made."

Oh delicious irony. The quality of work that has been done will stand the test of time. The quality of said work completely validates Bob Castellini's decision to fire Dan O'Brien. Validates that decision now, ten years from now, and into the next century. Doing awful work tends to validate decisions like that.

Kc61
01-24-2006, 05:14 PM
Dan's "timeline" (apparently measured in decades) for building a team is just not acceptable in today's sports markets. There is lots of player movement. You can improve the major league team without waiting for high school prospects to mature.

Drafting 2 or 3 (tops) potential major leaguers from the high schools each year is not a recipe for building a franchise anymore. If Dan was "forthright" about this plan when hired, then somebody should have told Lindner that this won't wash.

His major league deals involved picking up average veterans (Lidle, Randa) who he kept for a few months and traded for minor leaguers; one terrible free agent signing; and no major trades at all until the Casey deal (in which he received a questionable return). This would not seem to be the way to build a contender.

Not only did the team lose, but the approach was boring. I don't ask for player deals without purpose, but the team lost 89 games. You would think that a different player combination might have helped.

As far as I am concerned, as a fan, good riddance to the last Reds administration.

lollipopcurve
01-24-2006, 05:24 PM
Some moves worked, some didn't, as befalls all GMs. Attended to the grassroots rot in the talent pipeline -- much more important than is generally acknowledged, I think.

So far, I like the two drafts of his SD -- but it's too soon to anoint them as successes or failures.

Very methodical and consensus-concerned, making him unable to act quickly or boldly in time-sensitive markets. This was a blessing (all high-value players remain with the Reds) and a curse (some declining players hung around too long, and true high-value guys are gaining bargaining leverage that may make it tough for the Reds to keep or get value for them). The rumored Griffey deal at the July 05 deadline may have been very good for the organization -- but the rug got pulled out by ownership.

Did not appear to have strong leadership qualities. Public and ballclub did not respond to him.

I'm ready for a new guy, but there could yet be some good things that come out of DanO's two years. I wish him well.

pedro
01-24-2006, 05:25 PM
That's because he didn't write it.





That's what I was thinking too.

I find it kind of odd that some people think DanO is somehow a good evaluator of minor league talent even while admitting that he isn't a good evaluator of major league talent. It just makes absolutely no sense to me.

lollipopcurve
01-24-2006, 05:35 PM
I find it kind of odd that some people think DanO is somehow a good evaluator of minor league talent even while admitiing that he isn't a good evaluator of major league talent. It just makes absolutely no sense to me.

I think it's that they seem to have procured some high-ceiling talent in the 04/05 drafts and not injured it right away. DanO doesn't deserve a whole lot of credit for this, other than that the scouting staff that's responsible for these drafts is his responsibility.

Johnny Footstool
01-24-2006, 05:43 PM
But instead of Milton simply being somewhat overpaid, but servicable, he turned in one of the worst pitching performances ever. The misjudgement was thinking he gave Milton 10 million more than he deserved and that he'd help keep the ship afloat when he really gave him 25 million too much and blew the hole in the ship even wider.

The thing is, many, MANY people (baseball people, sportswriters, and fans alike) knew it was a bad signing from the get-go. There were lots of red flags like Milton's gopheritis and his degenerative knee condition that pretty much everyone noticed and acknowledged except DanO.

But the biggest problem I have with DanO's little excuse-me press release is that he tries to play off the Milton signing and all the moves registerthis listed by saying, "Well, we never expected to compete anyway." Any sane person knows you don't spend all those millions of dollars to not compete.

WMR
01-24-2006, 06:14 PM
Idiotic statement; falls in line with everything else DanO has been spouting for the past 2 years from his initial press conference hallelujah on down to this final, excuse-laden, 'it's not my fault,' farewell.

I really wish someone would write a letter to the editor of the Enquirer debunking this last piece of garbage.

corkedbat
01-24-2006, 06:14 PM
C'mon guys! Bad investments and bad results at the major league level lead to better draft positions and more rapid improvement at the minor league level. Shrewd! Some of you guys just can't see the plan for all the binders I guess.

:D

cincyinco
01-24-2006, 06:23 PM
While I dont think any of the critisism of Obie is unfair, I would like to say one thing:

Can we all just move on and focus on the positives that have come out the last few days? I really am tired of reading/hearing the "Obie Sucks" rhetoric - its been that way for his whole tenure, with the exception of maybe his first month on the job.

Obie is now the past. Lets move on, lets get excited about the forthcoming changes, and keep our fingers crossed that we dont hire another poor GM.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. So much despair over the last 2.5 years.. I'm finally excited about being a Reds fan for the first time in years again - and we're still humping on Obrien.

Meh..

TRF
01-24-2006, 06:25 PM
Oh delicious irony. The quality of work that has been done will stand the test of time. The quality of said work completely validates Bob Castellini's decision to fire Dan O'Brien. Validates that decision now, ten years from now, and into the next century. Doing awful work tends to validate decisions like that.

If his title were Director of Scouting and Development, his work would have stood the test of time. He's had 2 drafts now. One he nailed, one so-so. The talent in the minor leagues barring the ridiculous Kevin Howard trade has gone up considerably during his tenure. In short, I believe the man has a degree of acumen when it comes to developing talent.

He just cannot translate that into recognizing that same talent at the major league level. I would have loved it if Lindner had hired Kullman fulltime in '03, and hired DanO to head the minor leagues. I think we would have likely seen similar drafts during that timeframe, and DanO would have possibly been able to better identify which Minor League players the organization needed to target.

Kullman would have never bit on Milton. DanO couldn't help himself.

Puffy
01-24-2006, 06:27 PM
C'mon guys! Bad investments and bad results at the major league level lead to better draft positions and more rapid improvement at the minor league level. Shrewd! Some of you guys just can't see the plan for all the binders I guess.

:D

Brilliant!

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-10/1094821/brilliant.jpg

cincyinco
01-24-2006, 06:29 PM
If his title were Director of Scouting and Development, his work would have stood the test of time. He's had 2 drafts now. One he nailed, one so-so. The talent in the minor leagues barring the ridiculous Kevin Howard trade has gone up considerably during his tenure. In short, I believe the man has a degree of acumen when it comes to developing talent.

He just cannot translate that into recognizing that same talent at the major league level. I would have loved it if Lindner had hired Kullman fulltime in '03, and hired DanO to head the minor leagues. I think we would have likely seen similar drafts during that timeframe, and DanO would have possibly been able to better identify which Minor League players the organization needed to target.

Kullman would have never bit on Milton. DanO couldn't help himself.

While that seems like a good idea now, hindsight is always 20/20. I think Kullman was probably a bit too "green" in 2003, and could still be considered that today. I really wouldn't be suprised to see the Reds hire someone from outside the organization to be GM, and Kullman retained - but with his ideas, philosophies, enthusiasm and input weighed quite a bit more heavily. Bob Cast really seems to like Kullman. And I do too. I'm just not sure he's quite ready.

But thats just my humble little opinion. I'm sure BCast knows a lot more about Kullman than I ever thought of.

Aronchis
01-24-2006, 06:34 PM
Drafts are alot of the time about luck. Bowden could find the bat or two, ditto for the BP(which hopefully Wagner and Coffey continue). But was blind as a bat when it came to starting pitching.

I doubt O'brien was a guru of any sort, but if he hits a homerun or two that covered Bowden's great weakness, that would be nice.

Only time will tell.

RedsManRick
01-24-2006, 06:37 PM
Your real name isn't Alibi Ike by any chance is it?


I think it was an idiotic move and don't agree with the "logic" I outlined... I'm just grasping at straws, trying to find some kind of reasoning behind it. There had to be some thought process behind it...

OldXOhio
01-24-2006, 06:58 PM
Blah blah blah.

Womack, Aurilia, Milton just to name a few.

Goodbye DanO.

red-in-la
01-24-2006, 07:02 PM
The guy is the walking embodiment of the statement, "show me a good loser and I will show you a loser."

traderumor
01-24-2006, 07:24 PM
If his title were Director of Scouting and Development, his work would have stood the test of time. He's had 2 drafts now. One he nailed, one so-so. The talent in the minor leagues barring the ridiculous Kevin Howard trade has gone up considerably during his tenure. In short, I believe the man has a degree of acumen when it comes to developing talent.

He just cannot translate that into recognizing that same talent at the major league level. I would have loved it if Lindner had hired Kullman fulltime in '03, and hired DanO to head the minor leagues. I think we would have likely seen similar drafts during that timeframe, and DanO would have possibly been able to better identify which Minor League players the organization needed to target.

Kullman would have never bit on Milton. DanO couldn't help himself.
The talent in the minor leagues has regressed. Name one impact position player ready to bust on the scene within the next two years.

Then name one impact pitcher ready to bust on the scene in the same time span.

I can't think of one to even get excited about in the next three years.

It is barren and only deterioriated on his watch.

Caveat Emperor
01-24-2006, 07:24 PM
Dan's "timeline" (apparently measured in decades) for building a team is just not acceptable in today's sports markets. There is lots of player movement. You can improve the major league team without waiting for high school prospects to mature.

Drafting 2 or 3 (tops) potential major leaguers from the high schools each year is not a recipe for building a franchise anymore. If Dan was "forthright" about this plan when hired, then somebody should have told Lindner that this won't wash.

This about accurately sums up where Dan O'Brien went wrong, for me.

His whole tenure, apparently, was based on the notion that in order for the Reds to get better, they had to develop players through the system. However, he then proceeds to draft players who are about as far away from contribution as can possibly be imagined. The "plan" he was looking to implement apparently involved him just setting the major-league club on "simmer" for about 7 or 8 years until his 18 year olds started growing enough whiskers to make it at the major league level.

It's painfully apparent that Dan O'Brien lacked the ability to put a finger on the pulse of reality. When he was hired, Linder was an old man. There were rumblings that he was going to cut and run as far back as 2002, putting a new owner in place. O'Brien was just blissfully ignorant of the fact that any day could be his last if Carl decided to sell. The only way he survives an ownership transition is if he establishes himself as a GM with a winning plan and shows an ability to get good talent to play at high levels. He never did this. Instead, he went about his merry plan that had absolutely no chance of fielding a winning ballclub anytime in this decade...at a certain point, you've gotta stick your head above water and see how cloudy the skies are getting. O'Brien never did this, and he paid the price.

I give O'Brien credit -- he pulled a snowjob on Linder when he got the job, but he was on borrowed time from the first day he set foot in the office. Apparently, he was the only one who didn't know this.

4256 Hits
01-24-2006, 10:49 PM
Denile is just not a river in Egypt.

I am beginning to think that he was raised in a closet.

MWM
01-24-2006, 11:29 PM
DanO's a guy who was promoted up a level and continued to do the job he did previously under a different title. I see it all the time in the corporate world. Someone does a really good job at the technical side of a business, such as a financial analyst, they get promoted to a management level position and have no idea how to do anything beyond what they did as an analyst. So they continue to do the work the people working for them are now supposed to do. They have no idea how to be creative and set a vision. They can't do anything other than analyze the finances. I think that's what happened here. Being a GM is an entirely different skill set than evaluating talent or developing players.

MikeS21
01-24-2006, 11:44 PM
DanO's a guy who was promoted up a level and continued to do the job he did previously under a different title. I see it all the time in the corporate world. Someone does a really good job at the technical side of a business, such as a financial analyst, they get promoted to a management level position and have no idea how to do anything beyond what they did as an analyst. So they continue to do the work the people working for them are now supposed to do. They have no idea how to be creative and set a vision. They can't do anything other than analyze the finances. I think that's what happened here. Being a GM is an entirely different skill set than evaluating talent or developing players.
It's called "The Peter Principle." People are promoted to their level of incompetence.

KronoRed
01-25-2006, 12:11 AM
Yeesh Dan O, the plan wasn't working anywhere.

I understand why he needs to make himself look better, but to claim everything was going to plan is nutso.

SteelSD
01-25-2006, 12:57 AM
If his title were Director of Scouting and Development, his work would have stood the test of time. He's had 2 drafts now. One he nailed, one so-so. The talent in the minor leagues barring the ridiculous Kevin Howard trade has gone up considerably during his tenure. In short, I believe the man has a degree of acumen when it comes to developing talent.

When did this alleged "so-so" draft occur? I hope you're not referring to 2004 because that was a stinker of a draft. Not a single pick represented more value than the selection that was used.

IMHO, that's how you judge a draft- how many players were selected that represented more value than the pick should have reasonably garnered at the moment of selection. Using that as a criteria, the 2004 draft was teh suck.

Was the '05 draft better than the '04 draft? Yep. And frankly, the most impressive pick was the Adam Rosales selection. In a few spots here and there the Reds did actually get more value than we could have expected. Sam LeCure was a decent 4th round risk/reward gamble as was Ben Mummy (Round 20). Regardless of how good those players turn out to be, I'd have to say that those were wise selections.

Jay Bruce? Yeah. Good value if an OF is what you needed. A safe pick. I like Jay Bruce. I think he's got skills. But I'd have taken Cesar Carrillo with that pick because I think Carrillo represented equal- or better- value than Jay Bruce given that Carrillo would have been closer to the Show at a position of desperate need. And yeah, I'm on record for Carrillo before the draft. I don't dislike the Bruce pick. I don't think it was dumb. I don't think it was bad. I just think it was too obvious to be considered the work of a truly keen intellect.

See, I'm not a guy who follows the "don't draft for need" mantra. If you've got a player who represents equal value to another player you're considering picking and the former is closer to the Show than the latter, then you select the former. Don't pass up an obviously better value player to draft for need, but when similar values are available take the one that's going to help out sooner.

I'm also not saying that Dan O'Brien couldn't possibly recognize amateur talent. I'm just saying that I don't necessarily think he could do a better job of it than your average scout.


He just cannot translate that into recognizing that same talent at the major league level. I would have loved it if Lindner had hired Kullman fulltime in '03, and hired DanO to head the minor leagues. I think we would have likely seen similar drafts during that timeframe, and DanO would have possibly been able to better identify which Minor League players the organization needed to target.

I think you meant "amateurs" rather than "Minor League players", because Dan O'Brien hasn't shown us anything that would lead me to believe he knows a good minor league player from a mediocre minor league player. And that's a symptom of his debilitating terminal disease.

Dan O'Brien consistently used the "Past performance is the best indicator of furture performance" line. But the problem is that he never knew how to actually use past performance to predict future performance. Look at the number of 30-somethings he hitched his wagon to at the MLB level. He needed every one of those guys to have a real HISTORY before showering cash on them. He applied the "PPitBIoFP" concept indiscriminately- assuming that it held true for any player at any age but didn't demonstrate that he had a clue as to what the key performance factors were or how age (or health for that matter) impacts performance projection.

You and I know what the best performance indicators are. Dan O'Brien doesn't. You and I know how age and injury impacts a player's projections. Dan O'Brien doesn't. And that's probably why he handed Rich Aurilia a position that should have belonged to Felipe Lopez from day one. It's why he's never actually been able to "win" a trade. It's why Edwin Encarnacion has to worry about losing Plate Appearances to the aforementioned Aurilia. It's why Tony Womack is in town. It's why Paul Wilson, Ramon Ortiz, and Eric Milton were on the 2006 roster.

It's why he so often used the "bounceback" reasoning even though he really doesn't understand what a real "bounceback" candidate looks like. It's why he so often used the cliches of "proven winner", "professional hitter", "playoff experience", and "leadership" as justification for his moves.

It's why he was so quick to glom on to seemingly intuitive concepts without a singular understanding of how to apply them.

"Pitch to Contact" isn't a strategy that will somehow make bad pitchers good. It's a way to avoid high pitch counts for pitchers who can effectively either miss bats and avoid "nibbling" by pitchers who can induce low-quality contact. But I've yet to see him acquire a single pitcher who can do either.

Anyone paying attention knew that the GAB would allow a goodly number of Home Runs. Dan O'Brien this offseason was preaching the "Ground Ball Pitcher" approach- a year after acquiring Ramon Ortiz and Eric Milton. Let's ignore the fact that putting HR-prone pitchers in a HR-conducive park was just plain stupid (something O'Brien should have known a year ago). Now O'Brien is latching on to a tertiary element (Ground Ball Rate) without realizing that Ground Ball Rate means nothing if a pitcher is gopher-ball-prone. Another example of the indiscriminate application of something he heard from someone somewhere that made sense to him- and something he completely ignored a year prior.

And don't even get me started on the stupid "manufacture Runs" garbage he tried to feed us as justification for the Womack trade. The Reds were the best team in the NL at manufacturing Runs in 2005. Too bad he couldn't figure that out.

To say that Dan O'Brien was learning on-the-job would be an understatement. The guy simply didn't have a clue about properly identifying what makes good players good and bad players bad.


Kullman would have never bit on Milton. DanO couldn't help himself.

Yep. And that's because O'Brien didn't have a clue about performance projection while indiscriminately applying his "bounceback" philosophy coupled with "proven winner" and "past performance is the best indicator of future performance". Ignored every key performance indicator along the way.

If he'd have spent a couple million on Milton, he could probably explain it away as a learning experience. After all, every person at any level of an organization needs to have the freedom to make well-reasoned mistakes. But you don't get that leeway when your mistakes aren't well-reasoned and cost your organization 25 Million bucks.

DoogMinAmo
01-25-2006, 12:59 AM
Yeesh Dan O, the plan wasn't working anywhere.

I understand why he needs to make himself look better, but to claim everything was going to plan is nutso.

We still do not know what said plan was. So maybe, in fact, it WAS going to plan, and the fault was with the plan itself.

:confused:

Krusty
01-25-2006, 01:57 AM
The man has a future in politics.

The_jbh
01-25-2006, 02:34 AM
Hey look at the brightside

atleast we didn't give him 5 years to torture us

KronoRed
01-25-2006, 05:02 AM
We still do not know what said plan was. So maybe, in fact, it WAS going to plan, and the fault was with the plan itself.

:confused:
How can it go to plan if there was no plan?

But..if there was a plan to have no plan..then there was a plan

AHHHH :explode:

Ron Madden
01-25-2006, 07:09 AM
I wish Dan O'Brien a happy and healthy life.

He had a chance at his lifetime dream.

I believe he read the stats of each and every player but never really learned just what to look for.

He gave it his best shot and came up short.

IMHO the fault lies with Carl Lindner for giving him the job in the first place.

I'm sure both these guys meant well and worked hard.

Big Bob has pledged to Not rest and to give it 115% Effort to Return to Glory.

I Say..Hard Work Is Very Important, It's A Good Thing!!!

But Somebody's Got To Know What The Hell They're Doing!

Jpup
01-25-2006, 09:11 AM
I just read something from about 3 years ago that said the Mariners gave DanO a second interview for their vacant GM spot. How scary is that? Sounds like the old man wasn't the only crazy owner.

I wonder what DanO will be doing this summer? Maybe he can get a job at office depot.:D

TRF
01-25-2006, 10:26 AM
Nothing like a little Devil's Advocate to get the natives stirred up. :)

I wasn't thrilled with the '04 draft either, but for whatever reason, the Reds top pick did not require surgery, and though wild showed a propensity for missing bats. IMO that makes the draft a bit better than the '02 draft, Bowden's last with the Reds. I do not think that the minor leagues regressed under his watch. Adding Travis Chick and Ben Kozlowski were both good moves. DFA'ing both Graves and Jiminez was a good move, though he should have tried to trade Danny the year before. I think DanO finally learned that with Randa to strike while the iron is hot. Sadly for him, he learned that too late.

DanO's picks from '04 should be nearing High A or AA. His '05 picks were IMO outstanding. I'm not saying I want Dan runing the Reds, but I'd have no problem with him heading up the draft.

All that said, there is no excuse for the plethora of mistakes he made at the major league level: RA twice, Milton, Ortiz, Weber, Randa too.

osuceltic
01-25-2006, 10:40 AM
Only time will tell on the drafts. I completely disagree with Steel that you judge a draft based on value compared to draft position at the time of the draft. You judge a draft based on how the players pan out. Period. This isn't football where you can trade up or down based on "value." You pick when your turn comes up. If some magazine says your guy's "value" is 20 picks later, but you believe he's the right guy, you better listen to your baseball people and not the magazine. And Steel, that's all you're using to assign this "value" - magazine lists and stats that are virtually meaningless without context (all high school stats). The only thing that matters is results. If the players make it to the big leagues, it was a good draft. If they don't, it was a bad draft -- no matter what the "value" of the picks were at draft time.

TRF
01-25-2006, 11:02 AM
Only time will tell on the drafts. I completely disagree with Steel that you judge a draft based on value compared to draft position at the time of the draft. You judge a draft based on how the players pan out. Period. This isn't football where you can trade up or down based on "value." You pick when your turn comes up. If some magazine says your guy's "value" is 20 picks later, but you believe he's the right guy, you better listen to your baseball people and not the magazine. And Steel, that's all you're using to assign this "value" - magazine lists and stats that are virtually meaningless without context (all high school stats). The only thing that matters is results. If the players make it to the big leagues, it was a good draft. If they don't, it was a bad draft -- no matter what the "value" of the picks were at draft time.

Now, I don't agree with this. You can determine if a draft was good right away. '02 for example. Gruler was the wrong pick, and everybody knew it. Now in '04, Bailey might have been the right pick, or maybe one of the college guys still available. The water there is a little muddier. but in '02, Kazmir was the pick if the Reds were going with a HS pitcher, and Gruler was the signable pick. Baseball men didn't pick Gruler over Kaz, an accountant did.

Boss-Hog
01-25-2006, 11:02 AM
I wasn't thrilled with the '04 draft either, but for whatever reason, the Reds top pick did not require surgery, and though wild showed a propensity for missing bats. IMO that makes the draft a bit better than the '02 draft, Bowden's last with the Reds.

Jim Bowden ran the 2003 draft, as well...

TRF
01-25-2006, 11:06 AM
Jim Bowden ran the 2003 draft, as well...

I thought the '03 draft was Kullman-Maddox.

Boss-Hog
01-25-2006, 11:09 AM
I thought the '03 draft was Kullman-Maddox.
No, Bowden and Boone weren't fired until July.

TRF
01-25-2006, 11:25 AM
Right. just looked that up. I knew it was close.

The comparison between '02 and '04 still stands IMO. '03 was comsidered a very good draft. Bowden went all Moneyball with his picks. Too little Too late.

As for the Reds and impact players in the Minors, well, I'm not sure. I think LeCure will progrees quicker than Homer Bailey. I think we could see LeCure at AA next in 2007, with a possible roster spot in '08 if he stays healthy.

Kullman-Maddox aquisition of my fav. minor leaguer Tyler Pelland will likely be in AA, even though he should repeat High A. As for position players, lets hope for a solid rebound year from Votto, and continued development of Adam Rosales. Javon Moran will never be a lon ball threat, but he tore up 2 leagues last year and looks like he could be a top of the order guy. He slipped under everyones radar it seems, and he's got a decent OBP at two levels. I like him a lot. Plus he's got some speed to boot.

Teah, overall it looks pretty bad, but Billings, Dayton and sarasota all have pretty good talent. But the talent infusion needs to continue.

Red Leader
01-25-2006, 11:34 AM
When did this alleged "so-so" draft occur? I hope you're not referring to 2004 because that was a stinker of a draft. Not a single pick represented more value than the selection that was used.

IMHO, that's how you judge a draft- how many players were selected that represented more value than the pick should have reasonably garnered at the moment of selection. Using that as a criteria, the 2004 draft was teh suck.

Was the '05 draft better than the '04 draft? Yep. And frankly, the most impressive pick was the Adam Rosales selection. In a few spots here and there the Reds did actually get more value than we could have expected. Sam LeCure was a decent 4th round risk/reward gamble as was Ben Mummy (Round 20). Regardless of how good those players turn out to be, I'd have to say that those were wise selections.

Jay Bruce? Yeah. Good value if an OF is what you needed. A safe pick. I like Jay Bruce. I think he's got skills. But I'd have taken Cesar Carrillo with that pick because I think Carrillo represented equal- or better- value than Jay Bruce given that Carrillo would have been closer to the Show at a position of desperate need. And yeah, I'm on record for Carrillo before the draft. I don't dislike the Bruce pick. I don't think it was dumb. I don't think it was bad. I just think it was too obvious to be considered the work of a truly keen intellect.

See, I'm not a guy who follows the "don't draft for need" mantra. If you've got a player who represents equal value to another player you're considering picking and the former is closer to the Show than the latter, then you select the former. Don't pass up an obviously better value player to draft for need, but when similar values are available take the one that's going to help out sooner.

I'm also not saying that Dan O'Brien couldn't possibly recognize amateur talent. I'm just saying that I don't necessarily think he could do a better job of it than your average scout.



I think you meant "amateurs" rather than "Minor League players", because Dan O'Brien hasn't shown us anything that would lead me to believe he knows a good minor league player from a mediocre minor league player. And that's a symptom of his debilitating terminal disease.

Dan O'Brien consistently used the "Past performance is the best indicator of furture performance" line. But the problem is that he never knew how to actually use past performance to predict future performance. Look at the number of 30-somethings he hitched his wagon to at the MLB level. He needed every one of those guys to have a real HISTORY before showering cash on them. He applied the "PPitBIoFP" concept indiscriminately- assuming that it held true for any player at any age but didn't demonstrate that he had a clue as to what the key performance factors were or how age (or health for that matter) impacts performance projection.

You and I know what the best performance indicators are. Dan O'Brien doesn't. You and I know how age and injury impacts a player's projections. Dan O'Brien doesn't. And that's probably why he handed Rich Aurilia a position that should have belonged to Felipe Lopez from day one. It's why he's never actually been able to "win" a trade. It's why Edwin Encarnacion has to worry about losing Plate Appearances to the aforementioned Aurilia. It's why Tony Womack is in town. It's why Paul Wilson, Ramon Ortiz, and Eric Milton were on the 2006 roster.

It's why he so often used the "bounceback" reasoning even though he really doesn't understand what a real "bounceback" candidate looks like. It's why he so often used the cliches of "proven winner", "professional hitter", "playoff experience", and "leadership" as justification for his moves.

It's why he was so quick to glom on to seemingly intuitive concepts without a singular understanding of how to apply them.

"Pitch to Contact" isn't a strategy that will somehow make bad pitchers good. It's a way to avoid high pitch counts for pitchers who can effectively either miss bats and avoid "nibbling" by pitchers who can induce low-quality contact. But I've yet to see him acquire a single pitcher who can do either.

Anyone paying attention knew that the GAB would allow a goodly number of Home Runs. Dan O'Brien this offseason was preaching the "Ground Ball Pitcher" approach- a year after acquiring Ramon Ortiz and Eric Milton. Let's ignore the fact that putting HR-prone pitchers in a HR-conducive park was just plain stupid (something O'Brien should have known a year ago). Now O'Brien is latching on to a tertiary element (Ground Ball Rate) without realizing that Ground Ball Rate means nothing if a pitcher is gopher-ball-prone. Another example of the indiscriminate application of something he heard from someone somewhere that made sense to him- and something he completely ignored a year prior.

And don't even get me started on the stupid "manufacture Runs" garbage he tried to feed us as justification for the Womack trade. The Reds were the best team in the NL at manufacturing Runs in 2005. Too bad he couldn't figure that out.

To say that Dan O'Brien was learning on-the-job would be an understatement. The guy simply didn't have a clue about properly identifying what makes good players good and bad players bad.



Yep. And that's because O'Brien didn't have a clue about performance projection while indiscriminately applying his "bounceback" philosophy coupled with "proven winner" and "past performance is the best indicator of future performance". Ignored every key performance indicator along the way.

If he'd have spent a couple million on Milton, he could probably explain it away as a learning experience. After all, every person at any level of an organization needs to have the freedom to make well-reasoned mistakes. But you don't get that leeway when your mistakes aren't well-reasoned and cost your organization 25 Million bucks.


Nuh-uh. :p:

osuceltic
01-25-2006, 12:17 PM
Now, I don't agree with this. You can determine if a draft was good right away. '02 for example. Gruler was the wrong pick, and everybody knew it. Now in '04, Bailey might have been the right pick, or maybe one of the college guys still available. The water there is a little muddier. but in '02, Kazmir was the pick if the Reds were going with a HS pitcher, and Gruler was the signable pick. Baseball men didn't pick Gruler over Kaz, an accountant did.
We'll have to agree to disagree. No one KNEW anything in '02. That was the belief at the time, and in hindsight that was right. But there are plenty of examples where the "obvious" pick didn't pan out while the curious one did. If the Dodgers had taken Mike Piazza in the first round when he was drafted, they would have been ridiculed. But it would have been a great pick wherever he was selected.

It's not about winning the draft report cards the day after. It's about finding quality major league players.

Doc. Scott
01-25-2006, 12:58 PM
It's called "The Peter Principle." People are promoted to their level of incompetence.

Thanks for bringing that up. I was wondering if anyone else had read that book. A fantastic, only-half-kidding theory on why the world is filled with incompetence.

RFS62
01-25-2006, 01:40 PM
He belongs in Human Resources

Redsland
01-25-2006, 01:49 PM
That's where he was.

He belongs in insurance sales.

traderumor
01-25-2006, 02:43 PM
That's where he was.

He belongs in insurance sales.Presidential Speech Writer. Like anything they actually say matters anyhow.

KronoRed
01-25-2006, 02:46 PM
He belongs in Human Resources
I pity the company

Caveat Emperor
01-25-2006, 02:53 PM
He belongs in Human Resources

I agree -- grind him up and make a nice package of Soylent Green. :evil:

SteelSD
01-25-2006, 03:09 PM
Only time will tell on the drafts. I completely disagree with Steel that you judge a draft based on value compared to draft position at the time of the draft. You judge a draft based on how the players pan out. Period. This isn't football where you can trade up or down based on "value." You pick when your turn comes up. If some magazine says your guy's "value" is 20 picks later, but you believe he's the right guy, you better listen to your baseball people and not the magazine. And Steel, that's all you're using to assign this "value" - magazine lists and stats that are virtually meaningless without context (all high school stats). The only thing that matters is results. If the players make it to the big leagues, it was a good draft. If they don't, it was a bad draft -- no matter what the "value" of the picks were at draft time.

It's standard business practice to evaluate decisions based on their own merit before those decisions are made rather than having to wait around to judge said decisions using hindsight.

Teams that do the best job of drafting aren't the teams that simply pick and wait for the results five years later to tell them how well they did. In fact, most GM's wont last long enough to be able to use that kind of rationale. And it's flawed rationale to begin with. Meritorious decisions can fail. Bad decisions can work out. Use only hindsight "result" reasoning and you may just end up in a scenario in which you're consistently trying to replicate the positive result of doing something dumb.

The teams that do the best jobs are the teams that consistently overperform their draft slots from a value perspective at the point of their selections. In general, they're the same teams that maximize value all over the place- trades, signings, etc.

Now, you can say that we don't necessarily have the best information to work with from the outside looking in. You're right of course. We don't. That being said, I don't think we need proprietary team info on a Matt Bush to figure out that he wasn't a good value for the Padres. Nor do I feel that we need that kind of info to know that Scott Kazmir would have been a better value than Chris Gruler if they were set on taking a HS arm (and only in that context). Ditto for the Bailey selection when there were better values on the board considering the risk associated with Bailey.

Bailey can go on to win five Cy Young awards. But that still won't necessarily validate the decision to select him any more than winning a hand of blackjack while hitting on an 18 with the dealer showing a six would mean that you should continue to make that decision time and time again. Why might that be the case? Because Homer Bailey winning five Cy Young awards might have just been a perfect example of how a bad decision randomly produced a positive result.

BuckeyeRedleg
01-25-2006, 03:40 PM
It's standard business practice to evaluate decisions based on their own merit before those decisions are made rather than having to wait around to judge said decisions using hindsight.

Teams that do the best job of drafting aren't the teams that simply pick and wait for the results five years later to tell them how well they did. In fact, most GM's wont last long enough to be able to use that kind of rationale. And it's flawed rationale to begin with. Meritorious decisions can fail. Bad decisions can work out. Use only hindsight "result" reasoning and you may just end up in a scenario in which you're consistently trying to replicate the positive result of doing something dumb.

The teams that do the best jobs are the teams that consistently overperform their draft slots from a value perspective at the point of their selections. In general, they're the same teams that maximize value all over the place- trades, signings, etc.

Now, you can say that we don't necessarily have the best information to work with from the outside looking in. You're right of course. We don't. That being said, I don't think we need proprietary team info on a Matt Bush to figure out that he wasn't a good value for the Padres. Nor do I feel that we need that kind of info to know that Scott Kazmir would have been a better value than Chris Gruler if they were set on taking a HS arm (and only in that context). Ditto for the Bailey selection when there were better values on the board considering the risk associated with Bailey.

Bailey can go on to win five Cy Young awards. But that still won't necessarily validate the decision to select him any more than winning a hand of blackjack while hitting on an 18 with the dealer showing a six would mean that you should continue to make that decision time and time again. Why might that be the case? Because Homer Bailey winning five Cy Young awards might have just been a perfect example of how a bad decision randomly produced a positive result.

BINGO!

Very well said.

osuceltic
01-25-2006, 03:43 PM
Bailey can go on to win five Cy Young awards. But that still won't necessarily validate the decision to select him any more than winning a hand of blackjack while hitting on an 18 with the dealer showing a six would mean that you should continue to make that decision time and time again. Why might that be the case? Because Homer Bailey winning five Cy Young awards might have just been a perfect example of how a bad decision randomly produced a positive result.

And see, that's where we disagree. I think it's arrogant to look at the information at the time of the draft and assume the teams are making decisions based on the same information we have. They're not. You're not giving them any credit for seeing something in a player who goes on and wins five Cy Young awards. Just because you might not see it, or see it as a bad risk, doesn't mean it's so. In the NBA ... the New Jersey Nets, years ago, were looking at two shooting guards. They went with the college guy -- Kerry Kittles. Kittles clearly was more ready for the NBA and made a greater immediate impact. The guy they passed on struggled for a few years. His name is Kobe Bryant. They made the safer pick. Kobe was a huge risk. Was that a good decision? Of course not.

Now ... You can argue that the greatest value of any draft pick is making a quick impact in the minors and being used in a trade. If you make that argument, then fine. That's a reasonable approach. But you're still judging based on the performance of the player -- be it in the minors or the majors. The only way to judge a draft is in hindsight -- after you see the player perform.

Team Clark
01-25-2006, 04:06 PM
He forgot to take that bonehead Dean Taylor with him.... Ohh I forgot that is coming.

Cyclone792
01-25-2006, 04:09 PM
He forgot to take that bonehead Dean Taylor with him.... Ohh I forgot that is coming.

Looks like I'm gonna be heading to the bar again for even more celebrations!

SteelSD
01-25-2006, 04:52 PM
And see, that's where we disagree. I think it's arrogant to look at the information at the time of the draft and assume the teams are making decisions based on the same information we have. They're not. You're not giving them any credit for seeing something in a player who goes on and wins five Cy Young awards.

I'm not at all assuming that teams don't have more information than we do. Not the case. I have no doubt that teams feel that their decisions are good before they make them- even when those decisions are bad and driven by bad information.

The problem is that too many teams don't question their own methodology. They don't look at history and understand that drafting a Homer Bailey means that you're counting on him to be a true outlier. The decision to draft Bailey not only meant that the Reds though they saw something "special" in him, but that they also expect that he'd be the first player to buck a trend.

No High School pitcher taken in the top 10 selections in a draft who wasn't the consensus top overall pitcher available in the draft has, to this point, truly positively impacted his team at the MLB level.

If the Reds drafted him because they considered him to be the "consensus" best overall pitcher in the draft, then they were simply working with bad information. He wasn't the best overall pitcher in that draft. In this age of information, we HEAR about it when a Kerry Wood or Josh Beckett pops up.


Just because you might not see it, or see it as a bad risk, doesn't mean it's so. In the NBA ... the New Jersey Nets, years ago, were looking at two shooting guards. They went with the college guy -- Kerry Kittles. Kittles clearly was more ready for the NBA and made a greater immediate impact. The guy they passed on struggled for a few years. His name is Kobe Bryant. They made the safer pick. Kobe was a huge risk. Was that a good decision? Of course not.

I'm staring at a rookie card of Jermaine O'Neal right now. He's flying in for a dunk wearing a Portland Trailblazers jersey.

That's important. It's important because up until then there wasn't much of a history for HS draft picks. It's one of the reasons that 12 teams passed on Bryant and chose, instead, to take players they considered more "ready" to step in and help their club. O'Neal is a great example of a truly talented HS player (went four picks behind Bryant). It was very kind of the Blazers to draft him and then spend millions of dollars to develop him for Indiana. I'm sure the Pacers were very thankful. Probably still send the Blazers Christmas cards.

That's the perceived risk we're talking about in the context of that environment. Kevin Garnett was a breakthrough type. His performance for the T-Wolves allowed teams to feel a bit more comfortable with the risks associated with taking a HS player. But the Nets were coming off two seasons of a 30-52 record. They didn't want to assume the risk that a guy like Bryant would end up being a guy like O'Neal (i.e. helping someone else). And make no mistake- that wasn't an itty-bitty risk. It was a franchise-or-bust risk.

Their decision to pass on Bryant had merit for the New Jersey Nets. They didn't select a bad player. They selected a player they felt could help them turn things around sooner while avoiding a potentially crippling risk to their franchis. So they took Kittles in 1996. They were back in the playoffs one year later and Kittles was a big contributor while Bryant was still being eased into things in LA.

Conversely, the Lakers had just come off their best season in half a decade. They could afford to wait for a HS player to develop. So the Bryant decision had merit for the Lakers.

Now, it takes a bit of thinking to wrap our brains around the concept that a meritorious decision for one club would have been the reverse for another until we understand the decisions in proper context. In short, the Kittles or Bryant decision wasn't a "player versus player" issue. It was a contextual issue of need versus risk. One team chose immediate need while echewing a huge risk. Another team could assume risk and didn't have the same immediate need. Pretty simple really.

Ditto for the Trailblazers selection of O'Neal, BTW. That's an example of a good decision that didn't turn out well for their organization. Good team assumed a huge risk because they could and it didn't work out. Happens.

Selecting Kittles wasn't a dumb thing to do. Nor was passing on Bryant.


Now ... You can argue that the greatest value of any draft pick is making a quick impact in the minors and being used in a trade. If you make that argument, then fine. That's a reasonable approach. But you're still judging based on the performance of the player -- be it in the minors or the majors. The only way to judge a draft is in hindsight -- after you see the player perform.

Nope. Meritorious decisions can be identified as such before they're even made. Bad decisons can be identified as such before they're even made. The ability to do that allows good General Managers to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over. In fact, possessing that ability allows good General Managers to not make the same mistakes others have already made.

It's how we learn as human beings. If I see someone touch a hot burner on the stove, I don't need to touch it myself to figure out that doing so isn't a smart thing to do. In the same way, baseball has been around long enough that we can look at both good and poor decisions made by others and figure out how not to replicate the bad.

TRF
01-25-2006, 05:44 PM
Nope. Meritorious decisions can be identified as such before they're even made. Bad decisons can be identified as such before they're even made. The ability to do that allows good General Managers to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over. In fact, possessing that ability allows good General Managers to not make the same mistakes others have already made.

See this has me confused. You just said no one in 2002 knew anything. Everyone on this board knew Gruler was the wrong pick. Hands down everyone thought if the Reds weren't smart enought to stay away from the HS pitcher that they better take Kazmir. There wasn't a single person outside the Reds org. that supported Gruler as the first pick. Now TB did it just like you said: they let NY foot the bill, and now Kaz pitches for them for minimal cost. So I think you are right when saying there is a risk.

How often does a team get a bad grade on a draft that turns out well in the long run? Honestly, I really want to know.

osuceltic
01-25-2006, 05:53 PM
I'm not at all assuming that teams don't have more information than we do. Not the case. I have no doubt that teams feel that their decisions are good before they make them- even when those decisions are bad and driven by bad information.

The problem is that too many teams don't question their own methodology. They don't look at history and understand that drafting a Homer Bailey means that you're counting on him to be a true outlier. The decision to draft Bailey not only meant that the Reds though they saw something "special" in him, but that they also expect that he'd be the first player to buck a trend.

No High School pitcher taken in the top 10 selections in a draft who wasn't the consensus top overall pitcher available in the draft has, to this point, truly positively impacted his team at the MLB level.

If the Reds drafted him because they considered him to be the "consensus" best overall pitcher in the draft, then they were simply working with bad information. He wasn't the best overall pitcher in that draft. In this age of information, we HEAR about it when a Kerry Wood or Josh Beckett pops up.



I'm staring at a rookie card of Jermaine O'Neal right now. He's flying in for a dunk wearing a Portland Trailblazers jersey.

That's important. It's important because up until then there wasn't much of a history for HS draft picks. It's one of the reasons that 12 teams passed on Bryant and chose, instead, to take players they considered more "ready" to step in and help their club. O'Neal is a great example of a truly talented HS player (went four picks behind Bryant). It was very kind of the Blazers to draft him and then spend millions of dollars to develop him for Indiana. I'm sure the Pacers were very thankful. Probably still send the Blazers Christmas cards.

That's the perceived risk we're talking about in the context of that environment. Kevin Garnett was a breakthrough type. His performance for the T-Wolves allowed teams to feel a bit more comfortable with the risks associated with taking a HS player. But the Nets were coming off two seasons of a 30-52 record. They didn't want to assume the risk that a guy like Bryant would end up being a guy like O'Neal (i.e. helping someone else). And make no mistake- that wasn't an itty-bitty risk. It was a franchise-or-bust risk.

Their decision to pass on Bryant had merit for the New Jersey Nets. They didn't select a bad player. They selected a player they felt could help them turn things around sooner while avoiding a potentially crippling risk to their franchis. So they took Kittles in 1996. They were back in the playoffs one year later and Kittles was a big contributor while Bryant was still being eased into things in LA.

Conversely, the Lakers had just come off their best season in half a decade. They could afford to wait for a HS player to develop. So the Bryant decision had merit for the Lakers.

Now, it takes a bit of thinking to wrap our brains around the concept that a meritorious decision for one club would have been the reverse for another until we understand the decisions in proper context. In short, the Kittles or Bryant decision wasn't a "player versus player" issue. It was a contextual issue of need versus risk. One team chose immediate need while echewing a huge risk. Another team could assume risk and didn't have the same immediate need. Pretty simple really.

Ditto for the Trailblazers selection of O'Neal, BTW. That's an example of a good decision that didn't turn out well for their organization. Good team assumed a huge risk because they could and it didn't work out. Happens.

Selecting Kittles wasn't a dumb thing to do. Nor was passing on Bryant.



Nope. Meritorious decisions can be identified as such before they're even made. Bad decisons can be identified as such before they're even made. The ability to do that allows good General Managers to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over. In fact, possessing that ability allows good General Managers to not make the same mistakes others have already made.

It's how we learn as human beings. If I see someone touch a hot burner on the stove, I don't need to touch it myself to figure out that doing so isn't a smart thing to do. In the same way, baseball has been around long enough that we can look at both good and poor decisions made by others and figure out how not to replicate the bad.

Well, the Blazers chose to trade O'Neal for Dale Davis for immediate help. How did that work out? It's not as if they developed him and watched him walk away. They sent him away.

Any way you look at it, Kerry Kittles over Kobe Bryant is a bad decision. Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan is a bad decision. Akili Smith over Daunte Culpepper is a bad decision. Maybe you take a beating on draft night for taking the other guy, but in the long run, you'd be proven right. That's what you need to worry about -- not the consensus opinions of someone's value.

As for the hot burner comparison ... Sometimes teams make picks that the "experts" think are the equivalent of a hot burner -- check out how they treated Charlie Villanueava's selection in the last NBA draft -- and yet the team is proven right. Check out Villanueva's play this season.

You said: "No High School pitcher taken in the top 10 selections in a draft who wasn't the consensus top overall pitcher available in the draft has, to this point, truly positively impacted his team at the MLB level." That's a bogus argument. What about high school pitchers taken outside the top 10? What's the significance of top 10, other than a number? High school pitchers do pan out. It's just a matter of finding the right guy and developing him properly.

The only way to judge draft ability is performance.

SteelSD
01-25-2006, 05:54 PM
See this has me confused. You just said no one in 2002 knew anything. Everyone on this board knew Gruler was the wrong pick. Hands down everyone thought if the Reds weren't smart enought to stay away from the HS pitcher that they better take Kazmir. There wasn't a single person outside the Reds org. that supported Gruler as the first pick. Now TB did it just like you said: they let NY foot the bill, and now Kaz pitches for them for minimal cost. So I think you are right when saying there is a risk.

How often does a team get a bad grade on a draft that turns out well in the long run? Honestly, I really want to know.

Um. Now I'm confused. What about 2002?

I wasn't saying (at all) that no one knew anything in 2002. I was saying that we didn't necessarily need to see the exact information Bowden was looking at to figure out that Scott Kazmir was a better choice than Chris Gruler at the time.

I think what has you confused is the fact that we agree. ;)

SteelSD
01-25-2006, 06:14 PM
Well, the Blazers chose to trade O'Neal for Dale Davis for immediate help. How did that work out? It's not as if they developed him and watched him walk away. They sent him away.

Who cares HOW he got to Indy? The fact is that O'Neal was drafted and then paid to train for action with another team. How he got to said other team is immaterial. The developmental time frame was the risk with taking a HS player. It was a risk with Bryant too. A tangible risk. Smaller for the Lakers than it was for the Nets. Not sure why you don't seem to understand the difference.


Any way you look at it, Kerry Kittles over Kobe Bryant is a bad decision.

No. That decision had merit. And it wasn't "Kittles versus Kobe". There's no way the Nets could afford to take Kobe Bryant considering their immediate need and the associated risk. In fact, the only way someone could possibly position that as a bad decision is to pull said decision completely out of context (which is what you've done) while ignoring the dynamics involved.


You said: "No High School pitcher taken in the top 10 selections in a draft who wasn't the consensus top overall pitcher available in the draft has, to this point, truly positively impacted his team at the MLB level." That's a bogus argument. What about high school pitchers taken outside the top 10? What's the significance of top 10, other than a number? High school pitchers do pan out. It's just a matter of finding the right guy and developing him properly.

Again, you misunderstand the contextual implications of what history has told us. And thusfar history hasn't just told us- it's screaming at us.

The reason we haven't seen a plethora of HS pitchers (or well...even one) succeed in the context of the top 10 is that hard-throwing High School pitchers who aren't obviously the best overall pitcher in the draft are consistently overdrafted because of the hope of what they could be rather than the reality of how remote the possibility is that they'll ever be that guy.

And I've said nothing about High School pitchers outside the top 10. They consistently end up as better VALUE selections than those who are overdrafted up top.


The only way to judge draft ability is performance.

So you don't really understand the difference between a good decision and a bad one before you make it and then wait to see if it works out?

C'mon. I know that can't possibly be true.

MikeS21
01-25-2006, 06:33 PM
Um. Now I'm confused. What about 2002?

I wasn't saying (at all) that no one knew anything in 2002. I was saying that we didn't necessarily need to see the exact information Bowden was looking at to figure out that Scott Kazmir was a better choice than Chris Gruler at the time.

I think what has you confused is the fact that we agree. ;)
Awww come on! Johnny Bench said that Chris Gruler had as good of curveball as Tom Seaver! Everybody knows Johnny Bench must know somthing we don't! :devil:

KronoRed
01-26-2006, 01:50 AM
Awww come on! Johnny Bench said that Chris Gruler had as good of curveball as Tom Seaver! Everybody knows Johnny Bench must know somthing we don't! :devil:
Can Bench pitch? ;)