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RFS62
06-22-2006, 10:43 PM
If you're watching the Twins - Astros game right now, you just saw Lireano beat Roger Clemens.

ESPN also showed a very nice moment where Gardenhire and several Twins were around the kid in the dugout, obviously praising him for hanging tough after giving up a dinger in the top of the inning. Joe Morgan, who takes a lot of heat here, talked a bit about the importance of instilling confidence and developing toughness in a young player in circumstances like tonights game. They left him out there to build toughness.

For all the ridicule about makeup I read here, and all the derision that about chemistry and leadership, you're really missing something about the game if you don't understand that these things count. They matter.

They're not robots out there. They're young men, growing and developing before our eyes in many cases.

This isn't about bashing statistical analysis. It's about respecting the time honored traditions of building character and developing young players. The two go hand in hand.

gonelong
06-22-2006, 11:22 PM
For all the ridicule about makeup I read here, and all the derision that about chemistry and leadership, you're really missing something about the game if you don't understand that these things count. They matter.


The questions really is not IF they matter, but rather how much do they matter? Chemistry and leadership aren't derided here IMO, its the application of them to anybody with a pulse that seems to bother people.

You can have all the chemistry and leadership in the world, but your girl scout troup isn't going to beat the Yankees. Without talent, chemistry and leadership get you Octobers off.

GL

RFS62
06-22-2006, 11:24 PM
You can have all the chemistry and leadership in the world, but your girl scout troup isn't going to beat the Yankees. Without talent, chemistry and leadership get you Octobers off.

GL



Who the hell said anything remotely resembling that?

I like your posts, GL, but that was a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Were you even watching that game?

gonelong
06-22-2006, 11:41 PM
Who the hell said anything remotely resembling that?

I like your posts, GL, but that was a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Were you even watching that game?

Easy killer ... I agree with you on many levels.

I was answering my own question.


The questions really is not IF they matter, but rather how much do they matter?

GL

cincinnati chili
06-23-2006, 02:38 AM
I saw the first half of the game before heading out in the 5th inning to go play skee-ball.

One great thing about the Rocket coming back is that a national audience got to see Liriano pitch. He's great.

62, I think that the things you mention above are particularly crucial to a guy like Liriano. He has a recent DUI, and long before that the Giants let him go, knowing he was good (they didn't know he was THIS good, but they knew he was good,).

My point is - in the wrong environment, Liriano could turn out to be a failure of Rob Bell-esque proportions.

If the Twins are handling him right that bodes well for baseball fans.

SteelSD
06-23-2006, 03:00 AM
If you're watching the Twins - Astros game right now, you just saw Lireano beat Roger Clemens.

Didn't see it, but obviously Liriano pitched a great game and the Twins beat the Astros.


ESPN also showed a very nice moment where Gardenhire and several Twins were around the kid in the dugout, obviously praising him for hanging tough after giving up a dinger in the top of the inning. Joe Morgan, who takes a lot of heat here, talked a bit about the importance of instilling confidence and developing toughness in a young player in circumstances like tonights game. They left him out there to build toughness.

Well, I'd hope someone praised the kid for his effort tonight after his performance on a national stage after what he might have perceived as a failure when his team was up 4-0. That definitely matters for an eminently talented and productive youngster.


For all the ridicule about makeup I read here, and all the derision that about chemistry and leadership, you're really missing something about the game if you don't understand that these things count. They matter.

Sorry. Don't see a whole lot of ridicule about "makeup" on the board. Don't like bad seeds myself- primarily because they create huge distractions and can take themselves right out of the mix when it comes to crunch time (see: Guillen, Jose). But then "leadership" and "chemistry" are pretty nebulous terms. And gonelong did have a good question as to how much they actually matter. gonelong also had another excellent point as to the fact that those terms are often erroneously positioned as primary causes for talented teams winning.

We see plenty of successful teams with bad leadership and bad chemistry that contain players with bad makeup that succeed. It's great that Gardenhire and Co. went to pump up Liriano tonight. That being said, I've seen the same behavior from bad teams with bad chemistry containing players with bad makeup. I've seen winning teams with awful leaders win (one just won a World Series). I've seen teams with bad chemistry and/or players with bad makeup win. But what I've never really seen is a winning team that has bad talent.

BTW, the Twins are an organization that's had a difficult time, until very recently, giving playing time to many of its promising young players. Instead, they turned to played out options like Juan Castro, Rondell White, Tony Batista, and even Ruben Sierra. I don't, at all, see that franchise as a haven for young player confidence building.

They couldn't figure out that Cuddyer should have consistent playing time until May. They sent down Jason Kubel at the first sign of trouble while giving Rondell White a ton of AB. They decided that Juan Castro needed to man SS when they rightfully should have given the job to Jason Bartlett well before now. Terry Ryan decided that Tony Batista should have the 3B job by default despite better younger options on the roster. Liriano is in the rotation because there wasn't a pat on the back that could possibly do anything to prevent Kyle Lohse from stinking. Scott Baker got sent down even though he was performing better than Radke, Lohse, and Carlos Silva. And Scott Baker wasn't performing well which says more about the other three and the Twins' penchant for "vet" peformers than it does about Scott Baker.

Nothing the Twins have done has much of anything to do with developing young players or building their confidence. It has everything to do with desperation caused by a losing record caused by a mistrust of young players.

The message from the Twins, for quite some time, is "perform right now or go". Problem is that said message applies only to their youngsters and it's the reason they're trying to claw their way from 11 games back in their division.

That's not "confidence building". Nor is it a sign of good leadership.


They're not robots out there. They're young men, growing and developing before our eyes in many cases.

Again, I haven't seen anyone position the concept that players are "robots". Not sure what you're trying to say here, RFS.


This isn't about bashing statistical analysis. It's about respecting the time honored traditions of building character and developing young players. The two go hand in hand.

Now, if I get your inference, statistical analysis is somehow related to disregarding the importance of building character, confidence, and developing young players, et al? I'd like to know exactly when that happened, because it's news to me.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 07:23 AM
Yep, I'm sure you're right. Nobody ever says a bad thing about "makeup" around here. It's all in my head.

redsfanmia
06-23-2006, 07:50 AM
Yep, I'm sure you're right. Nobody ever says a bad thing about "makeup" around here. It's all in my head.
It is all in your head, its chemistry and "playing the game the right way" that is talked down here. I personally think that your first post was right on.

remdog
06-23-2006, 07:53 AM
Baseball is not unlike most other businesses, simply more visable. Great companies spend an immense amount of time, money and other resources on developing their people, all of them, to the greatest degree that they can because they know that the better each individual is the greater the team is.

I'm not sure that open ridicule of character here is the case as much as simply ignoring it is. I agree with '62---it does matter and I'd like to see it get a little more acknowledgement and respect for its' part in building a winning team.

Rem

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 08:31 AM
Your post was on the money, RFS62. Nothing about it was wrong or new to baseball. The character and confidence building is a huge part of the transition from minor league star to major league player. There is really nothing that can get you ready for the quality of play and players that play the game at its highest level.

Also nothing new about the slight acknowledgement with the backhanded slap.

OldXOhio
06-23-2006, 09:07 AM
I'm not sure that open ridicule of character here is the case as much as simply ignoring it is.

right on


it does matter and I'd like to see it get a little more acknowledgement and respect for its' part in building a winning team.


That's well and good, but as has been mentioned, how do you quantify it? Purely subjective banter like that does have a shelf life. And how much praise need be heaped on a manager who does something akin to what Gardenire did w/ Liriano? Good for him for doing his job I guess, but isn't that what managers do?

Tony Cloninger
06-23-2006, 09:09 AM
Maybe it is the players the Reds org. signs to help bring that "makeup" and veteran leadership....to the younger players on this team....that makes some people on this board get fed up with the terminology applied to these said players.

RA..last year....was not much of a leader to me...he just seemed like some really pissed off person who did not believe that FL was better than him. He seemed border line dilusional in his approach to his job being taken away by FL.

Now some young pitchers in the bullpen did praise Weathers and also maybe Mercker....for helping them do things "the right way" in getting ready for a game. I do remember reading about this an an article late in the year of 2005.

I just read a lot of frustration with the bench players the Reds pick up....beacuse 1.... JN seems to try and play them more as semi-regulars than he does bench players. And 2.... they generally just suck at what their role is.

I also think people get tired of hearing GG...or Welsh..or Marty....talk about this "veteran leadership" and the way they praise it over and over... as if they would rather have a bunch of RA's on the team...than a bunch of AD's on the team.
Bronson Arroyo though is proving that you do not have to be old ...to have some leadership in you. The problem is that BA came from a winning org.... it has been ingrained in him...or maybe it was already there, although i doubt he had it when he was with the Pirates. Either way.... he came to play and win. The other guys can float by on their talents....but minimal baseball smarts and "intangibels" ....but sooner or later they need to learn them or else they turn into a bunch of Kal Daniels. Good young players to have with great stats.....but not much up in the head or much in the way of baseball smarts, desire...or even a winning attitude.

I would rather have a Dave Delucci (named spelled wrong..OF on the Phillies) than a Quinton McCracken on the bench. But QM was way cheaper and the maybe the Reds liked the way he carried himself and the fact he would not pout over not playing.

I also would just rather have veteran leadership that could actually throw some decent innings in the bullpen. However...old pitchers in the bullpen go up and down more than the latest stock market....and when they go down..they bottom out.

The Reds org. and it's bargain hunting tactics have gone on since JB took over and began signing the likes of Darnell Coles.... Scott Bankhead...and such. It worked for several years...and it needed to with no farm system to speak of. I mean...this org. could not even develop a decent bench player.

smith288
06-23-2006, 09:10 AM
Welsch noted a couple of days ago that when Valentin hit a sac fly when he got back to the dugout not ONE person congratulated him for the productive at bat.

I wonder if the Reds recent slide has anything to do with our teams lack of cohesiveness (if any). Just wondering outloud.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 09:17 AM
Leadership is a skill. There are many styles.

Jim Leyland is completely different than Bob Boone, or Leo Durocher or Gene Mauch, for that matter.

Maybe if you didn't see the game I didn't do a very good job of explaining what happened. ESPN stayed with the shot for a long time. It was very obvious what was happening, and Joe Morgan's comments were spot on. I don't care what anyone thinks of Joe Morgan, he understands clubhouse dynamics.

My entire point was that if you saw that scene, you got a glimpse at a side of baseball that is vital to the development of a young player. A scene that is often ignored or overlooked when one evaluates a leader.

smith288
06-23-2006, 09:20 AM
Leadership is a skill. There are many styles.

Jim Leyland is completely different than Bob Boone

Not only are they different. One is very skillful manager where as the other is a roving instructor for the craptastic Nationals. :)

Tony Cloninger
06-23-2006, 09:26 AM
Joe is right about a lot of things.......and he sounds like he knows it all. He is stubborn that way....and it annoys people.

He knows though about things in the clubhouse....right or wrong...that a lot, if not all the people here would never know about. Is that just being right or being arrogant?

His opinion on a pitchers W-L recors though.......that just makes you scratch your head and wonder.... how could someone be that stubborn? :laugh:

lollipopcurve
06-23-2006, 10:00 AM
For all the ridicule about makeup I read here, and all the derision that about chemistry and leadership, you're really missing something about the game if you don't understand that these things count. They matter.

They're not robots out there. They're young men, growing and developing before our eyes in many cases.

This isn't about bashing statistical analysis. It's about respecting the time honored traditions of building character and developing young players. The two go hand in hand.

Nice post RFS62.

M2
06-23-2006, 10:05 AM
I'll be the first to admit Joe Morgan's constant processing of the universe through a "veteran leadership" filter bugs the hell out of me. He applies it even when it makes absolutely no sense.

I even posted about it two weeks ago:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47253&highlight=hafner

Morgan obviously knows how to play to the game and of course creating the right atmosphere is an essential ingredient of success. The Machiavellian tinge of the JimBo years and DanO's incompetence on parade created awful environments for developing young players.

I think Jerry Narron deserves a lot of credit in getting young players to step up and in getting career or renaissance years out of some older players. Narron does some other things that get under my skin (Rich Aurilia hitting cleanup against RHPs being chief among them), but the Reds have gotten consistent play for young players and I think you can attribute it to cutting out a lot of the nonsense from previous regimes and accentuating the positives on what has been, even during the team's five-year slide, a generally hard-working, positive group of players.

princeton
06-23-2006, 10:05 AM
Twins are better at developing pitching than any team in baseball.

remdog
06-23-2006, 10:20 AM
That's well and good, but as has been mentioned, how do you quantify it?

Not all things need to be quantified, nor should they be. Numbers can be defining but they can also be limiting.

How much do you love your kids? How beautiful is a rose? How sweet is an ocean breeze?

Rem

gonelong
06-23-2006, 10:22 AM
I'll bow out of this one after the following ...

Leadership is Barry Larkin learning Spanish so that he could communicate with his teammates.

Leadership is Barry Larkin coming into spring training in great shape every year.

Leadership is Barry Larkin teaching everything he could to Felipe Lopez (and others).

Leadership is Barry Larkin tearing the C off his jersey to show the front office that tearing a team apart with no plans to build a contender (whether you agreed with him or not) was unnacceptable.

Leadership is Barry Larkin consistently hitting behind the runner (whether you agree with that or not as a strategy) to advance him to 3rd.

Leadership is in 1990 Larkin called a team meeting towards the end of the season to lambast the team for coasting into the playoffs.

That type of leadership certainly has a value.

GL

RFS62
06-23-2006, 10:25 AM
Well said, GL

OldXOhio
06-23-2006, 10:29 AM
Not all things need to be quantified, nor should they be. Numbers can be defining but they can also be limiting.

How much do you love your kids? How beautiful is a rose? How sweet is an ocean breeze?

Rem

I'm not disputing that. I'm just not sure how in depth you can discuss those sorts of things on a board like this. How much banter/debate will be had over the "this team really likes each other" notion? My guess is not much.

At least for me, part of the beauty of RZ is getting to see numbers substantiate various arguments.

Chip R
06-23-2006, 10:30 AM
BTW, the Twins are an organization that's had a difficult time, until very recently, giving playing time to many of its promising young players. Instead, they turned to played out options like Juan Castro, Rondell White, Tony Batista, and even Ruben Sierra. I don't, at all, see that franchise as a haven for young player confidence building.

They couldn't figure out that Cuddyer should have consistent playing time until May. They sent down Jason Kubel at the first sign of trouble while giving Rondell White a ton of AB. They decided that Juan Castro needed to man SS when they rightfully should have given the job to Jason Bartlett well before now. Terry Ryan decided that Tony Batista should have the 3B job by default despite better younger options on the roster. Liriano is in the rotation because there wasn't a pat on the back that could possibly do anything to prevent Kyle Lohse from stinking. Scott Baker got sent down even though he was performing better than Radke, Lohse, and Carlos Silva. And Scott Baker wasn't performing well which says more about the other three and the Twins' penchant for "vet" peformers than it does about Scott Baker.

Nothing the Twins have done has much of anything to do with developing young players or building their confidence. It has everything to do with desperation caused by a losing record caused by a mistrust of young players.

The message from the Twins, for quite some time, is "perform right now or go". Problem is that said message applies only to their youngsters and it's the reason they're trying to claw their way from 11 games back in their division.

That's not "confidence building". Nor is it a sign of good leadership.


I see a lot of similar things happening here. Can't trust those crazy kids cause they don't Play The Game The Right Way or they don't Know How To Win. I find it scary that the Lizard was so close to being sent back down to AAA when Milton came off the DL in favor of Dave Williams. I find it sad that whenever Encarnacion makes an error that costs the Reds a game, he has to grab some pine the next day. I am frustrated that Juan Castro has been brought in as FeLo's late inning defensive replacement. The latter hasn't happened yet due to injuries but, trust me, it will. There is a mistrust of young players in this organization too. Don't just think all this speculation from Marty or Hal or John Fay about guys like EE moving to 1st is just that. That seed has been planted by this organization. I don't know if that's an indictment of Wayne, since he did come from the Twins, or Narron or both. If Narron managed the Mets he probably would have sat Wright down yesterday cause of his blunder on Wednesday night. Young players are going to make mistakes. I know Narron and Wayne understand that but benching a guy after it happens just makes the guy play scared. It's like, "Boy, I better not mess up or I'll have to sit." That makes guys think twice about diving for balls because they might have to make a throw that could be wild. Pretty soon they are going to start playing like Roger Dorn from Major League. They will get to balls that are right to them but they won't risk anything else.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 10:36 AM
At least for me, part of the beauty of RZ is getting to see numbers substantiate various arguments.


That's true for me too. In fact, it's amazing how much in depth statistical info gets posted here. It's a tremendous asset.

I like the scouting, interpersonal, anecdotal stuff too. We've got a lot of past and current players, coaches, scouts, insiders and very knowledgable "baseball men" here who I'd love to see contribute more.

I don't consider being a "baseball man" an insult, as it's often used. I think it's high praise.

OldXOhio
06-23-2006, 10:45 AM
That's true for me too. In fact, it's amazing how much in depth statistical info gets posted here. It's a tremendous asset.

I like the scouting, interpersonal, anecdotal stuff too. We've got a lot of past and current players, coaches, scouts, insiders and very knowledgable "baseball men" here who I'd love to see contribute more.

I don't consider being a "baseball man" an insult, as it's often used. I think it's high praise.

I once considered myself a fairly knowledgable baseball fan....then I entered RZ. Now I dare not wrankle some of the inhabitants for fear of getting trucked like roadkill on an OK highway. That's alright, I've learned a lot from the WOYs, M2s and Steels along the way. Good good stuff.

And never, ever consider being called a "baseball man" a bad thing. Despite becoming somewhat of a dying breed, it will always be something of a classic.

CougarQuest
06-23-2006, 10:51 AM
Sorry. Don't see a whole lot of ridicule about "makeup" on the board.

You've got to be kidding!!!

CougarQuest
06-23-2006, 11:00 AM
how do you quantify it?
And therein lies the problem. Why do you need to quantify it? Have we become so "fantasy" basbeall, that if you can't quantify it, it doesn't matter and it surely can't matter a great deal?

CougarQuest
06-23-2006, 11:04 AM
Not all things need to be quantified, nor should they be. Numbers can be defining but they can also be limiting.

How much do you love your kids? How beautiful is a rose? How sweet is an ocean breeze?

Rem
I didn't see your response before I made mine. You probably have a better response.

CougarQuest
06-23-2006, 11:05 AM
BTW RFS62, excellent thread starter!

Chip R
06-23-2006, 11:07 AM
If you have read "Moneyball" you know that even Billy Beane values character - hence the term "Milo". Character is a good thing. Getting along with your teammates and the press and the fans is good too. But I think what people are saying is that there is not necessarily a causation or correlation to it leading to a winning team. Who is better in the clubhouse than Sean Casey? Where are the Reds without him and where are the Pirates with him? The Braves pride themselves on a harmonious atmosphere where everybody gets along but that hasn't stopped them from sinking like a rock this year. And sometimes that stuff does contribute to eventual success. What gonelong said about Barry Larkin is true. But what some people question about that is not whether it does contribute but how much does it contribute. Some believe if it can't be measured objectively, there is a question to how much it is valued. Paul Wilson is a great character guy. Maybe he has imparted some wisdom on some of the younger pitchers on the team while rehabbing his injury. But we don't know that for sure and if he is, is it worth paying him what the Reds do for that?

gonelong
06-23-2006, 11:12 AM
Edit: Bah, I said I'd bow out and I will.


GL

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:14 AM
If you can show me 3 posts where "makeup" itself is ridiculed rather than the application of it I'll send $25 to the Redszone coffers.

GL



Hey!!!!! Hold on a second there, buddy!!!! I believe I started this thread, and all funds should be directed to the RFS62 Vacation Fund.

Now I've got to go make three posts ridiculing makeup and come back here to give you my paypal info.

:evil:

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:16 AM
Jared Leto wears mascara.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:17 AM
Ozzie Osborne wears too much makeup

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:17 AM
Alice Cooper's makeup is creepy

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:18 AM
Cha Ching!!!!

gonelong
06-23-2006, 11:18 AM
Jared Leto wears mascara.http://www.tvacres.com/images/bobeck_mimi2.jpg


Here is a classic case of the application of makeup being the problem, and not the makeup itself. :)

Have a good weekend everyone, I am heading to the lake for some fishing, boating, swilling, cigar smoking, marshmellow roasting, and campfire pizzas.

gO REdz!

GL

vaticanplum
06-23-2006, 11:22 AM
Maybe it is the players the Reds org. signs to help bring that "makeup" and veteran leadership....to the younger players on this team....that makes some people on this board get fed up with the terminology applied to these said players.

RA..last year....was not much of a leader to me...he just seemed like some really pissed off person who did not believe that FL was better than him. He seemed border line dilusional in his approach to his job being taken away by FL.

Now some young pitchers in the bullpen did praise Weathers and also maybe Mercker....for helping them do things "the right way" in getting ready for a game. I do remember reading about this an an article late in the year of 2005.

I just read a lot of frustration with the bench players the Reds pick up....beacuse 1.... JN seems to try and play them more as semi-regulars than he does bench players. And 2.... they generally just suck at what their role is.

I also think people get tired of hearing GG...or Welsh..or Marty....talk about this "veteran leadership" and the way they praise it over and over... as if they would rather have a bunch of RA's on the team...than a bunch of AD's on the team.

A lot of this is bang on for some of the problems I see within this organization. I don't think they're huge, huge problems and I don't think it's what's bringing the team down (bullpenbullpenbullpen). I think, in the end, talent is proving itself here, as it did with the Lizard, for example. But it's still a problem -- with Narron especially and with the announcers, less so with the front office thank God.

The thing is that I DO value leadership, chemistry, character, emotional strength, maturity, competitiveness, perspective, experience and attitude -- the intangibles, if you will -- immensely on the baseball field. I value them in all sports, and in all things really. They cannot take the place of talent, of course, but they can help a team surpass the limitations of its own talent. They separate the men from the boys. Let's face it, at this level, everyone is talented. There's a world of difference between Alex Rodriguez and Quinton McCracken, but that world is immeasurably small compared to Quinton McCracken and 99.5% of the population. There is a difference to be found between the talented teams who win and the talented teams who don't, and that difference is often found somewhere among those intangibles.

But I rarely allow myself to speak about these things on this board, for a couple of reasons. First of all, intangibles are not quanitifiable, and I know that. That's why discussions of them are better suited to 2 am conversations over beer with friends. I frequent this board precisely because stats are crucial and quanitifiable, and my understanding of the game and in particular this team is helped tremendously by all of the studies done by the people here, all of the fingers pointed to specific things going on with this team. I feel that a great deal of this team's problems could be fixed if the powers that be took a look at some of the stat-centric posts around here. The rest can't be fixed by anything that can be put to paper. These are things that happen between the coaches on the players and on the field. So I don't even try. This doesn't mean I belittle their importance, only that I'm unable to properly use this venue to defend them.

But the bigger reason that I don't talk about them a lot is because "intangibles", while crucial, can be miselading, and I point to the above quoted post as evidence of that. A scrappy veteran. An experienced player who knows how to win. A leader. These are horribly misused terms in relation to the Reds. Johnny Evers was a scrappy veteran. Babe Ruth was an experienced player who knew how to win. Don Mattingly was a leader. These are not terms I use lightly, and one is not a veteran just because he's played a lot, and one does not know how to win just because he happened to be on a championship team, and one is not a leader just because he's spouted off advice to some young players a couple of times. Once again, it's not quantifiable, and the heart of a general manager's job lies in the fact that he must be able to recognize who has these traits, who may develop them, who will work well with whom and whose talent will be invaluable even if he never learns to speak to another player. Barry Larkin was a natural leader and likely would have led any team for whom he played, and this took his talent to its limits. Adam Dunn hasn't indicated to me that he'll ever be a team leader if he plays in the majors for 20 years, and in the wrong hands, I also fear that his talent won't reach its potential. And I'd have both these men on any team of mine in a heartbeat. Throw them on the roster with 23 other meticulously selected guys and hope that the chemistry blows up something nice for you.

THAT is why I feel perfectly comfortable making fun of scrappy and veterans and leadership on this board. It's not because I don't value them; quite the contrary, I value them above a lot, and the way these terms are thrown around with this organization sometimes indicates to me that it does not value them as I do. You can convince me that Arroyo playing for a championship team has given him an attitude that will influence the younger players by example. I will believe that Griffey could be sidelined with a hamstring injury all year and come back to hit a game-winning triple in a playoff game, racing his butt off to get to third, because he's proven to me that his heart would push him to do it. But don't even insult me by telling me that Tony Womack knows how to win or that Rich Aurilia will ever lead this team to a championship. Not only do they not have the talent, they don't have those intangibles they're purported to have. It kills me. It's a terribly unscrappy way of misusing those words to absolutely no one's benefit, and we all know that scrappy is the cool thing to be.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:24 AM
http://www.tvacres.com/images/bobeck_mimi2.jpg


Here is a classic case of the application of makeup being the problem, and not the makeup itself. :)


GL


So, you're saying it's OK for Jared to wear mascara, but you just don't like how he put it on?

westofyou
06-23-2006, 11:25 AM
Alice Cooper's makeup is creepy
Pedro ruined my Alice Cooper poster because of that, he put gum on Alice's eyes.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 11:27 AM
Pedro ruined my Alice Cooper poster because of that, he put gum on Alice's eyes.


See, it's a commonly held opinion.

Cyclone792
06-23-2006, 11:41 AM
And therein lies the problem. Why do you need to quantify it? Have we become so "fantasy" basbeall, that if you can't quantify it, it doesn't matter and it surely can't matter a great deal?

I don't think I've ever met anybody that doesn't value character. But how much should you value it, and how important is it? Furthermore, the key question really becomes how much talent are you willing to sacrifice for good makeup, and that's where I believe the main disagreements sit. I have always maintained that the teams that excel in both statistical and scouting measures have a huge leg up on everybody else, and this is just another factor in those measures.

First, we've got to figure out ... well ... what is good character? Does anybody really know? Maybe some people reading are familiar with Ty Cobb and the personality Cobb had. Feisty competitor, but an all around jerk. Would his character be a benefit to a club? Some people may say not at all, but on the flip side there's two other Hall of Fame outfielders that largely credited their teammate and player/manager Ty Cobb for some of their hitting success. That had to benefit Cobb's teams.

IMO, character is more important when evaluating an amateur draftee than it is for evaluating an established big league regular. Now I'm not saying that character has zero importance for a big league regular, just that when I'm evaluating a prospect, I'll value character more for the prospect. When we're evaluating a prospect, we're trying to project his value - statistically and in scouting methods - and I do believe that a player with good makeup is more likely to reach his projected talent potential than a player with bad makeup. How much more likely, I have no idea, but if I have two players with similar talent levels, I'll take the guy with better makeup. How about a better talent with worse makeup? Well, weigh the risk/reward. Again, it all goes back to how much talent are you willing to sacrifice for good makeup. The front offices that do the best job in evaluating both factors are usually the organizations that succeed.

Let's take a trip back to the Scott Hatteberg signing. I defended the Hatteberg signing when it's happened, and I've defended Hatteberg on this board several times since that signing. I've maintained that Hatteberg's value both statistically and in character makes him an outstanding addition at a $750k salary. Statistically, he's an on-base machine that takes walks, takes pitches and avoids outs pretty darn well. As far as his character, he's been known to constantly scout game film, scout pitchers and notice small idiosyncracies, all of which I believe is an asset when plugging him into a clubhouse with the young, talented hitters we have.

Now how about Sean Casey? Now I don't mean to be harsh on Sean Casey - he's a great guy - but for his salary of $8 million, the combination of his statistical contributions and character contributions just flat out isn't worth it. I don't doubt that Casey is an outstanding guy to have in the clubhouse, but outside of 1999 and 2004 - which I now believe were anomalous seasons - his statistical contributions have been so paltry that no amount of clubhouse character contributions can make his $8 million salary worthwhile.

Statistical measures are exceptionally vital. Scouting measures, including character/leadership evalutions, are also exceptionally vital. The key is to find as close to the perfect mixture as possible, because if you ignore one side, you're not as likely to succeed. Even today for the most part, IMO, certain organizations will lean too far to the leadership side of the coin, and this is really where problems arise since it leads to teams playing less talented/more expensive veterans over more talented/less expensive youth and then citing veteran leadership as the justification.

WVRedsFan
06-23-2006, 12:00 PM
Leadership is a skill. There are many styles.

Jim Leyland is completely different than Bob Boone, or Leo Durocher or Gene Mauch, for that matter.

Maybe if you didn't see the game I didn't do a very good job of explaining what happened. ESPN stayed with the shot for a long time. It was very obvious what was happening, and Joe Morgan's comments were spot on. I don't care what anyone thinks of Joe Morgan, he understands clubhouse dynamics.

My entire point was that if you saw that scene, you got a glimpse at a side of baseball that is vital to the development of a young player. A scene that is often ignored or overlooked when one evaluates a leader.

Amen.

Bravo to you RFS62! We all know the value of the statistical side of baseball and its importance, but as much as "the little things" are pooh-poohed throughout the baseball world, it is part of baseball.

And the managerial style has a lot to do with success, too. No one can argue that the change from Miley (or Boone) to Narron hasn't changed things for the better. I am one of Jerry's biggest critics as far as the future is concerned, but getting that right is an important part of being successful. We've come a long way, but there's moe to be done.

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 12:01 PM
John Wooden certainly valued it, and he had quite a bit of success with it.

oneupper
06-23-2006, 12:03 PM
The message from the Twins, for quite some time, is "perform right now or go". Problem is that said message applies only to their youngsters...


I'm getting old...I read REDS instead of Twins from this post...

...I also read Aurilia instead of BATISTA...and Denorfia instead of Cuddyer...

It's gotta be some sort of weird baseball dyslexia...:(

westofyou
06-23-2006, 12:04 PM
John Wooden certainly valued it, and he had quite a bit of success with it.
All those scholarships and a school in the middle of LA didn't hurt either.

SteelSD
06-23-2006, 12:10 PM
You've got to be kidding!!!

No. I'm not joking.

One of the reasons Greg Maddux has been one of the best pitchers we'll ever see is because of his makeup and intelligence. He may have been good without either or both. But both have allowed him to manifest his natural ability at peak level over the course of his career. gonelong mentioned Barry Larkin and I'd give him a huge "ditto".

Two players I don't want on my team are Jose Guillen and Milton Bradley- particularly if my team doesn't project to win (and I don't want Guillen even IF my team projects to win). The reason? Character.

I want leaders. I like chemistry. Culture, environment, and leadership matter. I don't know anyone here or otherwise who doesn't feel the same way.

I think what Gardenhire and Co. did with Liriano was great. I'd be sure to mark that down in my mental notebook as a positive. But I'd also weigh it against the fact that Gardenhire and Co. have allowed Rondell White and Tony Batista to acquire the 6th and 7th most At-Bats on the club this season.

But quick question: Do we think the same emotional support shown to Liriano would allow a player with far less talent to outperform his ability level going forward?

Second question: If Liriano can't process the information he received (i.e. allowing external emotional support to positively affect his confidence level), does it actually help him?

Both are important questions when we're talking about subjective concepts like leadership, chemistry, and makeup. I'd prefer to leave "chemistry" out of the discussion because not even Curt Schilling, when posting to the top on the SOSH board, could definitively tell us whether chemistry was a driver or a residual of performance. His answer- which was basically "both"- was a great way to say, "I don't know."

But leadership and makeup matter. IMHO, the most important thing involved with both is the ability to process information because the ability to process information is what helps turn effort into results.

And here are the questions when I hear about a player who's got great "makeup" or who "plays the game the right way".

1. Can he perform?
2. Does he have a history of making players around him better?

If we can't answer #1 positively, then we'd better see demonstrable evidence that #2 can be answered with a "Yes". When you see claims of a player's "makeup" or other subjective value challenged, it's almost certainty that neither of those questions can be answered affirmitively. And, unfortunately, those terms end up being applied almost indiscriminitely to veteran players who, allegedly, have the ability to do something they've never actually done.

Even worse, some teams reputed to have good leadership choose to acquire and play guys who've done neither rather than allowing younger, more talented, players to grow and develop. Is that really a manifestation of good culture and leadership? I don't think so because that practice potentially saps talented young players of confidence and morale. In fact, many times the positioning of a vet acquisition as a "gamer" or a great addition to team "chemistry" is really nothing more than a CYA maneuver by "leaders" who lack confidence in young performers because those "leaders" lack the ability to process information at a high level.

westofyou
06-23-2006, 12:13 PM
Speaking of Milo.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/phillies/2006-06-23-myers-arrest_x.htm

pedro
06-23-2006, 12:19 PM
Like Steel, I don't want "bad seeds" on the team, but I also don't want to try and build a team around "character" guys if that is their only asset. Too often I see the character issue bandied about as the reason why a player is valuable while all the time this same player may be a black hole on offense or lacking in defensive ability. In short, I don't think character is lacking in value, I just think it is probably misunderstood and misapplied to a lot of players.

Speaking of character, a lot of folks were knocking on Larue for being angry a week or so ago, in a situation when they were just assuminng what he was angry about. I'd like to note that in the miracle win against Wagner the other night it was Larue on the top step step cheering Ross on at the end of the game.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 12:21 PM
Because terms like "makeup", "chemistry", "does the little things", "knows how to win" are overused or used improperly by people who don't really know what they're talking about doesn't mean that they aren't significant aspects of the game when analyzed correctly.

They get a bad rap when we hear a know-nothing announcer gush on and on about "veteran leadership" when he really doesn't understand what it means or how it contributes to the overall gestalt of the team.

It's leadership when a veteran is always prepared, especially when he's not a starter. It's leadership by example, and the clubhouse needs seasoned veterans around to show the younger players what a true professional does, day in and day out.

It's leadership by example, not a bunch of empty "rah-rah" and back slapping. "Casey leads the league in hugs" was one of the most common insults that completely missed the point of what veteran leadership was about, and somehow took on a life of it's own in the derision of such concepts as valid and meaningful.

A lot goes on behind the scenes in the education of these young men and it's not all about baseball. Much of it is about life. One of the biggest adjustments of all in pro ball is the logistics of life on the road, especially for players from another country.

It all adds up, and the scoreboard isn't made public. But it's known and assessed and carefully considered by the front office of successful organizations. Do they make mistakes? Of course, who doesn't.

But it's not a joke, and it's not insignificant. These are multi-million dollar investments by the teams involved, and they can't afford to leave a stone unturned in their development.

westofyou
06-23-2006, 12:27 PM
But it's not a joke, and it's not insignificant. These are multi-million dollar investments by the teams involved, and they can't afford to leave a stone unturned in their development.Here's a fine example of the mislabeling of vet leadership.

Ed Baily was a Eddie Taubensee type of catcher, more hitting than fielding and like the times he played in he was simple and to teh point with his opinions. As the catcher he was one of the main conduits to teh Reds becoming a better staff in the late 50's and 60's... problem is he was a gruff bastard that treated young pitcher like crap, it took a strong character to take him on and the age was bringing in all sorts of babies to picth on teh big club and god help it they'd pitch the way Ed Bailey wanted them to.

It drove Osteen crazy and O'Toole had to fight him to throw what he wanted, chances are Hutch didn't care much for his contributions and didn't want him to touch Maloney.

It's no surprsie that the year he got traded the Reds were first in runs allowed?

Is it?

WVRedsFan
06-23-2006, 12:28 PM
But quick question: Do we think the same emotional support shown to Liriano would allow a player with far less talent to outperform his ability level going forward?

Second question: If Liriano can't process the information he received (i.e. allowing external emotional support to positively affect his confidence level), does it actually help him?

No doubt that players with less talent perform better (whether it be intellectually or physically) with good positive emotional support. My experience with this comes from the 15 years I toiled in the public classrooms of West Virginia. I could go into stories to prove my point, but let's just leave it at that.


Both are important questions when we're talking about subjective concepts like leadership, chemistry, and makeup. I'd prefer to leave "chemistry" out of the discussion because not even Curt Schilling, when posting to the top on the SOSH board, could definitively tell us whether chemistry was a driver or a residual of performance. His answer- which was basically "both"- was a great way to say, "I don't know."

Chemistry is something you either have or don't, and it's nearly impossible to define. It's like you know it when you see it. I think last year's club didn't have it much as this year's. Why? Like Shilling says, I don't know. I've got my ideas, but it's nearly impossible to prove.

OldXOhio
06-23-2006, 12:40 PM
And therein lies the problem. Why do you need to quantify it? Have we become so "fantasy" basbeall, that if you can't quantify it, it doesn't matter and it surely can't matter a great deal?

No, I'm talking about it's application to an internet message board first and foremost. I'm simply stating that such subjective material only lasts for so long in this type of forum. For example, it's understood that the roses smell great, now where do we go from here?

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 12:43 PM
All those scholarships and a school in the middle of LA didn't hurt either.

Pardon me for not agreeing with your comment, but I would say that Wooden made UCLA, not the other way around.




From the book, "Wooden.

"When I came out to UCLA from Indiana State Teachers College in 1948, I had been led to believe that we'd soon have an adequate place to practice and play our games. However, that did not occur for almost seventeen years.

During that time, I conducted UCLA basketball practice in a crowded, poorly lit, and badly ventilated gym on the third floor of the Mens Gymnasium building. Much of the time there was wrestling practice at one end, a trampoline on the side with athletes bouncing up and down, and gymnastics practice on the other side. The gym was known as the "B.O. Barn" because of the odor when it was busy.

In addition to all of this commotion, cheerleaders in leotards often practice alongside the court. Of course, that brought on some additional distractions.

We had no private locker rooms and no private showers. Players climbed three flights of stairs to a gym that had just two baskets amidst all of the hubbub.

For sixteen years, I helped our managers sweep and mop the floor every day before practice because of the dust stirred up form the other activities. These were hardship conditions, not only for the basketball team, but for the wrestling and gymnastics team members and coaches as well. You could have written a long list of excuses why UCLA shouldn't have been able to develop a good basketball team there.

Neverthleless, the B.O. Barn was where we built teams that won national championships in 1964 and 1965.

You must take what is available and make the very most of it."

For his first three years, Wooden's teams played their home games in the B.O. Barn that only seated 2,100, eventually cut to 1,100 because of a fire marshal's decision. For the next 14 years, the Bruins traveled around playing its home games at Santa Monica City College, Venice High School, Long Beach City College, Long Beach Auditorium, Pan Pacific Auditorium, and elsewhere.

Not exactly the pretty picture you paint.

westofyou
06-23-2006, 12:50 PM
Not exactly the pretty picture you paint.

What pretty picture?

Wooden was great for UCLA, but the UC system exploded outward during his tenure as coach, comparing the UC system in 1948 to the UC system in the mid 60's is night and day, and has alot to do with post war expansion to the area, Pat Brown and other factors.

In 1948 California was an exotic locale that catered to minor league baseball and college boys who didn't want to leave the coast. Televison and travel closed that gap and made the area more populous... everthing else falls behind that and often falls into the right time at the right place scebario.

That's not diffusing any of Woodens style points, but I'm not about to drop the whole enchilada on his plate either.

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 12:53 PM
What pretty picture?

Wooden was great for UCLA, but the UC system exploded outward during his tenure as coach, comparing the UC system in 1948 to the UC system in the mid 60's is night and day, and has alot to do with post war expansion to the area, Pat Brown and other factors.

In 1948 California was an exotic locale that catered to minor league baseball and college boys who didn't want to leave the coast. Televison and travel closed that gap and made the area more populous... everthing else falls behind that and often falls into the right time at the right place scebario.

That's not diffusing any of Woodens style points, but I'm not about to drop the whole enchilada on his plate either.

The enchilada is his. The man was the best. No one else can put up a record that compares, and UCLA certainly isn't/wasn't the only school in the area at the time.

westofyou
06-23-2006, 12:55 PM
The enchilada is his. The man was the best. No one else can put up a record that compares, and UCLA certainly isn't/wasn't the only school in the area at the time.
Very true, the other one was building its resume on the football field.

CrackerJack
06-23-2006, 01:06 PM
BTW, the Twins are an organization that's had a difficult time, until very recently, giving playing time to many of its promising young players. Instead, they turned to played out options like Juan Castro, Rondell White, Tony Batista, and even Ruben Sierra. I don't, at all, see that franchise as a haven for young player confidence building.



This sounds....awfully....familiar...

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 01:11 PM
John Wooden 10 National Championships (including 7 straight). John McKay 4 National Championships.

Both impressive, but Wooden's numbers speak for themself.

M2
06-23-2006, 01:14 PM
Wooden also had the luxury afforded every college coach -- do it my way and adhere to my standards or you can kiss that scholarship goodbye and enjoy a lucrative career in pickup basketball.

Now, Wooden knew how to play the game the right way and his personal standards were impeccable, but he had also had a big hammer to swing. Pro coaches don't have the same luxury. Rick Pitino discovered that the hard way.

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 01:17 PM
Wooden also had the luxury afforded every college coach -- do it my way and adhere to my standards or you can kiss that scholarship goodbye and enjoy a lucrative career in pickup basketball.

Now, Wooden knew how to play the game the right way and his personal standards were impeccable, but he had also had a big hammer to swing. Pro coaches don't have the same luxury. Rick Pitino discovered that the hard way.

Darn shame that professional athletes are such hard heads. Obviously, Wooden had a formula that worked. I'd take the hammer if it meant winning. I don't care how much money I made.

westofyou
06-23-2006, 01:22 PM
John Wooden 10 National Championships. John McKay 4 National Championships.

Both impressive, but Wooden's numbers speak for themself.Yep, I never argued that, my take is as great as he was... and don't get me wrong he's an orginal and a pioneer, he also was at the right place (UCLA) at the right time (population boom. basketball boom, civil rights, UC Expansion).

Just as Rockne took Notre Dame and made college football even bigger Wooden took college baseketball to the national platform.

To me that's part of the magic, nothing appears out of nothing, talent has to have a field to plow in and that one was ripe for picking.

You don't win that many without outclassing your opponent on every level from your shoes to the tires on the bus that brought you to the game.

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 01:27 PM
I like the story that Wooden tells about Bill Walton coming into his office and complaining about the pain he was having in his knees. Walton mentioned that he had heard that smoking marijuana would reduce the pain in his knees. He asked Wooden if it would be OK if he used it.

Wooden replied, "Bill, I haven't heard that it is a pain reliever, but I have heard that it is illegal."

Also, to the point of Wooden's hammer, he once had Walton come back from a 10 day break wearing a beard. He asked Walton if he had forgotten about the team rule that didn't allow facial hair. Walton said that he thought it was his right to wear the beard.

Wooden asked young Walton if he believed in that very strongly. He told his coach that he did, very much.

Wooden replied, "Bill, I have a great respect for individuals who stand up for what they believe. I really do. And the team is going to miss you.

Walton went to the locker room and shaved the beard with no more questions. The choice was between his own desires and the good of the team. Walton was a team player. That is a dying breed.

Chip R
06-23-2006, 01:27 PM
Wooden also had the luxury afforded every college coach -- do it my way and adhere to my standards or you can kiss that scholarship goodbye and enjoy a lucrative career in pickup basketball.


Having Sam Gilbert around didn't hurt either.

RANDY IN INDY
06-23-2006, 01:31 PM
There are and always have been a lot of Sam Gilbert's around the college scenes.

M2
06-23-2006, 01:36 PM
Because terms like "makeup", "chemistry", "does the little things", "knows how to win" are overused or used improperly by people who don't really know what they're talking about doesn't mean that they aren't significant aspects of the game when analyzed correctly.

They get a bad rap when we hear a know-nothing announcer gush on and on about "veteran leadership" when he really doesn't understand what it means or how it contributes to the overall gestalt of the team.

It's leadership when a veteran is always prepared, especially when he's not a starter. It's leadership by example, and the clubhouse needs seasoned veterans around to show the younger players what a true professional does, day in and day out.

It's leadership by example, not a bunch of empty "rah-rah" and back slapping. "Casey leads the league in hugs" was one of the most common insults that completely missed the point of what veteran leadership was about, and somehow took on a life of it's own in the derision of such concepts as valid and meaningful.

A lot goes on behind the scenes in the education of these young men and it's not all about baseball. Much of it is about life. One of the biggest adjustments of all in pro ball is the logistics of life on the road, especially for players from another country.

It all adds up, and the scoreboard isn't made public. But it's known and assessed and carefully considered by the front office of successful organizations. Do they make mistakes? Of course, who doesn't.

But it's not a joke, and it's not insignificant. These are multi-million dollar investments by the teams involved, and they can't afford to leave a stone unturned in their development.

Excellent points.

Just a few thoughts of my own on those:

- I think the majority of people who point out how "makeup" and "chemistry" are misused do so because they think it is really important, not because they don't. I know it drives me crazy when the terms you listed get wrapped around a guy who doesn't really embody those qualities. IMO what a lot of folks are saying when they raise those issues (even if it's not explicit) is they think it's important enough not to toss those terms around willy-nilly.

- Announcers and sportswriters certainly are the main offenders when it comes to turning those concepts into mush.

- "Sean Casey leads the league in hugs" always struck me as a fairly accurate assessment of Casey. He's a great guy, someone everyone around him loves. He's a great guy to have on your team, but he's more "Bring It On" than "Braveheart." I like Casey and think he's a better player than many in these parts, but I never considered him a true leader.

- You post reminds me of why I don't think the Reds wasted so much as a penny on Barry Larkin's last big contract. Obviously he didn't perform the way the team had hoped, but the franchise had precious little keeping it from spiraling into a 100-loss pit in the early part of this decade. How did the Reds go on those early season runs and outperform their pythag? IMO, #11 had a lot to do with it. He was a lot of the glue that kept the whole enterprise from falling apart. In a lot of ways I think Larkin helped keep the Reds intact as a professional baseball franchise. The team certainly looked like it went into shock without him in early 2005. D'Angelo Jiminez still hasn't recovered. I'm starting to think that Larkin made that guy.

- On a separate note, much as I care about positive personal attributes, I don't mind a team having a few nutjobs or bad characters around. Pedro Martinez is insane and he could pitch for my team any day of the week. A.J. Pierzynski may be a miserable human being, but he's still a good guy to have in your foxhole.

RFS62
06-23-2006, 01:41 PM
Very well said, M2.

:beerme:

Chip R
06-23-2006, 01:43 PM
There are and always have been a lot of Sam Gilbert's around the college scenes.

Yep, and they are usually around the successful programs.

I'm not saying Wooden succeeded just cause of Gilbert. That was just a contributing factor like being in L.A. was or like being on TV all the time is now for Duke and Coach K. Why did guys choose to go to UCLA over other schools? Kids coming in for recruiting visits talk to the players that were there at the time and they were made quite aware that if they came to UCLA, they got a little extra something besides books, room, board and tuition.