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flyer85
03-11-2008, 03:24 PM
from Sheehan.

I can't believe someone hasn't posted this. Did I miss it?


The Teflon Manager

by Joe Sheehan

I’m trying to maintain my optimism about the Cincinnati Reds, but it’s hard. I see a team that had a good offense last year, that has two rotation anchors, four of the top 40 or so prospects in baseball, and no real holes in the lineup.

I also see a team with a manager completely and totally ill-suited to his personnel, with an outsized reputation that far exceeds his actual performance and more control over the roster than he should be allowed. Sometimes I think I’m too hard on Dusty Baker, given that he has managed successful teams, made postseasons, won a pennant, owns a career .527 winning percentage from the dugout. Maybe I make him a caricature, a toothpick-chewing, OBP-hating Luddite who doesn’t trust anyone under 30.

Then he starts talking…

“On [Joey] Votto: ‘He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren’t the only criteria. I’d like to see him more aggressive.’

“’A lot of this on-base percentage is taking away from the aggressiveness of some young kids. Most of the time you’ve got to put handcuffs on a young to keep him from swinging.’”

(A nod to John Fay at the Cincinnati Enquirer.)

I left the last sentence in for completeness, even though it seems to say the exact opposite of the one prior to it. The keys are Baker attempting to ruin Votto, and his persistence in regarding OBP as a negative. A few years back, the blogosphere had a field day with Baker’s talk about “clogging the bases” while he was with the Cubs. We’re right back to that point again, with Baker not getting one of the most basic things about baseball: not making outs is the best thing you can do. Baker is fixated on the end result—the event that leads to a runner crossing the plate—and still doesn’t understand that in the big picture, keeping the line moving will put more runs on the board.

What’s disturbing is that he wants to change Votto. You can see a lot of Hee Seop Choi in Votto, and Choi wasn’t one of Baker’s favorite players. Choi lost his job after an injury in 2003, and as you can see from the game logs, was never given regular playing time, an opportunity, after he returned. Choi and Votto were left-handed take-and-rake hitters with good power and excellent walk rates and OBPs. It’s not like Votto has struggled: he hit .327/.360/.548 in a call-up last season. He hit .294/.381/.478 at Triple-A and .289/.385/.476 in the minors, although neither of those lines matters much to Baker. He won’t recognize that Votto is the third-best hitter he has, behind Adam Dunn and Jay Bruce, until Votto gets credited for enough RBIs to show up on his radar.

I’m not entirely sure how Dusty Baker, a man who owes his reputation as a manager in no small part to Barry Bonds, can have learned nothing from managing Bonds all those years. The Giants’ offense was capable of contending because Bonds would draw 100 walks a year and lead the league in OBP. Baker no doubt associates Bonds with homers and RBI, but it was the walks, the not making outs, that kept the line moving so that Jeff Kent and Ellis Burks and Moises Alou and others would face pitchers throwing from the stretch.

The stathead image of Baker isn’t a caricature. It isn’t a mirage. It isn’t hypercritical. Dusty Baker has no real idea of what makes an offense run. He thinks there’s a massive difference between MLB and Triple-A. He thinks experience is just as important as ability.

One other important trait about Baker is that he’s the Teflon manager. The local press fawns over him in a way that would be embarrassing if it wasn’t just slightly worse than par for the course in the profession. Baker’s anti-intellectualistic approach to baseball dovetails nicely with the pervasive press backlash against reality-based coverage and administration of baseball teams.

So it’s a new city, a new team, a new roster, and the same naked emperor. Dusty Baker may have positive qualities—he does seem to have a salutary effect on veterans, for one—but he is, one the whole, a negative force in the dugout. He picks the wrong players to play, teaches an offensive approach that is counterproductive, and emphasizes secondary and tertiary traits such as speed and experience over primary ones such as getting on base and power.

He’s the wrong man for the 2008 Cincinnati Reds. No doubt when the Reds fall short of their upside that the blame will fall elsewhere—on Wayne Krivsky, on Adam Dunn, on Edwin Encarnacion or Homer Bailey. The Teflon manager will go on.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Joe by clicking here or click here to see Joe's other articles.

*BaseClogger*
03-11-2008, 03:29 PM
beautiful :cry:

camisadelgolf
03-11-2008, 03:29 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about A.) what Brandon Phillips has to say about Dusty Baker or B.) the people in the organization who understand that the concept of 'clogging up the bases' is stupid (which is hopefully the entire organization) finally decided release their frustrations by getting some baseball bats and using Dusty Baker's head as batting practice.

jojo
03-11-2008, 03:31 PM
I definately agree with this statement: the three best hitters on the Reds are (not in any particular order) Bruce, Dunn and Votto.

These two quotes probably summarize the "saber" view of Dusty as accurately as any:


The stathead image of Baker isn’t a caricature. It isn’t a mirage. It isn’t hypercritical. Dusty Baker has no real idea of what makes an offense run. He thinks there’s a massive difference between MLB and Triple-A. He thinks experience is just as important as ability.



So it’s a new city, a new team, a new roster, and the same naked emperor. Dusty Baker may have positive qualities—he does seem to have a salutary effect on veterans, for one—but he is, one the whole, a negative force in the dugout. He picks the wrong players to play, teaches an offensive approach that is counterproductive, and emphasizes secondary and tertiary traits such as speed and experience over primary ones such as getting on base and power.

M2
03-11-2008, 03:35 PM
The stathead image of Baker isn’t a caricature. It isn’t a mirage. It isn’t hypercritical. Dusty Baker has no real idea of what makes an offense run. He thinks there’s a massive difference between MLB and Triple-A. He thinks experience is just as important as ability.

Joe doth protest too much. Dusty Baker is stathead catnip. Even when Sheehan's right on these matters it comes across as a frantic version of "SEE? ... DUSTY BAKER! ... BAD THINGS!"

I think the larger truth is Baker's like most folks in the baseball profession, and that most of what he says is disposable chatter designed to wile away the time.

Gainesville Red
03-11-2008, 03:36 PM
Well written, and terrifying.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 03:36 PM
If the Reds head north WITHOUT Bruce and Votto as everyday players they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

BRM
03-11-2008, 03:39 PM
If the Reds head north with Bruce and Votto as everyday players they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

I thought you were championing Bruce starting in CF? Is it Votto you object to?

pedro
03-11-2008, 03:39 PM
Joe doth protest too much. Dusty Baker is stathead catnip. Even when Sheehan's right on these matters it comes across as a frantic version of "SEE? ... DUSTY BAKER! ... BAD THINGS!"

I think the larger truth is Baker's like most folks in the baseball profession, and that most of what he says is disposable chatter designed to wile away the time.

1) We gotta play 'em one day at a time.
2) I'm just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ballclub.
3) I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 03:40 PM
I think the 2nd quote you cited Jojo really does sum up my opinion as well.

That might be true M2 if there weren't copious actual evidence that he acts on the principals he espouses when he talks. Sure, there's a lot of fluff in there too, but Sheehan isn't complaining that Dusty wants his guys to give 110%. Further, he's not being analyzed on the basis of his quotes. The critique is rooted in the actions Dusty has taken and decisions he has made in the past and will likely to continue to take/make in the future. The quotes merely provide yet another opportunity to complain about the actions.

If he said those things and then went out put Neifi on the bench and batted Patterson 7th, we'd have never seen this sort of article.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 03:41 PM
I think the larger truth is Baker's like most folks in the baseball professionwhich is really theissue ... outside of the Red Sox and a few others the rest are run by inbred management who believe in a society of secret knowledge. I am not sure the Reds would have been any different no matter who WK picked from his list.

I have not been running down Dusty ... my only comments have been that I worry he will pick the wrong players to play, I have said nothing about the batting order as I realize it is going to be sub-optimal and it just isn't worth it to waste energy worrying about it.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 03:42 PM
I thought you were championing Bruce starting in CF? Is it Votto you object to?I meant to say WITHOUT

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 03:42 PM
One other important trait about Baker is that he’s the Teflon manager. The local press fawns over him in a way that would be embarrassing if it wasn’t just slightly worse than par for the course in the profession. Baker’s anti-intellectualistic approach to baseball dovetails nicely with the pervasive press backlash against reality-based coverage and administration of baseball teams.

Paul Daugherty.

Sea Ray
03-11-2008, 03:48 PM
The sabermetric students of the game will have serious issues with Dusty. Apparently that is the school Sheehan is from.

fearofpopvol1
03-11-2008, 03:49 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about what Brandon Phillips has to say about Dusty Baker.

M2
03-11-2008, 03:57 PM
That might be true M2 if there were copious actual evidence that he acts on the principals he espouses when he talks. Sure, there's a lot of fluff in there too, but Sheehan isn't complaining that Dusty wants his guys to give 110%. Further, he's not being analyzed on the basis of his quotes. The critique is rooted in the actions Dusty has taken and decisions he has made in the past and will likely to continue to take/make in the future. The quotes merely provide yet another opportunity to complain about the actions.

If he said those things and then went out put Neifi on the bench and batted Patterson 7th, we'd have never seen this sort of article.

I get that. I'm aware of the sins he committed and was plenty critical when he committed them (well, actually I was loving it because watching the Cubs suffer is fun). Yet he also hit Marvin Benard leadoff and Bill Mueller second once upon a time and those were smart moves.

Here's my thing. Is Joe Sheehan going to write a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid? Because it looks to me like Joe Sheehan is indeed committed to writing a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid. And at a point we've already passed, I think that says a lot more about Joe Sheehan having a Dusty Baker fetish than Dusty Baker not knowing what he's doing.

BRM
03-11-2008, 03:57 PM
I meant to say WITHOUT

Ah, gotcha.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 04:01 PM
I get that. I'm aware of the sins he committed and was plenty critical when he committed them (well, actually I was loving it because watching the Cubs suffer is fun). Yet he also hit Marvin Benard leadoff and Bill Mueller second once upon a time and those were smart moves.

Here's my thing. Is Joe Sheehan going to write a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid. Because it looks to me like Joe Sheehan is indeed committed to writing a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid. And at a point we've already passed, I think that says a lot more about Joe Sheehan having a Dusty Baker fetish than Dusty Baker not knowing what he's doing.

Ah, that's fair. It's one thing for us to run it in to the ground on a message board. It's another to do it in a publication that people pay money to read...

osuceltic
03-11-2008, 04:03 PM
Sometimes I think I’m too hard on Dusty Baker, given that he has managed successful teams, made postseasons, won a pennant, owns a career .527 winning percentage from the dugout.

...

Dusty Baker may have positive qualities—he does seem to have a salutary effect on veterans, for one—but he is, one the whole, a negative force in the dugout.

So the stats say Dusty is a successful manager, but Sheehan's eyes tell him otherwise.

Ironic ...

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 04:09 PM
So the stats say Dusty is a successful manager, but Sheehan's eyes tell him otherwise.

Ironic ...

Not all stats are created equal. Wins and losses are a measure of team performance, not manager performance. They aren't even close to the same thing.

Saying a manager is a good manager because his teams have a record of .xxx is like awarding gold gloves based on fielding percentage and batting average. It doesn't say he's not a good manager, but it's a pretty darn weak case that he is.

Chip R
03-11-2008, 04:10 PM
Joe doth protest too much. Dusty Baker is stathead catnip. Even when Sheehan's right on these matters it comes across as a frantic version of "SEE? ... DUSTY BAKER! ... BAD THINGS!"



Yeah. That was like that Daugherty column on Sunday. Like waving a red cape in front of a bull. It's too easy and it sounds hypercritical.

I was never on board with Dusty as a manager for various reasons but I'm resigned to it and am not going to switch my allegiance to another team like some posters around here. I think he brings some good things to the table but I think his "us against the world" mentality wears thin after a while.

I think Dusty would be a better football coach than a baseball manager because it's easier to get guys motivated for 1 game a week rather than 6 or 7. Also that "us against the world" philosophy works better in football than in baseball although I think Dusty would probably let his star running back carry the ball too many times. ;)

I'm sure Dusty's going to do some things that is going to make me want to tear out my hair but is he going to be any different than Bob Boone or McKeon or Miley or Narron? Dusty's just going to be a bigger target. I can't imagine Dusty pinch hitting Castro for Hamilton or moving guys around on the field from AB to AB. I also couldn't imagine him pulling a Capt. Queeg like Miley did to show he's a tough guy.

I see Dusty as more of a faith-healer than anything. He's going to do his darndest to make these guys believe they can win even though his cure may be selling them a bill of goods. Hopefully they can win before they find that out.

RFS62
03-11-2008, 04:13 PM
So the stats say Dusty is a successful manager, but Sheehan's eyes tell him otherwise.

Ironic ...

Ouch.

:laugh:


What are all the Dusty detractors going to do if *gasp* the Reds actually play well and contend this year?

I'm sure he'll get none of the credit. And if they tank, he'll get all of the blame.

We're not even done with spring training and I'm already sick to death of this whole line of reasoning. And there is no end in sight.

We get it. Dusty is evil. You no trusty Dusty.

Damn, I can't wait until the games start.

BRM
03-11-2008, 04:14 PM
Ouch.

:laugh:


What are all the Dusty detractors going to do if *gasp* the Reds actually play well and contend this year?

I'm sure he'll get none of the credit. And if they tank, he'll get all of the blame.

We not even done with spring training and I'm already sick to death of this whole line of reasoning. And there is no end in sight.

We get it. Dusty is evil. You no trusty Dusty.

Damn, I can't wait until the games start.

They will win in spite of him or lose because of him.

Sea Ray
03-11-2008, 04:19 PM
Not all stats are created equal. Wins and losses are a measure of team performance, not manager performance. They aren't even close to the same thing.

Saying a manager is a good manager because his teams have a record of .xxx is like awarding gold gloves based on fielding percentage and batting average. It doesn't say he's not a good manager, but it's a pretty darn weak case that he is.


A major league manager's job is to win games. I do think winning is a reflection of the manager. I don't think Gene Mauch was the manager Sparky Anderson was and winning was the difference.

I don't care how Dusty manages, I just want to win games. If he does that, he's OK in my eyes.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 04:20 PM
Good post Chip. As I've said numerous times, I think Dusty would be one heck of a bench coach if his ego/ambition would allow it.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 04:22 PM
I do think winning is a reflection of the manager.I think it is a reflection of talent ... and somewhere in there a little of the reflection is ability to be manage a baseball team but I know of no objective way to quantify it.

Did Joe(sub 500 and never a winner) Torre suddenly become a genius when he showed up in the Bronx or was it that he acquired the most talented team in baseball?

IslandRed
03-11-2008, 04:23 PM
From the article:


“On [Joey] Votto: ‘He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren’t the only criteria. I’d like to see him more aggressive.’

“’A lot of this on-base percentage is taking away from the aggressiveness of some young kids. Most of the time you’ve got to put handcuffs on a young to keep him from swinging.’”

I left the last sentence in for completeness, even though it seems to say the exact opposite of the one prior to it.

It does say the opposite. He thinks Votto, specifically, lets too many good pitches go by. He thinks most young hitters swing at too much crap. Why those are incompatible viewpoints, I have no idea.

I don't know if he's right about Votto, but I do know that the SABR-influenced community (of which I am one) has, over time, turned "aggressive" into a code word for "undisciplined." I imagine Baker disagrees with that strongly. Since he references his own experience so frequently, it's worth noting that his career walk rate was completely acceptable and he walked almost as often as he struck out. That's a guy with solid plate discipline. To him, aggressive hitting and disciplined hitting are not mutually exclusive concepts. If we asked him "why are you trying to turn Votto into a hacker?", he'd probably give us the same there's-a-horn-growing-out-of-your-forehead look we give him when he talks about clogging the bases.

He's still wrong about OBP, of course.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 04:30 PM
Even World Series winners have some people who contribute more than others, and some people who contribute negatively. I probably could've managed the late 90's Yankees to the playoffs and I'm probably not a very manager.

I agree that a major league manager's job is to win games. It's every player's job to win games too. And just like I wouldn't want to judge a single player by the team's collective outcomes, I wouldn't want to do it for the manager either.

bucksfan2
03-11-2008, 04:44 PM
Even World Series winners have some people who contribute more than others, and some people who contribute negatively. I probably could've managed the late 90's Yankees to the playoffs and I'm probably not a very manager.

I agree that a major league manager's job is to win games. It's every player's job to win games too. And just like I wouldn't want to judge a single player by the team's collective outcomes, I wouldn't want to do it for the manager either.

Come on now, managing a team isn't as easy as you make it RMR. Look at last season's Mets. They were probably the best team in the NL yet they collapsed down the stretch. It wasn't the players because the players were the same during the entire season. I think it spoke to Randolph's inability to prevent the slide. In 2006 Boston had one of the best teams in baseball but still didn't go to the playoffs.

Look at last season's NL Championship series. Both the Rockies and the Dbacks defied statistical analysis and advanced to that point. What roll did the manager play in each situation? How much credit do Bob Melvin and Clint Hurdle get compared to Francona? Who did the better coaching job between those three? Both Melvin and Hurdle did more with less however Francona won the WS.

lollipopcurve
03-11-2008, 04:44 PM
Is Joe Sheehan going to write a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid? Because it looks to me like Joe Sheehan is indeed committed to writing a diatribe every time Dusty Baker says something stupid. And at a point we've already passed, I think that says a lot more about Joe Sheehan having a Dusty Baker fetish than Dusty Baker not knowing what he's doing.

This is great stuff. Fetish indeed. The campaign against Baker is so monotone, so ideological. Proponents of antibakerism are programmed to hear what they've always heard, write what they've always written.

To assume that Dusty hasn't learned at all may say more about his critics' ability to use new information than Dusty's.


So the stats say Dusty is a successful manager, but Sheehan's eyes tell him otherwise.

Ironic ...

Nice.

M2
03-11-2008, 04:46 PM
Even World Series winners have some people who contribute more than others, and some people who contribute negatively.

Hey, we all once saw a team win a World Series with Tony Womack hitting leadoff and playing SS. I'm not sure why the Vatican hasn't confirmed that as a miracle.

Sea Ray
03-11-2008, 04:48 PM
I think it is a reflection of talent ... and somewhere in there a little of the reflection is ability to be manage a baseball team but I know of no objective way to quantify it.

Did Joe(sub 500 and never a winner) Torre suddenly become a genius when he showed up in the Bronx or was it that he acquired the most talented team in baseball?

Joe Torre was judged on winning based upon the talent he had which is fine with me. He got canned when he didn't win enough. It all comes down to wins and losses for a manager but you're right, the talent has a lot to do with it. More will be expected of Joe Girardi this year than Dusty Baker.

Screwball
03-11-2008, 04:48 PM
From the article:



It does say the opposite. He thinks Votto, specifically, lets too many good pitches go by. He thinks most young hitters swing at too much crap. Why those are incompatible viewpoints, I have no idea.

I don't know if he's right about Votto, but I do know that the SABR-influenced community (of which I am one) has, over time, turned "aggressive" into a code word for "undisciplined." I imagine Baker disagrees with that strongly. Since he references his own experience so frequently, it's worth noting that his career walk rate was completely acceptable and he walked almost as often as he struck out. That's a guy with solid plate discipline. To him, aggressive hitting and disciplined hitting are not mutually exclusive concepts. If we asked him "why are you trying to turn Votto into a hacker?", he'd probably give us the same there's-a-horn-growing-out-of-your-forehead look we give him when he talks about clogging the bases.

He's still wrong about OBP, of course.

Great stuff, IR. I know I've been guilty of maybe misinterpreting Dusty myself, but perhaps what he's proposing his hitters do isn't so far from what we'd all like our hitters to do.

Raisor
03-11-2008, 04:48 PM
Hey, we all once saw a team win a World Series with [name deleted] hitting leadoff and playing SS. I'm not sure why the Vatican hasn't confirmed that as a miracle.

Fixed that for you. You know you're not allowed to mention that player.

:thumbdown

RFS62
03-11-2008, 04:48 PM
I probably could've managed the late 90's Yankees to the playoffs and I'm probably not a very manager.



Rick, I have the utmost respect for you and your baseball knowledge. I always go out of my way to read your posts.

But that statement doesn't surprise me at all. And the fact that you probably really believe it is astonishing to me.

This isn't a slam on you. I'm simply befuddled that a guy who knows so much about the statistical side of the game could know so little about how it is played, coached and managed as to make a statement like that.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 04:50 PM
I think it spoke to Randolph's inability to prevent the slide. their pitching staff was mostly smoke and mirrors and the finally collapsed within sight of the finish line.

September ERA
Glavine 6.10
Maine 5.53
Perez 4.45
Hernandez 12.15
Pelphrey 4.88


Martinez was the only starter that pitched well ... when the pitching stinks the losses will pile up no matter who is managing. The Reds know all about that.

BRM
03-11-2008, 04:53 PM
Fixed that for you. You know you're not allowed to mention that player.

:thumbdown

Should we just use his mugshot?

http://mlb.mlb.com/images/players/mugshot/ph_124523.jpg

M2
03-11-2008, 04:54 PM
Fixed that for you. You know you're not allowed to mention that player.

:thumbdown

Come on, it's not like I typed the name Dave Williams.

flyer85
03-11-2008, 04:56 PM
Come on, it's not like I typed the name Dave Williams.

:runawaycr

BRM
03-11-2008, 04:57 PM
Come on, it's not like I typed the name Dave Williams.

Wasn't he a #1 starter?

flyer85
03-11-2008, 04:59 PM
Wasn't he a #1 starter?would be on DanOs major league team

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 05:03 PM
Come on now, managing a team isn't as easy as you make it RMR. Look at last season's Mets. They were probably the best team in the NL yet they collapsed down the stretch. It wasn't the players because the players were the same during the entire season. I think it spoke to Randolph's inability to prevent the slide.

I don't think Randolph's management is what caused Jose Reyes to stop getting on base. They collapsed because players started playing poorly. Yes, some of that is attributable to to Randolph, but how much? I'll refer you to the other thread on Dunn, Bruce, & Votto for the rest of this conversation.

Ltlabner
03-11-2008, 05:07 PM
I probably could've managed the late 90's Yankees to the playoffs and I'm probably not a very manager.

Sorry man, but I don't think I've ever seen such a fundemental misunderstanding of what it takes to actually manage people, let alone big egoed & mega-millionare baseball players posted on the internet.

I can't believe I keep comming back to this, because I'm really not a particular fan of Dusty (although, In Dusty I Trusty), but such a statement is simply laughable. Even a roster chocked full of stars takes managing (gasp! and dare I say fuzzy, unmeasurable people stuff) to make sure the egos don't fly off the track, keep people focused for 162 games, keep people from getting lazy, etc.

It's simply not as easy as building a lineup of decending OBP and pushing "go" for 162 games.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 05:22 PM
The sabermetric students of the game will have serious issues with Dusty. Apparently that is the school Sheehan is from.

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a "sabermetric student of the game" as there are many stats (especially fielding) that I have not yet begun to understand. I don't know if I even want to understand some of them. I do have a copy of the latest Bill James Abstract, but I don't have any subscriptions to any online stats sites. I love to use thebaseballcube and baseball-reference and I dig measuring offense by OPS and RC. I have even gone out of my way to test the correlation between RC, OPS, etc to actual runs scored (thanks again to Cyclone and rdiersin for their help with that).

I guess simply because I went to that trouble to do the correlation, I probably lean a little towards the non-traditional stats side (if I had to be labeled). I played the game at a somewhat high level and have even coached HS kids, so I understand the game from the traditional side as well. I might lean to the stats side, but I guess that makes sense, since I'm out of the game now and it's my way of following it and making sense of it. I do think that I'm very close to the middle and want my team to be run by people that are a perfect combination of both traditional (scouting) and the non traditional (stats).

With that said, I hated the announcement of Dusty Baker as the Reds manager then, but I only dislike it now. I had warmed up to it a bit as it seemed to have given the team a bit more credibility, especially in the free agent front and I hoped that the extra bit of mojo he might bring could be all the team needs to get over the proverbial hump and get back to winning baseball. I shift a little more, however, to hating this decision every time Dusty opens his mouth. I cringe at the thought of Votto or Dunn being messed with and I'm afraid he could do more damage than good.

Anyway, my point is that I don't think you have to be a "stat head" or a "sabermetric student of the game" to have issues with Dusty. I think, even if you are somewhere in the middle, you could have a problem with him because he appears to be so far to one side.

And what side would that be? Would that be left or right? That leads to me to a question. As a diehard fan of baseball, as most, if not all of us are on this board, I wonder if you lean to one side (stats vs. traditional), if you are more likely to lean to a certain side politically? Would the traditional be more right and the non-traditional be more left or vise-versa? I seriously wonder if there are any parallels. Just thinking out loud here and not trying to have the thread locked. I just have always wondered about that.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 05:45 PM
Ok, so let me get this straight. Walt Jocketty's hiring meant that Bob Castellini is secretly planning to hire a hitman to take out WK, Javier Valentin thinks Volquez is the worst pitcher on the face of the earth, even worse than the above mentioned Dave Williams, and Dusty Baker wants to turn Joey Votto and Adam Dunn into Ruben Rivera.

Gotcha. Been an educational offseason on this forum.

The fact of the matter is, the people that hated the Dusty signing are always going to hate it. We could win 97 games, but he won't get any of the credit, and if we fall short in the playoffs, he'll get all of the blame. It's a lose-lose situation.

Dusty Baker is a WINNER. You can't dispute that. You're telling me that managing a Giants team with BARRY FREAKING BONDS on it is easy!!?? How did Felipe Aloue do at managing those egos?

I don't agree with everything Baker says. I don't agree with all of Baker's ideas. But I support Dusty Baker as the manager of this team, and I think he can turn this ship around.

Raisor
03-11-2008, 05:48 PM
The fact of the matter is, the people that hated the Dusty signing are always going to hate it. We could win 97 games, but he won't get any of the credit, and if we fall short in the playoffs, he'll get all of the blame. It's a lose-lose situation.



I hate the Dusty signing, but if they win 97 games I can certainly live with the Dusty signing.

pedro
03-11-2008, 06:09 PM
If people skills didn't matter then guys like Larry Bowa, Terry Collins, Dave Miley etc etc would all have had longer managing careers than they did because strategically they're all the same guys as Dusty Baker, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 06:14 PM
Rick, I have the utmost respect for you and your baseball knowledge. I always go out of my way to read your posts.

But that statement doesn't surprise me at all. And the fact that you probably really believe it is astonishing to me.

This isn't a slam on you. I'm simply befuddled that a guy who knows so much about the statistical side of the game could know so little about how it is played, coached and managed as to make a statement like that.

(firstly thank you for the compliment)

I'll bite. While it was somewhat hyperbole, I will fully admit that I don't really have a good sense of what value the manager is providing which causes teams to do well or poorly. Perhaps I've unknowingly positioned myself as the anti-Dusty -- and I don't mean that as a compliment to myself.

Beyond the motivation side of things, I'm know there's a massive amount of information such as travel details, training schedules, and all that sort of stuff that I have no clue about. If I started coaching the Yankees tomorrow and couldn't answer a bunch of questions, didn't know where my office was, looked like a fool in front of the media and so forth, would Derek Jeter hit .260? Would Phil Hughes fall apart? Would Andy Pettite's elbow flare up?

I don't mean to be glib. But I simply don't have a good sense about how the great amount of off-the-field management manifests itself in how the players perform when they're on the field. I understand that all of that stuff I'm completely clueless about matters. I don't deny that. But when you look at the guys who call themselves professional baseball managers, are the ways in which mangers handle those sorts of details really showing up in the team's performance?

Did the Mets really fall apart because Randolph let them get collectively depressed? Did he fail to instruct his coaches to address problems? I just don't have a sense of how (and how much) the differences in the way managers handle non-lineup, non-in-game-strategy issues manifests itself in player performance. But my instinct tells me it is on a smaller scale than that of their lineup (who and where) and in-game-strategy decisions.

And going back to earlier point, regardless of which one is more important (on-field vs off), isn't it a concern if a manager struggles significantly with one of them -- regardless of how good he is with the other?

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 06:32 PM
Dusty Baker is a WINNER.

Not to argue with your opinion cincrazy, but to this specific point, a question.

Is being a "winner" a specfic characteristic which one possesses? I.E. Dusty Baker is 6"1', 240 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes, and a winner? The implication being that Dusty, by being a winner, will turn the Reds in to winners as well because that's who he is.

Or do you mean that as description of his accomplishments; that over his career he has won a lot of games as a manager, more than he has lost? The implication that he possesses skills and knowledge that will bring to bear on the Reds, thus helping make us winners too.

I ask because this is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but I often wonder if it's not just a fluff term used when the writer cannot or chooses not to actually describe the characteristics which have resulted in his/her accomplishments. Is Tony Womack a winner? Is Tony Gwynn a winner? Is Mario Soto a winner?

If it's the former, well, I don't know what to say -- there you go. If if's the latter, and "winner" is just shorthand for "good at what he does" then I would hope we could be a bit more specific to avoid the confusion over the meaning implied.

Raisor
03-11-2008, 06:42 PM
Dusty Baker is a WINNER.

Unlike this guy....

http://pressthebuttons.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/charliebrown.png

*BaseClogger*
03-11-2008, 06:58 PM
And what side would that be? Would that be left or right? That leads to me to a question. As a diehard fan of baseball, as most, if not all of us are on this board, I wonder if you lean to one side (stats vs. traditional), if you are more likely to lean to a certain side politically? Would the traditional be more right and the non-traditional be more left or vise-versa? I seriously wonder if there are any parallels. Just thinking out loud here and not trying to have the thread locked. I just have always wondered about that.

I find this very interesting as well. Would we have to take this to the peanut gallery to do the research, or could simple polls be posted on the Non-Baseball chatter forum with restrictions on replies regarding political idealogies?

*BaseClogger*
03-11-2008, 07:01 PM
I don't think we can say RMR would fail or be successful because baseball managers are always ex-players. I think it would be very interesting if we tried a very successful management type from another field with strong baseball knowledge and let them manage a team. Maybe if the Pirates keep losing, Neal Huntington will try this experiment... :D

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 07:09 PM
I find this very interesting as well. Would we have to take this to the peanut gallery to do the research, or could simple polls be posted on the Non-Baseball chatter forum with restrictions on replies regarding political idealogies?

9 options, no comments. Though I must say I can imagine a pretty strong correlation, I don't know of anybody who would consider themselves a primarily stats person.

1. scouting, Conservative
2. scouting, neutral
3. scouting, Liberal
4. stats and scouts, Conservative
5. stats and scouts, neutral
6. stats and scouts, Liberal
7. stats, Conservative
8. stats, neutral
9. stats, Liberal

*BaseClogger*
03-11-2008, 07:13 PM
9 options, no comments. Though I must say I can imagine a pretty strong correlation, I don't know of anybody who would consider themselves a primarily stats person.

1. scouting, Conservative
2. scouting, neutral
3. scouting, Liberal
4. stats and scouts, Conservative
5. stats and scouts, neutral
6. stats and scouts, Liberal
7. stats, Conservative
8. stats, neutral
9. stats, Liberal

I'm thinking 4 options, and we make people declare stats or scouts and liberal or conservative. So mods, do I have permission to start this thread with restrictions to posting, and if so, which board should it be put on?

GAC
03-11-2008, 07:31 PM
So the stats say Dusty is a successful manager, but Sheehan's eyes tell him otherwise.

Ironic ...

Excellent.


What are all the Dusty detractors going to do if *gasp* the Reds actually play well and contend this year?

I'm sure he'll get none of the credit. And if they tank, he'll get all of the blame.

Dusty simply had a career year. He'll regress. :D


We're not even done with spring training and I'm already sick to death of this whole line of reasoning. And there is no end in sight.

And to the best of my knowledge we haven't even had the Pythag thread yet telling us how many games the Reds will lose this season, and at what month our season will be over. ;)

paintmered
03-11-2008, 07:47 PM
The sabermetric students of the game will have serious issues with Dusty. Apparently that is the school Sheehan is from.

Well, yeah. Baseball Prospectus has spearheaded the mainstreaming of the sabermetric movement. Did you expect differently?

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 07:53 PM
Not to argue with your opinion cincrazy, but to this specific point, a question.

Is being a "winner" a specfic characteristic which one possesses? I.E. Dusty Baker is 6"1', 240 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes, and a winner? The implication being that Dusty, by being a winner, will turn the Reds in to winners as well because that's who he is.

Or do you mean that as description of his accomplishments; that over his career he has won a lot of games as a manager, more than he has lost? The implication that he possesses skills and knowledge that will bring to bear on the Reds, thus helping make us winners too.

I ask because this is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but I often wonder if it's not just a fluff term used when the writer cannot or chooses not to actually describe the characteristics which have resulted in his/her accomplishments. Is Tony Womack a winner? Is Tony Gwynn a winner? Is Mario Soto a winner?

If it's the former, well, I don't know what to say -- there you go. If if's the latter, and "winner" is just shorthand for "good at what he does" then I would hope we could be a bit more specific to avoid the confusion over the meaning implied.

My friend, Dusty Baker came within 9 outs or so of a World Series title with an old team. If it weren't for a few FREAK occurences (a sure-handed SS booting a grounder, the infamous Bartman incident) he would have taken the CHICAGO CUBS to the World Series. He's one of the more well-liked manager's in the game from a players standpoint, that has to count for something, no?

Also, for the first half of 2003, before the Cubs traded for Kenny Lofton, do you know who hit leadoff for the contending Cubbies? Mark Grudzielanek :eek:.

He has a career winning percentage of .527. He won 103 games his first year in SF, a year after the Giants won 72 games in 1992 (coincidentally, the exact same number of games the Reds won last year). In 1993, 95 and 97, he won at least five more games than the Pythagorean record showed his team should have won. And in 1997, he was plus 10 in that department.

He has his flaws, I won't dispute that. But he didn't kill Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Wood's arm was shot way before Dusty ever showed up, and the Cubs organization murdered Prior's career by not bringing him along the way they should have from the minor's to the major's. What's Dusty going to do in a pennant race, shut down Prior for the rest of the year? Management will allow that? And the city of Chicago wouldn't have rioted? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Just because Dusty's "old school" doesn't mean he's incapable of winning a World Series.

I've never heard Sweet Lou spout off much about VORP, Bill James or OPS, and he doesn't draw nearly the criticism that Dusty does.

All of what I outlined above makes Dusty Baker a winner, and I'm by no means a Dusty Baker historian, so I'm surely probably leaving some things out.

Dusty is not going to destroy this franchise. The bad hype does not meet the reality with him. It's ok to disagree with him, it's even ok to dislike him. But to act like he's a moron who doesn't deserve to be in the game of baseball just isn't fair (And Rick, I'm not pointing to you with that remark, but most of Dusty's detractor's within and outside of the game seem to have that take, which I find mind boggling).

WMR
03-11-2008, 08:32 PM
How about this: I ABSOLUTELY guarantee that if I could take over Dusty's brain and body a la Scanners, the REDS would DEFINITELY win more games this season. :D I would still have the Dusty aura and cache with none of the asinine thought processes.

Ltlabner
03-11-2008, 08:33 PM
But I simply don't have a good sense about how the great amount of off-the-field management manifests itself in how the players perform when they're on the field. I understand that all of that stuff I'm completely clueless about matters. I don't deny that. But when you look at the guys who call themselves professional baseball managers, are the ways in which mangers handle those sorts of details really showing up in the team's performance?

Wow.

You mean you really are confused by the concept that employees perform better when they are managed well? Do you mean that or are you really just being obtuse?

If your boss continiously nit-picks your performance no matter how many things you do well that really doesn't effect you?

If your boss is harping on skills that you don't have, but are really not germain to your duties that wouldn't really demotivate you?

If your boss routinely disrespects you in front of your peers, or snubs you, that wouldn't really cause you to not give your all at the office?

If you always feal like your boss doesn't listen to your suggestions and rejects your input you really wouldn't quit trying to do your best or at least go through the motions.

All of those scenarios can be turned around to the postive too. A boss that takes the time to learn what makes you tick tends to get employees to give the extra effort. Does that mean they can suddenly hit 18 extra homers, or throw a pitch they never had? Obviously not, but I don't think you can deny that a happy, motiviated, focused player is going to be more effective with the tools they have than a demotived, dejected and unfocused player.

I'm not trying to be arguementative, and I understand that you want to find and understand the specific cause & effects. Just make these situations personal and real and I think you'll clear up the confusion you have.

*BaseClogger*
03-11-2008, 08:37 PM
I've never heard Sweet Lou spout off much about VORP, Bill James or OPS, and he doesn't draw nearly the criticism that Dusty does.

Lou draws a ton of criticism on the internets for batting Soriano leadoff. However, he never spews ridiculousness such as the quotes in my signature that Dusty Baker does...

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 08:37 PM
My friend, Dusty Baker came within 9 outs or so of a World Series title with an old team. If it weren't for a few FREAK occurences (a sure-handed SS booting a grounder, the infamous Bartman incident) he would have taken the CHICAGO CUBS to the World Series. He's one of the more well-liked manager's in the game from a players standpoint, that has to count for something, no?

I think you're missing my question entirely. I'm glad you think Dusty is a winner. Good for him. Let's give him a trophy for his accomplishments. But how does Dusty being "a winner" translate in to the Reds winnings games in 2008 and beyond? Is being a winner like being king midas? If you're a winner, then every thing you touch turns to win? Or is it some combination of skills and strategies? And if it is the latter, then can't we (you) be specific about what Dusty how that turns in to wins?

I'm not going to argue your conclusion -- just your methodology. My comments about his competency, etc. were admittedly a bit over the top. I agree Dusty has a place in this game. I'm just not sure that it's as the manager. I'd LOVE to have Dusty Baker as my bench coach.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 08:43 PM
Lou draws a ton of criticism on the internets for batting Soriano leadoff. However, he never spews ridiculousness such as the quotes in my signature that Dusty Baker does...

I should have been more specific, as far as the criticism he receives on Redszone, it doesn't exist. But, if Larkin boots a groundball in the NLCS in 1990, or if some mysterious fan robs Billy Hatcher of the opportunity to make a pivotal catch, is Sweet Lou known as Sweet Lou today?

If he never wins the title in 1990, how do people react to him leading a 116 win Mariners team that failed to win a World Series in 2001? I love Lou Piniella, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of sports fans.

Again, I'm not railing at any one particular person on this board, I'm just tired of hearing about Baker's incompetence, and it's only the middle of March.

The fact of the matter is, Dusty Baker is a few lucky bounces away from being a two time World Champion. And just for the record, that's one more championship than Bobby Cox has.

If the Giants bullpen nails down Game 7 of the World Series and Dusty has a World Series ring, EVERYTHING changes. Based on just a few outs.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 08:49 PM
I think you're missing my question entirely. I'm glad you think Dusty is a winner. Good for him. Let's give him a trophy for his accomplishments. But how does Dusty being "a winner" translate in to the Reds winnings games in 2008 and beyond? Is being a winner like being king midas? If you're a winner, then every thing you touch turns to win? Or is it some combination of skills and strategies? And if it is the latter, then can't we (you) be specific about what Dusty how that turns in to wins?

I'm not going to argue your conclusion -- just your methodology. My comments about his competency, etc. were admittedly a bit over the top. I agree Dusty has a place in this game. I'm just not sure that it's as the manager. I'd LOVE to have Dusty Baker as my bench coach.

Dusty is FANTASTIC at managing the clubhouse, at juggling ego's, at getting player's through the grind of a 162 game season, etc. etc. I'm not sure what specific skill or strategy you want me to refer to, to be quite honest. What skill does Torre employ, or Piniella, or Cox, or anyone? I'm not sure exactly. They all bring something different to the game, and they all have their own unique set of skills and strategies over the course of a 162 game season.

The Dusty detractor's act like Dusty's track record is an epic train crash, and I just find that laughable.

If Redszone was around in 1998 for the Mckeon hiring, what would people have thought? I'd say that turned into a smashing success, but I'm guessing at the time it would have led to a flood of negative comments around here.

None of us can judge how the Dusty era is going to wind up. But many, many, many of you aren't giving it a snowball's chances in Hades, and that bothers me.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 08:54 PM
Wow.

You mean you really are confused by the concept that employees perform better when they are managed well? Do you mean that or are you really just being obtuse?

I've had bosses who I've hated with a burning passion who got more performance out of me than ones I've loved. Ask me which manager I want and I'll ask for the latter. Ask my company's stock holders and they'll take the former. Managing well is defined by getting more out your employees; It's not being loved by them. Sometimes those go hand in hand. Sometimes not.



If your boss continiously nit-picks your performance no matter how many things you do well that really doesn't effect you?

If your boss is harping on skills that you don't have, but are really not germain to your duties that wouldn't really demotivate you?

You mean like Dunn being more aggressive or pitchers throwing 130 pitches in back to back starts? I like it when my boss highlights my strengths. I don't like it when my boss tells me how much he likes my analytical skills and then has me do data entry all day and then complain that I spelled something wrong.



If your boss routinely disrespects you in front of your peers, or snubs you, that wouldn't really cause you to not give your all at the office?

Have I ever advocated hiring a jerk for a manager? I would have just as much problem with a jerk who was a strategic genius as I do with Dusty. They aren't mutually exclusive. Treating your employees with respect is great, but if you don't put them in the best position to produce, you aren't doing a very good job as a manager.



If you always feal like your boss doesn't listen to your suggestions and rejects your input you really wouldn't quit trying to do your best or at least go through the motions.

Sure, to a point. But it's not Ken Griffey Jr's job to fill out the lineup card and decide how the team can score the most runs. It is my bosses job to set the strategic direction for our division. It's my job to execute it. If I have an opinion on how I can execute my job better which requires his help or approval, he'll listen.



All of those scenarios can be turned around to the postive too. A boss that takes the time to learn what makes you tick tends to get employees to give the extra effort. Does that mean they can suddenly hit 18 extra homers, or throw a pitch they never had? Obviously not, but I don't think you can deny that a happy, motiviated, focused player is going to be more effective with the tools they have than a demotived, dejected and unfocused player.

I'm not trying to be arguementative, and I understand that you want to find and understand the specific cause & effects. Just make these situations personal and real and I think you'll clear up the confusion you have.

I have zero complaints that Dusty is a great guy who motivates his employees well. But if you motivate your employees well and then use them in poor ways, your company will not succeed. Motivation, morale, attitude are great and you haven't yet heard me say otherwise. But a happy Jay Bruce in AAA, a optimistic Aaron Harang coming off a 3rd straight 135 pitch outing, and a pumped up Adam Dunn batting 5th after another Brandon Phillips double play just isn't a winning formula.

Dusty Baker is like a really hot girl who makes you feel great about yourself, but only wants to be with you if you convert to her religion.

It's not that he's without merit as a manager. It's just that the happiest, most motivated team in the world is facing an uphill battle if they're playing the game in a way that doesn't maximize their production.

edabbs44
03-11-2008, 09:08 PM
If/when this team fails this year, it will have more to do with the construction of the roster than the construction of the lineup.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:10 PM
Dusty is FANTASTIC at managing the clubhouse, at juggling ego's, at getting player's through the grind of a 162 game season, etc. etc.

Playing devil's advocate, how do you know this if you weren't in the clubhouse?

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:11 PM
You're telling me that managing a Giants team with BARRY FREAKING BONDS on it is easy!!??

Yes. I would think having the greatest hitter of all time in your lineup would be every manager's dream.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 09:15 PM
Playing devil's advocate, how do you know this if you weren't in the clubhouse?

Because every significant player the man has ever had supports him entirely. I've never heard one player speak negatively of Dusty Baker

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 09:16 PM
Yes. I would think having the greatest hitter of all time in your lineup would be every manager's dream.

The greatest hitter of all time with his steroids, recliner, MASSIVE EGO, entourage, etc. etc. etc.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 09:16 PM
My friend, Dusty Baker came within 9 outs or so of a World Series title with an old team. If it weren't for a few FREAK occurences (a sure-handed SS booting a grounder, the infamous Bartman incident) he would have taken the CHICAGO CUBS to the World Series. He's one of the more well-liked manager's in the game from a players standpoint, that has to count for something, no?

No, the Cubs came within 9 outs of the World Series, not Dusty Baker. And for every FREAK occurrence that cost them a game, how often did a ball bounce their way? Maybe Dusty should've managed his SS in not making a FREAK boot of a ball...



Also, for the first half of 2003, before the Cubs traded for Kenny Lofton, do you know who hit leadoff for the contending Cubbies? Mark Grudzielanek :eek:.

I sure am glad Dusty made that trade.



He has a career winning percentage of .527. He won 103 games his first year in SF, a year after the Giants won 72 games in 1992 (coincidentally, the exact same number of games the Reds won last year). In 1993, 95 and 97, he won at least five more games than the Pythagorean record showed his team should have won. And in 1997, he was plus 10 in that department.

The teams he's managed have a winning percentage of .527. What was the pythagorean difference in the other years? Or do only the good ones count? Funny how that was Barry Bonds' first year in SF too. And that he won an MVP. And that he had won or finished 2nd in the MVP the prior 3 years, before Dusty was his coach. But no, those 30 extra wins are Dusty's doing...



He has his flaws, I won't dispute that. But he didn't kill Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Wood's arm was shot way before Dusty ever showed up, and the Cubs organization murdered Prior's career by not bringing him along the way they should have from the minor's to the major's. What's Dusty going to do in a pennant race, shut down Prior for the rest of the year? Management will allow that? And the city of Chicago wouldn't have rioted? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Of course not. God forbid a manager put the career health of a player marginally ahead of the season objectives of the team. He didn't have to stop pitching him. Letting him leave after 110 pitches instead of 130 would've sufficed. You won't find me blaming a manager for treating his young stud pitchers with too much care.



Just because Dusty's "old school" doesn't mean he's incapable of winning a World Series.

Not sure where I said he was. Of course, Dusty will never will win a World Series. But a team of which he's the manager might.



I've never heard Sweet Lou spout off much about VORP, Bill James or OPS, and he doesn't draw nearly the criticism that Dusty does.

Sweet Lou doesn't say that walks clog the bosses.



All of what I outlined above makes Dusty Baker a winner, and I'm by no means a Dusty Baker historian, so I'm surely probably leaving some things out.

Dusty is not going to destroy this franchise. The bad hype does not meet the reality with him. It's ok to disagree with him, it's even ok to dislike him. But to act like he's a moron who doesn't deserve to be in the game of baseball just isn't fair (And Rick, I'm not pointing to you with that remark, but most of Dusty's detractor's within and outside of the game seem to have that take, which I find mind boggling).

Two main points:
1.) My problem is that looking at manager winning % completely ignores the undeniable reality that the #1 factor in winning or losing is how good your team is. Period. That the teams he's managed are a collective 3 games per year over .500 tells us nothing about how good a manager he is. How good would those teams have been without him? We just don't know. Maybe he made them better. Maybe he made them worse. Though we do know that for the bulk of his career he's coached a team with the most productive player in modern history. If Dusty Baker is a winner, using the arguments you've made, then so is Tony Womack. Just look at his career winning percentage...

2.) Being a good manager of people is a wonderful thing and I'm glad we have a manager who can both crack a smile and encourage his players do the same. This is a good thing I think. But that doesn't make Dusty a great, or even a good manager. It's only part of the equation and the other factors, such as strategic decision making (who plays, when, where, and how) doesn't tend go in his favor. How does that all add up? Nobody knows for sure. But his career winning percentage doesn't tell us, the success of some of his teams don't tell us, and neither does the fact that lots of people like him. I do know that our manager has a very big problem with strategic decisions and that's a problem.

I know nobody's perfect. I'm willing to admit that on balance, Dusty might be the best manager we've had in years. Maybe the clubhouse issues will have a greater positive effect than the negative effect of his strategy. I'm not going to make the case that Dusty will cost us X number of wins due to poor strategy. But that's not going to make me happy that he's comfortable with a .300 OBP lead off guy and pitching his young pitchers until their arms fall off and it will never cease to frustrate me that Dusty can't seem to figure out that these are bad ideas. I don't understand why we have to make it so black and white.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 09:17 PM
If/when this team fails this year, it will have more to do with the construction of the roster than the construction of the lineup.

:thumbup:

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:20 PM
Because every significant player the man has ever had supports him entirely. I've never heard one player speak negatively of Dusty Baker

The same could be said for a number of managers, including Pete Mackanin.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:22 PM
The greatest hitter of all time with his steroids, recliner, MASSIVE EGO, entourage, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, the The greatest hitter and biggest ego with a recliner that helped Dusty win all of those games you give him credit for in SF.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 09:24 PM
No, the Cubs came within 9 outs of the World Series, not Dusty Baker. And for every FREAK occurrence that cost them a game, how often did a ball bounce their way? Maybe Dusty should've managed his SS in not making a FREAK boot of a ball...



I sure am glad Dusty made that trade.



The teams he's managed have a winning percentage of .527. What was the pythagorean difference in the other years? Or do only the good ones count? Funny how that was Barry Bonds' first year in SF too. And that he won an MVP. And that he had won or finished 2nd in the MVP the prior 3 years, before Dusty was his coach. But no, those 30 extra wins are Dusty's doing...



Of course not. God forbid a manager put the career health of a player marginally ahead of the season objectives of the team. He didn't have to stop pitching him. Letting him leave after 110 pitches instead of 130 would've sufficed. You won't find me blaming a manager for treating his young stud pitchers with too much care.



Not sure where I said he was. Of course, Dusty will never will win a World Series. But a team of which he's the manager might.



Sweet Lou doesn't say that walks clog the bosses.



Two main points:
1.) Part of my problem is that looking at manager winning % completely ignores the undeniable reality that the #1 factor by far in winning or losing is how good your team is. That the teams he's managed are a collective 3 games per year over .500 tells us nothing about how good a manager he is. How good would those teams have been without him? We just don't know. Though we do know that for the bulk of his career he's coached a team with the most productive player in modern history. If Dusty Baker is a winner, using the arguments you've made, then so is Tony Womack. Just look at his career winning percentage.

2.) Being a good manager of people is a wonderful thing and I'm glad we have a manager who can crack a smile and encourage his players do the same. This is an undeniable good thing. But that doesn't make Dusty a great manager. It's only part of the equation and the other factors, such as strategic decision making, doesn't go in his favor. How does that all add up? Nobody knows for sure. But his career winning percentage doesn't tell us and neither does the fact that lots of people like him. I do know that our manager has a very big problem with strategic decisions and that's a problem. I know nobody's perfect.

I'm willing to admit that on balance, Dusty might be the best manager we've had in years. I'm not going to make the case that Dusty will cost us X number of wins due to poor strategy. But that's not going to make me happy that he's comfortable with a .300 OBP lead off guy and pitching his young pitchers until their arms fall off and it will never cease to frustrate me that Dusty can't seem to figure out that these are bad ideas.

So if the Reds win this year, it has nothing to do with Dusty Baker? The Yankees of the late 90's, Joe Torre had nothing to do with that, it was all New York? The manager gets all the blame when things go poorly, and none of the credit when things go well?

I never called Dusty a great manager. But I don't think he's going to hurt the development of this team. What more does he have to do? How can you penalize somebody for having a great player? Hey, Sparky had nothing to do with the BRM right, since he had a lineup full of Hall of Famer's?

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:25 PM
The BRM would have taken way too many walks for Dusty's liking.

edabbs44
03-11-2008, 09:29 PM
The BRM would have taken way too many walks for Dusty's liking.

One issue I have with all the hubbub is that Dusty isn't saying, right now, that players shouldn't walk or that guys need to swing at everything no matter what the location. He is saying that guys should be aggressive and not worry about OBP too much (which would equate to people going up with the intention of walking).

Not a bad theory.

Plus, these guys are pros. They aren't going to start swinging at pitches over their head just because Dusty tells them to be aggressive.

Let's be real about this. Really real.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:31 PM
The BRM would have taken way too many walks for Dusty's liking.


They also struck out way too much.

RedsManRick
03-11-2008, 09:32 PM
So if the Reds win this year, it has nothing to do with Dusty Baker? The Yankees of the late 90's, Joe Torre had nothing to do with that, it was all New York? The manager gets all the blame when things go poorly, and none of the credit when things go well?

I never called Dusty a great manager. But I don't think he's going to hurt the development of this team. What more does he have to do? How can you penalize somebody for having a great player? Hey, Sparky had nothing to do with the BRM right, since he had a lineup full of Hall of Famer's?

If the Reds win this year and Juan Castro is on the roster, does that make Juan Castro a winner? Does that mean the team he plays for next year is likely to win too?

If the Reds win this year, Dusty will play a part in it. He'll get credit for the things he did well that helped us win games and he'll get credit for the things he did poorly that helped us lose games. You can say the same thing if we lose.

I never penalized Dusty for having a great player. I just said I want credit to go where it's due. Torre and Sparky both had teams that were so full of talent, that I don't think it would have taken a great manager to win with them. Now that certainly doesn't mean that they weren't great managers, but just because they managed some insanely talented teams doesn't make them necessarily great too. I just don't buy the great by association argument -- not with players and not with managers. I've never seen a manager take a 70 win talent team and manage them the playoffs and I've never seen a manager take an 100 win talent team and manage it out of the playoffs. Credit where it's due.

Getting back to the thread, I will say this -- somebody made a very keen point regarding Dusty's take on "aggressive". If by aggressive Dusty means swinging at pitches that they can hit, then that's great. If by aggressive he means swinging at any strike, that's not. It's only fair for us to not jump down his throat due to to the way we've chosen to interpret what he says. Let's stick to his actions as much as we can -- and by "we", I realize I'm first in line.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 09:33 PM
Yes, the The greatest hitter and biggest ego with a recliner that helped Dusty win all of those games you give him credit for in SF.

Show me a manager that has tons of success that hasn't had a very good to great player. Torre had Jeter, Piniella and Jr. Griffey, Bobby Cox had one of the greatest five man staff's of all time. Does that take ANYTHING away from what they accomplished?

Nobody has addressed my Sparky comment. Is Sparky not a great manager because of the Hall of Fame lineup he had at his disposal?

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:35 PM
So if the Reds win this year, it has nothing to do with Dusty Baker?

Nobody here is saying that.

With that said, I wouldn't worry about credit to Dusty on the Redszone. If the Reds win the media will fall all over themselves giving credit to just Dusty.

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:35 PM
One issue I have with all the hubbub is that Dusty isn't saying, right now, that players shouldn't walk or that guys need to swing at everything no matter what the location. He is saying that guys should be aggressive and not worry about OBP too much (which would equate to people going up with the intention of walking).

Not a bad theory.

Plus, these guys are pros. They aren't going to start swinging at pitches over their head just because Dusty tells them to be aggressive.

Let's be real about this. Really real.

Dusty is on an extremely slippery slope here and his "base clogging" quotes of the past don't give me much hope of him making the distinction that is being implied within what he is now saying.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-11-2008, 09:38 PM
Show me a manager that has tons of success that hasn't had a very good to great player. Torre had Jeter, Piniella and Jr. Griffey, Bobby Cox had one of the greatest five man staff's of all time. Does that take ANYTHING away from what they accomplished?

You brought up Bonds saying he must be a great manager to have managed him. I never was taking anything away from Dusty. I was responding to you giving him credit for managing quite arguably the gretest and most feared hitter of all-time.

cincrazy
03-11-2008, 09:40 PM
You brought up Bonds saying he must be a great manager to have managed him. I never was taking anything away from Dusty. I was responding to you giving him credit for managing quite arguably the gretest and most feared hitter of all-time.

We can just agree to disagree my friend :). All of this Dusty talk is wearing me out.

edabbs44
03-11-2008, 09:52 PM
Dusty is on an extremely slippery slope here and his "base clogging" quotes of the past don't give me much hope of him making the distinction that is being implied within what he is now saying.

I think the changing of his words, while slight, shows that he is learning.

But again, this isn't baseball for PS3 where he can force players like Dunn and Phillips to swing at pitches over their heads. I would hope that the players realize that they have the sole decision to swing at pitches they can hit. If they listen to Dusty and then swing at pitches out of the zone, then that would just be plain idiotic on their part.

WMR
03-11-2008, 09:55 PM
I wish Chris Chambliss was still on this staff.

SteelSD
03-11-2008, 11:15 PM
Y'know, I've read pages and pages of stuff on this board now on Dusty Baker. And I can honestly say that maybe I'm mellowing because I don't find myself freaking out. Or maybe that's learned helplessness brought on by years of the Reds doing dumb things. I dunno.

<quickly dismisses idea of posting a poll on that topic>

The only thing that really truly frustates me about Dusty Baker is that he just says too many dumb baseball things. Of course, knowing Baker's track record of saying dumb things having to do with baseball, race, and otherwise, that was expected. Now, if he starts actually doing too many dumb things, then I'll be truly torked off, and in ways folks here have likely never seen even during the Bob Boone years.

But part of Baker's schtick is "Us against the world!" (see: Guillen, Ozzie), so he's going to say some dumb things. Part of that is Baker's own hubris, but part of it is, IMHO, a motivational technique Baker uses. It's a short-term motivational technique, but it can work. In fact, the best possible configuration for such a tactic might be the 2008 Reds- a young team with a lot of talent that hasn't performed yet.

Psst...you don't want Paul Daugherty on your side, dude. It works better if the local media is attacking rather than also trying to defend some of the indefensible things you say.

That's my one hope for a positive Baker impact this season. So you go, Dusty! You get those players liking you and then get them aligned to cover your back by saying as many dumb things as you want. You want to suggest bringing in Corey Patterson to "push" your young guys based on the threat that you might actually do what you've previously done with Corey Patterson (see: play him), then that's ok. And I can see how that works. Corey Patterson is awful, but he's a "name". Bring in a "name" who's worked with the Manager before and you're going to have youngsters worried about that. But the Corey Pattersons of the world are always better threats than they are players. Play him in anything but an emergency situation and suddenly your attempt at motivation turns into a manifestation of weakness.

And that's a good portion of the potential negative associated with asking Dusty Baker to manage your squad. If the young players actually listen to the dumb baseball things Baker says, especially when the trusted veteran players know better, the most likely result is a losing team infused with anger that has to be directed somewhere. And just guess who's the most likely target in that scenario...

SteelSD
03-11-2008, 11:37 PM
I'll bite. While it was somewhat hyperbole, I will fully admit that I don't really have a good sense of what value the manager is providing which causes teams to do well or poorly.

Except that you do understand. Managing a baseball team isn't any more difficult than managing any team for which you have responsibility. And frankly, it's likely less hard than you've been told. Don't let anyone tell you differently. There are no magic beans dolled out during the season. There are no incredibly difficult things to understand. Know your employees. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Sell them on you vision and get buy-in. As long as it's not the wrong "vision", you might just have something. Make the right calls at the right times and that furthers the trust.

Managing a team of anything isn't hard if you have even a little bit of experience and anyone telling you that is is really hard isn't thinking clearly. Do smart things and be honest with your employees and that's a pretty darned good way to go about things. All the time. In every way.

Baseball Managers don't use faerie dust and they can't overcome bad ideas they put in players' heads. Being able to put a viable lineup card together is a pretty good step. If a Manager can't do things like that, the he's going to have a short run as a guy players' trust; particularly if the bulk of the ballclub includes smart players. Double ditto for Managers who can't really figure out how the game works.

You have nothing to apologize for in this thread.

Ron Madden
03-12-2008, 03:51 AM
I never called Dusty a great manager. But I don't think he's going to hurt the development of this team. What more does he have to do? How can you penalize somebody for having a great player? Hey, Sparky had nothing to do with the BRM right, since he had a lineup full of Hall of Famer's?

Most MLB Managers share the same philosophy.

The path to winning baseball games is paved with talented players. That has always been true, and always will be.


(JMHO)

Jpup
03-12-2008, 07:36 AM
If Jay Bruce is not starting in center on Opening Day in Cincinnati, I think that will tell us about all we need to know about Dusty Baker. There, I said it.

He's probably the best player on the team and the Reds are actually thinking about sending him to AAA. For what?

redsrule2500
03-12-2008, 08:18 AM
If Jay Bruce is not starting in center on Opening Day in Cincinnati, I think that will tell us about all we need to know about Dusty Baker. There, I said it.

He's probably the best player on the team and the Reds are actually thinking about sending him to AAA. For what?

Agreed, 100&#37;.

This is starting to look like Dave Miley all over again....and the funny thing is I think we all saw it coming. The guy couldn't win with huge amounts of talent and $100MM payroll with the Cubs - what makes anyone think he can bring good fortunes here?!

I honestly would have much preferred Pete be back this year

RFS62
03-12-2008, 08:19 AM
Except that you do understand. Managing a baseball team isn't any more difficult than managing any team for which you have responsibility. And frankly, it's likely less hard than you've been told. Don't let anyone tell you differently. There are no magic beans dolled out during the season. There are no incredibly difficult things to understand. Know your employees. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Sell them on you vision and get buy-in. As long as it's not the wrong "vision", you might just have something. Make the right calls at the right times and that furthers the trust.

Managing a team of anything isn't hard if you have even a little bit of experience and anyone telling you that is is really hard isn't thinking clearly. Do smart things and be honest with your employees and that's a pretty darned good way to go about things. All the time. In every way.




No incredibly difficult things to understand about managing a baseball team, eh.

So, a manager doesn't have to know how to recognize and teach proper form? He doesn't have to be able to teach fundamentals? Doesn't have to be able to make value judgments based on years inside the game?

If it's so easy, why don't teams just hire MBA's out of the business world to do it? Why pay Sweet Lou a 7 figure salary when there's really nothing to it that any smart manager couldn't do?




Baseball Managers don't use faerie dust and they can't overcome bad ideas they put in players' heads. Being able to put a viable lineup card together is a pretty good step. If a Manager can't do things like that, the he's going to have a short run as a guy players' trust; particularly if the bulk of the ballclub includes smart players. Double ditto for Managers who can't really figure out how the game works.




It seems to me that many people think that's about all there is to it. No logistics to juggle, no press and media relations to deal with. No multi-million dollar employees who are half your age to guide. No second guessing by the fan base. No competition which will cost you your job, fairly or unfairly, based on your win-loss record.

Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game. Guys who live, eat and breathe baseball, and have all their lives. Guys who know the nuances of every situation they will encounter because they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.

The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

RANDY IN INDY
03-12-2008, 08:40 AM
No incredibly difficult things to understand about managing a baseball team, eh.

So, a manager doesn't have to know how to recognize and teach proper form? He doesn't have to be able to teach fundamentals? Doesn't have to be able to make value judgments based on years inside the game?

If it's so easy, why don't teams just hire MBA's out of the business world to do it? Why pay Sweet Lou a 7 figure salary when there's really nothing to it that any smart manager couldn't do?





It seems to me that many people think that's about all there is to it. No logistics to juggle, no press and media relations to deal with. No multi-million dollar employees who are half your age to guide. No second guessing by the fan base. No competition which will cost you your job, fairly or unfairly, based on your win-loss record.

Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game. Guys who live, eat and breathe baseball, and have all their lives. Guys who know the nuances of every situation they will encounter because they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.

The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

:clap: Well said.

lollipopcurve
03-12-2008, 08:44 AM
Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game. Guys who live, eat and breathe baseball, and have all their lives. Guys who know the nuances of every situation they will encounter because they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.

The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

Bravo.

redsrule2500
03-12-2008, 08:54 AM
The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

I agree with you, to a certain extent. I think that if a fan could manage the team by somehow telling Dusty remotely what to do with a bug in his hear - they could easily do better.

However, I don't think that a fan off the street could manage respect from the dugout, which is indeed very important.

RANDY IN INDY
03-12-2008, 09:04 AM
I think that if a fan could manage the team by somehow telling Dusty remotely what to do with a bug in his hear - they could easily do better.

You really believe that most fans have more baseball knowledge than a major league manager and could run a game better than they do? To even suggest that a major league manager should have a bug in his ear, having a fan tell him what decisions to make in a game is pretty insulting.

nate
03-12-2008, 09:07 AM
If Jay Bruce is not starting in center on Opening Day in Cincinnati, I think that will tell us about all we need to know about Dusty Baker. There, I said it.

I think Dusty's only partially responsible for that decision. The other parties are the Reds front office and Jay.


He's probably the best player on the team and the Reds are actually thinking about sending him to AAA. For what?

They want him to get a little more experience? They don't think he's ready mentally?

lollipopcurve
03-12-2008, 09:10 AM
I think that if a fan could manage the team by somehow telling Dusty remotely what to do with a bug in his hear - they could easily do better.

Somebody hang up the banana phone.

Roy Tucker
03-12-2008, 09:10 AM
Well said, RFS.

nate
03-12-2008, 09:14 AM
I think Dusty was brought in to:

*put a "name" in the driver's seat, thus showing that the Reds are "serious"
*act as a "cool uncle" figure to the players
*break the string of Reds managerial cronnyism (Boone, Miley, Narron, Pete)
*be charming
*make the lineup
*run the game
*instill the importance of avoiding cold wrists

In about that order, too.

redsrule2500
03-12-2008, 09:21 AM
You really believe that most fans have more baseball knowledge than a major league manager and could run a game better than they do? To even suggest that a major league manager should have a bug in his ear, having a fan tell him what decisions to make in a game is pretty insulting.

Not all fans! I'm talking cream of the crop here ;)

RFS62
03-12-2008, 09:26 AM
You really believe that most fans have more baseball knowledge than a major league manager and could run a game better than they do? To even suggest that a major league manager should have a bug in his ear, having a fan tell him what decisions to make in a game is pretty insulting.


Now that I think about it, maybe that's a good idea if we extend it a bit using some of the new technology available.

We could go bionic with the Dustoid 2000. The first remote control manager. We could implant a chip in his sweatbands that would control all his managerial functions. The toothpick could be an antennae. He could be hard wired to the massive RedsZone servers located in a secure facility under Mt. Adams, better known to RZ insiders as the Bosscave.

We could have real time implementation of all the good ideas that usually spring out of the game threads.

We'd be unstoppable.

http://listverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/dr.strangelove-763806.jpg

RANDY IN INDY
03-12-2008, 09:29 AM
:D :laugh:

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 09:32 AM
No incredibly difficult things to understand about managing a baseball team, eh.

So, a manager doesn't have to know how to recognize and teach proper form? He doesn't have to be able to teach fundamentals? Doesn't have to be able to make value judgments based on years inside the game?

If it's so easy, why don't teams just hire MBA's out of the business world to do it? Why pay Sweet Lou a 7 figure salary when there's really nothing to it that any smart manager couldn't do?

Politics and precedent? Not saying it's a good idea or a bad one, but that it hasn't been done yet doesn't necessarily imply it wouldn't work well. If it didn't work out, I think it would have as much to do with people refusing to listen to the outsider as it would his inability to manage his staff and make the right strategic choices. As for the teaching aspect, I thought that's what coaches were for. (though I realize the manager usually serves as head coach as well) My manager has no clue how process a data file, but somehow he's able to manage me to do my job well, motivate me, etc.



It seems to me that many people think that's about all there is to it. No logistics to juggle, no press and media relations to deal with. No multi-million dollar employees who are half your age to guide. No second guessing by the fan base. No competition which will cost you your job, fairly or unfairly, based on your win-loss record.

I don't think that that part of the job is ignored as something managers need to handle. But I think the conclusion is that any good manager, if any industry, deals with similar problems and could figure that stuff out. It wouldn't be the difference it his team winning/losing games. Given an experienced manager, that stuff isn't rocket science. You don't think managers in other industrys are judged on outcomes they influence but don't fully control (like yearly profit margins)?



Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game. Guys who live, eat and breathe baseball, and have all their lives. Guys who know the nuances of every situation they will encounter because they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.

Dusty's mentors apparently thought walks clog the bases -- that doesn't make it right. The nuance of the first inning suggests to Dusty that bunting over the leadoff guy is the right strategy. He constantly serves up a nonsensical statement and then cites his playing career as support evidence.

Don't get me wrong, experience is the best teacher. But simply doing does not always mean you've learned the right things. Obviously there are many relevant things Dusty has learned in his playing career. But I wonder what he's learned that is so crucial to his job that cannot be learned by an outsider.

I do think there's a leadership aspect for managers of sports teams that pretty much requires an ex-player to man the post or else you'd have revolt of the players. But I don't think that the skills those players-cum-managers learn as the play is what makes them good managers or not, it just gives them the initial seal of approval. The skill of managing, of collecting and synthesizing information, of leading a team instead of being part of it are not necessarily borne merely of playing nor are the exclusive property of ex-players.



The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

I don't think Steel is suggesting that any fan can walk off the street and run a team. I do think he's suggesting that a person who has proven himself a successful manager in another industry, with sufficient preparation, could run a baseball team as well as other baseball managers.

Again, I think being a good manager overall requires being a good manager of people off the field and a good baseball strategist on the field. A failure to do either well will result in failure overall. I'm simply not clear why we should give Dusty a pass on the latter just because he excels at the former. Sure, it's a step up from a guy who struggled at both (Narron), but that doesn't let him off the hook.

nate
03-12-2008, 09:49 AM
I don't think Steel is suggesting that any fan can walk off the street and run a team. I do think he's suggesting that a person who has proven himself a successful manager in another industry, with sufficient preparation, could run a baseball team as well as other baseball managers.

Heh, I can't help but think of Ted Turner here.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 09:51 AM
I agree with you, to a certain extent. I think that if a fan could manage the team by somehow telling Dusty remotely what to do with a bug in his hear - they could easily do better.



Seriously... this thread just gets better and better.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 09:57 AM
Seriously... this thread just gets better and better.


Yep. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

jojo
03-12-2008, 09:57 AM
I think it would be virtually impossible to pluck someone from the blogoshpere and have that person match Dusty's career. Even if that person had a doctorate in sports psychology and was a respected sabermatrician as well. Ignoring the tangible benefits of experience (that would be lacking in such an individual), without having gone through the trenches, I think the credibility gap alone would be insurmountable.

The closest comp I can think of would be Larry Dierker who went from being the Astros color commentator to being their manager. While he has a better winning percentage than Dusty (I mention that for those who think WP is a good metric for managers not because I personally endorse it as such), Dierker came to the job with a resume that included a 14 year career as a big league pitcher and an additional 17 years of being immersed in the culture via the broadcast booth.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 10:04 AM
Heh, I can't help but think of Ted Turner here.

Or Chris von der Ahe

klw
03-12-2008, 10:05 AM
No incredibly difficult things to understand about managing a baseball team, eh.

So, a manager doesn't have to know how to recognize and teach proper form? He doesn't have to be able to teach fundamentals? Doesn't have to be able to make value judgments based on years inside the game?

If it's so easy, why don't teams just hire MBA's out of the business world to do it? Why pay Sweet Lou a 7 figure salary when there's really nothing to it that any smart manager couldn't do?





It seems to me that many people think that's about all there is to it. No logistics to juggle, no press and media relations to deal with. No multi-million dollar employees who are half your age to guide. No second guessing by the fan base. No competition which will cost you your job, fairly or unfairly, based on your win-loss record.

Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game. Guys who live, eat and breathe baseball, and have all their lives. Guys who know the nuances of every situation they will encounter because they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.

The idea that you can be a fan, no matter how smart, and just walk into a major league dugout and run a team is beyond ridiculous. It's insulting to the people who have spent a lifetime learning their trade. It's the most naive thing I think I've read here in a long, long time.

Well Fans on a website have taken over a British Football (soccer) team. Wakeup Redszone, its time to step up and buy the Reds :D

http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/

lollipopcurve
03-12-2008, 10:11 AM
he's suggesting that a person who has proven himself a successful manager in another industry, with sufficient preparation, could run a baseball team as well as other baseball managers.

Sorry, no. You need a baseball player to know how a baseball player works. And no manager with no experience as a professional ballplayer will get the respect of his players.

jojo
03-12-2008, 10:16 AM
Didn't Bill Veeck have a "be a manager for a day" promotion when he was in St Louis where fans could vote on a managerial decision and the manager had to then live with the majority opinion? I can't remember the details but I think the Browns won that day...


:D

flyer85
03-12-2008, 10:18 AM
Baseball is managed by guys who paid their dues in the game.Guys who have been trained to think in a certain way.
.

they've seen the same things go down in their careers and seen how their mentors handled them.and who is to say that their mentor is right.

The above is called being inbred. They have been trained and conditioned to think and respond in a certain way. The only list of options they know are the ones that have been handed down. What happens if "the mentor" has a lot less than perfect knowledge or their thinking was seriously flawed in some way. Answer: it is passed on and is never questioned or tested to see if it is true and new ways of doing things are not entertained.

Gaining knowledge is often acquired by questioning why things are done the way they are. Baseball is loaded with "conventional wisdom" that has been passed down from generation to generation. People that come from the inbred system of baseball rarely ever question those wisdoms and even less look for a potentially better of way of doing things.

Sure sign of a decaying organization - "because it's always been done that way".

I have some wonderful anecdotes of how this plays out in real life business.

BTW, not picking on Dusty in particular, it's an indictment of baseball management in general.

There are a lot of quality people in baseball. It seems to me that the organizations who are going to have the most success are the ones who form synthesis between the old and the new.

lollipopcurve
03-12-2008, 10:24 AM
What people are failing to acknowledge is the influence of the GM and his assistants. These are the guys entrusted with a lot of the evaluation responsibilities. Tied to that is statistical know-how. If Baker is making decisions counter to common sense that's based on reliable data, it's incumbent on the GM et al to discuss it with him. I, for one, expect his worst tendencies, if he indulges them, to be corralled by those above him. And, I also expect that it will be handled judiciously and with respect -- that is, not after 1 game of batting Juan Castro 2nd, or whatever.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 10:24 AM
A managers duties can be broken down into three distinct areas:

1. Game level decision making.
2. Team level decision making
3. Personal management and instruction

In best I can estimate, a manager makes about 70 game level decisions a game, or about eleven thousand a year.

Seventy a game, each a decision with multiple variables, more then most people make in a month of work.

With that in mind I tried to define the recent Reds signing of Dusty Baker as the manager, a choice that was evidently pursued longer then most knew about and in the end I see eye to eye on a statement that James makes regarding managers and the three areas of the game they encompass:


“Most managers don’t pursue all three areas with equal skill, nor do they get they always get the result that they are brought in for. Most managers are fired before they can leave on their own, often they are brought in for a reason and when that reason is fulfilled they have then often outlived their usefulness to the organization.”


Bill James Baseball Abstract 1988



“You can have all the young talent in the world, but you need somebody to guide those players and show them the way to winning,” Maddon said. “Now a layman might say that’s the manager’s job and he would be correct. However, there is also a dynamic in a major league clubhouse that is hard to explain if you haven’t actually been in one to see what goes on. A player is more likely to listen to a veteran who has won before than a manager or coach when it comes to talking about how to win. Furthermore, a player is a lot less likely to get a sympathetic audience from his peers if another player corrects him on the way of going about how to be a professional than he would if he is corrected by a manager or coach. That’s just the way human nature is, and you can never take the human element out of the game.”

John Maddon 2008

The business of baseball and running a team on the field and off the field is not a solid reality, it's an onion, layer after layer after layer of things that are not rooted in patterns that occur in small recognizable routes.

It's chaos in a controlled environment.

If it was so damn easy the Reds would not have churned through 8 managers since Dusty took his first job in 1993.

1993... the year the Reds hired a bat on the ball manager, a player who had poor walk rates his whole career.

Too bad he got canned so fast... I'm sure he probably saw the game a lot like Dusty does.... that could have been interesting.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 10:26 AM
Didn't Bill Veeck have a "be a manager for a day" promotion when he was in St Louis where fans could vote on a managerial decision and the manager had to then live with the majority opinion? I can't remember the details but I think the Browns won that day...


:D

Yeah, he handed out cards for the fans to hold up at certain moments.


BTW the main card they held said:

BUNT

gonelong
03-12-2008, 10:47 AM
I am sure that a MLB manager has a laundry list of items to tend to that the general public isn't privy to. Its easy to say cut so-and-so for the average Joe. It's not always so easy when you have known the guy for 5 years, know his wife and kids, and realize that if you cut him he will probably be out of baseball in a year or two.

Lots of things look easy until you try it. Thats because most people only see what goes on in front of them, they don't see any of the things that go on while they are not around.

You can't just boil the job down to setting a lineup and keeping an eye on pitch counts.

Could many of the guys here make the strategic moves neccessary? I don't have my doubts that more than a handful here could. Out of that bunch, how many could speak in front of the press without crapping in their pants or making a complete fool of themselves? The pool dwindles. How many could command respect among the players? The pool dwindles. How many could kick some players in the butt while patting others on the head? The pool dwindles. How many would know who to kick and who to pat? The pool dwindles. Can you handle the rookies and the vets? Can you keep the club togther? Can you get the guy in his contract year to forget about his own stats? Can you work with the GM, Owner, scouts, advanced scouts, etc.?

On top of this, there is no real way to get real-world experience except OJT. What you are left with is a pretty small pool to fish from. This is why you see so many managers get recycled. You are not going to find many, if any, that excel in all areas.

I often let my underlings take one of my tasks and be the lead on it. Invariably they will always tell you that its much harder to be the man than they expected. Some are willing to have another go of it, many are not. Either way I generally receive a whole 'nother level of respect from those that try.

I don't care much for the Dusty hire and I know full well I won't care for many of his strategic moves. On the other hand, I think Dusty has a pretty good chance to help this team win this year and the next. I suspect he will pretty quicly wear out his welcome in due time.

Just like players, you take your pick among the most qualified (warts and all) and steam ahead. Just like you often trade-off offense for defense with the players you often trade-off game management and locker room management.

GL

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 10:53 AM
I'm not sure why anybody has gotten the idea that I think being a manager is easy.


Just like players, you take your pick among the most qualified (warts and all) and steam ahead. Just like you often trade-off offense for defense with the players you often trade-off game management and locker room management.

This is probably the most articulate, objective perspective I've seen so far. And interesting. Right or wrong, I see roster construction and in game strategy as the offense of managing. Yes, defense matters. A guy who can't play defense at all isn't going to find a job (in the NL at least). But trading out Adam Dunn for Corey Patterson isn't an even trade. You are hurt more by Patterson's lack of offense than by Dunn's lack of defense.

When it comes to managers, I guess we all have different opinions on how much each skill set matters. Just as Marty rails on Dunn's defense a bit too much, perhaps I rant on Dusty's in-game strategy. I guess the proof will be in the pudding.

blumj
03-12-2008, 10:56 AM
Guys who have been trained to think in a certain way.
.
and who is to say that their mentor is right.

The above is called being inbred. They have been trained and conditioned to think and respond in a certain way. The only list of options they know are the ones that have been handed down. What happens if "the mentor" has a lot less than perfect knowledge or their thinking was seriously flawed in some way. Answer: it is passed on and is never questioned or tested to see if it is true and new ways of doing things are not entertained.

Gaining knowledge is often acquired by questioning why things are done the way they are. Baseball is loaded with "conventional wisdom" that has been passed down from generation to generation. People that come from the inbred system of baseball rarely ever question those wisdoms and even less look for a potentially better of way of doing things.

Sure sign of a decaying organization - "because it's always been done that way".

I have some wonderful anecdotes of how this plays out in real life business.

BTW, not picking on Dusty in particular, it's an indictment of baseball management in general.

There are a lot of quality people in baseball. It seems to me that the organizations who are going to have the most success are the ones who form synthesis between the old and the new.
By my totally unofficial count, the fans of about 10-12 teams don't have to have this discussion anymore. That's a big change in maybe the last 5 years or so.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 11:03 AM
I'm not sure why anybody has gotten the idea that I think being a manager is easy.




Yes where did that inference come from?
http://baseballminutia.com/images/dunce2.jpg

paulrichjr
03-12-2008, 11:05 AM
http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob

Does Dusty really favor veterans?
posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry

It's easy to pick on Dusty Baker. I should know. In addition to all the columns and blog entries over the years, I actually gave him a whole chapter in my book about blunders. Lately it's been really easy, as he's said a lot of strange things about walks and on-base percentage and just about anything else he's been asked about. He's also been unwilling to commit, publicly at least, to his Rookie of the Year candidates.

Is that just talk, though? At the Hardball Times, Justin Inaz takes a look at Baker's history with young players:

Baker has a reputation as a manager who favors veterans, extremely so. From what I've gathered, much of this reputation stems from his tendency to play an aging Eric Karros over Hee-Seop Choi on the 2003 Chicago Cubs. But was this part of a larger pattern?

A look back at Baker's teams over the years shows that he did give a great deal of playing time to young talent. All the following players got significant opportunities as early 20-somethings during Baker's watch: Rich Aurilia, Rod Beck, Marvin Bernard, Royce Clayton, Shawn Estes, Ryan Jensen, Darren Lewis, Matt Murton, Russ Ortiz, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Kirk Rueter, William Van Landingham, Allen Watson and Carlos Zambrano. So it's not like it's unprecedented for Baker to let a kid play. Even in the case of Choi vs. Karros, Hee-Seop Choi still got the bulk of the playing time until he was injured in a collision with Kerry Wood on June 8 of that season.

I'm not saying that there's nothing to the idea that Baker favors veterans. Managers often seem to behave with the goal of not looking bad, and thus often favor established players over prospects. But based on his record, I don't see evidence that Baker is particularly extreme in this respect. The proof will be in the pudding, of course, but my guess is that if the young guys perform, they'll play.

I think that's probably right. From a distance, it's easy to scream, "Give the job to Bruce! Give the job to Votto! Give the jobs to Bailey and Cueto!" There are a couple of reasons to lower our voices, though. One, often you don't want to give a job to a young player. You want him to earn the job, whether through good stats or hard work (or both, ideally). And two, some young players simply aren't ready to perform in the majors. Cueta has logged 22 innings above Double-A, and Bruce has drawn 23 walks in 66 games above Class A. I think both of them are ready -- the other guys, too -- but I'm ready to call off the dogs until we see what Baker and management actually do before Opening Day.

Steve4192
03-12-2008, 11:25 AM
Right or wrong, I see roster construction and in game strategy as the offense of managing.

I assume you are saying the 'offense of managing' in order to convey that you believe that is where the primary value of a manager lies.

I couldn't disagree more.

I have always felt that the in-game tactical stuff is more like the tip of the iceberg in terms of a manager's importance. Gameday decisions are the 10% of the iceberg that the public can see. Clubhouse management, while not in view of the public eye, is the other 90% of the iceberg that can rip open your hull beneath the water line and sink the ship.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 11:31 AM
I assume you are saying the 'offense of managing' in order to convey that you believe that is where the primary value of a manager lies.

I couldn't disagree more.

I have always felt that the in-game tactical stuff is more like the tip of the iceberg in terms of a manager's importance. Gameday decisions are the 10% of the iceberg that the public can see. Clubhouse management, while not in view of the public eye, is the other 90% of the iceberg that can rip open your hull beneath the water line and sink the ship.


Exactly right.

nate
03-12-2008, 11:54 AM
I assume you are saying the 'offense of managing' in order to convey that you believe that is where the primary value of a manager lies.

I couldn't disagree more.

I have always felt that the in-game tactical stuff is more like the tip of the iceberg in terms of a manager's importance. Gameday decisions are the 10% of the iceberg that the public can see. Clubhouse management, while not in view of the public eye, is the other 90% of the iceberg that can rip open your hull beneath the water line and sink the ship.

Right on.

SteelSD
03-12-2008, 11:57 AM
I don't think Steel is suggesting that any fan can walk off the street and run a team. I do think he's suggesting that a person who has proven himself a successful manager in another industry, with sufficient preparation, could run a baseball team as well as other baseball managers.

Yep. With sufficient preparation and the right team of coaches, a successful manager from another industry could likely do the job as well (if not better) than many of the MLB Managers currently holding jobs. The rest of the real world knows this as successful managers move between industries all the time because the core competencies translate.

Being a good manager in any industry isn't easy. But baseball isn't so difficult as to neutralize the effectiveness of a good manager should he/she know what they're doing. And arguments that center around the idea that someone couldn't possibly know what they're doing unless they played a sport professionally are flat out obtuse.

dabvu2498
03-12-2008, 12:04 PM
I wonder how said manager from another industry would feel when he finds out that many of his team members are making a considerably larger salary than he is. And that he has to spend weeks at a time traveling and living with said team members over a 7 month stretch.

Doubt that he has to deal with that selling widgets.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 12:16 PM
Yep. With sufficient preparation and the right team of coaches, a successful manager from another industry could likely do the job as well (if not better) than many of the MLB Managers currently holding jobs. The rest of the real world knows this as successful managers move between industries all the time because the core competencies translate.



How would you know if you had the right group of coaches? You aren't qualified to judge.

How would you know if a coach was doing a good job? You have no reference point from your own personal experience.

The list of obvious reasons why it isn't done is endless.

Boston has probably the most progressive owner in MLB in John Henry. He's a guy who made millions using statistical analysis in his field. Why didn't he chose this method of hiring a manager? I'm sure he knows a bunch of guys smarter than Terry Francona who totally buy into sabermetrics and advanced statistical analysis.

The reason it's not done is that it's ridiculous, and would only be discussed on a message board like this, not in real life.

Obtuse is the right word, by the way. It's just pointed in the wrong direction.

blumj
03-12-2008, 12:25 PM
Boston has probably the most progressive owner in MLB in John Henry. He's a guy who made millions using statistical analysis in his field. Why didn't he chose this method of hiring a manager? I'm sure he knows a bunch of guys smarter than Terry Francona who totally buy into sabermetrics and advanced statistical analysis.

The reason it's not done is that it's ridiculous, and would only be discussed on a message board like this, not in real life.

Obtuse is the right word, by the way. It's just pointed in the wrong direction.
One reason it's not done is because it's unnecessary. There are plenty of smart baseball guys who actually believe in using statistical analysis, like Terry Francona. If the Reds had any interest in finding one, they certainly could have.

M2
03-12-2008, 12:28 PM
Yep. With sufficient preparation and the right team of coaches, a successful manager from another industry could likely do the job as well (if not better) than many of the MLB Managers currently holding jobs. The rest of the real world knows this as successful managers move between industries all the time because the core competencies translate.

Being a good manager in any industry isn't easy. But baseball isn't so difficult as to neutralize the effectiveness of a good manager should he/she know what they're doing. And arguments that center around the idea that someone couldn't possibly know what they're doing unless they played a sport professionally are flat out obtuse.

While I agree that personnel management doesn't vary all that much from industry to industry, I've seen first hand where a lack of domain knowledge has been a crusher.

In the media business I've seen editors who don't know how to work a beat or put together a quality story put in charge of reporters who do and it's been a disaster. In fact I moved from one newspaper when I saw a chucklehead was coming in to manage the staff. I got done on a Friday and he arrived the next Monday. During a meeting with three seasoned reporters (one who covered the Louise Woodward murder trial, another who was covering a murder trial that had put the death penalty back on the table in the state legislature and a third who was eyeball deep in city elections) the new editor proclaimed that what really interested him was where to find fall foliage. He had come from weekly papers which specialized in that kind of piffle and had no clue what was involved in the jobs of the people he was managing.

In baseball a manager's credibility rests on understanding the mechanics involved with playing the game and the grind that comes with a 162-game season. If you can't deal with players on their level then all the Peter Drucker in the world won't help you.

That's a not a justification for head-in-the-sand thinking, I'm just saying that a qualified MLB manager needs detailed understanding of how to play professional baseball. Far as I can tell, being in the game is the only way to get that (either as a player or a longtime coach). Whatever macro good sense a complete outsider might bring to the job likely would get buried in a sea of micro the outsider was unequipped to handle.

IslandRed
03-12-2008, 12:29 PM
I agree with Steel in the sense that a sufficiently good manager, sufficiently cross-trained in baseball, could do the job. In theory. But it doesn't matter what you know if you can't get people to listen to you, and if a manager came in with no player background or credibility within the game, he's going to start out with a supreme lack of respect from his charges.

In a normal job, no problem -- the ones that don't listen to you, you fire. Managers don't always have that option. Sure, you can kick around the fringe guys and the rookies. But what about the ones with guaranteed contracts? Even benching them isn't necessarily a viable option. Upstairs isn't going to let you bench Albert Pujols for a month because he's telling you to expletive off in the locker room every day. You're much more expendable than Albert Pujols, and he knows it.

In the end, MLB managers cannot demand respect, they have to command it. I'm not saying a Google executive or some other brilliant manager-of-something-else could never be a successful MLB manager. I'm just suggesting there's a large respect hurdle to be overcome before anyone in the clubhouse would buy into anything he says. And he can't lead if no one's following.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 12:32 PM
While I agree that personnel management doesn't vary all that much from industry to industry, I've seen first hand where a lack of domain knowledge has been a crusher.

In the media business I've seen editors who don't know how to work a beat or put together a quality story put in charge of reporters who do and it's been a disaster. In fact I moved from one newspaper when I saw a chucklehead was coming in to manage the staff. I got done on a Friday and he arrived the next Monday. During a meeting with three seasoned reporters (one who covered the Louise Woodward murder trial, another who was covering a murder trial that had put the death penalty back on the table in the state legislature and a third who was eyeball deep in city elections) the new editor proclaimed that what really interested him was where to find fall foliage. He had come from weekly papers which specialized in that kind of piffle and had no clue what was involved in the jobs of the people he was managing.

In baseball a manager's credibility rests on understanding the mechanics involved with playing the game and the grind that comes with a 162-game season. If you can't deal with players on their level then all the Peter Drucker in the world won't help you.

That's a not a justification for head-in-the-sand thinking, I'm just saying that a qualified MLB manager needs detailed understanding of how to play professional baseball. Far as I can tell, being in the game is the only way to get that (either as a player or a longtime coach). Whatever macro good sense a complete outsider might bring to the job likely would get buried in a sea of micro the outsider was unequipped to handle.



Once again, exactly right.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 12:32 PM
I assume you are saying the 'offense of managing' in order to convey that you believe that is where the primary value of a manager lies.

Yes. I think that in order of influence on the won/loss record of the team being managed, they are as follows:

1.) Team Construction and Opportunity
2.) In-game strategy and management
3.) Clubhouse/Media influence

Obviously you and others disagree. My belief admittedly comes largely from our ability to quantify the effect of numbers 1 and 2 and our inability to do 3. I'm open to explanations of why I have it backwards, but have yet to see one I've found compelling. When we look at the #1 variable on who wins and who loses, it's what talent is on the roster and how are they used. Outside of the most extreme of circumstances, the happiest, most motivated Corey Patterson will not outproduce a grumpy, pouting Adam Dunn.

Chip R
03-12-2008, 12:37 PM
I wonder how said manager from another industry would feel when he finds out that many of his team members are making a considerably larger salary than he is. And that he has to spend weeks at a time traveling and living with said team members over a 7 month stretch.

Doubt that he has to deal with that selling widgets.


Not to mention defending his decisions on a daily basis to the press and getting criticized for them by the press and regular people and even sometimes by your own personnel whether they are right or wrong. He'd also have to deal with personnel that could and will change on a daily basis. If your #1 salesman pulls a hammy, he can still do his job. A baseball manager also doesn't have total control over his own personnel. He has limited power in whom to hire and fire. He can fire a poor performing employee whenever he wants whereas a baseball manager not only may not be able to fire him but has to play him every day until his contract runs out. And if he doesn't play him he's gonna catch holy hell. It's not rocket science but incredibly smart people can look like idiots managing a baseball team.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 12:38 PM
I wonder how said manager from another industry would feel when he finds out that many of his team members are making a considerably larger salary than he is. And that he has to spend weeks at a time traveling and living with said team members over a 7 month stretch.

Doubt that he has to deal with that selling widgets.

Salesmen and women out-earn their sales managers in hundreds of industries. The reason is that because the skills it takes to be a great salesman are more rare, and bring more value to the organization, than being a great manager. Such is baseball with it's players.

I have no doubt that the Giants could have, and likely would have been successfully without Dusty Baker. Just some food for though for the results focused among us, how many division titles did Dusty win in San Fransisco before Bonds went from being the best player in the game to the best player of all-time? Not too refocus on the winning percentage argument, but who really affected the team outcomes the most? And that can be said about any team, in any year.

TRF
03-12-2008, 12:40 PM
While I agree that personnel management doesn't vary all that much from industry to industry, I've seen first hand where a lack of domain knowledge has been a crusher.

In the media business I've seen editors who don't know how to work a beat or put together a quality story put in charge of reporters who do and it's been a disaster. In fact I moved from one newspaper when I saw a chucklehead was coming in to manage the staff. I got done on a Friday and he arrived the next Monday. During a meeting with three seasoned reporters (one who covered the Louise Woodward murder trial, another who was covering a murder trial that had put the death penalty back on the table in the state legislature and a third who was eyeball deep in city elections) the new editor proclaimed that what really interested him was where to find fall foliage. He had come from weekly papers which specialized in that kind of piffle and had no clue what was involved in the jobs of the people he was managing.

In baseball a manager's credibility rests on understanding the mechanics involved with playing the game and the grind that comes with a 162-game season. If you can't deal with players on their level then all the Peter Drucker in the world won't help you.

That's a not a justification for head-in-the-sand thinking, I'm just saying that a qualified MLB manager needs detailed understanding of how to play professional baseball. Far as I can tell, being in the game is the only way to get that (either as a player or a longtime coach). Whatever macro good sense a complete outsider might bring to the job likely would get buried in a sea of micro the outsider was unequipped to handle.

M2, I worked in TV for 12 years and saw much the same thing. Fortunately, I was a production guy, so I sat back, pointed fingers and laughed.

But just being in the game doesn't guarantee success. For every Baker, I present Bob Boone. Strangely enough, Baker as a manager reminds me of Pete Rose, the Manager.

I'll say this for Dusty, for the first time in a decade, the players seem to like their manager in Cincinnati. That's a plus. Now do Dusty AND Krivsky see the importance of letting the kids, especially the kids who have shown they are ready, play? Votto is having a tough ST. But he has nothing left to prove in AAA. Bruce is having a very good ST. Cueto and Volquez are right now looking like the Reds best pitchers in ST, Harang included. The next couple of weeks will determine their fate unlees WK or Dusty feel they MUST have a LH in the rotation.

I would never discount a manager's ability to actually manage personnel. But that coupled with a lack of understanding of what will put the best team on the field nets you fifth place. I'm not saying that is Dusty, just not saying it isn't either.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 12:48 PM
Boston has probably the most progressive owner in MLB in John Henry. He's a guy who made millions using statistical analysis in his field. Why didn't he chose this method of hiring a manager? I'm sure he knows a bunch of guys smarter than Terry Francona who totally buy into sabermetrics and advanced statistical analysis.

The reason it's not done is that it's ridiculous, and would only be discussed on a message board like this, not in real life.

Obtuse is the right word, by the way. It's just pointed in the wrong direction.

Because, as I've stated earlier, the trick is to be able to do it all well - or at least not have any major deficiencies. Henry and Co. went out and found somebody who could already handle the clubhouse well and who was willing to learn a new approach to the on the field stuff. I think they rightly identified that, for environmental reasons, it would be easier to teach a clubhouse guy the strategy, than to get a strategy guy up to snuff on the clubhouse side -- or less risky, at minimum.

But that doesn't excuse any manager from a clear deficiency in one area or the other. That Dusty runs a great clubhouse doesn't forgive his struggles with the strategy side. And to be fair, a strategy guy who isn't up to snuff in the clubhouse would also be a problem. Buck Showalter perhaps as a case in point? There are a growing number of managers, such as Francona and Acta who are showing that it isn't unreasonable to expect competency or better across the board.

It's not Dusty's background or strength in clubhouse management that people are frustrated with. I don't think anybody denies that those are strengths. It's his apparent refusal and/or inability to grow, learn, and adopt a more productive strategic approach and some people's willingness to accept that which causes such consternation.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 12:50 PM
And to be fair, a strategy guy who isn't up to snuff in the clubhouse would also be a problem.

You mean they couldn't just step in and manage the 2000 Yankees without an idea of how a major league clubhouse operates?

RFS62
03-12-2008, 12:51 PM
Because, as I've stated earlier, the trick is to be able to do it all well - or at least not have any major deficiencies. Henry and Co. went out and found somebody who could already handle the clubhouse well and who was willing to learn a new approach to the on the field stuff. I think they rightly identified that, for environmental reasons, it would be easier to teach a clubhouse guy the strategy, than to get a strategy guy up to snuff on the clubhouse side -- or less risky, at minimum.

But that doesn't excuse any manager from a clear deficiency in one area or the other. That Dusty runs a great clubhouse doesn't forgive his struggles with the strategy side. And to be fair, a strategy guy who isn't up to snuff in the clubhouse would also be a problem. There are a growing number of managers, such as Francona and Acta who are showing that it isn't unreasonable to expect competency or better across the board.

Regarding my input into this discussion, I never said Dusty gets a free pass.

My comments were directed towards the concept that ANYONE, no matter how smart or proficient a manager they may be in another field, cannot walk in off the street and manage a major league baseball team.

redsrule2500
03-12-2008, 01:03 PM
Seriously... this thread just gets better and better.

OK. I know u hate all my posts by default, and everyone knows you're a blind fan of Dusty....but can't you at least respect others opinions rather than throwing out degrading one-liners? It's not what this forum is for.

westofyou
03-12-2008, 01:08 PM
everyone knows you're a blind fan of Dusty.... .

http://helium.lunarpages.com/~funky4/pictures/0426stevie.JPG

Steve4192
03-12-2008, 01:10 PM
everyone knows you're a blind fan of Dusty

You want to get respect, you might try giving a little.

I have never known WOY to be a 'blind fan' of anything basbeball related. He is one of the most intelligent and reasonable posters on this site.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 01:13 PM
Regarding my input into this discussion, I never said Dusty gets a free pass.

My comments were directed towards the concept that ANYONE, no matter how smart or proficient a manager they may be in another field, cannot walk in off the street and manage a major league baseball team.

I think you'll find everybody in this conversation in complete agreement with that statement. As M2 pointed out, a lack of understanding of the field and of the specifics of the particular environment is a significant, likely crippling, problem.

The question becomes, is it necessary to have significant playing and/or prior coaching experience in order to get a sufficient level of knowledge to successfully control and lead a major league clubhouse -- or can it be learned in some other way (studying the sport, interviewing people, observing for a period of time, etc.)?

Roy Tucker
03-12-2008, 01:14 PM
Regarding my input into this discussion, I never said Dusty gets a free pass.

My comments were directed towards the concept that ANYONE, no matter how smart or proficient a manager they may be in another field, cannot walk in off the street and manage a major league baseball team.

It's an interesting hypothetical discussion. However, I think it has a snowball's chance in heck of ever coming true.

The clause "with sufficient preparation" is the kicker. How much domain knowledge would, say, my division general manager (very good, $500M budget, and probably makes as much or more as a MLB manager) need to have to be a competent MLB manager?

IMHO, he'd need 10-20 years of serious baseball playing/managing experience. I can't see someone doing a 6 week or 6 month crash course to acquire the depth of knowledge a MLB baseball manager would need.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 01:19 PM
The question becomes, is it necessary to have significant playing and/or prior coaching experience in order to get a sufficient level of knowledge to successfully control and lead a major league clubhouse -- or can it be learned in some other way (studying the sport, interviewing people, observing for a period of time, etc.)?


Well, maybe that's what the question has evolved into through the discussion. But the start of this conversation was that you thought you could have managed the Yankees to a pennant, IIRC.

And again, I really respect your baseball knowledge and your overall intelligence. But I respectfully must disagree with that statement in it's entirety. And my disagreement isn't limited to or directed towards you..... it's across the board.

Again, no disrespect intended. But it's a very naive notion.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 01:23 PM
Well, maybe that's what the question has evolved into through the discussion. But the start of this conversation was that you thought you could have managed the Yankees to a pennant, IIRC.

And I think I've admitted that the statement was a combination of hyperbole and naivety. Though I do think those late 90's Yankees could have likely managed themselves to the playoffs...



And again, I really respect your baseball knowledge and your overall intelligence. But I respectfully must disagree with that statement in it's entirety. And my disagreement isn't limited to or directed towards you..... it's across the board.

Again, no disrespect intended. But it's a very naive notion.

Is this is reference the statement of my ability to manage, or regarding the question which I've posed and you've quoted? If it's the latter, can I take your response to mean that you feel the only way for a manager to be qualified for the job is to have significant playing/managing experience?

westofyou
03-12-2008, 01:24 PM
John Boles experience in Florida is a nice baseline.


Boles, 47, is a shrewd baseball man, an outstanding talent evaluator and a capable communicator. He once was a rising managerial star in the White Box system. But Boles also is a man who never played a game of pro baseball. He hadn't spent a day as a major league coach or manager. His last managerial experience came 10 years ago.

Sporting News, The, July 22, 1996 by Bob Nightengale

RFS62
03-12-2008, 01:26 PM
Is this is reference the statement of my ability to manage, or regarding the question which I've posed and you've quoted? If it's the latter, can I take your response to mean that you feel the only way for a manager to be qualified for the job is to have significant playing/managing experience?

Hang on a second... I need to consult my attorney.....

OK. I was referring to your comment about you managing the Yankees. And I extended it to include everyone else in the universe who hasn't spent significant time in and around pro baseball.

WMR
03-12-2008, 01:33 PM
Because, as I've stated earlier, the trick is to be able to do it all well - or at least not have any major deficiencies. Henry and Co. went out and found somebody who could already handle the clubhouse well and who was willing to learn a new approach to the on the field stuff. I think they rightly identified that, for environmental reasons, it would be easier to teach a clubhouse guy the strategy, than to get a strategy guy up to snuff on the clubhouse side -- or less risky, at minimum.

But that doesn't excuse any manager from a clear deficiency in one area or the other. That Dusty runs a great clubhouse doesn't forgive his struggles with the strategy side. And to be fair, a strategy guy who isn't up to snuff in the clubhouse would also be a problem. Buck Showalter perhaps as a case in point? There are a growing number of managers, such as Francona and Acta who are showing that it isn't unreasonable to expect competency or better across the board.

It's not Dusty's background or strength in clubhouse management that people are frustrated with. I don't think anybody denies that those are strengths. It's his apparent refusal and/or inability to grow, learn, and adopt a more productive strategic approach and some people's willingness to accept that which causes such consternation.

This is such a great post. :clap:

Puffy
03-12-2008, 01:35 PM
Well, maybe that's what the question has evolved into through the discussion. But the start of this conversation was that you thought you could have managed the Yankees to a pennant, IIRC.



Thats exactly right. Sorry RMR - you couldn't have. I could have, but not you. Nor RFS62.

Me - yes.

Raisor - maybe, but he's a HUGE geek and probably could not get respect of players sitting in front of a computer in his boxers playing D&D.

RedsManRick, RFS62 - no.

Chip R
03-12-2008, 01:36 PM
One thing that is certain is that there is no way to predict if someone will be a good manager.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 01:37 PM
Hang on a second... I need to consult my attorney.....

OK. I was referring to your comment about you managing the Yankees. And I extended it to include everyone else in the universe who hasn't spent significant time in and around pro baseball.

Actually, here on page 87, paragraph 4, sentence 2 you stated..... :evil:

RFS62
03-12-2008, 01:38 PM
Thats exactly right. Sorry RMR - you couldn't have. I could have, but not you. Nor RFS62.

Me - yes.

Raisor - maybe, but he's a HUGE geek and probably could not get respect of players sitting in front of a computer in his boxers playing D&D.

RedsManRick, RFS62 - no.



My attorney Puffy J. Coombs, ESQ......the voice of reason has been heard.

WMR
03-12-2008, 01:38 PM
Yeah right Puffy, you'd be out all night partying with Freel and forget to come to the stadium to fill out the line-up card.

Puffy
03-12-2008, 01:38 PM
Hang on a second... I need to consult my attorney.....



Not until you sign the retainer I sent you with regard to your having to pay full price at Denny's when you clearly qualify for the Senior discount

Once you get me that retainer I will be happy to hear your consultation on this one.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 01:41 PM
Not until you sign the retainer I sent you with regard to your having to pay full price at Denny's when you clearly qualify for the Senior discount

Once you get me that retainer I will be happy to hear your consultation on this one.



Yeesh... I sent that express mail weeks ago.... yeah, express mail.... you didn't get the check?..... Hmmm, not sure how that could have happened.

Hey, let's go ahead with the consultation... you know we've got an open and shut case with those low lifes at Dennys. I'm sure the check will show up soon.....

jojo
03-12-2008, 01:41 PM
Before people start spending money on lawyers, why not just donate the money that would go towards their fees to..............me?

oneupper
03-12-2008, 01:42 PM
This is a great discussion. I'll chip in...

As the baseball business gets larger and larger, the tendency towards a greater division of labor in management functions is natural and an evident ongoing trend.

The player-manager, for example, has been pretty much buried and the manager/GM went away a long time ago. Now we have a myriad of instructors/coaches who have assumed (in varied degrees...) functions that were once the domain of the field manager.

That some of these functions, including in-game management could be delegated to someone who was not an ex-player, but has experience in the industry doesn't strike me as outrageous. Certainly not as a future development.

Just look at Football for an indication of where things might go. It seems there are more coaches than players these days.

Getting back to the original idea, then. If the position of "baseball manager" evolves (as it seems to be doing) more towards a coordinator of coaches than a "manager of players", it will require more "managerial" skills and less "baseball" knowledge.
A good "manager" would be better suited for the position than a "baseball guy" or (good heavens) a stat geek.

I don't think the sport has reached that point yet, but it doesn't seem that far off.

So, everyone's right...IMO

redsrule2500
03-12-2008, 01:43 PM
http://helium.lunarpages.com/~funky4/pictures/0426stevie.JPG

:confused: ....And you accused me of making bad posts?

Anyway, I'd like to point out that the manager of baseball is probably most important when it comes to pitching - and knowing your team. Clubhouse effect seems to be more important than anything else, which comes down to knowing your players and what they are capable of. Knowing when to pull pitchers is key. This is something I thought Pete did a fantastic job with. He could "Manage" a pitching staff better than anyone we've seen in recent history, IMO.

I would reference that lineup study (Where the best/worst lineups made little difference overall) but I can't find it....

Chip R
03-12-2008, 01:46 PM
Knowing when to pull pitchers is key. This is something I thought Pete did a fantastic job with.



Mackanin?

lollipopcurve
03-12-2008, 02:03 PM
The question becomes, is it necessary to have significant playing and/or prior coaching experience in order to get a sufficient level of knowledge to successfully control and lead a major league clubhouse?

Yes. And knowledge comes in many forms.

bucksfan2
03-12-2008, 02:18 PM
Yes. I think that in order of influence on the won/loss record of the team being managed, they are as follows:

1.) Team Construction and Opportunity
2.) In-game strategy and management
3.) Clubhouse/Media influence

Obviously you and others disagree. My belief admittedly comes largely from our ability to quantify the effect of numbers 1 and 2 and our inability to do 3. I'm open to explanations of why I have it backwards, but have yet to see one I've found compelling. When we look at the #1 variable on who wins and who loses, it's what talent is on the roster and how are they used. Outside of the most extreme of circumstances, the happiest, most motivated Corey Patterson will not outproduce a grumpy, pouting Adam Dunn.

RMR I actually agree with you, to some extent.
1) Team Construction is the biggest factor in a managers success. At the major level talent is by far the deciding factor in whether a team wins or not.

2) Player and personal management. The 162 game season is a grind. From game 1 to game 162 you have to deal with beaten players physically and psychological. The players right now are probably feeling as good as they will the entire season. You have to deal with nagging injuries. You have to deal with players who need a day off but want to be in the lineup. You have to deal with pitchers who want to take ball but are hurt. You need to know to play the hot hand and to sit the cold hand. You need to understand 25 different egos every day.

3) In game management. In other sports this is second only to talent. In baseball I put it down further on the list. Even the best hitters fail to get on base roughly 60% of the time. No matter what decision you odds for failure are greater than success. You are dealing with a game of inches, millimeters. A pitcher can make a great pitch and jam a hitter but he bloops it into the outfield for a hit. You play the infield back but the batter hits a weak groudball to SS where he only has one play. You play the infield in and a batter hits a tailor made double play. You have to make very quick decisions through out the game. You don't get the luxery of us fans who can sit and critize every decisions for the entier game. Once that decision is made its impact can't be erased.

There are too many outside influences that can effect the game in game strategies begin to neutralize. IMO when the probability of failure is greater than half the time you have to make each individual decision that you feel give the team the best chance to win.

RedsManRick
03-12-2008, 02:26 PM
RMR I actually agree with you, to some extent.
1) Team Construction is the biggest factor in a managers success.

2) Player and personal management.

3) In game management.

There are too many outside influences that can effect the game in game strategies begin to neutralize. IMO when the probability of failure is greater than half the time you have to make each individual decision that you feel give the team the best chance to win.

I debated on 2 & 3 as well, but think they're clearly behind #1. And with Dusty, that's really what it comes down to for me. If he puts the wrong guys on the field and/or in the lineup with regularity (which history shows he has done in the past), then no amount of clubhouse management can offset that.

traderumor
03-12-2008, 02:27 PM
As for any Joe Schmo being able to manage a Major League ballclub, while we all know baseball isn't rocket science, the biggest issue is respect. Any manager must have the respect of the players, and most of that is going to come either from the manager's reputation as a manager and/or player. Otherwise, even though bonehead decisions will be inherent with the job whether you have professional baseball experience or not, the players would most likely, whether its fair or not, have no confidence after the first few bonehead decisions by the man off the street. Then, its game over. So, while in theory Joe Schmo could manage in the big leagues and be successful if all it was about is making lineups and game decisions, practically, there ain't a snowball's chance.

RANDY IN INDY
03-12-2008, 02:50 PM
Bingo! It even matters in the lower levels of baseball. Kids play better for people that they respect and trust. You have to pay your dues.

bucksfan2
03-12-2008, 02:56 PM
I debated on 2 & 3 as well, but think they're clearly behind #1. And with Dusty, that's really what it comes down to for me. If he puts the wrong guys on the field and/or in the lineup with regularity (which history shows he has done in the past), then no amount of clubhouse management can offset that.

Here is where I differ a little from you. I don't think its so much lineup composition as it is to actual talent on the club. Having ARod and Jeter on a club is going to make you team better than Gonzo and Encarnacion no matter where a manager chooses to bat them. (remember when Torre droped ARod to 7 to get him out of a slump?) Having more talent in the bullpen is going to enable you a little more flexability in managing a game. I think having an innings eater like Arroyo and Harang allows your manager to go to the pen earlier if they have come of a 7-8-9 innning start.

flyer85
03-12-2008, 03:36 PM
why not just donate the money that would go towards their fees to..............me?is that you Mr. Franken? ;)

jojo
03-12-2008, 04:07 PM
is that you Mr. Franken? ;)

In my best Puss'N Boots imitation, "For you (and your money), I can be..." :cool:

flyer85
03-12-2008, 04:15 PM
In my best Puss'N Boots imitation, "For you (and your money), I can be..." :cool:I was making light of an old SNL routine where Al Franken on weekend update would give a "PSA" then follow it with "send your money to, me, Al Franken".

Raisor
03-12-2008, 04:19 PM
Thats exactly right. Sorry RMR - you couldn't have. I could have, but not you. Nor RFS62.

Me - yes.

Raisor - maybe, but he's a HUGE geek and probably could not get respect of players sitting in front of a computer in his boxers playing D&D.

.

Hey, I haven't played D&D since college, and then only due to peer pressure. All the cool nerds were doing it, so I felt I had to join in. But I never liked it!

And I would be one kick booty ML manager.

Chip R
03-12-2008, 04:21 PM
And I would be one kick booty ML manager.


You'd have to wear pants.

Raisor
03-12-2008, 04:23 PM
You'd have to wear pants.

I would be the first ML manager to get to wear shorts, since my legs would raise the TV ratings so high because the ladies would all fall in love.

TRF
03-12-2008, 04:25 PM
I would be the first ML manager to get to wear shorts, since my legs would raise the TV ratings so high because the ladies would all fall in love.

i just threw up in my mouth. either that or I'm just aroused again.

camisadelgolf
03-12-2008, 04:29 PM
i just threw up in my mouth. either that or I'm just aroused again.

Oddly enough, your throwing up arouses me. :confused:

BRM
03-12-2008, 04:36 PM
i just threw up in my mouth. either that or I'm just aroused again.

Raisor causes vomiting and/or arousal in most people. It's just the way it is. Might have something to do with his love of the strikeout and all things Juan Castro.

Steve4192
03-12-2008, 04:41 PM
I would be the first ML manager to get to wear shorts, since my legs would raise the TV ratings so high because the ladies would all fall in love.

http://www.mopupduty.com/whitesox1976a.jpg

jojo
03-12-2008, 04:54 PM
I was making light of an old SNL routine where Al Franken on weekend update would give a "PSA" then follow it with "send your money to, me, Al Franken".

I know and I was making light of Antonio Banderas' best work (aka Shrek 2)

camisadelgolf
03-12-2008, 04:56 PM
http://www.mopupduty.com/whitesox1976a.jpg

Please tell me that after you read Raisor's post, you immediately got this image in your head and knew exactly where the image was located on the internet.

Raisor
03-12-2008, 05:04 PM
Please tell me that after you read Raisor's post, you immediately got this image in your head and knew exactly where the image was located on the internet.



Heck, after I made my post I immediately got that image in my head.

Was hoping everyone would forget it.

Steve4192
03-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Please tell me that after you read Raisor's post, you immediately got this image in your head and knew exactly where the image was located on the internet.

Yep.

That image has been burned into my retinas for over 30 years, it's about time it came in handy.

BoydsOfSummer
03-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Lance is having Joe Sheehan on his show tomorrow. The guy that sparked this...uh...entertaining thread.

Ltlabner
03-12-2008, 06:21 PM
That's a not a justification for head-in-the-sand thinking, I'm just saying that a qualified MLB manager needs detailed understanding of how to play professional baseball. Far as I can tell, being in the game is the only way to get that (either as a player or a longtime coach). Whatever macro good sense a complete outsider might bring to the job likely would get buried in a sea of micro the outsider was unequipped to handle.

Well said.

Because you are a solid plant manager of a durable goods manufacturing facility in no way prepares you to suddenly become a district sales manager, for example.

This whole idea that MLB managers don't have any specialized knowledge, that they really don't impact the game much beyond line-ups and pitching changes, and that generally dealing with actual human beings isn't all that important is just downright silly. It all gets back to the notion that people are utterly interchangeable and with just the right analysis and number crunching you can make the right choice every time. There's no "secret knowledge" in baseball, but there damn sure is a lot of knowledge about the game that unless you played or have been involved in the sport at a professional level you just woln't know. To pretend otherwise is pure arrogence.

It's the sort of thing that sounds very enlightened and slick on an internet forum and would simply crash and burn in most cases in the real world.

camisadelgolf
03-12-2008, 06:26 PM
One problem I have with all the Dusty Baker critics is that they so often fail to recognize Baker's biggest strength, which can't be measured in numbers: the morale of his players. I'm pretty sure that, on average, a happy player performs better than an unhappy player. Who knows how much of a difference that makes, but you never know--maybe it more-than-makes up for his bad baseball decisions and philosophies.

M2
03-12-2008, 06:51 PM
Lance is having Joe Sheehan on his show tomorrow. The guy that sparked this...uh...entertaining thread.

Will they be whizzing on each other's shoes? Or just acting like they're whizzing on each other's shoes?

Ltlabner
03-12-2008, 07:08 PM
If he puts the wrong guys on the field and/or in the lineup with regularity (which history shows he has done in the past), then no amount of clubhouse management can offset that.

How does that square with an above .500 winning percentage over a lot of baseball games?

My beefs with Dusty focus around his on-field management of players also, however, I wouldn't say "no amount" of clubhouse management can offset it since history has shown that it has.

And before you run down the path of "because we can't measure it, we can't give Dusty credit for it [meanging the clubhouse stuff]" I'd ask you this question: How many more games would have Dusty won if he had put the right lineups on the field more often? Or asked another way, how many games has his weakness in that area cost him?

Chip R
03-12-2008, 07:08 PM
I'm pretty sure that, on average, a happy player performs better than an unhappy player.


On average perhaps. But there are many players who play better ticked off. Then there's the popular school of thought that players who sign multi-year contracts don't play as well as players in the last year of their contracts because they don't have the motivation that they did in that last year when they were fighting for that deal. Some players are motivated to show a manager they hate that they can play well. I don't think Dusty's a protoptypical "nice guy" manager who will let players walk all over him. I think he can be tough when he needs to be.

But I don't care if Juan Castro's inhaling laughing gas, he's not going to be a better player than an angry Brandon Phillips.

BoydsOfSummer
03-12-2008, 07:12 PM
Will they be whizzing on each other's shoes? Or just acting like they're whizzing on each other's shoes?

I hope they both get wet. Now that's entertainment!

Ltlabner
03-12-2008, 07:22 PM
Yep. With sufficient preparation and the right team of coaches, a successful manager from another industry could likely do the job as well (if not better) than many of the MLB Managers currently holding jobs. The rest of the real world knows this as successful managers move between industries all the time because the core competencies translate.

A couple of thoughts...

1) A plant manager of a plant making toasters would likely be very sucessfull becoming a plant manager of a plant mixing chemicals. On that level I agree. The same plant manager would likely be a disaster, however, if they suddenly became the manager of a large hospital, sales force or finance department.

Staying in the same discipline, while mearly switching industires is as you describe. Switching disciplines and industries, not so much.

Again I reference Bob McNamera in the Viet Nam days. An utterly brillant man with anyltical/management skills out the wazoo. Successfull in business world but becomes the Secretary of Defence and is a complete disaster. Funny how those core competencies didn't make the jump with him to pentagon.

2) How much time does said field jumping manager get to become successfull? Switch industries and you'll likely get 6months to a year grace period (unless you are a total screw-up). I'm talking most normal job switching execs, not the hired gun's who are brought in specifically to turn a company around (in which case, they haven't left their industry at all).

The industry switching baseball manager fresh from the accounting department at P&G will get at most 162games of grace period. If the team struggles out of the gate that number starts to tick downward.

jojo
03-12-2008, 07:54 PM
I'm pretty sure that, on average, a happy player performs better than an unhappy player.

I wonder if a happy Bonds and Kent might've resulted in a few world championships for Dusty..... :cool:

GAC
03-12-2008, 08:17 PM
I should have been more specific, as far as the criticism he receives on Redszone, it doesn't exist. But, if Larkin boots a groundball in the NLCS in 1990, or if some mysterious fan robs Billy Hatcher of the opportunity to make a pivotal catch, is Sweet Lou known as Sweet Lou today?

If he never wins the title in 1990, how do people react to him leading a 116 win Mariners team that failed to win a World Series in 2001? I love Lou Piniella, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of sports fans.

I agree.

Regardless of the fact that he won a WS with the Reds back in '90, I have never been that high on Lou. He's been a manager whose been fortunate or one who has been "in the right place at the right time."

IMO, I see similarities in both Lou and Dusty, and it's one of the criticisms (or skepticism) I have with them, in that IMO they built (or rode) their success with teams that spent money/carried big payrolls. Look at the players they had.

Was Joe Torre that great of a manager, or was it the Yankee team that made him great? His managerial record prior to coming to the Yanks says differently.

Where has Lou (and Dusty) built teams? Lou left Seattle because he said they weren't spending enough to compete, even though their payroll was in the mid-90s. He then goes to TB, in which their FO was hoping he could help them build/turn their team around. I'm not putting all the blame on Lou, but that situation didn't work out too well.

And when there was talk of trying to get him to come back to Cincy I knew it would never happen. It's not the right situation for him. It's not the same game it was in 1990.

Where did he go? To a team (city) named Chicago that is spending large sums of money.

I'm no Baker fan. But I have resigned myself to the fact that there isn't much any of us can do about it, and we want him to succeed here. But I am still skeptical.

SteelSD
03-12-2008, 08:20 PM
How would you know if you had the right group of coaches? You aren't qualified to judge.

How would you know if a coach was doing a good job? You have no reference point from your own personal experience.

The list of obvious reasons why it isn't done is endless.

Using your logic, a baseball team couldn't be built. How do owners who've never been MLB General Managers hire MLB GM's? How do GM's who've never been MLB baseball Players or Managers hire MLB Managers? How do MLB Managers who've never been Pitchers or Pitching Coaches hire, in conjunction with GM's who've never Pitched, Managed, or Coached, hire MLB Pitching Coaches?

Regardless of my own knowledge level (which you aren't qualified to judge), the kind of stuff you're saying "isn't done" is actually done all the time.


Boston has probably the most progressive owner in MLB in John Henry. He's a guy who made millions using statistical analysis in his field. Why didn't he chose this method of hiring a manager? I'm sure he knows a bunch of guys smarter than Terry Francona who totally buy into sabermetrics and advanced statistical analysis.

How many games of professional baseball did John Henry play in, coach, or manage prior to his foray into professional baseball ownership? How many prior to choosing his first GM or Manager?

If Henry had no experience as a GM or Manager, how how was he able to hire them? How did he know if his GM or Manager are doing a good job?

Baseball FAN buys baseball team and hires baseball people who have more experience in baseball and more specialized knowledge of their roles than he does.

How the heck did that happen?

As for your comment on sabermetrics, I think you've dramatically miscalculated my preference for Managers. I don't actually care if a team's Manager is slanted toward sabermetrics or not. I only care that the Manager not say or do too many dumb things. After all, understanding the importance of "OBP" isn't a terribly "sabermetric" concept.


The reason it's not done is that it's ridiculous, and would only be discussed on a message board like this, not in real life.

Obtuse is the right word, by the way. It's just pointed in the wrong direction.

What's ridiculous is the idea that someone who doesn't know more than a specialist can't possibly find the kind of specialists he needs in order to put together a successful team.

Happens all the time in both the real world and the baseball world.

Ltlabner
03-12-2008, 08:40 PM
What's ridiculous is the idea that someone who doesn't know more than a specialist can't possibly find the kind of specialists he needs in order to put together a successful team.

And in over a hundred years of baseball history the people who have switched jobs from the business world (say managing a sales team for a fortune 500 consumer products company) right into being a MLB manager are...................?

As we get further back I'm sure there are examples as the game was just starting up and you have to start somewhere, but in the modern era shouldn't the list of people making this leap be huge?

I mean, if it happens all the time, and baseball teams are generally owned by people with some business background, there ought to be someone out there who made the switch from the business world right into MLB managing and had big success right?

M2
03-12-2008, 08:43 PM
What's ridiculous is the idea that someone who doesn't know more than a specialist can't possibly find the kind of specialists he needs in order to put together a successful team.

Happens all the time in both the real world and the baseball world.

Though there's only so much you can delegate. At some point you've got to be able to deal directly with the folks under your direct command.

RFS62
03-12-2008, 11:06 PM
Using your logic, a baseball team couldn't be built. How do owners who've never been MLB General Managers hire MLB GM's? How do GM's who've never been MLB baseball Players or Managers hire MLB Managers? How do MLB Managers who've never been Pitchers or Pitching Coaches hire, in conjunction with GM's who've never Pitched, Managed, or Coached, hire MLB Pitching Coaches?



I believe I was talking about RMR with those examples. Are you really comparing that with a MLB manager choosing a pitching coach or a GM choosing a manager? There's quite a talent pool out there to chose from you know.... without hitting the message boards for their best talent.



What's ridiculous is the idea that someone who doesn't know more than a specialist can't possibly find the kind of specialists he needs in order to put together a successful team.

Happens all the time in both the real world and the baseball world.


Again, this discussion was about a very smart guy on a message board stepping up and managing a team in MLB.

Never happens in the real world.

Never will.

SteelSD
03-12-2008, 11:27 PM
And in over a hundred years of baseball history the people who have switched jobs from the business world (say managing a sales team for a fortune 500 consumer products company) right into being a MLB manager are...................?

As we get further back I'm sure there are examples as the game was just starting up and you have to start somewhere, but in the modern era shouldn't the list of people making this leap be huge?

I mean, if it happens all the time, and baseball teams are generally owned by people with some business background, there ought to be someone out there who made the switch from the business world right into MLB managing and had big success right?

You're confusing "hasn't" with "can't". Things that "hadn't" happened that have since 2000:

A GM hired at age 28 wins two World Series titles.

An eccentric baseball message board poster is hired by a team owner who frequents the site on which he posts.

A 21-year old kid who came up with possibly the most revolutionary pitching analysis concept of all time gets hired by a MLB team to consult with their front office.

A fan who starts an anti-establishment self-published periodical is hired by one of his readers and ends up with two World Series rings.

And that's the activity of ONE team. You know the team. We all do.

The times they are a' changin'.

Believe it or not, a woman has now interviewed for a General Manager position. That happened in 2005. Really, it happened. Are you going to suggest that Kim Ng can't possibly evaluate the performance of her Manager and coaches? That she can't possibly work in conjunction with a GM and Manager on player analysis and acquisition? If she's qualified, then she's qualified even if she's never worn a nut cup.

Right now, the only argument I'm seeing against my position is that which relies on an over-dependence on conventional baseball wisdom. Hire from within because no one outside could possibly do the job. Yet, in 2005, one of the people participating in this thread posted the following passage (one that I agree with, BTW) while commenting on what they would have done had they been the Manager at the time:


Conventional baseball wisdom. Right up there with military intelligence.

I'll let everyone figure out who said that.

SteelSD
03-13-2008, 12:00 AM
I believe I was talking about RMR with those examples. Are you really comparing that with a MLB manager choosing a pitching coach or a GM choosing a manager? There's quite a talent pool out there to chose from you know.... without hitting the message boards for their best talent.

I was only responding to your page 9 response to me. Not sure where the disconnect is here.

When you have a completely inbred talent pool, the smart move is to look outside if you're looking to make an evolutionary leap.


Again, this discussion was about a very smart guy on a message board stepping up and managing a team in MLB.

Never happens in the real world.

Never will.

While I understand that's what you see, I disagree that this is all the discussion has been about. From where I sit, the discussion is about whether or not some talented people from outside the game could possibly step in to successfully manage a MLB team. I don't see that as being impossible or even exceptionally difficult, especially as you agreed to (in your Page 9 response to Steve) the concept that 90% of the Managerial function is to manage the clubhouse.

Seems to me that if it's a 90% personnel management/10% lineup and game management split, then the job should be a lot easier than folks are letting on.

And frankly, if that 90/10 split is anywhere near reality, then MLB teams need to start looking outside the game for Managers just as they've been looking outside the game for other help.

Never say never.

RFS62
03-13-2008, 12:14 AM
I was only responding to your page 9 response to me. Not sure where the disconnect is here.


Yeah, you're right. My bad. I'd still say the same to you or Rick, however. Both of you are very smart guys who have forgotten more about statistical analysis than I'll ever know. Neither of you will ever manage an inning in MLB.

That's not an insult, BTW. Just my opinion.

SteelSD
03-13-2008, 12:32 AM
Yeah, you're right. My bad. I'd still say the same to you or Rick, however. Both of you are very smart guys who have forgotten more about statistical analysis than I'll ever know. Neither of you will ever manage an inning in MLB.

That's not an insult, BTW. Just my opinion.

I agree. I'll never manage an Inning of Major League Baseball.

Still, doesn't mean that someone like me or someone smarter than me couldn't.

Yet, could you or I manage a single Inning of professional ball?

Yeah. I'd say we could. :cool:

IslandRed
03-13-2008, 02:11 AM
From where I sit, the discussion is about whether or not some talented people from outside the game could possibly step in to successfully manage a MLB team. I don't see that as being impossible or even exceptionally difficult, especially as you agreed to (in your Page 9 response to Steve) the concept that 90&#37; of the Managerial function is to manage the clubhouse.

Seems to me that if it's a 90% personnel management/10% lineup and game management split, then the job should be a lot easier than folks are letting on.

I have to disagree. Not that it's impossible, but I think managing the clubhouse would be extremely difficult. Seems to me like any outsider-type, as we were discussing, would start in a huge credibility hole. Baseball being the insular society it is, the people in the clubhouse wouldn't respect him, they wouldn't believe he deserved his job, they especially wouldn't believe he was fit to tell them anything about how to play baseball. He'd have to earn baseball cred at lightning speed, or somehow figure out a way to lead people who aren't following. Neither strikes me as a remotely easy task.

mth123
03-13-2008, 07:00 AM
I've been reading this thread and a chat with Joe Sheehan on BP. I must say that I concur with some of the points about Dusty and they have me a little concerned. I too did not have Dusty anywhere on my list of Managers that I wanted the Reds to hire, but Sheehan strikes me as a guy on the brink of taking his position to the extremes and is hurting his own credibility as a result. IMO, he's going the way of Howard Cosell, Sports Talk Radio and ESPN. Take your pick of examples of things that were good at the beginning and soured when they got caught up in there own aura. BP's "attitude" is starting to detract from the content there. They really pushed the envelope of baseball analysis and they have added much insight to the game, but the articles and opinions are becoming unreadable IMO. Will Carroll and several of the others there strike me the same way. I probably won't renew my subscription.

mth123
03-13-2008, 07:01 AM
I have to disagree. Not that it's impossible, but I think managing the clubhouse would be extremely difficult. Seems to me like any outsider-type, as we were discussing, would start in a huge credibility hole. Baseball being the insular society it is, the people in the clubhouse wouldn't respect him, they wouldn't believe he deserved his job, they especially wouldn't believe he was fit to tell them anything about how to play baseball. He'd have to earn baseball cred at lightning speed, or somehow figure out a way to lead people who aren't following. Neither strikes me as a remotely easy task.

I agree with this.

Ltlabner
03-13-2008, 09:24 AM
A 21-year old kid who came up with possibly the most revolutionary pitching analysis concept of all time gets hired by a MLB team to consult with their front office.

That would be interesting if it had any relevance to a business manager walking in off the street and managing an MLB team disussion. When that same 21 year old kid dons a uni & a perch in the dougout, and leads a team to the WS with his wizbang pitching analysis then you might have something.

Otherwise the assertion that any manager, from any discipline, from any industry could waltz into an MLB clubhouse and race to success is patently silly. By that "logic" if a team hires a consultant to discuss how to improve the hotdog vending situation, he could dash down to the dougout between innings and run the show.

I love the "hey, I read it in a book, so I can do it" crowd. Of corse, these days its "hey, I created a spreadsheet about it, so I can do it".

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 09:38 AM
I have to disagree. Not that it's impossible, but I think managing the clubhouse would be extremely difficult. Seems to me like any outsider-type, as we were discussing, would start in a huge credibility hole. Baseball being the insular society it is, the people in the clubhouse wouldn't respect him, they wouldn't believe he deserved his job, they especially wouldn't believe he was fit to tell them anything about how to play baseball. He'd have to earn baseball cred at lightning speed, or somehow figure out a way to lead people who aren't following. Neither strikes me as a remotely easy task.

How do you think this lack of respect would manifest itself? Would guys slack off? Would they show up late? Would they just be unfocused?

Not that I disagree with the premise, but on a day to day basis, do professional athletes really need a baby sitter? I would think that the majority of guys simply aren't very effected one way or the other.

lollipopcurve
03-13-2008, 09:45 AM
How do you think this lack of respect would manifest itself? Would guys slack off? Would they show up late? Would they just be unfocused?

Not that I disagree with the premise, but on a day to day basis, do professional athletes really need a baby sitter? I would think that the majority of guys simply aren't very effected one way or the other.

The manager would be ignored a lot and disrespected openly. He or she or it would become isolated and it would quickly become apparent within the organization that he or she or it had "lost the team" (and needed a ride home).

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 09:46 AM
The manager would be ignored a lot and disrespected openly. He or she or it would become isolated and it would quickly become apparent within the organization that he or she or it had "lost the team" (and needed a ride home).

Again, I don't see how those platitudes turn in to losses. Ok, they don't respect the manager. Does that mean Adam Dunn hits only .230 with 25 homers? (hyperbole alert)...

lollipopcurve
03-13-2008, 09:54 AM
Again, I don't see how those platitudes turn in to losses. Ok, they don't respect the manager. Does that mean Adam Dunn hits only .230 with 25 homers? (hyperbole alert)...

This is impossible. You clearly do not understand the role of any number of human factors, qualitative by nature, when it comes to the functioning of a social organism.

dabvu2498
03-13-2008, 10:06 AM
Here's an example of how that could manifest itself...

Player is underperforming. Player needs to be demoted, taken out of the lineup, moved down in the lineup, taken out of the rotation, etc., etc., etc.

I don't know that someone from the "outside" would be adequately prepared to assist that player in accepting and adjusting to that change. Not that guys from the "inside" get it right either. But certainly Dusty Baker, who was demoted, shuffled, etc. himself, is better prepared to deal with that than Joe Schmo off the street.

There's an element in baseball that those on the inside, particularly on the field, must deal with that people in other industries don't have to face nearly as often: failure.

I think there's a completely different mindset when dealing with people who are "successful" if their failure rate is only 65&#37; (.350 OBP).

jojo
03-13-2008, 10:23 AM
Here's something to chew on concerning the importance/impact of the motivational aspects of the manager's job....

Ken Macha was essentially run out of Oakland by his players after the 2006 season as their hatred for him spilled into the media and it became an issue that couldn't be ignored.

Oakland's record that season: 93-69 and the As were division champs (swept Minnesota).

bucksfan2
03-13-2008, 10:24 AM
Here's an example of how that could manifest itself...

Player is underperforming. Player needs to be demoted, taken out of the lineup, moved down in the lineup, taken out of the rotation, etc., etc., etc.

I don't know that someone from the "outside" would be adequately prepared to assist that player in accepting and adjusting to that change. Not that guys from the "inside" get it right either. But certainly Dusty Baker, who was demoted, shuffled, etc. himself, is better prepared to deal with that than Joe Schmo off the street.

There's an element in baseball that those on the inside, particularly on the field, must deal with that people in other industries don't have to face nearly as often: failure.

I think there's a completely different mindset when dealing with people who are "successful" if their failure rate is only 65% (.350 OBP).

I will take it one step furter. An aging superstar needs to be moved from CF to RF. Everyone sees it but the superstar. The demands of his position are creating an inverse reaction to his production. Two managers and how many years did it take for Jr. to get moved from CF to RF? What if Dusty were the manager here 4 years ago? Is the Jr transition a little easier? He is more respected by the player as a manager than Boone, Miley or Narron were.

Another example is with Soriano. The Nats felt that the team would be better with Soriano in the outfield. Soriano said no until Frank Robinson (one of baseball's great and a well respected mind in baseball) said you either play OF or you don't play. Again a lesser manager couldn't do that and your average Joe cant do that. It takes a well respected manager to make the superstars see value in a decison they don't like.

M2
03-13-2008, 10:27 AM
Again, I don't see how those platitudes turn in to losses. Ok, they don't respect the manager. Does that mean Adam Dunn hits only .230 with 25 homers? (hyperbole alert)...

You don't see how a group of frustrated players could lose sight of what they need to be doing during the game?

westofyou
03-13-2008, 10:32 AM
Here's something to chew on concerning the importance/impact of the motivational aspects of the manager's job....

Ken Macha was essentially run out of Oakland by his players after the 2006 season as their hatred for him spilled into the media and it became an issue that couldn't be ignored.

Oakland's record that season: 93-69 and the As were division champs (swept Minnesota).

Micro moment.. I can pull ten out of my hat that counteract that

What about the Cleveland Crybabies?

or the lack of respect John Boles garnered or Tim Johnson.

Hated also were guys like Hornsby and Vern Rapp... others like Joe Adcock failed in garnering enough respect to enjoy the job and be successful

IslandRed
03-13-2008, 10:49 AM
How do you think this lack of respect would manifest itself? Would guys slack off? Would they show up late? Would they just be unfocused?

All of the above, probably. If you read Ball Four, you probably remember Bouton's comments about the difference in the team when managed by Ralph Houk versus Johnny Keane. And if you've watched the NBA in the last decade, you absolutely know that a team can sabotage a coach right out of his chair.


Not that I disagree with the premise, but on a day to day basis, do professional athletes really need a baby sitter? I would think that the majority of guys simply aren't very effected one way or the other.

In a perfect world, players wouldn't even need managing. You could manage the team from the press box and never even venture into the clubhouse. But that's not the way real teams and real social dynamics work. You know how fine the line is between success and failure in baseball. Maybe the majority of guys aren't affected one way or the other... but the minority, and the wiggle room in "one way or the other," can sink a team. Particularly if the guys involved are the best players. And they usually are.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 11:15 AM
All of the above, probably. If you read Ball Four, you probably remember Bouton's comments about the difference in the team when managed by Ralph Houk versus Johnny Keane. And if you've watched the NBA in the last decade, you absolutely know that a team can sabotage a coach right out of his chair.

I have read Ball Four. I don't remember those specific points, but would again draw the distinction between player happiness and player performance. The guys might be miserable, but do they perform differently?

More than any other sport, Basketball is about team chemistry is thus more prone the influence of a coach or a sing player. With a smaller number of players on the court, the influence of one bad-egg skyrockets immensely (an angry Bonds can't take away at bats from Kent) and the influence of a single great player is significantly moreso than in baseball (it's pretty much impossible to take over a game in baseball).

I also see the whole talent/coach issue. Flip Saunders was labeled a playoff coach but not a championship one when he was in Minnesota. He moves to a more talented Detriot squad and suddenly he's a better coach?



In a perfect world, players wouldn't even need managing. You could manage the team from the press box and never even venture into the clubhouse. But that's not the way real teams and real social dynamics work. You know how fine the line is between success and failure in baseball. Maybe the majority of guys aren't affected one way or the other... but the minority, and the wiggle room in "one way or the other," can sink a team. Particularly if the guys involved are the best players. And they usually are.

Again, I'm not disagreeing with the basic premise. I tend to think that people tend to perform better when properly motivated. But I don't think the impact is as great as some people believe. I find it interesting that we keep going back to the same platitudes and can't seem to link happiness/motivation/chemsitry/etc to actually performing better. Does being unhappy make your contact rate drop? Does it make you run slower? Does it make you get a worse jump on a ball?

And then even if we could prove a correlation, I have to wonder which way the arrow really points. I can't recall too many champions with bad chemistry. But is that because having bad chemistry makes it really hard to win, or is it because winning cures all ills?

westofyou
03-13-2008, 11:22 AM
More than any other sport, Basketball is about team chemistry i

More than Hockey?

Probably not, otherwise teams with 2 good players and an average bench wouldn't do so good.

bucksfan2
03-13-2008, 11:44 AM
Again, I'm not disagreeing with the basic premise. I tend to think that people tend to perform better when properly motivated. But I don't think the impact is as great as some people believe. I find it interesting that we keep going back to the same platitudes and can't seem to link happiness/motivation/chemsitry/etc to actually performing better. Does being unhappy make your contact rate drop? Does it make you run slower? Does it make you get a worse jump on a ball?


People do perform better when they are properly motivated. There is no doubt about it. This is something a computer can't tell you. Its something that you must learn and develop with you players. Some guys perform best when their pissed off. Some people perform best when they are happy. What is best for one person is not the best for another. You need to take 25 different players and personalitles and mold them into one team. That is a daunting task.

One thing I look to are slumps. Why someone slumps and how they get out of a slump. Obviously in a slump your confidence is gone. Sometimes they can be something mechanical that is a tick off but others they can be a mental block. The player itself doesn't change just the performance. If you look at a baseball season as an aggregate sum you don't see the highs and lows in a season. What a manager does can effect those highs and lows.

RANDY IN INDY
03-13-2008, 11:54 AM
Baseball is a game of failure. Part of being a major league player is knowing that, and learning to deal with it and keep things in perspective. A manager or coach can play a premium role in helping players deal with the highs and lows that inevitably are going to surface in a 162 game season. Even the best players are going to slump at times. Being able to accept that and having the support and confidence to work out of it is a major factor in being successful at the games highest level.

M2
03-13-2008, 11:57 AM
But I do find it interesting that we keep going back to the same platitudes and can't seem to link happiness/motivation/chemsitry/etc to actually performing better.

I've never cared for "chemisty" myself. Seems to me it's generally better when a team is winning and worse when it isn't. Yet it's got little to do with the larger question of can you help your direct charges do their jobs? I submit that if you don't really understand the mechanics of the job and the pressure points that come with it, then, at best, your employees will view you as useless.

If, when a player is having a issue, you're always insisting he needs to speak to someone else, then you're not managing. You might be taking care of the game issues (e.g. tending to the roster, lineup and game decisions), but you wouldn't be managing your club. You'd be more like a GM proxy. There's a big difference between being able to manage a game (something pretty much anyone could do) and manage a team. The latter will require you to be of some direct use to your players.

If you're not, then you need coaches to fill the void in your skills (adding a layer of bureacracy between manager and player, currently coaches function more as support staff) or players to be self-correcting. If neither happens, then I guarantee what you'll have is a team being undone by entropy. Forget about happiness/motivation/chemistry/etc., the club will be plagued by the host of problems you don't know how to address. That's not peculiar to baseball. It would happen anyplace where the management is oblivious to the job needs of the workforce.

So I can see where a manager who can't really manage would be able to sit at the helm of a perpetual motion machine and handle the game decisions, but if the team requires handling then that non-manager would be exposed in short order.

dabvu2498
03-13-2008, 11:57 AM
Basketball is actually the one sport where a non-ex-player has had some success recently as a head coach.

Lawrence Frank of the NJ Nets. They suck this year to be sure.

Based on his pedigree I'm not sure I'd label him an "outsider" though.

jojo
03-13-2008, 12:12 PM
Micro moment.. I can pull ten out of my hat that counteract that

What about the Cleveland Crybabies?

or the lack of respect John Boles garnered or Tim Johnson.

Hated also were guys like Hornsby and Vern Rapp... others like Joe Adcock failed in garnering enough respect to enjoy the job and be successful

John Boles managed the 1996 Marlins to a 45-40 record. He again managed them in 1999 inheriting a horrid 55 win post-fire sale Marlins squad to a 64-98 record and under his helm the following year, the Marlins further improved another 15 games. Then a journeyman reliever, Micelli, began popping off about Boles' not having played in the majors and Boles was fired after a 22-27 record. That year the Marlins finished with a 76-86 record (a winning percentage of .469 which was not significantly different that Boles' .448 during that season). Boles' inability "to garner respect" could hardly be used as an argument against his managerial performance.

Concerning Tim Johnson, he had a 88-74 record as a major league manager with Toronto. He was fired less because of how he handled the clubhouse and more for the media firestorm that was caused by revelations of his Vietnam lies the following off season.

The Cleveland Crybabies managed an 89-65 record in 1940 beating they pythag record by 4 wins. BTW, Ossie Witt had a .570 winning percentage as a major league manager even though he was essentially hated by his players from day one. In 1941, the Indians finished 4 games under .500 with their new manager.

It's true that the Cards hated Rapp but somehow they managed to finish 11 games better in 1977 than they did the previous year with their beloved Schoendienst. Rapp was fired after less than 20 games into the '78 season but his removal in favor of a more "clubhouse friendly" environment didn't do anything to remove the stink from the performance of a bad Cards roster (they finished with 93 losses).

Meanwhile, the 2006 As overachieved despite the fact that their manager was hated by his players.

Though intuitive, the "respect" effect isn't nearly so cut and dry in practice.

westofyou
03-13-2008, 12:16 PM
Boles' inability "to garner respect" could hardly be used as an argument against his managerial performance.

But if he got more than he would have stuck around as would have Vitt.

You have to work with the players and when you don't they get that and can get you canned.. as it has happened numerous times.

blumj
03-13-2008, 12:52 PM
As things change, peoples' attitudes change along with them. Baseball players are people. Well, some people don't change, but they're mostly people who are too old to be players, or will be soon enough.

lollipopcurve
03-13-2008, 01:11 PM
So I can see where a manager who can't really manage would be able to sit at the helm of a perpetual motion machine and handle the game decisions, but if the team requires handling then that non-manager would be exposed in short order.

Yeah, perpetual motion is right. A traveling circus of dozens of young men, some of whom are newly rich, a multicultural mix, families and hangers-on, pressures on and off the field, for 7-8 months.

I'm gonna guess that team would require some "handling."

And it's not just the team. It's the organization, the press and the fans. All of whom have needs that must be handled.

gonelong
03-13-2008, 01:26 PM
I have read Ball Four. I don't remember those specific points, but would again draw the distinction between player happiness and player performance. The guys might be miserable, but do they perform differently?

You seem to be looking for a formula where happiness = 5 Ws. You aren't going to find a reliable one, however, I can say that it matters beyond a shadow of a doubt. Employees that are happy, content, confident, and focused on a goal will outperform those with similar skills that are not. I see it firsthand on a daily basis.

Employee A is happy, content, confident, and focused on a goal.
Employee B is not happy with his situation at work.

As a general trend, Employee A will stay 1/2 hour later to finish something so Employee C has it the next morning. Employee A will help maintain/lift the moral of other employees. Employee A will volunteer to help out new Employee D with a specific problem they are having.

As a general trend, Employee B will will not care if Employee C is ready to go or not, it's 5:00 and he's heading home. Employee B will work to recruit other employees so he has someone to share in his misery. Employee B is not helping Employee D, let him do his own work.

Employee A not only performs better himself, his performance and willingness to help others allows the rest of the team to perform better as well. Employee B not only performs worse himself, it's darn near his mission to make sure he pulls others down to his level.

Employee A can become Employee B overnight. Employee B can become Employee A, but it takes an extended period of time to make the transition.

"The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided." - Casey Stengel


Again, I'm not disagreeing with the basic premise. I tend to think that people tend to perform better when properly motivated. But I don't think the impact is as great as some people believe. I find it interesting that we keep going back to the same platitudes and can't seem to link happiness/motivation/chemsitry/etc to actually performing better. Does being unhappy make your contact rate drop? Does it make you run slower? Does it make you get a worse jump on a ball?

I think you are grossly underestimating the impact. I see it firsthand and from my experience it's very powerful.

Given Employee A and Employee B above, who do you think would prepare for a season, series, or game better? Who is more likely to watch video of the next days pitcher? Who is more likely to go grab his double-play partner and work on perfecting the turn for balls up the middle? Who is more likely to mentor a younger players? Who is more likely to listen to the advice a vet dispenses? Who is more likely to work out hard over the off-season? Who is more likely to help recruit a Free Agent to the team? Who is more likely to resign with the team.

Who is more likely to work with the manager to let a rookie know that he doesn't have to drink all the beer in the city by the end of the month?

Which of these guys is more likely to let the rookie play against the tought left-hander and "rest his hamstring"?

Which of these guys is more likely to miss a sign for a suicide squeeze?

Who do you think is more likely to be padding their stats in hopes of scoring a big contract next season?

When people talk of the little things, this is what I suspect they are referring to. An extra single here, an extra K there, a successful double play instead of only 1 out, a successful suicide squeeze instead of an out at the plate. While any one of these may not mean alot by themselves (though any one of them could be the difference between a W or an L for a single game), all together over the course of a season I have no doubt they mean something. If nothing else they help to keep more Employee As and defend from accumulating more Employee Bs.


And then even if we could prove a correlation, I have to wonder which way the arrow really points. I can't recall too many champions with bad chemistry. But is that because having bad chemistry makes it really hard to win, or is it because winning cures all ills?

Winning makes lots of things tolerable, while losing makes lots of things intolerable. I'll readily agree chemistry is overblown to some degree. Again, I have no doubt that the happiness of the employees as a whole is a tangible asset, though pretty much impossible to quantify.

If you want it in an equation form, here it is.

Big Things (talent) > Little Things (attitude, preperation, focus, etc.)

Big Things - Little Things < Big Things

Big Things + Little Things > Big Things

(Big Things + Little Things) > (Big Things - Little Things)

GL

dougdirt
03-13-2008, 01:41 PM
I think you are grossly underestimating the impact. I see it firsthand and from my experience it's very powerful.


Your employees aren't likely to see 50% increases in their salary based on how they perform either. That is the big difference I see between professional athletes being 'happy' versus every day professionals being 'happy'. For every Randy Moss (not happy and playing like it) there are likely a whole lot more playing a lot better to get paid and get out of there.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 01:47 PM
I'm not looking for a "happiness = wins" case, just a "happiness = better play" of any type case -- which you've provided. It's not that I doubt the relationship exists. It's that if it does exist and is a signficant thing, then it likely would be something we could measure in some way. That we can't quantify it at all suggests to me that the effect is probably not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved (talent, playing time/usage, strategy, and health) -- all of which we can measure. That's the real core of my contention.

What follows is your formula, which I buy 100&#37;. I get worried when people seem to talk as if Big Things = Little things, excusing mismanagement of the former due to good managment of the latter. I contend that no amount of happiness can make up for 400 Jay Bruce at bats going to Corey Patterson, 40 Brad Salmon innings going to Gary Majewski, etc.

I think we agree that in order to be successful, we should do both well. With Dusty, we're pretty confident that we're going to do the "Little Things" well. The question is about the "Big Things" -- and his quotes about those things don't inspire confidence.

traderumor
03-13-2008, 01:54 PM
I agree. I'll never manage an Inning of Major League Baseball.

Still, doesn't mean that someone like me or someone smarter than me couldn't.

Yet, could you or I manage a single Inning of professional ball?

Yeah. I'd say we could. :cool:That wasn't the argument. Billy Crystal is hitting leadoff today for the Yankees. Rick's claim was that he could manage a certain team to a pennant, not just a "single Inning (sic) of professional ball". I imagine if Bill Veeck or Charlie O. were still around, there would be a greater chance of that happening.

gonelong
03-13-2008, 01:56 PM
Your employees aren't likely to see 50% increases in their salary based on how they perform either.

I've seen it happen here, and 20-30% increase in salary in a years time is not all that rare either.

I make over 3 times more than I was hired in at, and I am in no way an outlier at my place of employement. At one point my salary doubled in a two year span, a 50% increase followed by a 30% increase.


That is the big difference I see between professional athletes being 'happy' versus every day professionals being 'happy'. For every Randy Moss (not happy and playing like it) there are likely a whole lot more playing a lot better to get paid and get out of there.

No matter how much money you make, you are still a human being, and what you do has an affect on the team as a whole.

Randy Moss is an extreme example (but a good one) of an Employee B being converted over to an Employee A.

GL

traderumor
03-13-2008, 01:58 PM
I'm not looking for a "happiness = wins" case. Just a "happiness = better play" of any type case. It's not that I doubt the relationship exists. It's that if it does exist and is a signficant thing, then it likely would be something we could measure in some way. That we can't quantify it at all suggests to me that the effect is probably not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved (talent, playing time, usage, and health) -- all of which we can measure. That's the real core of my contention.

What follows is your formula, which I buy 100&#37;. I get worried when people seem to talk as if Big Things = Little things, excusing mismanagement of the former due to good managment of the latter. I contend that no amount of happiness can make up for 400 Jay Bruce at bats going to Corey Patterson, 40 Brad Salmon innings going to Gary Majewski, etc.

I think we agree that in order to be successful, we should do both well. With Dusty, we're pretty confident that we're going to do the "Little Things" well. The question is about the "Big Things" -- and his quotes about those things don't inspire confidence.No one hesitates to attribute part of Alex Gonzalez' error problem last year to his ill son. Personal matters WILL affect performance, whether it be positive or negative. Likewise, having no confidence in your leader will affect performance because it will impact one's mental condition. Also, just because one cannot give an exact quantity does not mean that any attribute should be ignored or minimized.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 02:06 PM
That wasn't the argument. Billy Crystal is hitting leadoff today for the Yankees. Rick's claim was that he could manage a certain team to a pennant, not just a "single Inning (sic) of professional ball". I imagine if Bill Veeck or Charlie O. were still around, there would be a greater chance of that happening.

FWIW, my basic approach to doing this is in the manner Steel implied -- managing a staff of people who do the actual coaching/managing of players.

Coaches would teach skills. A clubhouse manager would deal with personal issues. I'd consult with them and make myself available to the players as necessary, but I wouldn't try to do it all myself. Maybe that's just as naive, but given the stakes involved, I'm flabbergasted by how thin the management structure appears to be in major league organizations.

lollipopcurve
03-13-2008, 02:09 PM
Coaches would teach skills. A clubhouse manager would deal with personal issues. I'd consult with them and make myself available to the players as necessary, but I wouldn't try to do it all myself. Maybe that's just as naive, but given the stakes involved, I'm flabbergasted by how thin the management structure appears to be in major league organizations.

what value would you be adding?

pedro
03-13-2008, 02:10 PM
what value would you be adding?

He'd be the one that was smarter than everyone else ;)

gonelong
03-13-2008, 02:14 PM
I'm not looking for a "happiness = wins" case, just a "happiness = better play" of any type case -- which you've provided. It's not that I doubt the relationship exists. It's that if it does exist and is a signficant thing, then it likely would be something we could measure in some way. That we can't quantify it at all suggests to me that the effect is probably not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved (talent, playing time, usage, and health) -- all of which we can measure. That's the real core of my contention.

Quantify Love for me. You can't. Does that also suggest that the effect is not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved in someones life (occupation, salary, net worth, health, location) -- all of which you can measure.

Should you just ignore love and concentrate on the interest rate of your mortgage, budget, MPG, and cholesterol level? Those are things you can measure and optimize, right?

(side note: This is an interesting discusssion I am enjoying quite a bit. Nothing personal in the least with any of these comments, and I can assure you I am not wound up about this discussion at all. I'll revisit this one around the fire with my nieghbor somethime this summer, between sips of Woodford Reserve and puffs of Gurkhas)


What follows is your formula, which I buy 100&#37;. I get worried when people seem to talk as if Big Things = Little things, excusing mismanagement of the former due to good managment of the latter. I contend that no amount of happiness can make up for 400 Jay Bruce at bats going to Corey Patterson, 40 Brad Salmon innings going to Gary Majewski, etc.

I'd agree on the surface. However, we have no real right to expect that Bruce's first 400 ABs + CF defense will be better than Corey Patterson's. He wouldn't be the first guy to come up and struggle a bit. (How will Bruce adjust to the adjustments made to him? We have no idea as he flew through AA and AAA before that became a factor. He has not learned to make those adjustments and he might not be able to make those adjustments at this time.) Would you bet your job on Bruce being able to outperform Patterson right out of the gate? Seriously?


I think we agree that in order to be successful, we should do both well. With Dusty, we're pretty confident that we're going to do the "Little Things" well. The question is about the "Big Things" -- and his quotes about those things don't inspire confidence.

In many cases, the "Big Things" are a matter of opinion. Bruce over Patterson for 400 ABs? Thats an opinion at this point, and one probably a bit more concerned about this season than the next 2-3. (For the record I'd take Bruce and my chances.) That same type of decision will need to be made with Cueto, Baily, and Volzquez as well. The correct Big Thing decision might be to leave Baily and Bruce in AAA (even if it means 5 more losses THIS season.)

GL

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 02:15 PM
He'd be the one that was smarter than everyone else ;)

Hey, somebody's got to do it :D

jojo
03-13-2008, 02:15 PM
I'm not looking for a "happiness = wins" case. Just a "happiness = better play" of any type case. It's not that I doubt the relationship exists. It's that if it does exist and is a signficant thing, then it likely would be something we could measure in some way. That we can't quantify it at all suggests to me that the effect is probably not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved (talent, playing time, usage, and health) -- all of which we can measure. That's the real core of my contention.

What follows is your formula, which I buy 100%. I get worried when people seem to talk as if Big Things = Little things, excusing mismanagement of the former due to good managment of the latter. I contend that no amount of happiness can make up for 400 Jay Bruce at bats going to Corey Patterson, 40 Brad Salmon innings going to Gary Majewski, etc.

I think we agree that in order to be successful, we should do both well. With Dusty, we're pretty confident that we're going to do the "Little Things" well. The question is about the "Big Things" -- and his quotes about those things don't inspire confidence.

I think this generally does a nice job of summing up the counter position to the "managing the clubhouse has a substantial impact" stance.

That said, suggesting the impact of an effect is likely small since the effect can't be measured glosses over an important point-before we say an effect can't be measured, do we even know how?

I think trying to quantify the effect a manager has on his team's performance through his ability to manage the clubhouse is analogous to trying to quantify the job a pitching coach has done with his staff. I wouldn't even begin to know how to separate his actual impact from the myriad of other inputs that also influence how a team performs.

Because of that I think the best we can do is peck around the periphery of this issue using personnel anecdotes and educated opinion.

My personal view is that talent trumps the manager and the manager's impact on team performance in general is fairly small (or at least large swings aren't repeatable).

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 02:26 PM
Quantify Love for me. You can't. Does that also suggest that the effect is not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved in someones life (occupation, salary, net worth, health, location) -- all of which you can measure. Should you just ignore love and concentrate on the interest rate of your mortgage, budget, MPG, and cholesterol level? Those are things you can measure and optimize.

Except that I can. Take a set of couples who say they are in love and then take a set of two random people. Calculate the odds are that they live together. Calculate the odds are that they are married, etc. There are some very clear, very measurable outcomes when love is involved. Certain activities shoot and statuses shoot through the roof for the in love couples compared to the randomly select couples who fit the same demographic profile.



I'd agree on the surface. However, we have no real right to expect that Bruce's first 400 ABs + CF defense will be better than Corey Patterson's. He wouldn't be the first guy to come up and struggle a bit. (How will Bruce adjust to the adjustments made to him? We have no idea as he flew through AA and AAA before that became a factor. He has not learned to make those adjustments and he might not be able to make those adjustments at this time.) Would you bet your job on Bruce being able to outperform Patterson right out of the gate? Seriously?

Would I bet my job on it? No, there's too much noise in the data. If you told me to guess a number 1 through 10, and if I got it right, I'd lose my job, I'd have a 90&#37; chance of keeping my job. There's no way in heck I'd want to make that bet, but I'd feel very comfortable saying that the odds are in my favor.

The data of the very best project systems out there all suggest a very strong likelyhood that Bruce would outperform Patterson. Certainly that doesn't mean it's written in stone, but why not go with the decision that odds strongly suggest?


In many cases, the "Big Things" are a matter of opinion. Bruce over Patterson for 400 ABs? Thats an opinion at this point, and one probably a bit more concerned about this season than the next 2-3. (For the record I'd take Bruce and my chances.) That same type of decision will need to be made with Cueto, Baily, and Volzquez as well. The correct Big Thing decision might be to leave Baily and Bruce in AAA (even if it means 5 more losses THIS season.)

GL

Yes, it's an opinion. It's an opinion backed by a whole bunch of analysis which has a pretty good track record. Bottom line is that there is some calculus (not literally) being done by the person who makes those decisions. I'm personally not comfortable with making those decisions solely on my gut/experience (or anybody's gut for that matter), particularly when an objective analysis strongly suggests the other choice.

Dusty clearly uses his personal experience as criteria #1 when making decisions. I'm not going to complain about that, but I really wish quantitative analysis was somewhere in the top 3 -- and I don't think it is. I worry that Dusty, when making decisions, puts more weight on things like "keeps people happy" and "what we did when I played" than he does on "helps us score more runs".

westofyou
03-13-2008, 02:28 PM
FWIW, my basic approach to doing this is in the manner Steel implied -- managing a staff of people who do the actual coaching/managing of players.

Coaches would teach skills. A clubhouse manager would deal with personal issues. I'd consult with them and make myself available to the players as necessary, but I wouldn't try to do it all myself. Maybe that's just as naive, but given the stakes involved, I'm flabbergasted by how thin the management structure appears to be in major league organizations.


So your hitting coach comes to you and he's upset because Ken Griffey came to help Junior out with some kinks in his game and whilst there he got into Jay Bruce's head, a guy the coach has been working with for a year. You can't really complain to Junior or his dad and meanwhile the owner is really more friendly with Senior than he is with you.

The next day Bruce goes 2-4 and your coach is extra ticked, AND Junior has a HR and a 2b and Bruce and him huddle in the dugout talking about the approach that Senior was preaching the prior day.

After the game the coach comes in the office and demands that something be done.

Would it help to have prior playing and coaching experience in this situation?

BuckeyeRedleg
03-13-2008, 02:30 PM
I'm personally not comfortable with making those decisions solely on my gut/experience (or anybody's gut for that matter), particularly when an objective analysis strongly suggests the other choice.

I can't remember for sure, but didn't Jerry Narron pinch hit Castro for Hamilton (against a RHP) last year because his gut told him to?

pedro
03-13-2008, 02:32 PM
So your hitting coach comes to you and he's upset because Ken Griffey came to help Junior out with some kinks in his game and whilst there he got into Jay Bruce's head, a guy the coach has been working with for a year. You can't really complain to Junior or his dad and meanwhile the owner is really more friendly with Senior than he is with you.

The next day Bruce goes 2-4 and your coach is extra ticked, AND Junior has a HR and a 2b and Bruce and him huddle in the dugout talking about the approach that Senior was preaching the prior day.

After the game the coach comes in the office and demands that something be done.

Would it help to have prior playing and coaching experience in this situation?

Let me do a google search and get back to you.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-13-2008, 02:36 PM
So your hitting coach comes to you and he's upset because Ken Griffey came to help Junior out with some kinks in his game and whilst there he got into Jay Bruce's head, a guy the coach has been working with for a year. You can't really complain to Junior or his dad and meanwhile the owner is really more friendly with Senior than he is with you.

The next day Bruce goes 2-4 and your coach is extra ticked, AND Junior has a HR and a 2b and Bruce and him huddle in the dugout talking about the approach that Senior was preaching the prior day.

After the game the coach comes in the office and demands that something be done.

I would fire the whiny hitting coach.:)

pedro
03-13-2008, 02:39 PM
I would fire the whiny hitting coach.:)

Or you could have your "clubhouse manager" take care of it.

Unless, of course, you had the smarts to employ a Coach Coach. Then it would be his job.

westofyou
03-13-2008, 02:41 PM
I would fire the whiny hitting coach.:)

The hitting coach is a Ted Williams disciple and wrote a book that is the tome to all the saber centric fans in today's game. You insisted the GM hire him for your staff.

lollipopcurve
03-13-2008, 02:42 PM
Dusty clearly uses his personal experience as criteria #1 when making decisions.

This is absurd. You have no idea what Baker's thought processes are in making decisions about the ballclub. You don't know to what extent he uses stats, his coaches, his observation of players, his conversations with players, his meetings with Krivsky, his conversations with people he respects outside the club, etc.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 02:44 PM
So your hitting coach comes to you and he's upset because Ken Griffey came to help Junior out with some kinks in his game and whilst there he got into Jay Bruce's head, a guy the coach has been working with for a year. You can't really complain to Junior or his dad and meanwhile the owner is really more friendly with Senior than he is with you.

The next day Bruce goes 2-4 and your coach is extra ticked, AND Junior has a HR and a 2b and Bruce and him huddle in the dugout talking about the approach that Senior was preaching the prior day.

After the game the coach comes in the office and demands that something be done.

Would it help to have prior playing and coaching experience in this situation?

I don't think I've ever denied that having that experience has value. But all the experience in the world doesn't matter if you still make poor decisions elsewhere.

I don't think you need it all that experience to manage a team with 100 win talent to the playoffs.

If it'll help the conversation, I'll say that I would be a horrible manager and that if you gave me the '98 Yankees, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. But that's mostly due to the fact that I'm horrible manager of anything. Take somebody who is a good manager in some other industry, give him training to understand the industry, and put him in charge of the '98 Yankees and I still think they win 110+ games.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 02:52 PM
This is absurd. You have no idea what Baker's thought processes are in making decisions about the ballclub. You don't know to what extent he uses stats, his coaches, his observation of players, his conversations with players, his meetings with Krivsky, his conversations with people he respects outside the club, etc.

Fine. Dusty is a genius who strikes the proper balance in his decision making. The Giants would have failed without him. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood would've broken down at exactly the same point in their careers without him. Walks do clog the bases, pitch counts don't matter, and Corey Patterson should lead off opening day. I concede every point. I don't have the energy nor the time to continue this debate.

westofyou
03-13-2008, 02:54 PM
I don't think I've ever denied that having that experience has value. But all the experience in the world doesn't matter if you still make poor decisions elsewhere.

I don't think you need it all that experience to manage a team with 100 win talent to the playoffs.

If it'll help the conversation, I'll say that I would be a horrible manager and that if you gave me the '98 Yankees, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. But that's mostly due to the fact that I'm horrible manager of anything. Take somebody who is a good manager in some other industry, give him training to understand the industry, and put him in charge of the '98 Yankees and I still think they win 110+ games.

3.56&#37; of the teams in MLB have won 100 games since 1900, that's a small pool to put your toe in.

camisadelgolf
03-13-2008, 03:06 PM
If someone can give me suggestions on how to calculate the effects Dusty Baker has had on his players, I'll do the calculations and post them. The first place I intend to start is to compare the stats of players while being managed and not managed by Baker. After that, I would take into effect things like age, ballparks, etc.

So if anyone is really interested in this project I'll be doing (and I don't plan on spending any more than a few days on it), please pipe in and give me some suggestions.

IslandRed
03-13-2008, 04:26 PM
If it'll help the conversation, I'll say that I would be a horrible manager and that if you gave me the '98 Yankees, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. But that's mostly due to the fact that I'm horrible manager of anything. Take somebody who is a good manager in some other industry, give him training to understand the industry, and put him in charge of the '98 Yankees and I still think they win 110+ games.

Well, that's kind of changing the parameters of the discussion as I understand it. When a guy has time to learn the ropes and pay some dues and he's taking over the ballclub AFTER figuring out what the heck is going on, and AFTER he earns some rep for being a sharp baseball mind, that's a whole 'nother thing from some Google executive parachuting into the dugout.

traderumor
03-13-2008, 04:29 PM
I don't think I've ever denied that having that experience has value. But all the experience in the world doesn't matter if you still make poor decisions elsewhere.

I don't think you need it all that experience to manage a team with 100 win talent to the playoffs.

If it'll help the conversation, I'll say that I would be a horrible manager and that if you gave me the '98 Yankees, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. But that's mostly due to the fact that I'm horrible manager of anything. Take somebody who is a good manager in some other industry, give him training to understand the industry, and put him in charge of the '98 Yankees and I still think they win 110+ games.Now wait just a minute. Did not this entire tangent begin with you bowing your chest and saying that you could have done what you just said you couldn't do above? Everyone not doing someone else's job think that theirs is so hard that no one else but them can do it and everyone else's is so easy that they could do the job themselves. All I can say is that you make a good candidate for a small business owner who works 95 hours a week because you're the only one who really knows what's going on.

RedsManRick
03-13-2008, 04:42 PM
Now wait just a minute. Did not this entire tangent begin with you bowing your chest and saying that you could have done what you just said you couldn't do above? Everyone not doing someone else's job think that theirs is so hard that no one else but them can do it and everyone else's is so easy that they could do the job themselves. All I can say is that you make a good candidate for a small business owner who works 95 hours a week because you're the only one who really knows what's going on.

Yes, I did start this tangent. However, it was just that, a tangent. It was meant as hyperbole meant to help draw the discussion in that general direction. I did not mean for a full blown debate on the merits of an unrealistic fantasy scenario to take away from the point of the conversation.



Well, that's kind of changing the parameters of the discussion as I understand it. When a guy has time to learn the ropes and pay some dues and he's taking over the ballclub AFTER figuring out what the heck is going on, and AFTER he earns some rep for being a sharp baseball mind, that's a whole 'nother thing from some Google executive parachuting into the dugout.

Outside of my silly self-managing assertion, all the premises presented were based on the assumption that the new manager would have an opportunity to get acquainted with the industry and the position. He would not "parachute in" to the dugout on April 1, but nor would he get 5 years as an assistant manager. Give him 6 months of prep.

The bottom line point I've been trying to make is that the biggest impact a manager has on his team's won/loss record is who's on the team, where they play, and when, and how. The won/loss effect of the differences between managers who are good at managing the clubhouse and who are bad at is significantly smaller than the won/loss effect of those who are good at managing the who/where/when/how questions.

That's it. That's my assertion. Debating over some stupid comment I made in an attempt to buttress the above assertion will get us nowhere. I admit it. I, Rick Groves, would be a horrible manager of a major baseball team in 2008. To the point though, given that, if you made the 2008 me manager of the '98 Yankees (and for some reason the refused to fire me for the duration), how many fewer games do you think they would have had won? 5? 10? 30?

I'm frustrated that Baker is such a great guy, has such great rapport with his players, motivates his players well, and frequently chooses to make roster, lineup, and in-game decisions that run directly counter to what analysis suggests results in more wins. That's the last word I'll post in this thread.

traderumor
03-13-2008, 05:01 PM
Yes, I did start this tangent. However, it was just that, a tangent. It was meant as hyperbole meant to help draw the discussion in that general direction. I did not mean for a debate on the merits of unrealistic fantasy scenario to take away from the point of the conversation.

Ah, it was hyperbole, its deja vu all over again. I suggest that should have been made clear two days ago.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-13-2008, 05:16 PM
It all boils down to this for me.

An average to below-average former player that has a good rapport with his players and doesn't discount, but incorporates non-traditional statistical analysis into his decision-making is a better manager than an above-average to excellent former player that has a good rapport with his players that discounts the importance of non-traditional statistical analysis.

I would even go as far to say that I would be fine with an average to below-average former player that has a good rapport with his players and doesn't necessarily fully incorporate
statistical analysis into his decision-making, but doesn't discount it either as a better manager than the guy that is so far to one extreme.

Pete Mackanin > Dusty Baker, IMO.

And cheaper too.

Ltlabner
03-13-2008, 05:41 PM
I'm not looking for a "happiness = wins" case, just a "happiness = better play" of any type case -- which you've provided. It's not that I doubt the relationship exists. It's that if it does exist and is a signficant thing, then it likely would be something we could measure in some way. That we can't quantify it at all suggests to me that the effect is probably not terribly large in contrast to other factors involved (talent, playing time/usage, strategy, and health) -- all of which we can measure. That's the real core of my contention.

Why do large corporations spend millions of dollars for everything from in-house day care centers to education remibursements to pizza parties and casual days.

Could it possibly be because they have found that the "happier employees = more productive employees" formula does in-fact yeild beneficial results?

And I think with a little research you'd find the productivity increases and resultant increases in revenue/profits are more than "not terribly large".