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Thread: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

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    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/1...uestioned.html

    The article gives a withering depiction of Zduriencik, who Blengino says "never has understood one iota about statistical analysis." It's concerning criticism for the GM, who was hired in 2008 with a reputation for being able to incorporate both scouting- and statistics-based analysis. According to the article, most of the job application Zduriencik submitted to the Mariners in 2008 was actually written by Blengino, who worked with Zduriencik for the Brewers. "Jack portrayed himself as a scouting/stats hybrid because that’s what he needed to get the job," Blengino commented.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Wow, that's pretty grim. Thing is, I think I believe the guy who left $2 million on the table.
    "I’ll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. That’s just how I do things.” -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Very interesting read, thanks.

    Mariners president Chuck Armstrong unleashed what Wedge calls “a ferocious, venom-filled tirade” about the team, coaches and players. Armstrong told him the club “sickened” him and was “disgusting” and “disturbing,” while Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln agreed and added choice barbs of his own.
    I mean, wow. Hopefully Nintendo ownership gets a lot of flak about all of this and cleans house on Armstrong, Jack Z, and co. And I still think Don Wakamatsu got kind of a raw deal being run out of town so quickly.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Wow, that's pretty grim. Thing is, I think I believe the guy who left $2 million on the table.
    Agreed. It's always risky putting stock in "dirty laundry" reports, but I came away thinking more highly of Eric Wedge, at least personally.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    This explains a lot. The sabermetric community was all excited about Jack Z because he was supposedly a guy who was sabermetrically inclined. Yet his moves over the past few years have suggested anything but.

    From the sound of it, the journalist seemed to have a lot of sources and did his homework.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Mario-Rijo (12-09-2013)

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    This explains a lot. The sabermetric community was all excited about Jack Z because he was supposedly a guy who was sabermetrically inclined. Yet his moves over the past few years have suggested anything but.

    From the sound of it, the journalist seemed to have a lot of sources and did his homework.
    What moves exactly suggest he went counter to the sabermetric method? The signing of Figgens and the trade for Smoak, his two biggest moves, seemed to be right up the saber ally.
    Last edited by 757690; 12-08-2013 at 07:16 PM.
    "I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody".
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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    What moves exactly suggest he went counter to the sabermetric method? The signing of Figgens and the trade for Smoak, his tow biggest moves, seemed to be right up the saber ally.
    I don't recall the stathead community liking the Figgins signing at all.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I don't recall the stathead community liking the Figgins signing at all.
    I don't think anyone outside of Chone Figgins and his family liked that signing.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I don't recall the stathead community liking the Figgins signing at all.
    I do.

    He was coming off of a 6.6 WAR year and a 13.9 over his previous 3 years, mostly coming from his high OBP and his high UZR. WAR made him look like an All-Star when he had actually just been a nice role player.
    "I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody".
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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I don't recall the stathead community liking the Figgins signing at all.
    That move got fawned over in some stats circles. He was supposedly part of a larger plan to build around pitching and UZR-approved defense.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    What moves exactly suggest he went counter to the sabermetric method? The signing of Figgens and the trade for Smoak, his tow biggest moves, seemed to be right up the saber ally.
    Justin Smoak was Baseball America's #13 prospect in 2010; doesn't take a sabermetrician to target a consensus top prospect.

    As for Figgins, his skill set (read: OBP) may have been appreciated by the sabermetric set, but his speed and defensive flexibility was loved by the traditional set as well.

    Just 2013:
    Created and OF that required playing Jason Bay, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez in the corners (Kendrys Morales can barely walk and was limited to DH).

    Sold Mike Carp to the Red Sox, because they had too many other guys like him, but who were older and expensive.

    Signed Joe Saunders (BABIP guy) and traded for Harang (fly ball guy) despite the horrible defense.

    Signed Corey Patterson in hopes that he could help with the crappy OF.

    What did he do that actually showed sabermetric shrewdness?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    RedEye (12-08-2013)

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I do.

    He was coming off of a 6.6 WAR year and a 13.9 over his previous 3 years, mostly coming from his high OBP and his high UZR. WAR made him look like an All-Star when he had actually just been a nice role player.
    Your memory is better than mine: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mariners-sign-figgins/

    I seem to remember people criticizing the fit on a team already full of low-slugging guys (Jack Wilson, Ichiro, Jose Lopez, Kotchman, Guttierez). But that must have been a conversation I was having with myself.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    I don't think the Figgins signing was necessarily one that angered stat heads, even though it obviously didn't work out as planned. What really indicated a problem was that the analytic faction that Z started his tenure with started to leave about two years in. This was a sign of unrest and bad people management on Z's part. Then, when folks like Tango were no longer affiliated with the system, you started to see the M's stocking up on defensive liabilities around the diamond. They went from Franklin Gutierrez in the early years to Michael Morse in the recent years. That's a pretty big change.
    "I’ll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. That’s just how I do things.” -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Justin Smoak was Baseball America's #13 prospect in 2010; doesn't take a sabermetrician to target a consensus top prospect.

    As for Figgins, his skill set (read: OBP) may have been appreciated by the sabermetric set, but his speed and defensive flexibility was loved by the traditional set as well.

    Just 2013:
    Created and OF that required playing Jason Bay, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez in the corners (Kendrys Morales can barely walk and was limited to DH).

    Sold Mike Carp to the Red Sox, because they had too many other guys like him, but who were older and expensive.

    Signed Joe Saunders (BABIP guy) and traded for Harang (fly ball guy) despite the horrible defense.

    Signed Corey Patterson in hopes that he could help with the crappy OF.

    What did he do that actually showed sabermetric shrewdness?
    The Figgins signing was laughed at by everyone except a few WAR friendly guys who looked at his WAR over the previous years, and assume it was predictive of his future production.

    When the Mariners were trading CLiff Lee in 2010, they targeted Smoak, Montero and Alonso because of their patience at the plate a high on base skills. Turns out none of them were all that special, but the Mariners clearly were looking through a sabermetric lens when they figured out who to target.

    As for 2013, that was five years into the Jack Z regime. During that time he made some very saber friendly moves. Like...

    Trading his closer JJ Putz for Franklin Gutierrez,

    Acquiring David Aardsma for nothing and making him the closer

    Trading an aging Griffey jr a year before losing him to free agency for a package including WAR friendly Mike Cameron

    Trading Michael Pineda after one year inflated by a very low BABIP for a high OBP catching prospect

    Maybe the M's switched to more old school philosophy in 2013 because their sabermetric approach wasn't working?
    "I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody".
    —Bill Cosby

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    Re: Article about the dysfunction in the Mariners' front office

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I don't think the Figgins signing was necessarily one that angered stat heads, even though it obviously didn't work out as planned. What really indicated a problem was that the analytic faction that Z started his tenure with started to leave about two years in. This was a sign of unrest and bad people management on Z's part. Then, when folks like Tango were no longer affiliated with the system, you started to see the M's stocking up on defensive liabilities around the diamond. They went from Franklin Gutierrez in the early years to Michael Morse in the recent years. That's a pretty big change.
    There definitely was a change in philosophy, but the Jack Z regime clearly started as very saber friendly, and that clearly didn't work. Maybe because they didn't give it enough time, and clearly the new philosophy hasn't worked either, but in the beginning, the philosophy was very saber friendly.
    "I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody".
    —Bill Cosby


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