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Thread: Reading between the lines

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Reading between the lines

    For all those who are hoping for a Theo-Depo type GM, I believe you're going to be disappointed.

    Castellini noted in his first few comments to the press that he's aware of sabermetrics, and he's giving consideration to Kullman for the job. But I would be very surprised if the balance doesn't tip heavily towards scouting and player development in his choice as GM.

    Hopefully, Kullman will stay on and play a big part in voicing the sabermetric point of view, similar to DePo in Oakland. But I just don't see it as the central focus of the new organizational philosophy, based on the guys being interviewed for the job.

    My money is on Wren right now, with Krivsky running second.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Castellini noted that they "budgeted for" sabermetrics. This tells me that they will have/hire people who crank numbers on players. To my way of thinking, that's appropriate. The skill set and knowledge base for a GM requires a genuine appreciation for, and layman's understanding of, advanced statistical tools, but that's only one piece of what a GM needs. I think it's a mistake to think a good GM must also be a guy who could crank those numbers himself.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
    Castellini noted that they "budgeted for" sabermetrics. This tells me that they will have/hire people who crank numbers on players. To my way of thinking, that's appropriate. The skill set and knowledge base for a GM requires a genuine appreciation for, and layman's understanding of, advanced statistical tools, but that's only one piece of what a GM needs. I think it's a mistake to think a good GM must also be a guy who could crank those numbers himself.


    Yeah, this is how I feel too. The GM has to understand the conclusions, but not necessarily be able to do a regression analysis.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    The GM has to understand the conclusions, but not necessarily be able to do a regression analysis.
    Exactly.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    IMO, what you're really looking for in a GM is good philosophy and analytical skills. Numbers can be part of that, but I agree that they're not the whole shebang.

    You want a GM who can lay out a strategic vision and then tick off the tactical steps that get you there. You want a GM who can quickly assess not only his own organization, but other organizations as well. Quick assessment is a big part of what croaked DanO. He couldn't figure what he had and he seemed oblivious to what anyone else might need.

    The media tries to make a lot of hay out of the A's approach vs. the Braves approach, but, IMO, Billy Beane and John Schuerholz are two peas in a pod. What they share is the uncanny ability to know what their teams need and then get it in a competitive marketplace. Attempts at pigeon-holing them only sell them short. Beane pays a lot of attention to tools. Schuerholz puts a ton of stock in performance. That's what the Reds need -- someone ready to use every club in the bag.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    An ideal general manager should be well versed in both traditional and numerical scouting. By relying too heavily on one or the other, too much opportunity is left on the table.

    For international and American high school scouting, for example, numbers based scouting is largely useless due to the inconsistent level of competition and the rawness of the players. Basically, you want someone who can sift through the sand and find some shiny nuggets.

    Once you get to the college and professional levels, performance based scouting is very valuable in helping determine the gold from pyrite.

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    The issue, it seems to me, is the amount of time it takes to learn one or the other method.

    Traditional scouting and player analysis takes years of experience. Sure there are exceptions, but most great scouts spent years hanging around batting cages all over the country.

    Once you make the decision to buy in to sabermetrics, you can learn what you need to know much faster. And what you don't know, you can get from a trusted source.

    I prefer a guy who has been around the block and seen first hand how successful organizations operate, and has an open mind to sabermetrics.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    as long as it isnt a guy like arbuckle or beattie and i wont be mad. may not be happy, but i wont be mad

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    The issue, it seems to me, is the amount of time it takes to learn one or the other method.

    Traditional scouting and player analysis takes years of experience. Sure there are exceptions, but most great scouts spent years hanging around batting cages all over the country.

    Once you make the decision to buy in to sabermetrics, you can learn what you need to know much faster. And what you don't know, you can get from a trusted source.

    I prefer a guy who has been around the block and seen first hand how successful organizations operate, and has an open mind to sabermetrics.
    But why is it neccessary for the gm to be from the traditional scouting school? The GM doesn't have to know everything. He has to know how to manage, make good hires, and institute his philosophy on the organization. A good GM may know little about the details of scouting and player development, but knows who to hire that does. It just seems that you are saying that the GM must know one thing, but just have a general idea of another.

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Hanging around batting cages does one thing that knowing the numbers does not- it puts you in touch with the people you have to work with in building a club, other scouts, players, gms, etc. You have to be able to master the political and soft skills to be a good gm...and I'll agree that you have to have a healthy understanding of how the metrics fit into the big picture.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by rdiersin
    It just seem that you are saying that the GM must know one thing, but just have a general idea of another.

    No, I want the new GM to understand sabermetrics and give statistical analysis a healthy weight in his decision making process. I'm talking about how long it takes to learn one or the other.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    IMO, what you're really looking for in a GM is good philosophy and analytical skills. Numbers can be part of that, but I agree that they're not the whole shebang.

    You want a GM who can lay out a strategic vision and then tick off the tactical steps that get you there. You want a GM who can quickly assess not only his own organization, but other organizations as well. Quick assessment is a big part of what croaked DanO. He couldn't figure what he had and he seemed oblivious to what anyone else might need.

    The media tries to make a lot of hay out of the A's approach vs. the Braves approach, but, IMO, Billy Beane and John Schuerholz are two peas in a pod. What they share is the uncanny ability to know what their teams need and then get it in a competitive marketplace. Attempts at pigeon-holing them only sell them short. Beane pays a lot of attention to tools. Schuerholz puts a ton of stock in performance. That's what the Reds need -- someone ready to use every club in the bag.


    Well said.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    The issue, it seems to me, is the amount of time it takes to learn one or the other method.

    Traditional scouting and player analysis takes years of experience. Sure there are exceptions, but most great scouts spent years hanging around batting cages all over the country.

    Once you make the decision to buy in to sabermetrics, you can learn what you need to know much faster. And what you don't know, you can get from a trusted source.

    I prefer a guy who has been around the block and seen first hand how successful organizations operate, and has an open mind to sabermetrics.
    A GM doesn't have to be a star scout. A GM needs to put people into roles which suit their skills and then be willing to listen to them.

    I want a guy like Almarez, who is a fine judge of raw talent by most accounts, running my international scouting department. I want a guy like Kuhlman who is more performance based running my college and pro scouting or as minor league director. I want a GM who can take the information that those men provide and develop a strategic plan from it.

    The little bit we have had access to from the potential candidates leads me to believe that the guy from St. Louis whose name I won't try to spell might be that kind of GM.

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    A GM doesn't have to be a star scout. A GM needs to put people into roles which suit their skills and then be willing to listen to them.

    I want a guy like Almarez, who is a fine judge of raw talent by most accounts, running my international scouting department. I want a guy like Kuhlman who is more performance based running my college and pro scouting or as minor league director. I want a GM who can take the information that those men provide and develop a strategic plan from it.

    The little bit we have had access to from the potential candidates leads me to believe that the guy from St. Louis whose name I won't try to spell might be that kind of GM.
    exactly. the guys who work for you will do most the scouting, etc. when your the gm, you have to hire the right guys for that then know how to listen to them and implement the right things from each guy

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    A GM doesn't have to be a star scout. A GM needs to put people into roles which suit their skills and then be willing to listen to them.

    I want a guy like Almarez, who is a fine judge of raw talent by most accounts, running my international scouting department. I want a guy like Kuhlman who is more performance based running my college and pro scouting or as minor league director. I want a GM who can take the information that those men provide and develop a strategic plan from it.

    The little bit we have had access to from the potential candidates leads me to believe that the guy from St. Louis whose name I won't try to spell might be that kind of GM.


    I don't expect him to do the scouting once he's running the show. I do like it if he has enough of a scouting background to understand what he's being told, and to sort through the BS and unfounded opinions.

    Good managers ofter work their way through the ranks and have a participants understanding of the people they manage.

    Yes, you delegate all these things when you're the top dog. But understanding how scouts and player development guys form their opinions is very valuable.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain


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