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Thread: Reading between the lines

  1. #16
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    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.
    Just as long as the guy isn't using the putter from a fairway bunker.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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  3. #17
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    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.
    No offense, but I guess I just don't buy that. Yes, it would take a long time to become an expert in player development and scouting, I agree with that. But, it also takes quite a bit of time to become an expert in statistical and probabilistic methods as well. But I guess my point is, that a GM doesn't have to be an expert. A GM has to know what he needs to know of these areas and hire good experts to help develop and implement his philosophies. Just MO.

  4. #18
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by rdiersin
    No offense, but I guess I just don't buy that. Yes, it would take a long time to become an expert in player development and scouting, I agree with that. But, it also takes quite a bit of time to become an expert in statistical and probabilistic methods as well. But I guess my point is, that a GM doesn't have to be an expert. A GM has to know what he needs to know of these areas and hire good experts to help develop and implement his philosophies. Just MO.
    I think it goes beyond that. A GM has to be well-versed in a number of areas in order to hire good people. It's easy to get BSed when you don't know any better.

    A GM also needs to do more than solicit opinions. First off, the answers you get will depend in no small part on the quality of the questions you ask. So a GM needs to ask good questions. The GM also needs to bring some acumen into the decision-making process. I remember when JimBo sometimes held votes on potential moves and tended to go with the majority decision. That's sweet, but say your advisors are 7-2 in favor if doing the wrong thing? The GM should be someone capable of forming an independent opinion.

    Also, a GM needs to lead. Truly great out-of-the-box ideas aren't going to strike someone for whom the box is a cavernous mystery. Initiative is a product of knowledge, or at least the quest for it. Expertise is a tricky commodity in baseball. Not a lot of people can claim it for a lifetime That said, a GM should have definitive strengths in stats-based and eyeball scouting. Without that communication and leadership will prove difficult tasks.
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  5. #19
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I think it goes beyond that. A GM has to be well-versed in a number of areas in order to hire good people. It's easy to get BSed when you don't know any better.

    A GM also needs to do more than solicit opinions. First off, the answers you get will depend in no small part on the quality of the questions you ask. So a GM needs to ask good questions. The GM also needs to bring some acumen into the decision-making process. I remember when JimBo sometimes held votes on potential moves and tended to go with the majority decision. That's sweet, but say your advisors are 7-2 in favor if doing the wrong thing? The GM should be someone capable of forming an independent opinion.

    Also, a GM needs to lead. Truly great out-of-the-box ideas aren't going to strike someone for whom the box is a cavernous mystery. Initiative is a product of knowledge, or at least the quest for it. Expertise is a tricky commodity in baseball. Not a lot of people can claim it for a lifetime That said, a GM should have definitive strengths in stats-based and eyeball scouting. Without that communication and leadership will prove difficult tasks.
    Yea, I think that pretty much sums it up M2. My main point, and maybe this didn't come across as well as I would have liked, was just that I don't think it matters where the person comes from, but rather that they have good creative ideas, a good overall knowledge so that they can ask the right questions, and the ability to hire the people that will refine and implement those ideas. I am just not sure that the way to the good overall knowledge has to be from a scouting position first and then learning the aspects of statistical analysis. This would leave out quality guys like Depodesta and Epstein. There's more than one way to skin a cat. And if that's not what you meant RFS, then I appologize.

  6. #20
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85'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.
    excellent layout of the baseball knowledge and analytical skills needed to be a successful GM. Add in some organizational and management skills and you have a solid hire. There are a number of people that would fit the profile and also a bunch that don't.

    It's as simple as find the right person, give them the resources and then let them do their job. It what the Uncle Carl regime could never do. He hired a bean counter(John Allen) to run a baseball operation and then couldn't help but meddle(Larkin contract, hiring DanO when Allen recomended Krivsky). The former Reds regime was dysfunctional from to bottom.

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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. . . .

    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.
    I think a highly underrated GM skill, one that you indirectly cite above, is the ability to negotiate with your peers and relentlessly pursue those assets that are needed to make your team successful. Both Beane and Schuerholtz have that in spades, and I think that may be the key downside to a guy like DePodesta. He may be a genius, but unless he can consistenly acquire *the guy he wants* for what he is willing to give up, Paul will never be a Beane.

    Moreover, I think it is interesting that neither Beane nor Schulerholtz developed a Bowden-like reputation in GM circles as a rip-off artist (e.g., the negative pub Bowden got after the Jeff Shaw deal with Lasorda). From my experiences in negotiating, these short-term wins have a negative long-term consequence: nobody wants to deal with you because they don't trust you or they fear you will be ripping them off.

    My ideal GM would be what Jim Collins calls a Level 5 Leader:
    *one who understands and uses the numbers to "confront the brutal facts."
    *one who does one thing exceptionally well. This is called the "hedgehog concept": Beane's is quantifying value, Schuerholtz's is scouting and developing HS arms.
    *one who has a "stoic, resolve toward life." This creates a culture of discipline among his colleagues.

    M2 is right in that both Schuerholtz and Beane have all three of these qualities (in differing quantities, of course).
    Last edited by D-Man; 02-02-2006 at 07:28 PM.

  8. #22
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    DePo was unbelievably naive in the politics of the job.
    "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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  9. #23
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    DePo was unbelievably naive in the politics of the job.
    In LA at least he most likely was. If given another shot, I think he'll have learned a bit on how to/not to handle the job. One factor that may also have played into is there were reports that the LA front office had a serious rift between the DePo side and the other side. I'm not sure how many allies he had or how many guys in that front office were sort of "hybrids" in LA, but it always helps if there's some front office assistants that understand both ends of the spectrum (saber and scouting) and are able to effectively join both groups together. If DePo can't do it, he better have some assistants working for him who can.
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  10. #24
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    The extent of DePo's naivete was his underestimation of the lunacy running rampant in that particular asylum.

    Guy was a winner who came to a team desperate for a winner and brought them a winner. His fault was that he didn't win "the Dodger way". At one time that phrase may have meant something other than hubris-driven job perpetuation and great tasting spaghetti.

    The greatest politician in the world still can't herd a rabid pack of feral cats who're dead set on killing their sustinance provider rather than eat the wrong brand of healthy cat food.

    The great irony is that it actually was the lack of "character" that got DePo axed. But it wasn't his. Nor was it that of the players he acquired.

    Slap a 'Milo' on the Dodgers and move along.
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  11. #25
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Steel,
    I agree with you about the Dodgers being a dysfunctional mess that DePo never had a chance of managing. On the other hand, I'm not sold on him being a sure fire great GM (though I wouldn't mind one bit if the Reds gave him the chance to prove it).

    I tend to think of it like my own profession. Medicine is based on statistical research. To be an effective clinical veterinarian, I have to have enough working knowledge of statistics to be able to interpret and evaluate a research article. I do not have to know how to "crunch the numbers" myself, though. In fact, most of the really good researchers I know are not very adept at clinical medicine because they lack the observational and personal skills of the good clinicians.

  12. #26
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    Steel,
    I agree with you about the Dodgers being a dysfunctional mess that DePo never had a chance of managing. On the other hand, I'm not sold on him being a sure fire great GM (though I wouldn't mind one bit if the Reds gave him the chance to prove it).
    Give him the freedom to do what he needs to without having to worry about who's going to be stabbing him in the back next and he's a "can't miss" guy, IMO.

    I tend to think of it like my own profession. Medicine is based on statistical research. To be an effective clinical veterinarian, I have to have enough working knowledge of statistics to be able to interpret and evaluate a research article. I do not have to know how to "crunch the numbers" myself, though. In fact, most of the really good researchers I know are not very adept at clinical medicine because they lack the observational and personal skills of the good clinicians.
    Oh, you are of course correct on the need for a good "bedside manor". That being said, there's nothing much the best doctor can do with an abusive drunk who's calling you profane names and walks out of the emergency room after refusing treatment with the hatchet still stuck in his skull.

    That's the Dodgers in a nutshell. And to compound matters, the drunk had 20 moronic bystanders cheering him on.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

  13. #27
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    I don't think you can blame the Dodger organisation for what happened to DePo. He shook them up when he first came in and they lived with that. His big wave trades were made the year before last and he was given pretty much free reign and money last year to bring in players. Some were hurt but then being good GM means that you have a roster or be able to make a roster that is adequate to be able to cater for injuries. The Dodgers were bad last year in a bad division and this was after the new owner opened his chequebook. I think the fact that they were third in a division where the winner went 82-80 was more of a factor to him losing his job than anything.

  14. #28
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Nugget
    I don't think you can blame the Dodger organisation for what happened to DePo. He shook them up when he first came in and they lived with that.
    That's a myth. DePo walked in as a lamb to a slaughter when he joined the Dodgers organization. Praised the current folks who were there to the media. Promised no quick-think massive changes among the scouting and developmental staff. Said all the right things. Brought in good players. Drafted (shhh...) a High School pitcher in round one of the 2004 Draft. That wasn't some bull rush by DePo in which he joined up, came in and started leveling the place. He did everything right. Said everything he was supposed to say. Trusted people to respect his restraint. And that last item was his downfall.

    Guy was the proverbial frog who wanted to give the scorpion a ride across the pond. And he did it. His mistake was not understanding the nature of the scorpion.

    His big wave trades were made the year before last and he was given pretty much free reign and money last year to bring in players.
    Again, that's a myth. McCourt made DePo cut payroll. Any money he spent before last season was only there because DePo himself moved enough salary to make it available. And that salary exchange resulted in FAR more efficient and effective resource utilization.

    Some were hurt but then being good GM means that you have a roster or be able to make a roster that is adequate to be able to cater for injuries. The Dodgers were bad last year in a bad division and this was after the new owner opened his chequebook. I think the fact that they were third in a division where the winner went 82-80 was more of a factor to him losing his job than anything.
    Again, the new owner did NOT "open his checkbook".

    Secondly, there isn't a GM on the planet- past, present, or future- who could put together a roster that would adequately weather that kind of massive injury storm. To do so would mean that you'd need to have a 40-man roster that included 2x quality MLB starting players at virtually every position. Can't be done. Not when injuries hit at that level.

    Third, the guy took over a mediocre roster littered with overpaid players the year prior and through heady moves not only cut payroll as instructed but actually produced a better team than he was originally handed. Won a division title with it. It was the first full-season division title won by the Dodgers since 1988. And he got fired because the Dodgers didn't perform?

    It appears you don't really understand the situation with either the Dodgers or DePodesta. This wasn't a case of "arrogant young stathead walks into team an riles everyone up while failing miserably at his job". This was a case of a guy who was asked to succeed despite challenges, did succeed, but was still consistently lambasted by a clueless, elitist, sensationalist media and got canned for having the audacity to do a good job that folks wouldn't accept regardless of how well he did it.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
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  15. #29
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    Re: Reading between the lines

    Dodger owner dint get behind Depo. He had no support. No one would have suceeded. He did a better job last year then year one....if you break it down that becomes clear.

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    Re: Reading between the lines

    From my experiences in negotiating, these short-term wins have a negative long-term consequence: nobody wants to deal with you because they don't trust you or they fear you will be ripping them off.
    Agree wholeheartedly. You need a guy who can close deals, and that often requires pursuing a trade that works for both teams, that exchanges value for value.
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