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Thread: Honest Evaluation of....

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Honest Evaluation of....

    Oftentimes some time needs to pass to get an accurate picture of a persons contributions.

    Now that we are down the road a bit, what is your honest evaluation of Dan O'brian's performance as a GM with the Reds?

    Hopefully our anger with his failings has subsided enough to objectivley weigh his reign; both the good and the bad.

    Currently, I'm of the opinion that he was compleltey overwhelemed in the GM role and was shutdown by a fear of making a mistake. He's not a jerk, idiot or dolt. He seems like a decent enough guy that was just not cut out for the gig.

    His contract negotiations skills were dreadfull and anchored the team with some real doozies (Milton, LaRue, etc). His micromanagement with silly rules that delt with symptoms (don't swing at the 1st pitch no matter what) left much to be desired.

    I seem to remember that he had something to do with Bailey and Votto (perhaps even Bruce?) which would be some significant feathers in his cap. Then again, he was high on Anderson Muchado, Bubba Nelson and Kim Jong Bong Ill.

    I think all of the farm system teams came in last place during the 2005 season. I'm more interested in players in the farm system learning rather than winning, but I would think the higher farm system teams could have won something. How much of that can you lay at DanO's feet? Not sure. But for all of his talk of rebuilding the farm system, he didn't do much to rebuild the scouting department (that I am aware of).

    DanO strikes me as a smart guy with lots of that magical "baseball knowledge" but he really doesn't know how to manage an entire orignization and subscribes to the "analyize it to death" school of decision making. Thus he tends to wait too long for a decision, miss opportunities, make minor moves thinking its a big move and generally bungle things up.

    Some days I almost feal sorry for him that he was so horribly miscast by Lindner.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 11-06-2006 at 03:21 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Sorry LilAbner, you and I agree on many things, but here's one I'll disagree with.

    He still is bad - and the Reds are paying for it. As Dean Taylor's buddy, he was tops. He had a fantastic way of spending four paragraphs to say absolutely nothing. His tandem pitching was bad and he had a problem with too much information.

    He's a decent ass't GM, but not for the Top Job.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    Member Z-Fly's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    I honestly wish we could have kept Dano around as a minor league cordinator or scout. He seemed to be able to see good young talent. Both his drafts were very good IMO.

    His major downfall as stated above was, he couldn't manage the major league roster worth a lick.
    WHEN DOES IT STOP!?!?

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath View Post
    Sorry LilAbner, you and I agree on many things, but here's one I'll disagree with.

    He still is bad - and the Reds are paying for it. As Dean Taylor's buddy, he was tops. He had a fantastic way of spending four paragraphs to say absolutely nothing. His tandem pitching was bad and he had a problem with too much information.

    He's a decent ass't GM, but not for the Top Job.
    Maybe I muddled the message, but we are actually in agreement. I think he was a horrible GM, who wasn't cut out for the job and we've been cleaning up the pieces ever sense.

    Overall I think he just didn't have the gas in the tank for the job. Further down the food chain in an orginization he might do OK but not in the drivers seat.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Is there a good site out there that shows you all of the transactions made during a GM's tenure? I have trouble remembering everything he did.

    I don't judge him too harshly though. At the beginning of 2005 most people were excited and thought we had a good team out on the field. The offense was #1 in the N.L., so that was just fine. Randa was a good pickup. Jiminez was a bad signing. Everyone else on offense did well. He did trade Randa for some value at least when we were out of the race.

    The pitching was just atrocious and he had to take the blame for that. That said, I thought Milton was overpriced and a bad signing, but no one knew he would be so completely and thoroughly awful. (Some have said O'Brien didn't want Milton for the price. I dunno.) Ramon Ortiz put up the worst year of his career (until 2006). Weber really never pitched. Wilson got hurt early and was terrible while pitching hurt. Wagner was much worse than the year before. Ramirez as a rookie in a few spot starts was terrible. So, for the first couple months, Wilson, Milton and Ortiz were so bad that the Reds basically had almost no chance of winning 60% of the time. They weren't that bad in 2004. If the Reds did manage to get to the end of the game, his inherited closer Graves was terrible. That was not forseeable based on the past -- and based on future performance with the Mets and Indians he did make the right call to cut Graves loose.

    My point is the pitching for the first half of 2005 was atrocious and injured beyond anyone's reasonable expectation, so I think his "legacy" is tainted by that.

    And all that said, I wasn't a big fan of his but he basically got two years as GM which isn't enough to judge him as good or bad for the long run. He made some mistakes, but two years is not enough to implement a plan. Whoever and whatever the plan, a GM needs more time and continuity to see if his plan will work. If you pull the plug after two years, no one's plan will work. So, O'Brien is gone and that's water under the bridge, I just hope that Krivsky -- for better or worse -- gets 5+ years to see his plan to fruitition.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    The only area where is tenure looks passable is the minor league draft. Other than that he gets a big fat ZERO.

    Jimbo drafted Votto.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.

    That's one of the few times I've seen DanO's name and the word "action" in the same sentence.
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Is there a good site out there that shows you all of the transactions made during a GM's tenure? I have trouble remembering everything he did.
    November 2, 2003

    Todd Van Poppel granted Free Agency.

    November 4, 2003

    Released Ryan Dempster.

    November 5, 2003

    Released Scott Randall.

    November 7, 2003

    Seth Etherton granted Free Agency.

    November 16, 2003

    Signed Aaron Holbert as a free agent.

    November 26, 2003

    Signed Corey Thurman as a free agent.

    December 8, 2003

    Signed Todd Van Poppel as a free agent.

    December 10, 2003

    John Bale granted Free Agency.

    December 13, 2003

    Signed Rigo Beltran as a free agent.

    December 15, 2003

    Eric Valent selected by the New York Mets in the 2003 minor league draft.

    December 20, 2003

    Signed McKay Christensen as a free agent.

    Signed Seth Etherton as a free agent.

    December 21, 2003

    Russell Branyan granted Free Agency.

    Ruben Mateo granted Free Agency.

    Reggie Taylor granted Free Agency.

    December 23, 2003

    Signed Jermaine Clark as a free agent.

    January 6, 2004

    Signed Cory Lidle as a free agent.

    January 7, 2004

    Signed Aaron Myette as a free agent.

    January 8, 2004

    Signed Javier Valentin as a free agent.

    January 9, 2004

    Signed Luke Prokopec as a free agent.

    January 12, 2004

    Signed Brian Mallette as a free agent.

    January 14, 2004

    Signed John Vander Wal as a free agent.

    January 19, 2004

    Signed Reggie Taylor as a free agent.

    January 20, 2004

    Signed Mike Matthews as a free agent.

    January 24, 2004

    Signed Jim Chamblee as a free agent.

    Signed Scott Randall as a free agent.

    January 28, 2004

    Signed Steve Lomasney as a free agent.

    February 2, 2004

    Signed Jesus Sanchez as a free agent.

    February 4, 2004

    Signed Scott MacRae as a free agent.

    February 5, 2004

    Signed Benito Baez as a free agent.

    February 11, 2004

    Signed Paxton Crawford as a free agent.

    February 19, 2004

    Signed Brian Rose as a free agent.

    March 14, 2004

    Released John Vander Wal.

    March 17, 2004

    Signed John Vander Wal as a free agent.

    March 26, 2004

    Traded Chris Reitsma to the Atlanta Braves. Received Jung Bong and Bubba Nelson (minors).

    March 27, 2004

    Released Benito Baez.

    March 30, 2004

    Signed Todd Jones as a free agent.


    April 2, 2004 (Standings)

    Sent Rigo Beltran to the Montreal Expos as part of a conditional deal.

    April 4, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Jeff Austin.

    April 6, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Kenny Kelly as a free agent.

    April 7, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Jeff Austin as a free agent.

    April 22, 2004 (Standings)

    Selected Jason Romano off waivers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    May 10, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Jimmy Haynes.

    June 18, 2004 (Standings)

    Traded Charlie Manning (minors) and cash to the New York Yankees. Received Gabe White.

    June 29, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Mark Watson.

    June 30, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Reggie Taylor.

    July 3, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Scott Randall.

    July 9, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Corey Thurman.

    July 21, 2004 (Standings)

    Jesus Sanchez granted Free Agency.

    July 30, 2004 (Standings)

    Traded Todd Jones and Brad Correll (minors) to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Josh Hancock and Andy Machado.

    August 2, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Darren Bragg as a free agent.

    August 6, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Benito Baez as a free agent.

    Signed Nick Bierbrodt as a free agent.

    August 9, 2004 (Standings)

    Traded Cory Lidle to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received a player to be named later, Javon Moran (minors), and Joe Wilson (minors). The Philadelphia Phillies sent Elizardo Ramirez (August 11, 2004) to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the trade.

    August 17, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Damian Moss as a free agent.

    August 20, 2004 (Standings)

    Signed Matt Beech as a free agent.

    September 3, 2004 (Standings)

    Tim Hummel selected by the Boston Red Sox off waivers.

    Selected Juan Padilla off waivers from the New York Yankees.

    September 8, 2004 (Standings)

    Released McKay Christensen.

    September 14, 2004 (Standings)

    Released Matt Beech.

    October 4, 2004 (Standings)

    Corky Miller selected by the Minnesota Twins off waivers.

    October 5, 2004 (Standings)

    Brian Reith granted Free Agency.

    October 6, 2004 (Standings)

    Jason Romano granted Free Agency.

    John Vander Wal granted Free Agency.

    October 7, 2004 (Standings)

    Jacob Cruz granted Free Agency.

    October 8, 2004 (Standings)

    Selected Ben Kozlowski off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

    October 10, 2004 (Standings)

    Mike Matthews granted Free Agency.

    October 11, 2004 (Standings)

    Aaron Myette granted Free Agency.

    Signed Jason Romano as a free agent.

    October 13, 2004 (Standings)

    Brandon Larson granted Free Agency.

    October 15, 2004 (Standings)

    Jeff Austin granted Free Agency.

    Benito Baez granted Free Agency.

    Jim Chamblee granted Free Agency.

    Jermaine Clark granted Free Agency.

    Paxton Crawford granted Free Agency.

    Seth Etherton granted Free Agency.

    Aaron Holbert granted Free Agency.

    Kenny Kelly granted Free Agency.

    Steve Lomasney granted Free Agency.

    Scott MacRae granted Free Agency.

    Brian Mallette granted Free Agency.

    Damian Moss granted Free Agency.

    Juan Padilla granted Free Agency.

    Brian Rose granted Free Agency.

    October 28, 2004

    Darren Bragg granted Free Agency.

    Todd Van Poppel granted Free Agency.

    October 29, 2004

    Juan Castro granted Free Agency.

    Barry Larkin granted Free Agency.

    Signed Ricky Stone as a free agent.

    Paul Wilson granted Free Agency.

    November 1, 2004

    Signed Aaron Holbert as a free agent.

    November 3, 2004

    Gabe White granted Free Agency.

    November 5, 2004

    Released Josh Hall.

    November 6, 2004

    Signed Brian Rose as a free agent.

    November 8, 2004

    Signed Josh Hall as a free agent.

    November 9, 2004

    Signed Jeriome Robertson as a free agent.

    November 12, 2004

    Signed Randy Keisler as a free agent.

    November 15, 2004

    Signed Kenny Kelly as a free agent.

    November 30, 2004

    Signed Paul Wilson as a free agent.

    December 13, 2004

    Tony Blanco selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2004 minor league draft.

    December 14, 2004

    Juan Cerros selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2004 minor league draft.

    Traded Dustin Moseley to the Anaheim Angels. Received Ramon Ortiz.

    December 15, 2004

    Signed Dave Weathers as a free agent.

    Signed Ben Weber as a free agent.

    December 16, 2004

    Signed Jared Fernandez as a free agent.

    December 20, 2004

    Signed Travis Chapman as a free agent.

    Signed Kent Mercker as a free agent.

    December 21, 2004

    Phil Norton granted Free Agency.

    Signed Joe Randa as a free agent.

    John Riedling granted Free Agency.

    December 27, 2004

    Signed Jacob Cruz as a free agent.

    December 28, 2004

    Signed Eric Milton as a free agent.

    December 29, 2004

    Signed Luis Lopez as a free agent.

    January 7, 2005

    Signed Santiago Perez as a free agent.

    January 10, 2005

    Signed Norris Hopper as a free agent.

    January 12, 2005

    Signed Alex Pelaez as a free agent.

    January 15, 2005

    Signed Steve Lomasney as a free agent.

    January 22, 2005

    Signed Rich Aurilia as a free agent.

    January 24, 2005

    Signed Pedro Swann as a free agent.

    February 28, 2005

    Signed Dave Elder as a free agent.

    March 14, 2005

    April 9, 2005 (Standings)

    Traded Jose Acevedo to the Colorado Rockies. Received Allan Simpson.

    April 16, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Eric Eckenstahler as a free agent.

    May 16, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Andy Van Hekken as a free agent.

    May 23, 2005 (Standings)

    Released Danny Graves.

    June 7, 2005 (Standings)

    Released Jason Romano.

    June 28, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Travis Phelps as a free agent.

    July 1, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Jason Standridge as a free agent.

    July 3, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Jimmy Serrano as a free agent.

    July 4, 2005 (Standings)

    Ricky Stone granted Free Agency.

    July 7, 2005 (Standings)

    Released Jared Fernandez.

    July 20, 2005 (Standings)

    Kenny Kelly selected by the Washington Nationals off waivers.

    Andy Machado selected by the Colorado Rockies off waivers.

    July 23, 2005 (Standings)

    Traded Joe Randa to the San Diego Padres. Received Justin Germano and Travis Chick.

    August 3, 2005 (Standings)

    Released Santiago Perez.

    August 6, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Jose Leon as a free agent.

    August 10, 2005 (Standings)

    Signed Alex Graman as a free agent.

    September 12, 2005 (Standings)

    Released Alex Graman.

    October 3, 2005 (Standings)

    Aaron Holbert granted Free Agency.

    Ben Weber granted Free Agency.

    October 5, 2005 (Standings)

    D'Angelo Jimenez granted Free Agency.

    October 9, 2005 (Standings)

    Chris Booker granted Free Agency.

    October 15, 2005 (Standings)

    Travis Chapman granted Free Agency.

    Signed Eric Crozier as a free agent.

    Eric Eckenstahler granted Free Agency.

    Jose Leon granted Free Agency.

    Steve Lomasney granted Free Agency.

    Alex Pelaez granted Free Agency.

    Travis Phelps granted Free Agency.

    Jeriome Robertson granted Free Agency.

    Brian Rose granted Free Agency.

    Jimmy Serrano granted Free Agency.

    Pedro Swann granted Free Agency.

    Andy Van Hekken granted Free Agency.

    October 27, 2005

    Jacob Cruz granted Free Agency.

    October 31, 2005

    Luis Lopez granted Free Agency.

    November 2, 2005

    Rich Aurilia granted Free Agency.

    November 10, 2005

    Signed Jake Robbins as a free agent.

    November 16, 2005

    Selected Mike Burns off waivers from the Houston Astros.

    Signed Andy Machado as a free agent.

    Signed Tommy Phelps as a free agent.

    November 18, 2005

    Released Ben Kozlowski.

    December 7, 2005

    Signed Jacob Cruz as a free agent.

    Released Randy Keisler.

    December 8, 2005

    Traded Sean Casey and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received Dave Williams.

    Traded Benjamin Himes (minors) and Kevin Howard (minors) to the New York Yankees. Received Tony Womack and cash.

    December 19, 2005

    Signed Andy Abad as a free agent.

    December 20, 2005

    Signed Chris Hammond as a free agent.

    Released Ramon Ortiz.

    December 21, 2005

    Joe Valentine granted Free Agency.

    2006

    Signed Chris Michalak as a free agent. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

    January 8, 2006

    Signed Rich Aurilia as a free agent.

    January 12, 2006

    Signed Grant Balfour as a free agent.

    Released Josh Hancock.

    Signed Frank Menechino as a free agent.

    January 31, 2006

    Signed Rick White as a free agent.

  11. #10
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Well, I guess he gets a *little* credit for bringing in Javy Valentine, EZ Rameriez, David Weathers, Kent Merker and Rich Aurlia. While none of them are superstars they have been servicable parts of the team.

    But then you also have to include the Dave Williams, Grant Balfours, Rick Whites, Tony Womack, Chris Hammonds, Joe Valentines and D'Angelo Jimenez in the list which erases any positives from the list above.

    So with this official listing (instead of my horrible memory) DanO stays squarely stuck in crapville as far as GM's go.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    January 31, 2006

    Signed Rick White as a free agent.

    I think that was Kullman's.
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  13. #12
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Dan O'Brien is a man and a person, first and foremost.

    Among those who know him and people like him, there is certainly a commonality of sorts.

    It would be easy for those of us in our particular circumstance to ask questions among ourselves or to make statements to that effect. But make no mistake; our purpose here is several-fold.

    To that end, our hope, and the hope of others, is to press on toward our collective goals. Anything else is less acceptable than would optimally be the case.

    With that I'll take some questions.

    Last edited by Redsland; 11-06-2006 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Added winky (cause you never know).
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    I think the man's idea of building a strong farm was the right way to go, and had he been in another market, say Tampa or Milwaukee, that might have gone over better. But in Cincinnati, time began with the Big Red Machine. People that don't remember that team, remember that team. It's almost eerie.

    He drafted well. He acquired some good minor league talent. He had no ability to manage the 40 man roster, and even less ability to manage the 25. He traded major parts way to late. He was still saddled with Allen and Lindner, so he was limited there. Milton, Ortiz were awful additions, though Ortiz could have had merit as a setup guy, but not for 4 mil.

    The Reitsma trade sparked nearly as much debate as the Kearns/FeLo trade. On principle, the Reitsma trade was right, it just didn't work out. Kearns/Felo on the other hand dismantled the offense, and was NOT a good trade. even on paper it stunk.

    DanO didn't lose too many trades, but none of his trades were big impact trades. Getting EZ was a great move, IMO.
    Last edited by TRF; 11-06-2006 at 02:33 PM.
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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.
    I have to disagree with this completely. You need to look at this with some objective reasoning because there is no way you can come to this conclusion if you have been watching baseball for longer than 10 years.

    Teams such as the Royals, Pirates, D-Rays all have had much much worse GMs than him. The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years. It is hard for me to think that the Cubbies haven't had worse over the last few years.

    DanO drafted really well while many of the GMs for the above teams save the D-Rays didn't even do that. DanO came out ahead on most deals but just couldn't pull the big one. We now have a guy that has proven that he has a slight problem with the big ones also but in another way.

    DanO made some smart moves such as Freel, Valentin, Randa, Aurilla etc. I am glad he is gone but he wasn't the worse.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
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  16. #15
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Honest Evaluation of....

    O'Brien to me seemed to be a GM in the Dave Littlefield mold. Keep cycling crap through the major league system in the hopes that you can catch lightning in a bottle and break .500 while building solely through the minor leagues and low-mid level minor league acquisitions.

    That's a decent enough plan if you're Billy Beane and strike gold with 3 aces in your system at the same time. However, if you're not, and you refuse to make real changes in the majors, you end up with a KC/Pittsburgh phenomenon of never being good enough to justify becoming good. Sure, the occasional good prospect comes up, but it's never enough. Sure, he drafted well, but he showed no evidence of an ability to properly recognize and value major league talent that could support an improved farm system. As the Tigers showed this year, you have to have to team in place to which those prospects can contribute. If you wait until they're ready to go, you may not be able to get there at all.

    I agree, he probably has a valuable place somewhere in an organization. He just seemed to lack the ambition, creativity, and quite frankly, the balls to be a winning GM.
    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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