Sunday, April 03, 2016
Few managers today retain the stature and independence Scioscia has with the Angels. While far from the baseball Luddite he was cast as during last year’s power struggle with former general manager Jerry Dipoto, Scioscia is nonetheless more old school than new math.
None of that can be said of Roberts. With the Dodgers, he serves at the whim of perhaps baseball’s most empowered, and crowded, front office. Analytical input will be a part of his life every day of the season.
“Yeah, that’s fair,” Roberts said of assertion that managers of his generation are not as independent as the men he played for, Scioscia’s peers such as Bochy and Terry Francona. “But I think that’s a great thing. Having other people help in this big machine that you have as a baseball organization is a good thing. I think what’s most important is to have that aligned mindset and thought and voice. The organization thinks a certain way going down to the manager.
“It’s not a one-man show by any stretch of the imagination.”
Gold Star - just Gold Star
Posted: April 03, 2016 at 01:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
Friday, March 18, 2016
But how do they manage expectations?
With so many accomplished managers vacating the dugout in recent seasons—including three of the best ever—and with teams seemingly favoring younger, less experienced applicants when making manager hires, the game today appears to have fewer active managers on a Hall of Fame track. But let’s take a closer look using the James monitor system outlined above.
If you pay attention to the annual BA Best Tools balloting results, then you probably know the identity of the No. 1 active manager, because he has claimed the last five consecutive Best Manager wins in the National League.
Posted: March 18, 2016 at 06:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
Thursday, March 17, 2016
4. Playing it by ear every day would inevitably force relief pitchers to warm up more frequently than they have to, ultimately hindering performance.
At least that’s what Angels closer Huston Street believes.
“At the end of the day,” Street said, “it’s quite simple: There’s just not enough energy to go around.”
Street has been a closer almost his entire life, from his collegiate days at the University of Texas to the totality of his 11-year Major League career. He estimates that in a given year he actually makes about 100 appearances—65 or so when he pitches in a game and then another 30 or 40 from all those times he warms up in the bullpen, sits back down and warms up again. The latter is “every reliever’s worst nightmare,” Street said, but also an inevitable part of the job.
If a team’s best reliever were assigned to the highest-leverage situation, as opposed to merely the ninth inning, Street estimates he would have to warm up, sit down and warm up again twice as frequently, because a lot of time is needed to get ready and because the leverage of a situation can change so quickly.
He believes it would be too much for a bullpen to absorb.
“There is no getting used to that,” Street said. “You can’t. Your arm gets sore. It just gets sore. That’s what happens. “
Street, and basically everybody else polled on the subject, concluded that the theory can work in small sample sizes, like the playoffs, but is unsustainable over the course of a six-month regular season. They ultimately believe the statistical advantages are not enough to outweigh all of the potential hazards that come with it.
“Perfect on paper,” Street said. “But in practice, it’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
“He’s very high energy, very take-charge,” said leftfielder Ryan Braun. “It seems like he has a unique ability to inspire and motivate. That’s something you don’t find very often. He’s added a unique dynamic that we haven’t really had around here.
“The whole energy of this camp is better than any camp I’ve been a part of the lat 10 years. It’s been really good and he has been a big part of it.”
“The first time I talked to the team, that was part of my message,” he says. “That’s the heartbeat of who I am. Better people make better teammates. Better teammates make better players. Being selfless, thinking about others, is a great way to live your life.”
Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
The info is top secret.
Approached by the Chronicle during spring training, Hinch had no comment, deferring to general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Luhnow was coy.
“We’re committed to A.J., and he’s committed to us,” Luhnow said. “We don’t comment on contracts.”
The environment Hinch took over in the fall of 2014 was one of disrepair. He had to create cohesion in all directions: with a new coaching staff, the players, and the front office as well.
Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Now get out there and do your pitchers’ fielding practice!
But in his closed-clubhouse address Tuesday before the first full-squad workout of spring training, new manager Don Mattingly fired up the Marlins with a passionate address that inspired players, coaches and even owner Jeffrey Loria.
“I went out to practice [Tuesday] like I wanted to eat the world,” Marlins ace Jose Fernandez said.
Said Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler: “I got chills. I don’t think I was alone.”
One coach called it “the best speech I’ve heard in 40 years of baseball.”
Even Loria offered high praise for Mattingly’s 15-minute talk.
“It was the best I’ve ever heard, the best talk to a group of players that I’ve heard in a long time, since Jack [McKeon],” Loria said.
Posted: February 24, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
He seems like a likable guy. He shouldn’t talk about things which he doesn’t know much about, however.
“He’s like everybody ought to be,” said Bishop, the songwriter and blues guitarist who befriended Baker after they met years ago at John Lee Hooker’s house. “He treats everybody with respect and an open mind. He’s just a beautiful person. If the Martians ever land here, this is the guy I want to send to go talk to them — to represent the human race.”
“My biggest [role] was to tear down the negativity people have about him,” Miller says. “He was very open to ideas from the front office [in Cincinnati] — as much as we wanted him to be. He’s still an old-school guy, and he’s still going to go by his gut and listen to his players.
“But he believes in sabermetrics more than the sabermetrics people believe that these are humans playing the game and that some things can’t be measured.”
Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:18 AM | 196 comment(s)
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Bobby likes Eddie.
“Eddie is really a plus on any team. He would be a plus managing someday,” Cox said. “He’s still got young kids in high school and the family. He’s such a big family guy, and it’s hard for him to leave Atlanta right now. But I think in a couple years, he’ll be able to do that or whatever. He’s Major League managerial material, for sure.”
Friday, December 11, 2015
Q: “What has changed about managing? How are the demands on the modern manager different than they once were?”
Mike SciLoLscia: “I hope not. I think a manager is a manager.”
Andy Green, San Diego: I think it always comes back to communication, meaning connecting with the guys. As the players evolve and generations change, the way a manager connects is different. It’s always been about understanding how to communicate a message and draw out what’s inside a player, and create an environment that gives them the best opportunity to succeed.
I think what data we choose to look at has evolved. I’ve always been analytically inclined. In my background in the minor league, I paid attention to every manager that was at the forefront of the game. Like Tony La Russa looking at platoon splits, and matching up in the bullpen, and now we are looking at spin rates and bat paths and grouping matchups. It’s evolved, but every manager that is worth his salt is looking for whatever edge he can find. The edges have changed, and it takes more people now to run a team as well as you can, because there’s so much more information now than there used to be. ...
Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox: Yeah, the more technology, the more you’re dealing with that. I think you have video. Guys get video. You’re dealing with just the suddenness and the impact of a social media that creates a different element for a player.
For me, it doesn’t — that part doesn’t matter as much, but players care about that stuff. They’re younger players, and they’re coming up at a different age of how technology was created in their lifetime. At a younger age, it’s all about they want instant gratification or instant news or instant feedback. It becomes a little bit different.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Friday, November 06, 2015
Ok, it’s true the Nats made something of a hash of the hiring process. A week before the club announced that Dusty had the job, news leaked that they were going to name Bud Black, a former big league pitcher who managed the San Diego Padres for eight years until he was fired midway through the 2015 campaign. Reportedly, the sticking point was that Black felt Nationals’ owner Ted Lerner low-balled him, with an initial offer of $1.6 million for one year. Eventually, Lerner offered Black three years at a much higher salary—according to one report, “well above the average major league managing salary, perhaps in the top 10.” But Black, say insiders, was so “deeply offended” by the initial tender that negotiations never got back on track.
The news Black was going to get the job shouldn’t have been leaked until everything was in order. But it’s pretty clear that the Nats dodged a bullet here. Bud Black was “deeply offended”? Excuse, but is that a former big-league pitcher whining?—because it sounded an awful lot like the Iranian foreign minister. Is Black “deeply offended” when ballplayers spit sunflower seeds in the dugout? What about when a hitter doesn’t get a runner over, pitchers leave an 0-2 pitch out over the plate, or infielders bungle a double play? How does a guy with a .477 winning percentage as manager get to be “deeply offended” when a club that has proven it is serious about winning a World Series opens the bidding with more than a million and a half dollars for a year’s worth of work. ...
Why are baseball writers effectively defending the professional etiquette of a guy who clearly needs to find out how the rest of the world works, outside of Major League Baseball? Or maybe the Post works like that, too—in which case Jeff Bezos has probably already offended his employees, deeply. A number of Post staffers, along with other Washington baseball reporters, seem intent on drawing a picture of a dysfunctional baseball franchise that keeps embarrassing itself. The fact is that all professional sports franchises are by definition dysfunctional because their billionaire owners keep them as luxurious pets, to be coddled, humored, and scolded when they make a mess of the furniture. What owners know, and the talent and the media don’t understand, is that the so-called big business of sports isn’t big business at all. If you want to make money, you go into something like finance, or real estate, like the Lerners, whose wealth is estimated around $4 billion. You don’t go into an industry that depends on the whims of spring and summer weather and an even more capricious customer base, fans. In real business, you are surrounded by real business people, like executives who know their worth and seek to leverage their advantage when it comes time to negotiate compensation. In baseball, [mid-level] management is former athletes, who don’t know any better but to pout to the press when things don’t go their way.
Boswell says he likes the Nats’ owners. “The Lerners are good people,” he writes. “Their hearts are in the right place: dreaming of a title for their home town. The problem is with their ears. They don’t listen.” Ok, I’ll bite—who is it the Lerners should listen to?
Boswell is perhaps the gold standard of baseball writing, but it’s hard not to read him sometimes as just another Washington beat reporter willing to cash in common sense for the sake of a story. And luckily for Boswell, the Nats’ front office leaks against its internal rivals as much as the State Department. So what if the substance of the story is patently silly? It advances my relationship with a highly placed source, and besides, it’s a scoop—with my byline. Who is Boswell’s source in this article critical of the Lerners? I don’t know, but the Nats GM sure comes out of this looking good.
“As for Mike Rizzo,” writes Boswell, “a general manager who has built a team that has averaged 91 wins the past four seasons, [the Bud Black] episode doesn’t seem like how he does business.” Ok, maybe Rizzo didn’t leak the details of the Black story to Boswell, and frame it to make himself look like an innocent bystander watching a train wreck. And maybe Rizzo screamed at the Post reporter on the phone for jeopardizing his job by daring to suggest in print that there is any difference between how he and the people who sign his paycheck operate. But I doubt it.
We don’t know what really happened here, but given that Nats’ officials are leaking against ownership in typical bureaucratic Washington fashion through the Washington press corps, it’s not hard to surmise the intent of this CYA campaign. How about this: let’s say there were two final candidates for the manager’s job. The GM wanted Black but saw it was close so he needed to tip the scales. By leaking that Black had the job, he’d back Lerner into a corner so that if Black wasn’t picked the boss would look like an incompetent, if well-intentioned, baseball outsider who doesn’t understand how the business of the game works. Lerner called Rizzo’s bluff and picked Baker. He preferred Dusty, and perhaps wanted to remind Rizzo how he got to call the shots—you don’t become rich in the real business world without a pretty good sense of character. To save face in front of the professional community where he will someday have to go looking for a new job, Rizzo concocted an absurd story about a baseball lifer with nerves as fragile as a geisha’s.
In short, the Black episode really does highlight a problem in NatsWorld, but the clown show isn’t the Lerners.
Thursday, November 05, 2015
The quotable Dusty Baker.
Dusty Baker on existential voids
“I had a burning desire to succeed in my heart that wasn’t filled in my life [without baseball]. You’re going to have voids in your life. I mean, you can live without them. But I’d rather not.”
Posted: November 05, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 41 comment(s)
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: Atlanta Braves should bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa and the teepee
(90 - 4:26am, May 05)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)Newsblog
: ESPN edited Curt Schilling out of its 30 for 30 episode on the '04 Red Sox and people are mad.
(38 - 4:03am, May 05)
Last: Asian Sorority Sleepover Party TVerikNewsblog
: The Marlins revelation who may doom Yankees’ Eovaldi trade | New York Post
(4 - 3:58am, May 05)
Last: Asian Sorority Sleepover Party TVerikNewsblog
: Butler befuddled with lack of playing time
(25 - 3:36am, May 05)
: OTP 2016 May 2: The Anti-Moneyball Election
(1456 - 3:11am, May 05)Last:
The Yankee ClapperNewsblog
: Kate Upton Reveals Engagement to Justin Verlander at 2016 Met Gala | Bleacher Report
(43 - 2:30am, May 05)
Last: Walt DavisNewsblog
: OT: NBA Playoffs Thread 2016
(1132 - 2:26am, May 05)Last:
: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball
(11 - 2:13am, May 05)
Last: Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his HandleNewsblog
: OT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1544 - 12:05am, May 05)Last:
: OMNICHATTER 5-4-16
(226 - 11:54pm, May 04)Last:
: Dodgers suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena for remainder of 2016 season
(15 - 11:46pm, May 04)
Last: Cargo CultistNewsblog
: Mets' Travis d'Arnaud's return from DL unknown | mets.com
(2 - 11:44pm, May 04)
Last: Cargo CultistNewsblog
: Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-4-2016
(21 - 11:30pm, May 04)
Last: There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerowSox Therapy
: Three Questions: May 2016
(28 - 11:23pm, May 04)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)Sox Therapy
: Guys Who Are Not Major Leaguers
(47 - 10:04pm, May 04)