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Sunday, October 30, 2005

L.A. Times: Plaschke: Dodger Fans, Think of It as a Heimlich Maneuver

As DePodesta and Dr. Gavriliu get the short shrift…

The kid’s (DePodesta’s) computer, once foolishly hailed by McCourt as the organizational savior, had become little more than a flashy box blocking the door.

McCourt should have known better. Or, at least, he should have asked someone other than Oakland’s Billy Beane, the most famous general manager who has never won a playoff series.

To fill shoes once worn by Branch Rickey and Al Campanis, should McCourt really have hired a 31-year-old who, when with Oakland, had been the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game?

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:39 AM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Alex_Lewis Posted: October 30, 2005 at 11:39 AM (#1711329)
HELP COMPUTER.
   2. schuey Posted: October 30, 2005 at 12:57 PM (#1711342)
Bill Madden in NY Daily News is saying DePodestra got fired because he wanted to hire Terry Collins as manager. Collins failing twice as manager with players in open revolt did not impress The Computer.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 30, 2005 at 01:00 PM (#1711345)
God, he doesn't just hate DePodesta, he hates computers. Does the guy use a typewriter to write his column?

I seriously doubt it.
   4. JMM Posted: October 30, 2005 at 01:15 PM (#1711354)
Does the guy use a typewriter to write his column?

Crayon.
   5. OlePerfesser Posted: October 30, 2005 at 01:21 PM (#1711356)
Hmm. Pat Gillick? The very definition of "old and busted?"

Isn't the pendulum swinging back a little too far here? You figure out that inexperience is a problem, so you drag a guy out of retirement?

I like the idea of bringing either Hershiser or Valentine or both back, but I'm not sure Pat Gillick's got the ability to get things done in the Modern Era. Hope I'm wrong, though, for Dodger fans' sake.
   6. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 30, 2005 at 01:24 PM (#1711359)
*BREATHE*

*BREATHE*

*BREATHE*
   7. Luke Gofannon Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:30 PM (#1711409)
Pretty mediocre year for the sons of Moneyball.
   8. GregQ Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:38 PM (#1711416)
I think this is going to give Plaschke and his ilk the feelings of king maker and I expect that if the selection does not meet with their approval, their will be no honeymoon period, not that there was really one with DePodesta. I think it would be informative if, in a year from now, someone did an analysis of the LA Papers predictions on the new GM/Manager combo like the one recently published on Mariotti.
   9. Luke Gofannon Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1711426)
Face it, DePo had lousy numbers.
   10. PFJ Posted: October 30, 2005 at 02:55 PM (#1711427)
From the day Arizona takes 1st place, over Gillick's ran Dodgers, I will send Plaschke thousands of e-mails a day, asking him to write a column about how well "moneyball" is working in Arizona
   11. CONservative governMENt Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:19 PM (#1711444)
From the day Arizona takes 1st place, over Gillick's ran Dodgers, I will send Plaschke thousands of e-mails a day, asking him to write a column about how well "moneyball" is working in Arizona

Those poorly-run Dbacks were 6 games better than DePo's Dodgers this year. And be sure to measure how inheriting an absolutely stacked farm system that the new guy had nothing to do with factors into any success they have in Arizona.

Your emails are akin to the letter that Steve Alford had ready and waiting to send to all the NBA GMs that passed him by in the first round of the draft. Or Havisham's wedding cake.
   12. CFiJ Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:47 PM (#1711461)
Or Havisham's wedding cake.

Oh, snap!
   13. Repoz Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1711465)
Can't wait until the Dodgers put together the Lasorta type of team that Plaschke envisions...and then the injury/suck/age bug hits them.

I look forward to those columns!
   14. GabeMartinez Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:55 PM (#1711469)
Is Bill Plaschke aware of the fact that Branch Rickey was Paul Depodesta before Paul Depodesta was Paul Depodesta?

Okay, maybe thats a bit of a stretch. Or is it?
   15. covelli chris p Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:05 PM (#1711473)
if depo had hired hershiser does he not get fired?
   16. Dr Love Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1711476)
if depo had hired hershiser does he not get fired?

It seems that DePo never had the chance to hire him. He had a phone interview with him, then McCourt had dinner with him and either wasn't allowed or chose not to attend that dinner, and then he was fired.
   17. Bob T Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:17 PM (#1711481)
Branch Rickey started as manager of a big league team (and at the time, he would have served as GM) at age 31 with the St. Louis Browns in 1913. DePodesta was 31 when he started on the Dodgers job.
   18. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided Posted: October 30, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1711485)
Is Bill Plaschke aware of the fact that Branch Rickey was Paul Depodesta before Paul Depodesta was Paul Depodesta?

Maybe the Branch Rickey that worked for the Pirates. Otherwise, not so much.
   19. Old Matt Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1711620)
The media is the number one reason why Mr. Depodesta was fired.

For that, Mr. Plaschke will sleep well for the next two weeks.
   20. Shredder Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:51 PM (#1711655)
The media is the number one reason why Mr. Depodesta was fired.

Alright, I posted this in the newer thread, but maybe it works better here:

I mentioned this on Matt Welch's blog, but I can't help but to think that McCourt made this decision in part because of the media pressure, especially the pressure he's getting from Plaschke and Simers. And I think a lot of that pressure is due to the fact that there is a likeable and successful franchise just down the road. If this were ten years ago, this wouldn't have happened. The success of the Angels has raised the bar for the Dodgers, and they're really struggling to keep up on the field, although their natural advantage still has them ahead in terms of attendance and revenue.

And as Rob McMillin pointed out, a big part of this extra competition stems from the fact that the Angels are doing it with Scioscia, Roenicke, Mickey Hatcher, and Alfredo Griffin, three of whom played for the last Dodgers championship team.
   21. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 30, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1711660)
should McCourt really have hired a 31-year-old who, when with Oakland, had been the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game?

Plaschke's as easy mark, but was there a less invisible asst GM than DePodesta? I don't hear a lot about Cardinals and Cubs asst GMs giving fancy-schmancy speeches at investment banks.
   22. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:35 PM (#1711692)
I hear the 31-year-old hired by the Yankees in 1998 turned out OK. Also, the 28-year-old the Sox nabbed before the 2003 season. In fact, if you take the combined 13 team-seasons GM'ed by younguns Cashman, Epstein and DePodesta, you'll note that 12 ended up in the playoffs.
   23. Шĥy Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1711702)
Remember when, during DePodesta's hiring news conference in February 2004, McCourt mentioned how it was so cool that his teenage son had been surfing chat rooms that claimed DePodesta joining the Dodgers was like Alex Rodriguez joining the New York Yankees?

Error, hackers


I think Furtado should start worrying about sting operations from the Feds instead of the cybernanny.
   24. base ball chick Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:50 PM (#1711706)
Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 03:35 PM (#1711692)

I hear the 31-year-old hired by the Yankees in 1998 turned out OK.

- well that's because he had joe torre and donny baseball and all the other yankee gods to guide him and tell him how to do things the Yankee Way

Also, the 28-year-old the Sox nabbed before the 2003 season.

- well that's because he had johnny pesky and larry luchino to tell him what to do and how to do things the Red Sox Way. well, except for losing every year that is



and didn't those 2 guys go to college too? don't guess plashke woulda liked them guys neither. or mark shapiro. or gerry hunsicker. or anyone but tommy lasorda and orel hershiser with his years of experience in the front office... i am not understanding why plaschke thinks a guy should have played mlb and not gone to college to be the Right Sort of gm
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1711716)
People can make computer jokes all they want, but fact is a number of DePo's moves were pretty questionable from a sabermetric perspective.
   26. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: October 30, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1711717)
"In fact, if you take the combined 13 team-seasons GM'ed by younguns Cashman, Epstein and DePodesta, you'll note that 12 ended up in the playoffs."

Seems like a bad and pretty selective way to measure success, considering the payrolls involved. Huge payrolls can help to paper over lots of GM incompetence (e.g. a 5.15 bullpen ERA for Boston). Evidently it's harder to paper over a 71-91 record against horrible competition.
   27. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 30, 2005 at 08:13 PM (#1711735)
I mentioned this on Matt Welch's blog, but I can't help but to think that McCourt made this decision in part because of the media pressure, especially the pressure he's getting from Plaschke and Simers.

Especially Plaschke, who had DePodesta in his sights from day zero.

That said, I don't think there's much reason to blame anything unusual on DePodesta's firing. I think it's pretty natural for a first-time GM who oversees a drop of 24 in the win total to be fired. Fair? That's arguable, but it doesn't surprise me at all.

It also wouldn't surprise me to see DePodesta learn from his mistakes as Dodgers GM, eventually land a job elsewhere, and excel. DePodesta made mistakes, but his analytical approach was probably not one of them.
   28. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1711739)
Seems like a bad and pretty selective way to measure success

Which is why I didn't use it to measure success. I used it to illustrate that Plaschke's assertion that hiring 31-year-olds is self-evidently stupid is, on its face, self-evidently stupid.
   29. RP Posted: October 30, 2005 at 08:42 PM (#1711758)
should McCourt really have hired a 31-year-old who, when with Oakland, had been the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game?

This is kind of a bizarre statement. If anything, I would have thought that Depodesta was the most visible No. 2 executive in the game before the Dodgers hired him. Which #2s had a higher profile or were more obvious GM candidates?
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:15 PM (#1711790)
Which is why I didn't use it to measure success. I used it to illustrate that Plaschke's assertion that hiring 31-year-olds is self-evidently stupid is, on its face, self-evidently stupid.

Exactly. Besides, if the Dodgers hire another 31-year old GM that subscribes totally to Orthodox Stathead methodology, the age factor would never be a point of contention for him. Until Plascke ran out of ideas for a column, of course. :-)
   31. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1711803)
it's plaschke. he's a moron. do we really need to catalogue it?
   32. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1711819)
"Which is why I didn't use it to measure success. I used it to illustrate that Plaschke's assertion that hiring 31-year-olds is self-evidently stupid is, on its face, self-evidently stupid."

Plaschke asserted no such thing, as you know. Read the modifier: "a 31-year-old who, when with Oakland, had been the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game." You want to take issue with whether DePodesta was "the most invisible No. 2 executive in the game"? Fine by me. But to say Plaschke asserts "that hiring 31-year-olds is self-evidently stupid," period, is BS.
   33. schuey Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:56 PM (#1711831)
Cashman started his Yankee career as a 19 year old intern. He has worked various jobs on his way up. He got to know the various New York media types along the way and built alliances. Plus he benefitted from taking over a team built by Bob Watson with "great clubhouse guys" like Bob Watson.
Rickey did use statistical analysis to give him an edge when many people did not know how to compute ERA. But he also placed emphasis on character, liking a player to be married (stable home life) and a little in debt (buckle down and work hard so he can get better as a player and earn more). I do wonder about Rickey's choices a managers over the years..they do reek of Moneyballers' contempt in picking any old moron to run a team. A lot of Rickey's choices were probably Cardinal owner Breadon's. There was a lot of switching..Hornsby to McKechnie to Street to Frisch to Dyer. Rickey did keep Durocher as Dodger manager for about 5 years but sent him to the Giants in 1948 when they asked for Kindly Old Burt Shotton, whom Rickey kept despite mismanaging the 1947 World Series.
   34. schuey Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:56 PM (#1711832)
OOps..make that "great character guys like Joe Giriardi".
   35. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 30, 2005 at 09:57 PM (#1711835)
Which #2s had a higher profile or were more obvious GM candidates?

Maybe Plaschke's adhering to Furtado's speech code and alluding to Angelos?
   36. RP Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:02 PM (#1711842)
It seems to me that Plaschke is saying that hiring a 31 year old is by definition kind of stupid. "Most invisible" doesn't modify "31 year old"; it's just an additional criticism.
   37. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1711846)
So Plaschke, while making a list of reasons why DePodesta was a bad hire, has a sentence where he lists two factors, one of them patently false, the other that the guy's 31; and it's my bad for pointing out that young GMs have a high rate of getting into the playoffs. Got it.
   38. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:11 PM (#1711854)
Plaschke asserted no such thing, as you know

This isn't the first article Plaschke has written about DePodesta, Joel.
   39. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:16 PM (#1711858)
C'mon, Matt, just admit that you're part of BTF's DePodesta Groupthink.
   40. Matt Welch Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1711865)
This isn't the first article Plaschke has written about DePodesta, Joel.

Right. The first article Plaschke wrote about DePodesta started off with the line: "The Dodgers have a new face, and it is dabbed in Clearasil."

Later, it contained this passage:

But c'mon.

I've eaten Dodger Dogs that were older than this kid.

He watched the last Dodger playoff victories from boarding school.


He also demonstrated his firm grasp of Billy Beane's philosophies by insisting that "[Kirk] Gibson's unconventional numbers probably wouldn't have fit the A's system."
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:27 PM (#1711869)
Plaschke asserted no such thing, as you know

This isn't the first article Plaschke has written about DePodesta, Joel.


I'll second that, Andere.
   42. Bob T Posted: October 30, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1711876)
Rickey changed managers a lot with the Cardinals because Sam Breadon liked to change managers.

Hornsby was traded after winning the World Series mainly because Rickey couldn't stand him (in particular Hornsby refused to play an exhibition game in September). And McGraw had long coveted Hornsby. And since the Cardinals could get Frisch as a replacement, Rickey likely didn't shed any tears.

After Hornsby, came Bob O'Farrell, who was the NL MVP in 1926. But the Cardinals finished second. So O'Farrell just went back to catching and in came Bill McKechnie, who won the pennant in 28 and then got swept by the Yankees.

Breadon was ticked off by that so he sent McKechnie back to the minors to manage. Apparently, he would learn more! So Billy Southworth switched places. But after a while, Breadon decided to switch the two back and McKechnie took over. Gabby Street and Frisch eventually got to try the job too and both won WS.
   43. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 30, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1711944)
Joel: But to say Plaschke asserts "that hiring 31-year-olds is self-evidently stupid," period, is BS.

Actually, you're wrong. I'm paraphrasing here, but the 'Depodesta on the Way Out' thread quoted one of Plaschke's first articles which stated that the Dodgers got a GM who still had to use Clearasil. I think you owe Matt Welch an apology.
   44. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:28 AM (#1711979)
"I'm paraphrasing here, but the 'Depodesta on the Way Out' thread quoted one of Plaschke's first articles which stated that the Dodgers got a GM who still had to use Clearasil. I think you owe Matt Welch an apology."

So when Matt made his arguments in posts 22, 28 and 40, in a thread about THIS article, he was referring not to Plaschke's comment in THIS article, but to comments Plaschke made in an article written 1-1/2 years ago?

How... subtle. That ranks right up there with "But no one could have expected Drew to get injured in this PARTICULAR way!"
   45. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:41 AM (#1711988)
So when Matt made his arguments in posts 22, 28 and 40, in a thread about THIS article, he was referring not to Plaschke's comment in THIS article, but to comments Plaschke made in an article written 1-1/2 years ago?

Since Plaschke wrote this article mentioning Depodesta's age (which is pointless to mention unless you think it is out of the ordinary), based on past articles Plaschke wrote, it should be expected that Plaschke thinks Depodesta's age is a drawback. Surely you understand that, don't you? Then why do you assume this is not the inference that Matt Welch made?
   46. Dr Love Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1711990)
I can't believe people are actually arguing over what Bill Plaschke said. Folks, Bill Plaschke is a total moron who has somehow made a living off of writing what his assinine gut reactions are. Of course he doesn't read this site, but talking about him in any fashion, whether it be on this site or at the water cooler on Monday, doesn't do anyone but Bill Plaschke any good. Guys like him get a fair deal of readership from people who hate him, because they want to see what he says next. And he's fully aware of that, and it only furher fuels his reactions. Neither Plascke nor the LA Times don't care why you read his articles, as long as you continue to read them. Just ignore him and his contemporaries, maybe they'll go away a little sooner than if you didn't ignore them, and it'll save you some time and frustration.
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:44 AM (#1711993)
Since Plaschke wrote this article mentioning Depodesta's age (which is pointless to mention unless you think it is out of the ordinary), based on past articles Plaschke wrote, it should be expected that Plaschke thinks Depodesta's age is a drawback.

Of course that's what Plaschke was inferring. Anyone saying the opposite is being disingenuous.
   48. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1712000)
Of course that's what Plaschke was inferring

It's what he's implying! It's what Matt Welch is inferring!

B-
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1712006)
It's what he's implying! It's what Matt Welch is inferring!

That's what I meant, Spivey. Sorry about that.
   50. Matt Welch Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:59 AM (#1712020)
Joel, he listed the age-31 thing in a sentence and paragraph of job-disqualifying complaints. I can't believe anyone's arguing about this.
   51. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 31, 2005 at 12:59 AM (#1712021)
Bill Plaschke is vaguely familiar to those of us old enough to recall the work of "Colonel" Dave Egan. Egan wrote in Boston and was well known for being "anti" Ted Williams of whom he famously wrote, "Williams is the inventor of the automatic choke".

Egan was unrelenting of his criticism of Williams using every opportunity to explain to Red Sox fans that Williams was a selfish player who could care less about winning.

Of course, Paul D. is not the GM equivalent of Ted Williams.
   52. Voros M. Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:17 AM (#1712042)
My favorite Plaschke quote of all time has to be the one where at the start of the season he breathlessly (and quite seriously) exclaimed that at the start of the season only about 6 teams has a reasonable chance at making the playoffs. Even more disturbing was that in the online edition, they subsuquently changed "playoffs" to "World Series."

Here's the USENET post to this bit of brilliance:

Usenet Post quoting Plaschke
   53. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:19 AM (#1712043)
"... it should be expected that Plaschke thinks Depodesta's age is a drawback. Surely you understand that, don't you? Then why do you assume this is not the inference that Matt Welch made?"

I think Plaschke believes DePodesta's INEXPERIENCE is a drawback, which is why the modifier is just as important as the point about being 31 years old. If I say "To select Harriet Miers, a woman, who has no experience with issues faced by a Supreme Court justice, is just crazy," I don't think it's accurate for you to look at that comment and say I'm sexist -- I'm not saying "To select Harriet Miers, a woman, is crazy." That's not a perfect analogy, of course, since Plaschke IS using age as part of his argument. But it's more complicated than just saying the equivalent of "Plaschke believes no 31-year-old can be an effective GM" -- I'd say the modifier indicates that Plaschke could theoretically support the choice of a 31-year-old GM, if the GM had been sufficiently "visible" in his previous job.

Now, if you want to bring in prior articles or make other points to suggest that (a) DePodesta WAS visible, (b) visibility doesn't equate to experience, and/or (c) in reality no young GM would be acceptable to Plaschke, that's fine to do. But you have to say that's what you're doing -- Matt didn't, and in fact Matt made it clear in post 37 that he was responding only to Plaschke's argument in this column.

"I can't believe people are actually arguing over what Bill Plaschke said."

That's not really what we're arguing over, is it? What we're really arguing over is this:

1. "Moneyball" guy is made a GM and given a decent payroll -- hopes are very high for his success.

2. Team finishes 71-91 in a horrible division in his second year.

As far as I can see, Plaschke articles are posted for the same reason that Richard Griffin articles re. Ricciardi are posted -- to take the focus off a "Moneyball" GM who has been unsuccessful. That's why talking about the "Plaschke thinks hiring any 31-year-old would be stupid" argument is relevant -- I view that argument as an attempt to paint a potentially sensible point (about experience or lack thereof) as ridiculous. I want to make it clear: Plaschke's point about experience has a number of holes (notably, the three I addressed above). But I think a lot of the sound and fury directed at him is really an attempt to remove the focus from DePodesta's shortcomings.
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:22 AM (#1712045)
But it's more complicated than just saying the equivalent of "Plaschke believes no 31-year-old can be an effective GM" -- I'd say the modifier indicates that Plaschke could theoretically support the choice of a 31-year-old GM, if the GM had been sufficiently "visible" in his previous job.

Who was more visisble than DePo in his previous position?
   55. Matt Welch Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:23 AM (#1712046)
Joel, I've wasted more breath here on DePodesta's shortcomings than most, and think his firing may well have been justified. I ain't tryin' to distract no one from nothing.
   56. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 31, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1712050)
But I think a lot of the sound and fury directed at him is really an attempt to remove the focus from DePodesta's shortcomings.

I don't know about that. More people here seemed against the Lowe trade than people in the media. A healthy number of people here though Drew was getting too long of a contract. Letting Finley walk and the Shawn Green moves were the only ones that seemed to be universally praised here, and they both turned out to be enormous successes. The LoDuca trade and letting Beltre walk were also both greeted with mixed reactions here, and the second was also the right decision by DePo, and the first I think could go either way. BTW, the only reason I think the first isn't a win for LAD is because Penny got hurt on what appeared to be a freak injury for a guy who didn't really have a strong history for something like that occurring.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 31, 2005 at 04:12 AM (#1712232)
Now, if you want to bring in prior articles or make other points to suggest that (a) DePodesta WAS visible, (b) visibility doesn't equate to experience, and/or (c) in reality no young GM would be acceptable to Plaschke, that's fine to do. But you have to say that's what you're doing -- Matt didn't, and in fact Matt made it clear in post 37 that he was responding only to Plaschke's argument in this column.
Matt said that the "invisible" line was obviously crap. And he's right. Before Ricciardi was hired by the Blue Jays, DePodesta was reported as one of their main targets, but he declined. There were articles written about the "smart Harvard guys" assisting Beane. DePodesta was doing speaking engagements with businesses and stuff. He was maybe the single most visible assistant GM in baseball.
   58. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 31, 2005 at 02:51 PM (#1712465)
"To select Harriet Miers, a woman, who has no experience with issues faced by a Supreme Court justice, is just crazy," I don't think it's accurate for you to look at that comment and say I'm sexist

Well, if you say that you're either sexist or not doing a good job of expressing yourself. The placement of the apposition "a woman" where it is suggests that her gender is one of the reasons it's crazy.

Have you read the articles that Plaschke has written about DePodesta, particularly the first one quoted here? How can the "Clearasil" comment be interpreted except to mean that there is something inherently wrong with hiring someone who's young? I'll grant that Plaschke may have been using insults about youth as a proxy for insults about inexperience, but that only makes him an even bigger jackass.

But I think a lot of the sound and fury directed at him is really an attempt to remove the focus from DePodesta's shortcomings.

If anyone is doing this it's Plaschke, who insists on hurling insults instead of discussing DePodesta's actual shortcomings. The reason for this is pretty obvious: Plaschke is incapable of generating an intelligent criticism of DePodesta. People here have done a much better job of that, and not surprisingly, DePodesta's shortcomings are fairly nuanced and not an easy thing to explain.
   59. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1712482)
Huge payrolls can help to paper over lots of GM incompetence (e.g. a 5.15 bullpen ERA for Boston).

I'm interested in how the huge payroll "covered" for that.

It didn't. The offense scored a stupid amount of runs. It's not some "go sign someone else to fix it" like the Yankees. They have Manny and Ortiz.
   60. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 03:13 PM (#1712500)
And DePodesta was mentioned in Moneyball - hardly invisible - that's teh reason we have to listen to all this crap.
   61. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1712522)
Pretty mediocre year for the sons of Moneyball.

Can you list these individuals?

DO you think that people in favor of Moneyball think that all "Moneyball" teams should all win the World Series every year?
   62. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: October 31, 2005 at 03:32 PM (#1712547)
"I'm interested in how the huge payroll 'covered' for that.

It didn't. The offense scored a stupid amount of runs. It's not some 'go sign someone else to fix it' like the Yankees. They have Manny and Ortiz."


No, what they have is $60-65 million per year (or more) to devote to offense. THAT is what I'm talking about. If you spend that kind of money on bats, you can "afford" to put a laughable bullpen on the field (for the second time in three years) and still be successful (or at least squeak into the playoffs).

The "go sign someone else to fix it" argument is a distinction without a difference, created so that we don't have to lump Theo in with Cashman. They're doing the same thing (using money to increase their margin for error).
   63. Chris Dial Posted: October 31, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1712578)
The "go sign someone else to fix it" argument is a distinction without a difference, created so that we don't have to lump Theo in with Cashman.

Well, no, it isn't "created" for that purpose. It is a difference.

I alos am well aware of the benefits of being able to sign your own free agents within the frameork of being a "rich" team.

It's mostly a matter of having experienced players, rather than less experienced players. And *Good* players rather than mediocre players.

Manny costs a lot. Ortiz doesn't. But paying a ton of money to Edgar Renteria, Kevin Millar and Trot Nixon (20 mil) IS NOT throwing enough money at offense to "cover up" a bad bullpen. That's terrible spending.

The money they spent on Manny/Ortiz/Damon/Tek made up for that, but there are other teams with guys like this that still stink.

As long as Manny has a huge contract, you think it's about the money, but here it isn't.
   64. Baseball Crank Posted: November 02, 2005 at 02:08 AM (#1715346)
There's only one solution that makes sense at this point. Three simple steps:

1. Give Plaschke the GM job.
2. Give DePodesta a daily column in the LAT.
3. Buy popcorn.

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