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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mike & MIke: Leo Mazzone

Thank heavens for the Subway Fresh Take Hotline!

On the Bobby V situation:

... Then I go to Baltimore and I find out why they’re losing. The chain of command was always broken, where players got to voice their displeasure at the front office, which took away power from the manager…. Basically, what it was was a bunch of players finding excuses for losing.

On Strasburg’s upcoming shutdown:

I think it’s absolutely pathetic, to be honest with you. ... If I’m Strasburg, here’s what I’m saying. I’m saying, “You take the ball away from me and I’ll save my arm for some other team to pitch for….

JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, pitching mechanics, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4208759)
The chain of command bullcrap is the refuge of the managerial incompetent trying to sweep their failures out of sight.The front office should be aware of the players displeasure, and if the manager is doing their job, the FO will tell the players that's they way ts going to be.
   2. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4208767)
You are probably right. What would Leo Mazzone know about a franchise that functioning and successful over a long period of time? I'm sure there is nothing that the Baltimore front office is doing wrong, look at all the success they've had over there.
   3. Natty Fan Posted: August 15, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4208818)
“You take the ball away from me and I’ll save my arm for some other team to pitch for…"


I can see how Strasburg would resent being taken out of a chance to win a championship this year. I'm not sure I see how Mike Rizzo's decision to consult with Strasburg's doctors and his super-agent and decide to make a decision in the interest of Strasburg's long-term career and health would infuriate him enough to say "I've had it with this horse-crap organization. I'm leaving for a team that only cares about winning."
   4. DA Baracus Posted: August 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4208827)
Mike and Mike and Leo Mazzone is at least the 2nd level of hell.
   5. Champions Table Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4209387)
Every Mike and Mike going-to-break teaser: "Somebody somewhere said something, but it's not what you might think. And why somebody somewhere should be very worried. All that and more next on Mike and Mike in the Morning."
   6.   Posted: August 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4209390)
Where I work, there was an incident a few months ago. A company-wide "engagement survey" was sent out to gauge employee satisfaction and what-not. One of the departments had a very very low satisfaction score (or whatever.) After the results came out, their manager called them into a room and blasted them. Basically said the employees were making him look bad and threatening them with their jobs if they ever have a low score again. After the meeting, the employees as a group went to HR and told them what happened, and the manager of that department was promptly fired.

In other words, I agree with 1.
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4209410)
Then I go to Baltimore and I find out why they’re losing. The chain of command was always broken, where players got to voice their displeasure at the front office, which took away power from the manager…. Basically, what it was was a bunch of players finding excuses for losing.


Is it just me, or does this sound like a pitching coach making excuses for losing?
   8. The District Attorney Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4209428)
I'm not sure I see how Mike Rizzo's decision to consult with Strasburg's doctors and his super-agent and decide to make a decision in the interest of Strasburg's long-term career and health would infuriate him enough to say "I've had it with this horse-crap organization. I'm leaving for a team that only cares about winning."
I believe Strasburg had a quote to the effect of "They're going to have to rip the ball out of my hand, and I mean it."

I don't see any indication he plans to demand a trade or do anything else dramatic about it, but he sure did not sound happy.
   9. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4209433)
I don't think anyone has suggested that they'd like Strassburg to be happy about it, but there are pretty good reasons that you don't let players make these decisions. Anyway, the Nats control Strassburg until he accumulates four more years of MLB service, so he's not really in a position to just save his arm for some other team as Mazzone suggested.

More importantly, after today's start, Strassburg is just under 140 IP and his spot in the rotation will come up eight more times. He figures to take three to seven of those turns. So the Nats are going to need one to five starts from someone else. Taking the upper end of that, the difference between 30 Strassburg innings and 30 John Lannan innings is what, four runs maybe? I kinda doubt that's going to cost them the east. Although personally, I'd put him in the bullpen for the playoffs.

   10. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4209442)
You are probably right. What would Leo Mazzone know about a franchise that functioning and successful over a long period of time? I'm sure there is nothing that the Baltimore front office is doing wrong, look at all the success they've had over there.
j

No one said he never worked for a good organisation, curiously he never had any success away from it. But an effective manager in a good organisation should not fear how their subordinates rate them. if they are unfairly criticized the organisation will back them.

Managers who resist oversight/disclosure either know they arent cutting it, have something else to hide, or are paranoid.
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:18 AM (#4209462)
if they are unfairly criticized the organisation will back them.

I like how this is presented as a given. As we know, all unfair criticism is immediately dismissed by anyone who hears it. I mean, obviously.

Look, if you are managing your department and your employees know they can just go over your head anytime they hear something they don't like and the upper management will just over rule what you have said, that's not going to work. You might as well just quit, which is of course what Mazzone did. And that is a failure of upper management.

If you hire somebody to manage a department, and you undercut his authority at every turn, you cannot expect that guy to be effective.
   12. donlock Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4209921)
Then I go to Baltimore and I find out why they’re losing. The chain of command was always broken, where players got to voice their displeasure at the front office, which took away power from the manager…. Basically, what it was was a bunch of players finding excuses for losing.

Mazzone was given a boatload of money to come to Baltimore and work his magic with the O's pitchers because he had a reputation for turning mediocre talents into productive pitchers. There were few examples of this happening in Baltimore over his tenure.

His childhood best friend, Manager Sam Perlozzo, was certainly a big supporter. Not sure why players belly-aching to the front office had any effect on his job. If there are franchises that somehow forbid players to complain to anyone who will listen , I don't know who they are or how they do it.

Mazzone was not an effective pitching coach in Baltimore. His continued unemployment since he left the O's makes me think that the word of mouth on his ability, work habits and communication skills was that they were all lacking and the consensus was that his success in Atlanta had much more to do with the staff than with his talents.
   13. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4209929)
Mazzone was not an effective pitching coach in Baltimore. His continued unemployment since he left the O's makes me think that the word of mouth on his ability, work habits and communication skills was that they were all lacking and the consensus was that his success in Atlanta had much more to do with the staff than with his talents.


What I've always found funny was his reputation in Atlanta was probably unwarranted to begin with. All those pitchers who really got the benefit of the Mazzone effect were bullpen guys (with a few notable exceptions of formerly good starters who refund their old stuff which probably would have happened anyway). But up until his last few years Bobby Cox worked with the bullpen more than Mazzone.

The effect should probably have been more properly called the Bobby Cox effect.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4209938)
What I've always found funny was his reputation in Atlanta was probably unwarranted to begin with. All those pitchers who really got the benefit of the Mazzone effect were bullpen guys (with a few notable exceptions of formerly good starters who refund their old stuff which probably would have happened anyway). But up until his last few years Bobby Cox worked with the bullpen more than Mazzone.

The effect should probably have been more properly called the Bobby Cox effect.


Disagree, Mazzone coached a pitching staff for several years that had a very low number of injuries in comparison to the rest of baseball, that is usually the number one reason people point to his methods. I don't see his improvement of the pen pitchers as any different(better) than what Dave Duncan got or maybe others, but it's the rotation going 30 starts a year, year in, year out that cements his greatness as a pitching coach.
   15. Mike A Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4209941)
Most pitchers in Atlanta (including the big three) gave Mazzone a lot of credit for their success. Some of them went so far as to say he 'taught them how to pitch.' And the numbers don't really lie. He was a heckuva pitching coach for a long time.

The problem with Mazzone is though he had a fine pitching mind built on Johnny Sain's philosophies, he was a hard-ass who was difficult to get along with...an old-school coach in a new-school game. So he started having more and more trouble relating to young pitchers, and clashed with several of them (Marquis, Spooneybarger, etc). People eventually grew tired of him and his act, including Bobby Cox. And the game eventually passed Mazzone by...but, he seems to be having fun with his radio gig, so maybe it's all good in the end.
   16. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4209944)
Disagree, Mazzone coached a pitching staff for several years that had a very low number of injuries in comparison to the rest of baseball, that is usually the number one reason people point to his methods. I don't see his improvement of the pen pitchers as any different(better) than what Dave Duncan got or maybe others, but it's the rotation going 30 starts a year, year in, year out that cements his greatness as a pitching coach.


OK, I'll give you that. The ability of his methods to keep pitchers healthy may make him a great pitching coach. I'll even concede that the guys who more completely bought into his methods (Glavine and Maddux) stayed healthier than the others.

But the Mazzone effect deals with reclamation projects becoming better, not just healthier, than they had been previously. So maybe there was a Mazzone effect, but I stand by my contention that at the least it isn't what people think it is.

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