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The Best Organization In Baseball

[ 27 ] December 10, 2012 |

The Rays v. the Royals — hard to imagine a bigger mismatch.

..see also.


Comments (27)

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  1. Manju says:

    Well, its not like the Royals decided to host a still-reeling Mitt Romney in their dressing room right before Game 7.

    That honor goes to a certain congressman from the Philippines

  2. c u n d gulag says:

    So, ya gotta 31 year-old Starting Pitcher and some Relievers for him, and Jeff Francoeur remains in your outfield instead of Myers?
    Yup, great deal!


    And on my Yankees, we still haven’t found a 3rd Baseman to replace the other half of “The Sunshine Boys!”
    So, sometime during the season, I expect to see Jeter playing with a cane, and, if we’re “lucky,” A-Rod out there either with a walker, or in a wheelchair.

    Paging Mr. Nettles.
    Paging Mr. Graig Nettles to the courtesy phone.
    Mr. Graig Nettles?
    Mr. Nettles…

  3. greylocks says:

    Is it really that bad? Shields is pitching as well as he ever has, and Davis has turned out to be a damned good reliever, although he still pines for a starting slot and will presumably have a shot at one in KC. And compared to a lot of pitching talent right now, they come relatively cheap.

    Myers has yet to see a major league pitch and has been playing as low as AA.

    I don’t care what their minor league stats are — I’m never sold on these kids until they’ve stood up to a few 98mph fastballs whizzing past their heads and have shown they can get the bat around before a major league heater zooms by them.

    • rea says:

      You might have a point, if Jeff Francouer weren’t so unbelievably awful.

      • greylocks says:

        I’m not saying it’s a great trade or even a smart one (for either team), but the overwrought reaction so far has been largely along the lines of OMG This Is As Bad As Vernon Wells.

        And it’s only December. There’s lots of time for KC to make other moves.

    • Sherm says:

      It really is that bad. It’s a win now trade for a team that is not ready to win now. They just gave up six years of control over the top hitting prospect in the game, plus two good pitching prospects and a decent third base prospect for two years of James Shields and a back of the rotation starter and/or reliever. Terrible trade. They mortgaged their future so they can be mediocre next year.

  4. J.W. Hamner says:

    The author’s premise that we are converging towards some sort of asymptotic competence across all baseball front offices seems… overly optimistic? I mean it certainly seems like overall competence has improved and people no longer evaluate players on their gut instead of statistics, but it seems to me there will always be management that prioritizes short term gain and does so ineptly.

    • spencer says:

      I think his bit about there being one final stupid trade is wrong, but generally speaking I agree – the clubs that are using this new-fangled “analysis” thingy are doing a better job of getting more wins out of less money, and over time (or more realistically, once all the “baseball guys” die off) it’ll become the standard approach to running a club, with most teams doing it most of the time.

      Naturally there will always be management that prioritizes the short term over the long term. But I think it is true that it will soon be nearly impossible for “short-termism” to be the guiding managerial principle of a major league organization.

      • Western Dave says:

        But your missing the crowd effect. Someone will always sniff out a stat that the market is undervaluing and fleece somebody on that basis. Then everybody starts valuing that stat and it becomes overvalued and the next smart guy moves finds a different undervalued stat to arbitrage. And the whole converging thing assumes that somehow baseball executives will stop being stupid, power-mad idiots, which is part of the selection process and won’t stop being that anytime soon.

      • daveNYC says:

        Not to mention the management that prioritizes cash for the owner over actual winning.

        • spencer says:

          Yes, that’s certainly true enough, and there are plenty of examples of fan bases who are dumb enough to keep turning out for teams that show no interest in getting any better (I’m looking at you, Detroit Lions …).

          I didn’t really intend to argue that there would soon be no shortsightedness or stupidity in sports. That’ll always be there, just like in any industry. Of course, sports franchises don’t compete in anything like a free market environment, and fans often don’t make anything like a “rational” decision (in the economic sense of the word) when it comes to team allegiances … so maybe you’re right. I still find it difficult to imagine that things aren’t trending toward smarter management approaches in general, but it’s pretty clear that exogenous forces that would have an effect in more competitive industries might not apply in sports.

          • greylocks says:

            The weakest link in the chain in many organizations is the ownership. The GM can only be as good as the owners let him be, and the only requirement for own ing a baseball team is money.

  5. Kurzleg says:

    people no longer evaluate players on their gut instead of statistics

    Uh, you might want to re-think that statement:

    KEATING: My favorite passage in the book is when you write about how enough time has passed for you to evaluate the PECOTA forecast. The guys you projected to do the best as minor leaguers added, I think, an estimated 546 wins, or generated 546 wins for their teams, and the top picks by Baseball America generated 630. And on the surface that’s disarming because it’s like, Well, look, the scouts actually did better and were adding something. But it undermines the whole stats vs. scouts debate because scouts use stats, right? So the whole question of there being a diametrically opposed war is sort of ridiculous.

    It’s actually a little bit of both and will probably always be.

  6. Izzy says:

    As a lifelong Royals fan, I can say: the consensus among Royals-watchers who are even mildly inclined toward analysis is that this is a terrible trade for the Royals. As Rany says, it’s a clear Moral Hazard problem: the front office needed to win now or lose their jobs.

    The worst part? That for the combined salary of this deal and Hochevar, the Royals very likely could have had Anibal Sanchez and kept all four prospects, and/or dealt some of them for a mid-rotation arm.

    …and now I have to watch Francoeur fail to get to anything in RF and fail to get on base.

    Is there room on the Nationals bandwagon?

  7. sleepyirv says:

    Is there something we can do for Rany? His twitter feed yesterday was very close to being evidence of a nervous breakdown.

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