- Joined: Apr 11, 2017
- Last Login: Oct 21, 2021, 9:25pm EDT
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Comment 2 replies
Why would you accuse me of defecating on anything and imply that I’m not enlightened? You have no knowledge of who I am, address what I wrote and keep personal commentary to yourself please.
Why would you erroneously assume that my thought was that new hires were hired to do things the way Jim Campbell, DD, Ralph Houk, Jim Leyland or any other former Tiger GM or Manager did them? I said nothing to that effect.
Do you not believe that echo chambers in businesses exist? Have you not sat in meetings where the supervisor lets their desires or intent be known and that ends all discussion or ones in which everyone waits for what the person in charges decides and then agrees with it?
Seems interesting that you think/imply that Avila has a "his way" that differs from what he has been doing over the last few years. Why is that?
The basis of the idea is that instead of getting a room full of former Dodger organization guys, or setting up a guys I know need to be here hiring process, getting the best minds from multiple organizations can be just as fruitful.
Of course the thing with the former method is the relationship is already there and if nothing changes or people are extremely tight it definitely can work. The problem is that you could set up an echo chamber that the leaders live in without friction but also without a catalyst to make sure the best decisions are being made.
What happens when things don’t work like they did elsewhere – the cohesion can fall apart.
Bringing in differing points of view can produce a broader perspective and better structured plans (US Government using Constitution and Bill of Rights as a basis) but of course it could also crumble because of a lack of cohesion (US Government using Articles of Confederation as a basis).
As you can see either way could work or they could not work.
Beyond that, echo chambers are rarely good in business or in government, especially in the present day and age when the Patton type of leadership has had its weaknesses plainly shown as few people can grasp the complexities of running a McD’s franchise all by themselves let alone something highly complex like a sports organization/team.
Whether you agree with it or not, does that further explain the original message?
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A number of people on this very site did not use the qualifiers mentioned in coming up with the low amount of impact that a manager in baseball supposedly has regarding wins.
I’m not sure what I would call it but to bring these qualifiers into play now when the grandness and adoration of all things analytics to compile a roster was being set against the Tigers lack of any apparent desire and/or capacity to use them when the manager’s low impact was being discussed seems questionable at best.
Now it seems that since we have an organization that is using analytics, with a large amount of the credit for that being given to the manager, we’re moving home plate in the discussion.
I’m not saying you or any specific person was carry the water for the analytics based discussion back then but the manager’s impact was minimized as much as possible when it fit what was being preached back then.
Hinch is the manager we needed to make the wind blow in a different direction and he did an excellent job this past season. Expectations are rising among the fans but also amongst the organization and the players, which is always a good thing. He and his staff took mind numbing base running and made it aggressive without making it what appeared like it was under the last few managers, stumbling, bumbling, etc. The resiliency of the team on almost a game in game out basis was something to truly appreciate! The patchwork pitching staff turned out to be a pretty decent quilt to warm us a little over the winter.
But regardless of whether a manager is worth 3 wins or all the intangible and the tangibles that AJ Hinch as the manager brought to the Tigers is worth +13 wins in his first season is not truly important! What is the ultimately important in our Tiger fandom is that – We have hope that better days are on the horizon.
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A similar thought crossed my mind regarding setting up an echo chamber where everyone is thinking the same thing and no one will ever want to say the emperor has no clothes. Another thing to be careful of at a new job is referencing how this or that was done at your old job.
Time will tell and hiring is always full of questions as to what the outcome will be after the offer has been accepted.
Comment 1 reply
To say that Hinch was the catalyst for Lombard’s hiring could be true but it also could be true that Avila liked what Hinch was thinking and his approach and then looked around MLB and targeted others with a similar mindset/approach and identified Lombard as one of those types of people.
This easily could have been done without Hinch’s input in making the planning decision.
Avila may have then approached Hinch about the idea to see if there were any blind spots that Avila was missing.
I’m NOT presenting this as definitely what happened, I’m saying that it is a possible explanation of what happened which still allows the latitude for your different point of view to be possible because I don’t know what actually happened so I have to allow for the possibilities and consider them.
The lack of this potential is exactly why I started reading Kinney’s book and then tossed it without finishing it as he is blind to other possibilities and "writes" down to the reader if they disagree with his view.
To me that is the old school power based hierarchy of whose thoughts are right being tied to who is higher in the chain. I’m the ‘expert’, I’m right, you’re neither, so shut up.
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When someone claims something is undeniable on its face they are making a false claim when it comes to arguing opinions. It can be a fact that I have a bias that favors the Tigers over every other MLB team but that fact doesn’t make it a fact that the Tigers are better than every other MLB team. That is the type equation that is being asserted as fact in some of these Hinch v Avila observations. I.E. Hinch arrived and changes to the organization as a whole, as we perceive them, occurred (fact) so Hinch gets the credit (only possibly true).
The problem with the some of the arguments present are the words that are used. "I just don’t know what to tell you" has a negative connotation to it, whether intentional or not, and it is directed at the other party in the supposed discussion who isn’t understanding (for an unidentified reason which could carry with it an unintended meaning that they lack the intellectual capacity to do so).
"What we’ve wanted him to do for the last six years" implies "we" know everything that Avila is, know better than Avila and know what should have been done, when it should have been done and how it should have been done. As fans that is a stretch.
Just on the latter point, "we" as fans don’t know what Avila’s plan was back 4-5 years ago, "we" don’t know if Avila had his priorities as shed salary, improve the quality of players in the farm system, hire a manager who could change the organization to being more of a learning one, get the organizational structure to integrate a new approach (proper use of analytics?), and then hire a manager that can help bring all that together before going out and selectively adding some higher end FAs.
If any part of our BYB collective "we" can say whether that offered plan was truly Avila’s, or not, then they’re name should be either Chris I or Al Avila.
So "we" have our opinions and our analysis of what we see played out in the media and that’s it.
The people who are singing the praises of Hinch to the exclusion of all else is where this stems. To walk that back like Pontius Pilate and say something like oh of course Avila gets credit "but" we’ve been waiting for him to do it these past 6 years again brings the credit to Hinch and minimizes Avila’s contributions. The usage of the word "but" minimizes, in this case, Avila’s role in the actions taken that has earned the credit.
That approach sets up more of a compare/contrast, I’m right/you’re wrong argument than a focus on the process improvement foundation to even using analytics and goes back to the Patton I know how to fight a war because I’m a General approach, a mindset which adherents to analytics abhor. Inconsistent at best on a deep level and disingenuous closer to the surface for a person to use an approach that one disagrees with as a discussion tool.
Avila has recently said that he wants to build a solid structure within the Tigers organization for it to be successful even after he is gone and that shows a vision that is not typical at all in sports, let alone the business world.
More people want to be Jack Welch (GE CEO), an incredible leader, and be on the magazine covers because of the profits of the company rather then the prolonged health of the company and aren’t as concerned with being an incredible developer of talent, (which Welch also was) so they get something (profits) that is a more tangible thing in the short term.
Comment 1 reply
How do we know that he understood the basics or that he wasn’t averse to sabermetrics?
You lost me. Are you saying Mr. I did not have the money to spend on incorporating analytics into the Tigers (/Red Wings) organization?
Are you connecting his money spent on the Wings, replacing JLA, and that as where he was putting his money?
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Bill James would be the pioneer in the field of changing the view that grew into what it is now as noted by "new wave of analytics" being used in the link you’ve provided.
All in all the point wasn’t who created the view it was more about DD, throughout his entire career, was potentially exposed, in some form or fashion, to the thinking points which by most accounts here he didn’t get on board with.
Thanks for including the link. Pretty good article.
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That doesn’t really stand out to me like that. It sounded like the buy in to modernizing development approach came from Avila which makes sense considering he is the GM. I loved the amount of times some variation of the word ‘teach’ was used.
I think the interview went very well for both of them. It was incredibly informative in showing the mindset and focus the organization has.
I am all in on that and train my folks to replace me.
I’m focused on succession planning at work and creating opportunities for the team members to grow in challenging areas to better prepare themselves for higher levels of responsibilities in our out of our hospital
I just see two guys working together that are on the same page.
I find it interesting that Avila said that he was still sensitive to trading prospects. I don’t take that as a dig on DD but I think it shows that he values young guys a bit more than he did.
As for a why answer I would say we call it succession planning. You have to replace players as they get older and it’s cheaper to do that with home grown draft picks than it is through the FA route.
With Mr. I you’d have to find the balance between keeping him happy with getting stars and the right messaging to get some internal replacements to come up and take jobs away from some of those stars a few years later as well; so there was definitely a lot of friction between the moving parts.
Comment 1 reply
How old is Bill James book? Late 70’s? Do you think DD read up on the ideas in it since he started in the admin side of baseball about that same time?
Money Ball with the A’s in the 90’s seems to be the first glimpse of widespread analytics use for an organization.
His time with the Marlins where the 97 series was won with expensive players, then the fire sale of everything except the urinals, and later the players he drafted/brought in to the minor league system ended up winning a WS after he was fired.
He had the potential to be exposed to the ideas and see some successes but it doesn’t look like he went after much beyond the much maligned basic old timer baseball stat producing stars.
He had a plan and it was pretty successful in the Central Division, with playoff series wins and a couple of WS appearances so I’m not bashing him.
It’s the path he took.
Just like the Smoltz trade you have to go with your plan and can’t worry about what it looks like 5 years down the road at the time from when you pull the trigger.
Mr. I was a hands on owner, desperate for a WS ring, and we saw that to the end. I imagine if he would have lived we would have been chasing FAs for a couple more seasons at least.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
The tools used matters but hiring the right people matter more in business related process improvement.
It seems to be an assumption that you have to know analytics to figure out how to use them. That isn’t really the case you have to be aware of the "new" thing and be willing to learn about it. The leader doesn’t necessarily need to know the ins and outs they just need to see the potential of the tool and then go get people to buy in to their vision.
I don’t think Avila is headed to Cooperstown or anything and the jury is still out but like I mentioned before we may need to rethink our narratives about him.
Comment 1 reply, 2 recs
That question isn’t legit.
No GM wants to lose 100 games! (But Dombroski did, to the tune of 119 losses, in the early 2000’s after canning Randy Smith in 2002 to also take on the GM duties.)
But a number of GMs have to cut bloated salary levels and rebuild organizations, there’s even been a Yankee GM or two that had that as their primary task, when hired.
Avila had to clear salary after one last year of spending on free agency by Mr. I.
Then he set to work to rebuild the farm system.
With that he had to trade away some veterans to get younger and he had to go bargain bin hunting.
As fortune would have it a manager with skills and street cred became available and his sales pitch was accepted.
Now he’s got the young players getting close to busting out and putting away their teething rings.
It’s the collective efforts but someone has to have a plan for what the goal is and needs to paint the vision of how to get there. That is either Chris I and/or Avila which doesn’t mean that Hinch isn’t at the table now but the original transition, as much as it sucked, didn’t start with Hinch.
None of what has happened to date means that Avila can’t make missteps this off season and in next season and be let go by Chris I.
Comment 2 replies, 2 recs
Why does it have to be a coincidence to not link everything to Hinch? All that you’re tying to Hinch could be just as much of a coincidence?
What if Avila spent the 1st year assessing what was going on in the organization? Tweaking things here and there. Spent the 2nd year pushing for some progress in some areas and continuing to work on building the minor league system through the draft and trades. Spent the 3rd year pushing a little harder to see who was going to be onboard with the direction he wanted to take the Tigers and building the minors up. Spent the 4th year identifying who was going to go and who was going to stay while continuing to shift the org away from the Leyland good ol boy type of model and made the move to create some openings near the end of the season, threw some of the young draft picks into the fire to see how they would do, and continued to build up the minors. Using Hinch as the worm to lure other quality people he got a key person in place.
Is all of that true? Probably not but it is at least as possible as giving all the credit to Hinch. I can’t remember how long ago but I swear the conversation ended up giving credit to managers for maybe a 5 game swing in wins and losses during a season. I don’t remember how much credit was given for assessing said manager’s ability to influence the organization itself but the tone seemed more like managers are the driver on a subway train more than the captain of a ship on the ocean.
Hinch couldn’t have been in the cards 4 years ago obviously since he was still employed, but the lack of evidence that Avila had what has happened as his plan doesn’t mean it wasn’t. Avila’s off and in season comments and moves leaves room to see what he has been about.
The team is young but learning. The farm system is healthy. And the payroll is uncluttered. That’s Avila leading the way in those areas so it’s hard to doubt that he hasn’t been leading the way in the other items too.
No offense or disparagement is meant to Hinch. He is the man for the Tigers job and he has been the fresh air that we can all smell but we need to reassess how we’ve been portraying Avila as a collective.