Brent Strahm, Zach Gallen, GM discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


It's getting good players in your room when you get good players in your room any kind of analytics looks good. So that's true. No, that sounds to me like he's stuck in this earlier era of baseball where it's all about like, oh, let's go get the guy with the high on base percentage because no one else knows he's good. Right. That doesn't fly anymore, so yeah, you can go get good players. That's great. But a big part of getting good players is now is helping them get good and making them better. And using them in a way that emphasizes their skill. Yeah, and so why would you want to leave that solely to the coaches? Like I know that's how it worked historically, but I don't know that it ever made sense and it definitely doesn't make sense now that the people who have access to all this information and just this bigger brain trust upstairs, they're putting the team together, they're crafting the way that they want it to work and then they're just handing over the reins completely to someone else and just saying, well, do what you want. Hopefully you'll treat these players responsibly that we just got for you. But it's not like players are finished products now and you can just go collect them based on what they've done and just leave them alone to perform. The best teams are the best now because they're getting more out of those players and they're communicating with them in a way that helps them unlock latent abilities. So you can't just say set it and forget it. You have to make sure that you either have coaches who are very adept at making players better, like not necessarily young guns either like maybe it's Brent strahm making Zach gallen better with the Diamondbacks. Yeah. But it has to be someone who has that mindset and that familiarity with the information and that ability to communicate it. And when he's talking about every day we get ready for the game and the GM and the assistant GM would come in and they would start talking about how I should use the bullpen that night like I haven't done that for the last 40 years when you do that when these people do that, the game becomes cloudy. You're in the dugout, you know what you'd like to do, but these people have come downstairs prior to the game and they load you with stuff that's not necessarily helpful. Now a lot of this has taken me back to the 2015 Sonoma stompers and me and Sam Miller talking to Yoshi our second manager and a lot of that was about navigating okay, when do we offer this input and how do we offer it and at first we were offering too much information and so we had to boil it down to the essential pieces and we had to maybe talk before the game or after the game instead of during the game because you do want the manager and the coaches to have some sort of authority, I guess like that's the tricky part of this is like well why would the players follow their lead or listen to them if they're just puppets and they're just figureheads and mouthpieces and if they know that all of the power and all of the decisions are coming from upstairs why do you even need a manager? You need to imbue that person with some sort of power or authority in order to get players to listen to them potentially. So a lot of this is just like navigating managers losing some of their traditional power and still having to maintain some. So if you're just coming down and saying do this through that, put this guy in then put that guy in then. Then the manager might feel like, well, why do you need me to be this push button manager? I guess, you know, like you need someone to actually make the move, but if you're just yanking my chain and I'm just doing what you tell me to do, then what's the purpose of my being here? And so I guess you wouldn't want it to be so overruled to the point where it's like, well, the manager wants to do this and we want to do something different and what we say goes ultimately, I guess you'd rather be on the same page or at least like when there is some disagreement, maybe you're the ones to bend at times and let the manager have this way and maybe the manager knows something you don't. So it has to be a bit of a give and take, I guess, if you take too heavy a hand and it's just like do what I say because this is what the numbers say, then the managers probably not going to be happy and feel fulfilled in that position. And maybe the players will sense that and you might lose the Clubhouse a bit. Great, you have to have, it needs to be a relationship, right? And it needs to be one with two way communication. But, you know, I think the idea that there isn't useful feedback to be had from the front office is and that the front office can't receive useful feedback from the manager. It just needs to be something that's collaborative. You know, if for no other reason than otherwise you end up walking, a guy with the base is loaded. I was just going to say he doesn't say that here, but between the lines, was that just an FU to them. Great. Hey, you want to dictate my moves? Watch this. I'm going to walk a guy with the pacers loaded intentionally. Right, it's just, again, you want it to be a collaborative process. And the idea that you aren't going to be able to distill something useful in the face of all the information and all the expertise that is on the front office side would be just as silly as them saying, we have nothing to learn from the 40 years of experience that this guy is bringing to bear in the dugout. That doesn't seem great either. I mean, mostly I read this and feel like it reads like someone who had a bad parting with an org where there weren't clear expectations set in advance of how much sort of authority and leeway he was going to have.

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