Strategy vs Tactics

Pick a target, hit it with everything you've got

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=== Strategy and Tactics, Dept. ===

In chess, "strategy" refers to general, overarc'ing plans.  I am a pawn ahead, so I should trade pieces, get my rook behind my passed pawn, stop invasions, and get the pawn moving.

"Tactics" refer to specific, moment-to-moment, smaller-scale activites.  He goes there, I go there, then he goes there, then I go there.  If I play PxP, he plays NxP, then I play B-B4, then he goes B-K3.  That's tactics.

In Fortune 500, upper management deals in strategy -- should we keep selling camera film, or should we start making printers?  First-level supervisors deal in tactics.  Does our store need three employees on for Saturday or does it need four?

...........

Strategically, Jack Zduriencik needs to be asking what he WANTS out of his rotation.  Does he want to place pressure on the rotation to win a playoff spot for him?  Then he better gamble on Taijuan Walker.  Does he simply need competent pitching, to support the new #3-4 hitters and the breakthroughs he expects from Montero, Ackley and Smoak?  Then maybe he can afford a 95 ERA out of Jon Garland or Jeremy Bonderman.

Maybe Zduriencik doesn't think 2013 is the year?  Fine.  Then somebody explain the presence of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, please, in one-syllable words, so even I can understand them.

To Dr. D it looks quite obvious that this Strategic Plan requires for a couple of blue-chippers to pull off a couple of Michael Pinedas.  He has no idea where a safe, comfortable MLB(TM) Jeremy "Mound Presence" Bonderman fits in from the 30,000-foot view.

He brought in the #3 and #4 hitters, and even the #3 starter -- all on one-year contracts.  He's got to select the rotation with this year in mind.  

In chess they refer to this as "consistency."  If one move brings force to bear on the queenside, and the next move brings force to bear on the kingside, and the move after that does neither ... well, your opponent spent all three moves bringing force to bear on the queenside.  Guess where there will be a breach first?

You pick an objective, and you hit it with all you've got.  

Jay-Z has to select his rotation with a view to 2013.  This does NOT (necessarily) mean selecting the rotation with the most experienced pitchers in mind.  Maybe it does, or doesn't.  It means selecting those pitchers which give him the best CHANCE to justify his one-year imports.

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=== Tactically ===

Sgt. Wedge isn't likely to be thinking strategically; I'm not even sure it's his job to do so.  He's going to be wondering about who can give him the best start on Tuesday afternoon.  You understand why he cannot be faulted for this, do you not?  An organization NEEDS somebody to worry about this facet of the problem.

We have given full disclosure as to SSI's strategic imperative.  But let's put that aside for a second, and talk about what we fans are watching for this March -- tactically.

NEXT

 

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Comments

M's Watcher's picture

M's Watcher

I enjoy all the chess references. I see Jack, the Grandmaster, playing simultaneous personnel development games at the Last Exit on Brooklyn. Maybe in a few scenarios, he ends up using veteran depth in a long drawn out win. In others, the kids step up and make it obvious they are ready, cannot be denied, and the opponents are wiped out. In any case, Jack is always in control, victory never in doubt, having planned success under each set of circumstances.
I was fortunate to see Yasser Seirawan in HS at Garfield, and at the Last Exit, back in the day, hot apple pie a la mode. Let's hope Jack plays it as well.

1

"Then somebody explain the presence of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, please, in one-syllable words, so even I can understand them."

Let's say Jack doesn't believe this is the year. Explaining Morse and Morales is still pretty easy: they are here to facilitate the development of Smoak, Ackley, and Montero into the stars they were always supposed to be by taking the pressure of supporting the lineup off of their backs and by providing a consistent source of strength for the young hitters to look to. They also double as backups in case Smoak or Montero faceplants so that the team will still be respectable and Jack Z won't get fired. If Smoak busts, Morse is willing to re-up with the team and can be kept around as a ~league average first baseman for a decent price.

2

what I was going to say about that side of it.

I only see Saunders as being strategically confusing because the others are on minor league deals which suggests depth more than a determination to use them straight out. Bonderman or Garland could go to AAA or even be a long man out of the bullpen. Having them to use in the bullpen lessens the chance that Ramirez, Beaven or one of the rookies is limited to that role starting the year. There's arguments for and against whether it's better for one of the big 4 to start in mop up so I'm assuming a preference of all of them starting.

If it were chess I could just call Saunders a feint, but its likely he's part of the strategy in this case. Maybe it was just as much a matter of depth that Z didn't see it safe enough to commit to starting 5 of what we had and maybe have to trade too much later in spring to fill a spot when Saunders was only costing low dollars and no prospects then.

I've preferred leaving a spot for the rookies to fight for since before bats were added because the collective chance of 4+ of them is pretty good. I think it's better to stagger their adjustment to MLB as much as can be done reasonably. This could even stagger free agent years, but that's so far out its not a huge concern. They could all be on the same timeline or spread out over 3 years as free agents potentially but that means losing a year overall on one or more.

In the time since Saunders signed I've thought about the implications a bit. Going for it doesn't preclude raising the baseline that the added depth does. If a decision is made that Saunders isn't one if the 5 I think the rule is that he can't be traded until half the season is played with the team he signed with. Logically it seems they have to go with Saunders unless injured in the rotation through June 29th vs.the Cubs which is game 81. If the move him to the bullpen it would decrease his value. None of those complications came with Garland or Bonderman so they remain options rather than commitments. It is only a problem if Saunders isn't one of the best 5 early. Iwakuma just signed a deal so can't be traded early either, so trade options among starters early in the season are Beaven, Ramirez and the rookies.

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jemanji*Super* cool Mo' Dawg :- )3 hours 46 min ago
jemanjiBat571 - many times this happens to me when the pic is too big, or when it's from an unfriendly source (copyright issues?). I try a smaller pic, or one from a different original source, and everything's fine. … I've got a Q in to the boss on it. Thanks for your material! :- ) Jeff3 hours 47 min ago
mojicianThat story is awesome Moe.6 hours 47 min ago
moethedogA short Giants story: Their rookie BU catcher, Andrew Susac, is the grandson of a good friend of mine, a city counsellor I served with. In mid-August Susac hit his first MLB homer, an opposite field job in Wrigley. One of my college roommates, a HUGE Giants fan, was watching the game on TV and called me to tell me.(he knew the hometown connection as he had read about it in a Giant's on-line mag) I was in Missoula dropping Bailey off at college. I called Andrew's granddad, suspecting he would be watching the game on TV. When he answered I just asked if this was the granddad of a guy who had just hit his first career homer. He said "I'm so excited that I can't breath! I think I'm floating on air!" It was one of the coolest calls I've ever made. A game in Chi-Town, a buddy in Portland, me in Missoula and a glowing granddad on the Oregon Coast = the magic of baseball (and cel phones!)!11 hours 47 min ago
mojicianThose who bet against the Giants in even numbered years end up poorer and wiser. Its not about WAR, or roster construction or who has the smarter GM or the better team. The Giants laugh at your logic. Based on that sort of thinking, the Nats or the Dodgers won the pennant. For the Giants, its about making the post season, and then "burning the other cities down, every last one of them". The Royals are Cinderella, the Giants are Vandal maurauders with trophy lust. The Giants are specialists at dispatching Cinderella teams from Missouri. Giants in 5. In a week's time, remember where you heard that. :)12 hours 10 min ago
moethedogOr noticed the lack of a picture...15 hours 24 min ago
moethedogI just noticed it. Not there: Sorry.15 hours 25 min ago
SABR Mattno...I don't see his picture either.15 hours 37 min ago
moethedogYou could try logging out and see if the pic is there.....19 hours 11 min ago
moethedogBat, that has happened to me once or twice. I've eventually assumed that I was the only one who couldn't see the picture.19 hours 12 min ago
Bat571Hey, Doc or KLAT admin guys - my uploaded picture doesn't seem to show in the front page tile view. I changed it twice, and it does show up on the article page, but, did I do something wrong (.png is O.K., right?) or what?1 day 7 hours ago
Bat571Taijuan's Mom has had cancer - I suspect he just wants to be with family. But I hope his Mom has not taken a turn for the worse.1 day 14 hours ago
SABR MattHmm...I hope Walker doesn't have a behavior issue to work out.1 day 17 hours ago
mojicianIn the morning article, not the tweet, it sounds like Walker had legit personal reasons for leaving. As in, no Jesus Montero drama.1 day 17 hours ago
mojicianTaijuan Walker thinks that an instructional league consists of new victims learning about pain and suffering.1 day 18 hours ago
mojicianNew Marinerland drama: Shannon Drayer tweets that Taijuan Walker has gone AWOL from the AFL. Maybe he likes it in Tacoma.1 day 18 hours ago
MtGrizzlyThe guys on one of the pre-game shows indicated that Harvin refused to go back into the Dallas game and that was what sealed his fate.2 days 7 hours ago
misterjonezFrom reading tweets (I know, I know) and articles at Fieldgulls I came away with the overwhelming impression that he was becoming a clubhouse cancer. I generally think that when an organization (and league) made up, primarily, of Alpha Males complains of a person's personality, there's a serious problem. good on the 'Hawks for sticking to their guns and the 'program first' mantra.2 days 7 hours ago
DaddyOStory of the Seahawks this season: In contrast to last year, this season the Hawks's defense is not generating sufficient pressure on the quarterback, and they are not taking the ball away (turnovers).2 days 8 hours ago
Cool Papa BellThey went out of their way to get him the ball trying to make him happy. Now they will have a lot more freedom. He's not as big a loss as it may seem on paper.3 days 17 hours ago