Flexibility and Agility
the beach ball here would be Domingo Santana's 2019 stat line

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From a 2013 Hey Bill:

hey bill The Mariners have the worst outfield I have seen. And I saw Kevin Reimer play on the turf in the Kingdome. They have the worst defense in baseball. Have you ever seen a GM and organization change their team philosophy so quickly from high defensive metric guys like Jack Wilson, Casey Kotchman, Franklin Gutierrez, Brendan Ryan to horrible should be DH's like Mike Morse, Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, Ackley in CF, etc? Seems self destructive to change your core philosophy in two seasons.
Asked by: therevverend

Answered: 8/28/2013
Well, if your Chevy breaks down you don't have to buy a new Chevy.   You can try a Honda.     My own organization, for which I labor and which I love, kind of drove down a blind alley a couple of years ago, turned around and went in a different direction.
 
I have seen organizations radically change their philosophies in a couple of years, many times.    In my childhood the Kansas City A's would rush off in some new direction every six months.    The Angels in the 1970s would try to be a speed team one year, a power team the next year, a pitching team the third year.   Obviously, when you do that, you're floundering, but on the other hand, when you're floundering, you need to look carefully at whether you're going the right way. 

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My own reaction has been, if Dipoto has the answer this year why didn't he have it three years ago?  If shedding Robinson Cano's contract was the path the Promised Land last month, why couldn't he see this when he got here?

But that's probably way too harsh on several levels.

1) I've always admired, MUCHLY, the flexibility of spirit that allows a man to see the problems with his own decisions.

2) As James points out, there's nothing unusual about zigging and zagging in any pro sport.  If the NFL is the copycat league, obviously somebody is changing gear in the offseason.

3) The way Dipoto sold this -- 16 blank Yahtzee sheets for the Committee and an obvious theme returning on the sheets -- is top shelf leadership.  Now, not only he but his bosses are EXCITED (excited) about the next several years.

In years past, with LinkStrong, there was a definite lack of AGILITY that drove Dr. D batty.  There is no such problem now:  Dipoto has been given more than enough authority to behave NIMBLY when trade opportunities present themselves.  

Dipoto does seem to have the ability to derive consensus among owners, while at the same time painting a picture with a coherent style to it.  .... I couldn't tell you quite what the 2019 Mariner "theme" is, but I can tell you that it's there.  "Buying Low" has been one winter theme, wouldn't you say?  Backing up from deep arb years, such as with Zuumball/Mallex, has been a second.

4) No saberdweeb should be slow to give the Mariners credit for winning +89 games .... and then immediately recognizing that Pythag had them much lower.

5) Here we sit, all happy with the dynamics of the organization both at the top 25 and at the next 25.

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I guess I'd rather say, he gave Zeus a chance to spend three years as Randy Johnson (among other player scenarios) and it didn't work out.  Time to grab the cards, riffle the deck, cut them one-handed and deal again.  welllllll.... hokay.

We do have two questions left.  One:  if it works out better than expected, is Dipoto going to deal for a stud short man?  And Two:  those core values like "a young, athletic outfield" and a "run prevention model" -- do those persist across the turning of pages into new chapters?

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In any case, if Edwin Encarnacion drives in 96 runs I won't be quibbling much about core values.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

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Is that blowing it up initially was strongly considered.  Seager and Felix being home grown, Cruz and Cano being just acquired previously it made sense to build around.  Felix dropping off a cliff seemed highly unlikely then.  Do you think it was blown up almost as simply as because Felix lost the crown?  I guess if Paxton hadn't missed so much time that could have changed things too.  This offseason was the first time in awhile I thought they should blow it up.  I even thought for a few days about what a Mitch+Marco package from the Braves might look like.  I'm glad they're not gone though. 

Market inefficiencies don't last long anymore and you can only choose between the opportunities that are presented with regards to acquisitions.  Do good GM's have a player profile that they try to fill their roster with or is it generally more variable types than we saw the 2 previous GM's here collecting 1 offseason at a time?

The core value is CtheZ, which is more universally positive than athleticism or other ideas.  Athleticism as a target could still need the learning, practice and putting it into production where controlling the zone is already the finished product of the skill you're after.

LincStrong seemed more like a plodding committee where JeDi seems to be going committee for views and ideas but more like the agility of a Steve Jobs led Apple.  Maybe too soon for that height of compliment but I like where things are heading. 

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