Hargrove, camps, other good stuff

DMZ · January 20, 2005 at 1:16 pm · Filed Under General baseball, Mariners 

I’ve got a new column up at the PI on Mike Hargrove’s managerial tendencies in past jobs, one of two. I dig it. This follows the other delayed one that went into the remaining lineup decisions and team defense. I’ll mention too that if you’re enjoying these (even as I try and find the right voice in writing them) it’s worth your time to let the powers that be know, especially if you want to see the kind of stat-informed, detailed M’s writing in print (and if you do, be cool).

Then there’s a bit at Baseball Prospectus (subscribers only) arguing that there are no camps in the scout versus performance thing, and that we all are scouts and statheads, and we use both approaches all the time.

Which, in turn, brings up another topic. I turned in my resignation at BP a while ago. People here have noticed I wrote about my association in the past tense, because they’re eagle-eyed, and I’ve had an little post in draft status for a while about it. I’ll probably edit and publish that today, now that I’ve said this. If I quit, why am I writing?

The short version is — giving up my position internally, such as it was, and not writing a column regularly doesn’t mean I’m not going to write there at all. I’ve got two chapters and an essay in BP 2005, and a bunch of chapters in the other thing I’m not sure we’re talking about publically yet but which is really cool.


30 Responses to “Hargrove, camps, other good stuff”

  1. U.S.S. Mariner » Me in the PI on Hargrove usage patterns on January 27th, 2005 7:39 am
    […] his use of starting pitchers. Helpfully, in a previous thread a random passer-by offered places you can write if you want these columns to keep going, or if you’d like to see […]

  2. U.S.S. Mariner » PI: Hickey on Felix, me on Bucky on February 18th, 2005 8:16 am
    […] ing, or if you’d like to see this stuff in print, a totally random passer-by offered places you can write to express your opinions.


    The URI […]

  3. Jim Thomsen on January 20th, 2005 1:39 pm

    I’ve always wondered: Is there a BP headquarters office someplace? A physical locale?

    Interesting stuff about Hargrove. Not especially heartening, though, especially his historical preference for mashing over defense. One hopes the personnel decisions made for him by the front office will make that a moot point … and makes one wonder if there will be a real internal tug-of-war over someone like Pokey Reese if Reese is doing an Ozzie Smith imitation at shortstop but is hitting, say, .218/.262/.285.

    How he chooses who wins the utility jobs — and whether he gets the deciding voice in that choice — will also tell us a lot about him.

    It would be interesting to get a closer look at how Hargrove got along with with front offices in the past, and how much of a voice he had in who he got to play. In other words, say he was stuck with a Kevin Jarvis kind of situation this year — told to play a player who wasn’t good enough to play to showcase him in a desperate bid for a trade.

    Bob Melvin complacently did what he was told. Would Mike Hargrove?

  4. David J Corcoran on January 20th, 2005 1:57 pm

    That’s really too bad. I’ve enjoyed reading your essays over there. But I am sure you have your reasons for quitting.

  5. Goob on January 20th, 2005 2:04 pm

    I looked at the contact page over on seattlepi.com and I’m not sure who to contact. I’ll just e-mail the sports editor unless you have another person or e-mail you think I should write to in order to voice my support of keeping you around 🙂

  6. eponymous coward on January 20th, 2005 2:06 pm

    Why is Hargrove being more inclined to value offense over defense a bad thing? Awful lot of HOF’ers who were great bats but indifferent defensive players. It seems to me it might be a neutral or positive thing, depending.

    I’d actually like to see us have an actual hitter or two on our bench, as opposed to eleventeen gloves (some of whom aren’t all that good a glove), for instance. Dave Hansen’s been about it for a while…

  7. DMZ on January 20th, 2005 2:46 pm

    I have no comment on who you might want to write to over there, especially if you (say) wanted to see this stuff in a form that rubs off on your hands (even though not so much now with newsprint as it was back when I was a paperboy).

  8. Evan on January 20th, 2005 3:02 pm

    I sent PI a note a few weeks back telling them how much I liked your column. I didn’t know where to send it, so I sent it to the “Reader Representative” (whatever that is), and he wrote back telling me he’d forwarded my message to Lee Rozen, General Manager of the P-I web site.

    Hey, if your column starts appearing in print, how long before you get to be a voting member of the BBWAA?

  9. Evan on January 20th, 2005 3:07 pm

    I was going to say I was sorry you left BP, but since you chose to do so that suggests you genuinely wanted to, so there’s probably nothing about which to be sorry.

    I tried to trick Will Carroll into telling me if you’d resigned a few weeks ago. He didn’t fall for it.

    I think this makes Will my favourite BP author. Which, if the pattern holds, means he’s soon to leave BP. First, Keith Law took that Toronto job, then Joe Sheehan went solo*, then Doug Pappas died, and now you’ve resigned. The trend is pretty clear.

    * I really liked Joe Sheehan before he left in 2002. Since his return, I’m less enamoured.

  10. DMZ on January 20th, 2005 3:43 pm

    I will offer that while it may be helpful in general terms of continuing the experiment, it’s unlikely that the GM of the online site would have much say on what gets into the print side, and you might be better off (if that’s a point you want to make) writing to someone on the print side.

  11. Luke on January 20th, 2005 4:00 pm

    Thanks for another good bit of writing in the PI. I looked for your column last week but didn’t see it – did the not run it online?

  12. Evan on January 20th, 2005 4:21 pm

    Last week’s column was late – it didn’t go up until Monday of this week. Apparently that wasn’t Derek’s fault.

    I totally agree, incidentally, that writing the the web guy probably won’t get the column printed, but since I write from a .ca domain I probably don’t come across as a potential print buyer, so my opinion there probably wouldn’t matter.

  13. David J Corcoran on January 20th, 2005 4:25 pm

    Say you are an American working for a Canadian company. Duh.

  14. matto on January 20th, 2005 4:41 pm

    I read the last article in the Print version 🙂
    At least I think I did. Anyway, I think Hargrove is a solid MGR who usually doesn’t play to MGT’s wants (He may be forced this year if MGT wants SELE on the roster though).

  15. Patrick on January 20th, 2005 5:08 pm

    Well I passed along my two cents to them, hope PI keeps ya

    good to have new perspective

  16. David J Corcoran on January 20th, 2005 5:25 pm

    It’s the little things that I likea bout “Off The Wall.”

    This week: “You could hire a potted plant to run a baseball team, and in the press conference to introduce him the plant would manage to say those three things.”


    “If Raul Ibanez gets slotted as the left fielder…we’ll see a whole lot of him…, balls dropping around him in left field.”

    You don’t see that dry witticism in newspapers. It’s refreshing.

  17. Mike Thompson on January 20th, 2005 5:37 pm

    I hope Derek won’t mind me answering this one here.

    For general comments related to Derek’s articles (or anything on the site for that matter), you can e-mail newmedia@seattlepi.com. The link is also found at the bottom of every page.

    For anything print-related, I’d suggest e-mailing sports@seattlepi.com.

  18. Ryan on January 20th, 2005 5:59 pm

    #6 – Evan:

    The Reader Representative at a newspaper is essentially the ombudsman. For any type of feedback regarding the newspaper including opinions on columns or factual errors, writing to the Reader Representative is very appropriate. In fact, I would suggest that along with writing the people Mike suggested that the Reader Representative be copied. That would cover all the bases.

  19. DMZ on January 20th, 2005 6:16 pm

    Those are excellent suggestions for places to send feedback, random knowledgeable passer-by! Thanks!

  20. tede on January 20th, 2005 6:40 pm

    Well, good luck DMZ.

    As far as Hargrove goes, I recently read Omar’s ghosted autobio. While Omar gushed about playing about playing in Cleveland, the Indians organization, and his then manager Charlie Manuel, he was mostly neutral about Hargrove. Since he took time to knock Albert Belle, Jose Mesa (for Game 7 in the ‘97WS), Sandy Alomar (for talking publicly once about Omar’s contract status) in the book, this probably means just that – he’s mostly neutral on Hargrove. Said he had a more structured spring training than Manuel and wasn’t as close to the players (nothing new). Omar did say that he agreed with the managerial change after the 1999 ALDS in favor of Charlie Manuel.

    Omar did reveal an interesting Hargrove strategy tidbit during a discussion of platooning and switch hitting. In the 1999 ALDS, Richie Sexson with 116 RBIs sat in favor of Harold Baines in games against the Boston right handed pitchers (Pedro, Saberhagen & Ramon Martinez) in Games 1-3 and 5. Harold Baines had a good series against Boston so that move (unlike Hargrove’s pitching moves in that series) worked out. Baines was an August ‘99 waiver trade acquisition for the Tribe and gave Hargrove the platoon option with Sexson.

  21. SAF on January 20th, 2005 7:12 pm


    Your last PI article is the best off the three. The first one didn’t sound like you at all DMZ, and it suffered for it. I personally don’t think your “voice” for the PI needs to change much from what we are used to here or at BP. A little more casual and a little more respectfully snarky (and funny!) is just what our daily printed press needs, especially our local sports press.

    Keep up the good work,


  22. Michael Johnson on January 20th, 2005 7:35 pm

    Great comment about the potted plant. Couldn’t stop laughing…mj

  23. DMZ on January 20th, 2005 8:53 pm

    w/r/t “Omar!”

    To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I hated, hated, hated that book. What a vapid piece of self-promotion, often at the expense of other people. I went out of my way when I wrote the Indians chapter a while back to run that book over and discourage people from buying it.


  24. Jim Thomsen on January 20th, 2005 10:13 pm

    When I e-mailed the P-I in praise of Derek’s column, to me, the logical folks to contact were the sports editors. They are:

    — Ron Matthews, sports editor, ronmatthews@seattlepi.com
    — Nick Rousso, assistant sports editor, nickrousso@seattlepi.com
    — Steve Rudman, assistant sports editor (and former bad P-I lead sports columnist from the 70s or 80s, more toxically obnoxious than Art “I Can’t Get Out of The Way Of My Own Writing Because Glibness Matters More Than Readibility” Thiel), steverudman@seattlepi.com

  25. Chickenhawk on January 20th, 2005 10:56 pm

    This is a bit off-topic, but I was reading Baseball Weekly today. They are currently reviewing top prospects in each organization, and ranking them – kind of. Anyway, they had King Felix as the top pitcher, and Reed as the top hitter. No surprises there – same as The Future Forty.
    Then came this: Wladimir Balentien was the next hitter… eeeegh. Was funny that they then described him as ‘sometimes taking naps in the outfield’ – or similar verbage. Also, I realize that BB/K rate isn’t the best indicator of future hitting success (or at least it doesn’t apply to Dallas McPherson, considering the raves he is getting), but Wladimir’s 12/77 in 76 games isn’t super encouraging.

    So, any comments about their review?
    (They did agree that Asdrubal has a promising future.)

  26. tede on January 20th, 2005 11:21 pm

    Didn’t pay a dime for “Omar!”, KCLS (taxpayers) did instead. I agree that Jose Mesa in particular wasn’t treated fair (and still isn’t) in regards to 1997 Game 7. Since it looks like Neihaus won’t ever write a book, the only books with accounts of the M’s are Art Thiel’s book and books by ex-players and ex-managers (Dick Williams, Maury Wills).

    Omar’s account of his Seattle days isn’t very interesting other than the fact that he married into the “Taco Time” family.

    As for “bad” books, any ghostwritten book put out by a NY Met in the aftermath of the ’86 series win tops the list.

  27. Joe on January 20th, 2005 11:24 pm

    Congrats on the weekly column in the P-I Derek. I enjoyed reading the one on Hargrove, getting more of an understanding of his previous tendencies as a manager. Take it from me – having written for the P-I for over a year now – they are good people to work for. Keep up the good work, and shoot me an email some time.

  28. matthew on January 21st, 2005 1:00 am

    your best column yet… hopefully your writing rubs off on the other local columnists.

  29. NBarnes on January 21st, 2005 5:44 am

    Sexson came up with Cleveland? *checks* Wow. How did the mid-90s Cleveland have so many good and great players come up in that period? Belle, Ramirez, Sexson, the list goes on and on.

  30. S1 on January 21st, 2005 4:20 pm

    I went out of my way when I wrote the Indians chapter a while back to run that book over and discourage people from buying it.

    Yes, the Omar Vizquel player comment in BP2003. So funny, it probably ranks as one of my 3 favorite BP player comments of all time. Although, I must admit, I didn’t know it was you until you replied to post #18 just there.