Signs things are going right
I’d like to see maybe a list of things for people to look for that show the M’s making positive progress for 2009 and beyond. I’m not talking about the obvious stuff, but maybe a realistic look forward for some seriously dejected fans.
At the baseball operations level:
Team makes a good hire for their new GM
Yup, this is obvious, but even beyond “they hire a USSM dream candidate” it’s “they hire someone who isn’t a retread/doormat”
The GM has a free hand to remake the roster and in a hurry, and gets into it
New people are brought in to work in problem areas, and they have plans that make sense (“I’ve been thinking, maybe our hitting prospects should hit.”) The team brings in smart people to form the kind of analytical group other teams have.
Organizational philosophical indications
This may come as quickly as this next off-season. Who are they pursuing in free agency, and why? Are they repeating the same mistakes that got them into this hole, or are they making smarter decisions about how they pick pitchers? Are they putting together teams that play better defense? Are they spending money on veteran players that could easily be replaced with much cheaper alternatives? Who are they bringing in on minor league deals this spring?
For instance, the “role” thing — one of our huge, consistent problems in the Bavasi regime was the fixation on roles. “We’re looking for a left-handed designated hitter… there’s only one, let’s spend $5m. What, he sucks?”
The M’s are going to have some holes this off-season that can be solved in a couple ways:
– throwing money at veteran players who are established in those roles
– finding cheaper unlabeled alternatives
– abandoning the role label to do something really interesting.
Wins and efficiency
On a larger level, we should be able to step away from the team and see that they’re getting more for what they’re spending. 100 losses with this payroll should be an everyone’s fired moment. Intelligent spending and team-building will show up in both the team’s standings and in measures like $ spent per win.
Then, at the franchise level:
Team makes ownership group changes
See many, many previous rants about Lincoln and the ownership’s bafflement over getting their butt kicked year after year
It’d be nice if the team for once didn’t actively lie to everyone about the year’s payroll and things like budgeting. I don’t want to write too much here, I’ll just get angry. Don’t wish too hard for this one. Especially without the previous item.
Or you can just keep reading. We’ll try and keep you posted.
This post was written as one of the requests by a USSM supporter as part of Thank You Content Week. Join them!