An extremely brief GM recap

DMZ · October 11, 2008 at 12:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Every time I post the odds or anything, we get requests to add a ranking of who we’d prefer, or who’s the most stat-friendly, or whatnot.

So here’s an extremely short version of that.

LaCava’s an upgrade, and he and Woodfork are the two who would probably be able to come in and improve the franchise without a lot of turmoil. He’s well-regarded in the same way Bavasi was, and he’ll probably sail through the interviews. He’d get on great with the press.

Woodfork’s much the same – he’s definitely a step towards modern, savvy baseball management. And all accounts of his work with the Diamondbacks are good, and his time there may make him a good fit for trying to rework the Mariners. And he too would likely do well bringing the whole organization forward, forging relationships, and so on.

Rick Hahn’s sort of generically the same too: you got the leadership and get-along check box, plus we know he does things like figure out the value of a win and who contributes what to that (though not how, which could be troubling).

Call those “good hires” and I’ll talk about my reservations in a second.

Kim Ng’s more of a cipher. We know she’s really smart, likely to dramatically improve the team’s ability to work the margins of the roster and make great waiver pickups. She’s said to have come a long way in her player evaluation on the scouting side, but it’s hard to gauge that. I worry that given her career-long proclivity for dodging the press there’s the risk of a DePodesta-style rift with the local ink-stained wretches that could impair her ability to run the team. We also don’t know where she is on, say, advances in defense evaluation. That kind of thing can be sassed out in the interview process, but we don’t know.

Here I shrug. I don’t know. I was once a full Ng supporter and then the more I realized that we could throw our nominal cheering behind someone we knew was on the cutting edge of GM-dom, like Antonetti (or DePodesta, or…)

Tony Bernazard… it looks like Bavasi 2. That’s too mean, but there it is. Bad hire. If anyone wants to throw exculpatory evidence in here, I’d love to see it.

And I’m skipping DiPoto because I’m on a 1hr timer (seriously, there’s a window at the upper-left that reads “You can use Internet now!” with a ticking countdown).

Here’s my worry, though — take LaCava or Woodfork. They may be good, but is that enough? I don’t want to be disparaging, but the AL West already has a lot of good and well-funded competition. A GM who’s on the top of the traditional, good-interview, gets-along, knows everyone pile might keep the team’s head above water but that’s not going to win championships. What makes them potentially one of the best GMs in the game, not just now but in a few years when the next crop of super-hybrid GMs arise, along with the next batch of best-of-the-old ones?

Still, all of this is easy to write on the outside. The M’s, if they’re asking the right questions and there’s no reason to believe they will, could easily figure out whether or not the things we don’t see on their resumes adds up to something more than we know.


4 Responses to “An extremely brief GM recap”

  1. Mike Snow on October 11th, 2008 12:27 pm

    I’d say that from his biography, DiPoto is likely to bring more of the scouting side, but he’s got the organizational experience from Boston and Arizona to expect exposure to new approaches. It’s hard to guess whether he has personal strengths not apparent in his resume, presumably the interview has to bring that out. Otherwise, he sounds like a version of LaCava with a few years’ less experience. Could be decent-to-good, but I’d just as soon take LaCava in that case.

  2. Milendriel on October 11th, 2008 1:07 pm

    I’m skeptical of Ng. It’s hard to know how much responsibility she bears for the Dodgers’ super-crappy moves: Pierre, Jones, Kent, the trade for Blake. The Dodgers are better run than the Mariners (what team isn’t), but Ng could be only an incremental upgrade.

  3. terry on October 11th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Just a question for clarification…’re not suggesting Ng is Bowden without the leather pants and penis are you?

  4. VictorB on October 12th, 2008 1:31 pm

    Just a question for clarification…’re not suggesting Ng is Bowden without the leather pants and penis are you?


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