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Friday, July 22, 2005

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Terrifc post, Jason. Absolutely terrific.

Is your step-father available for the GM position?

Thanks. I hope it was entertaining and informative.

Of course, I posted it before I learned of the blockbuster Worrell - Kata deal. Keeping Tomas and Ramon on their toes I guess. Who knows? Probably a deal for a bench option for next season, or 3B in case Bell goes. What else can it be? I dunno.

Like you said on Swing, another move accompanied by the always popular "Our scouts like this guy" while the rest of us look at the stat sheets and say "What's there to like?"

Love the drawings. Looks right like Martin after a couple of wines!

Some great advice in there.

I find it interesting that Larry Bowa was let go because he affected the team negatively. I wonder what the explanation is this year, now that we have THREE players (one now traded) with mental problems: Tim Worrell and Cory Lidle getting time off for personal issues, and a little item in the Daily News 7/22/05 that Charlie Manuel thinks that Abreu is "worn down mentally."

I love Billy Wagner but agree that he's expendable, since Uggie looks like he still has the stuff to take over the job.

Nice post Jason, I've often thought of doing something in a similar format with my brother. David - as for Bowa, I am certain that if he was still the manager the team would actually be worse than it is now. They were going nowhere with him, they had to do something (true, the players are more to blame, but you cant replace all 25 at once).

The whole Cory Lidle time off business sneaked up on me. I hadn't heard about it until the comments on a few blogs. Does anyone have any insights?

There's a review of the book Scout's Honor on The Hardball Times website. It gives good insight as to Atlanta's philosophy of building a team, minor leaguers, etc.

However,I disagree with a whole lot of it. Frankly, the most productive players for Atlanta in the last 15 years have been:
Smoltz - who was acquired in a trade and was considered to be the jewel of the Tigers' system,
Maddox - signed as a F.A.
Glavin - drafted
Chipper Jones - Drafted #1 overall in his year
Andrew Jones - Signed as an international FA
Gary Sheffield - signed as a FA

Also, remember that Atlanta started spending a lot of $$$ in the early 90s, having one of the top 3 or 4 payrolls in baseball in the early to mid 90s. Now they can't spend that much, but they spend plenty on international scouting, where they have acquired a lot of their promising young talent.

Let's not forget, as well, the Mazzone Effect, which might count for as much as 1/2 a run per game, or 82 runs a season, or 8 wins a year. That's nothing to sneeze at. Look at it this way: If Leo was the Phils pitching coach for the past 3 years and NOT the Braves' coach, the 16 game swing between the two teams would have mean the Phils winning the division in 2004, 2003, and within shouting distance in 2002.

Overall, I agree with the Braves' theories about finding a winning formula and sticking with it. Continuity also plays a large part of their success. But they spend so much more on on-field payroll, and also on scouting, and minor league expenses, it's not fair to compare their success with the A's.

As far as who to emulate, I do think that the Phils should spend more on international scouting, as that is the largest loophole in baseball right now. Otherwise, I don't have a big problem with what they're doing and their success. Given their payroll abilities, I actually think they've done fairly well for themselves.

It's probably unfair to compare Oakland and Atlanta, becuase even ATl has much bigger budget than Oak, however the similarities are striking when you compare. Both organizations #1 have a PLAN. This can't be overestimated, whether it's drafting college players with a history in Oak's case or always ensuring they draft or get pitching in trades is another example.

The Phillies have been somewhat "lucky" with their minor league system churning out Myers, Utley, Howard, Rolins, however most of those guys were upper echelon picks. The Phils have failed miserably in rd's 3+.

I live in Chas, SC and get a chance to watch the Braves Single A team come in alot, it's amazing the sheer "organization" for lack of a better word the team has.

The Phillies problem has SO much more to do than switching GM's.

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