Monday, January 12, 2009

My Current Perception Of 'The Boss' (no...the other one)

Here is a copy of what I posted over on Royals Corner.

I feel the Willie Bloomquist signing has helped solidify my perception of Moore. He's very much a traditional baseball man, not too enthralled by sabermetrics and other advanced statistics, but willing to dabble in them - to an extent - in acquiring talent.

He is very much traditional, as I mentioned. He likes raw talent in the draft - high schoolers with potentially tremendous upside. He likes to gamble in the draft.

He thinks clubhouse chemistry matters. He has gone on record stating this numerous times. I don't feel he wants to load the clubhouse with 'nice' guys, but potential 'impact' guys like Jose Guillen. People who will shake the clubhouse up, or generate an interesting (non-tense) one, nonetheless.

He likes speed and raw athleticism. In terms of statistics, he thinks the timing for 400-meter dash or the timing from home to first base is extremely important.

Defense matters. If a guy has good range to his left or right, good hands, and good instincts, it definitely matters, regardless of what his FRAA or UZR/150 shows.

Every move is carefully considered. Moore and other front office members gather around a table, watch extensive videos of that player, share comments regarding the player, and then arrive at a conclusion regarding where to go with that particular player.

Makeup is extremely important, as a pitcher. The pitcher has to have command of more than one pitch. Ambiorix Burgos and Mike MacDougal-types, pitchers with raw tools - height, tremendous stuff, occasional dominance - are emphasized less and pitchers like Kyle Davies, with a fairly solid couple pitches and a good makeup with clean mechanics, are emphasized greater.

Offense matters, too, though. Power is important, but on-base percentage only matters vitally with a couple spots in the lineup. #s 3-9 are responsible for driving runners in, and making sure they make contact on any pitches in or near the strike zone. OBP is slightly overrated. Speed is an important element of offense, though. Slap-hitters - guys who can hit .280 - are emphasized more and raw OBP/pitches-per-plate-appearance and other advanced statistics are emphasized less.

Pitching is the currency of baseball. If you develop pitching, and then if that pitching doesn't quite fit into the future mold, you can trade them more conveniently and have a greater pool of players (in return) to choose from. Relievers *are* very much tradeable and replaceable - or at least semi-replaceable - commodities. The perception of a multi-million making 'closer' is somewhat overrated, but to have a lights out pitcher in the ninth inning is still vital. Good pitchers of any caliber can easily be developed, and can be replaced at any cost.

Dayton is a traditional baseball man, which can have positives and negatives. He seems to grasp several concepts (i.e. drafting, bullpen handling, OBP at the top, defense [which is sort of the new 'OBP in terms of baseball, in terms of being undervalued - although I'm not 100% sure Moore is aware of this). On the contrast, he needs a little help grasping other concepts (i.e. replacement value, the importance of on-base percentage, college players are important as well).

This team is resembling a throwback team more and more. Such a method of establishing a team could work....look at the Braves, Twins, and current Angels. Granted, some of those teams have greater budgets than others. I think Moore carefully executes each move and isn't rash, by any means, in personnel decisions. He has built a solid front office with experienced and talented baseball men; although most are probably men who hold a more traditional view on how to evaluate talent. He's professional - runs a tight ship, and holds personnel and management accountable.

I think in Hillman he found a manager who agrees with him on many of these issues. Hillman isn't by any means rigidly old-school - he shows willing open-mindedness toward on-base percentage and the problems with bunting - but doesn't abandon many traditional old school methods (run! run! run! the closer should only be used in the ninth inning, etc.). Luckily for Hillman, many, many managers follow a similar method of thinking. Several G.M.'s follow a similar method of thinking as Moore; Tony Reagins, Doug Melvin, and Terry Ryan come to mind instantly. With Moore, fewer G.M.'s share a similar line of thinking, but enough to make the competition interesting.

Any thoughts?

NOTE: Also, on message boards, I've never understood why these folks never bother to argue with the poster they disagree with. They just '1-star' the post, conveniently, and move on. It happened awhile ago when I featured 'karma' on my website, or where you could 'exalt' and 'smite' somebody. A person was excessively 'smiting' people, and never bothered to reveal their identity or actually argue the point. Ridiculous.

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