DePo breaks it down

Go Go Curry celebrating Matsui's birthday
Interview with Dan Graziano

Former Dodgers’ GM, and current special assistant in the Padres’ front office, Paul DePodesta goes in-depth about “The Process” in his latest blog entry. Can’t recommend it enough, make sure you check it out. Plenty of Yankees’ fans need a refresher course.

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Go Go Curry celebrating Matsui's birthday
Interview with Dan Graziano
  • Adam

    if the Cash Man has to go, this is our guy.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    …Adam, that’s precisely my line of thinking. Just about the ONLY scenario I can envision letting Cashman go is if we can tap DePodesta as his successor. I find this highly unlikely, however, since DePodesta seems very pleased where he is.

  • Glen L

    I’ve really enjoyed his blogging thus far. I don’t want to see Cashman go at all, but IF he does, DePo would definitely be my pick to replace him. No idea on his availability of course, but you’d have to think he’d have to very strongly consider it

  • Babe’s Ghost

    blah!
    this is a little too self evident and a little to self-congratulatory for my taste. Everyone who’s ever done anything truly difficult knows the truth of this, in fact I would say it’s a commonplace. a more interesting article would focus on how to truly distinguish between bad luck and bad process, since the natural tendency is to blame the former. Or even better talk in concrete terms about calibrating risk to desired outcome, ie drafting and developing to build a winning team vs a world series winning team. or talking honestly about balancing the multiple outcomes that have to be considered… eg attendance vs winning in the future vs keeping your job, etc

  • CB

    Depodesta was a disaster in LA and would never work in NY – he had an awful relationship with the fans,media and ownership in LA.

    What he’s describing is the kind of thing that people are taught in an introduction management class in an MBA program. It’s nothing special at all.

    • Adam

      you have been reading too much L.A. press if you really think he was a failure. for example, he was crucified for trading paul lo duca (“the heart and soul” of that dodger team) for brad penny. lo duca has stunk since then and penny has been very good. his time in L.A. is littered with things like that, where he made moves that were harshly criticized at the time but ended up being great for his team. also, some of that great farm system was built under his watch, not current management’s.

      • CB

        No not at all. He was a disaster there for reasons of his own making. He did not have the personality to deal with being a GM.

        Even with the Lo Duca controversy – instead of handling it calmly – say like Cashman would have. Lo Duca just treated the press and fans who disagreed with him as if they were too stupid to understand his genius.

        It was his own self-arrogance that really sank him there. That’s not very infrequent for that too happen. He does not have the personality to put up with a tenth of the things he’d have to in NY. LA is acakewalk in comparison in terms of fans and media.

        Good guy to have as an assistant GM. But to be the face of an organization not so sure. There’s a reason why he’s in San Diego – maybe the lowest key place in all of MLB.

        • Adam

          I think a lot of the self-arrogance (seem redundant, no?) stems from the fact that he was touted in Moneyball as being a blue blood-Harvard-computer jockey who the local media rebelled against because he wasn’t one of the “good old boys”. Outside of Billy Beane and JP Riccardi, DePo was the first “stat”-type GM under the intense scrutiny of a major market where he was set up to fail. I think baseball has come a long way since DePo’s release in 2005 toward accepting the stat community, and I think he ready for another shot.

  • Steve

    Wow, 8 comments and almost every one of them completely missed the point.

    Nice try, Mike.

  • Alan

    Good read, I’ve really been enjoying DePodesta’s blog ever since it was spotlighted during the draft.

    In regards to the piece itself, I agree entirely. Success in baseball is entirely dependent on the system in place. You need good scouts to find good players, that may or may not be flying under the radar. From there, you need a good GM to get those players signed. From there, they’re sent to the minors, where you better have good coaches in place that can teach and nurture those kids. Hopefully they make it through to the majors, alot of the times they don’t.

    Throughout the whole thing, you need to have patience and discipline. A kid (example, Jose Tabata) might be in a bit of a rough patch. He might say the wrong things, do the wrong things, or just be in a slump with the bat. Does that mean we automatically throw in the towel on him? Apparently to some of us, yes it does. But all that is going to result in is Tabata being traded low and potentially becoming a star for another franchise.

    Yes, you need to know when to cut the cord with some players. Yes, you should trade some of those prospects that you think are playing over their heads, hoping to get a better known product. Brian Cashman, for the most part, has been quite good at finding the balance between trading away overperforming prospects/players (Ricky Ledee for David Justice? Cristian Guzman for Chuck Knoblauch?), knowing when to cut the cord (D’Angelo Jimenez, Dioner Navarro, Drew Henson, etc.), and when to hold onto them (Robinson Cano).

    In short, the devil you know is often better than the devil you don’t. Fans need to learn patience and not call for heads the second someone falters (IPK, Mussina last year, Giambi, etc.). At the same time, fans should also be willing to accept that sometimes its just a bad break, injury or otherwise. Just because someone lands that proverbial 4 when they have 17, doesn’t mean they’re good.