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IdahoBert

2019-2020 OFFSEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

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The University of North Carolina has been doing this for the last three years. To hear the Tiger’s organization to make these comments publicly is truly embarrassing. It is a broadcast of true futility.

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27 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think instrumenting the batting practice cage is a long overdue idea. What they really need to do is pay some clever mechanical engineers to design a pitching machine that throws tunable breaking balls so hitters can get infinite reps against the equivalent of live pitching. I predict that will be the next great breakthrough in the game.

I'm a clever mechanical engineers

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The Tigers are going to sign Jonah Hill because he credibly pretended to be an analytics genius and because Brad Pitt is too expensive

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3 minutes ago, 1776 said:

The University of North Carolina has been doing this for the last three years. To hear the Tiger’s organization to make these comments publicly is truly embarrassing. It is a broadcast of true futility.

Yeah.

OTOH, I suppose a silver lining to having your *** beat like they have is it forces adoption of new and better techniques.

Should have happened years ago, but better they start now than in the future.

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It’s disgraceful to realize how far behind the curve they are. Is this because they could rely on Mr. I’s money to buy them out of every problem, or so they assumed?

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At least they are trying to catch up. I was encouraged by that article, FWIW.

It takes time to build those systems.

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5 minutes ago, Edman85 said:

At least they are trying to catch up. I was encouraged by that article, FWIW.

It takes time to build those systems.

Yeah.

If my son came to me and admitted he had a substance abuse issue and kept it hidden for years, I'd be devastated, but at the same time it is possible to move forward and have a better chance at a better outcome.

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I am cautiously optimistic about this news.  We have heard this before though - an emphasis in analytics which doesn't show up in the results.   

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14 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

It’s disgraceful to realize how far behind the curve they are. Is this because they could rely on Mr. I’s money to buy them out of every problem, or so they assumed?

That would be a huge, Yes!!! And DD was always happy to write the biggest checks.

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What they need are conduits throughout the systems. Recent former players who are great at relaying this info to players. A Bannister type or two.

I'm also a little bit worried Avila talks this stuff up in the press to appease his bosses. There's enough crap from Kaline, Tram, Littlefield, Lloyd that flies in the face of it.

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29 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I am cautiously optimistic about this news.  We have heard this before though - an emphasis in analytics which doesn't show up in the results.   

I would think the idea is that you are using the improved analytics capability to select players so that you don't end up with a major league roster full of detritus. Data is nice but there is still always a limit on what you can do with low talent players once you have them. If the Tigers start improving their ability to discern higher talent players in the draft and improve the feedback those players get so that their improvement is faster in the minors, then the theory is that we will have to give fewer Ronnie Rodriguezes 300 PA at the ML level. 

I guess I don't get the carping about Avila at least in this regard. He inherited a system at zero and it seems he is building out capacity as rapidly as any organization would likely be able to absorb it. These things are not linear races - in general as you commit resources to build up expertise you are going to close on your competition and approach the same limits they are up against asymptotically because progress at the limit is always much slower. The idea that you can never catch up just isn't how it works. Just ask any US tech company about China.:ponder:

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What happened to the good old days when you could find a Gater Brown languishing in a prison system and he ends up being a major contributor for years in your system! God Bless Gates. One of my favorite Tigers ever.

Maybe the next Gater is walking a UAW picket line as we speak. Get off your @ss Al and earn your money. 

 

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It sounds like a PowerPoint we’ve seen before. Starting the race well behind the other runners, the Tigers are going to analytically innovate their way out of 30th place into 28th place. I don’t know how much blood they can squeeze out of the turnup that this team is. They’re still going to play Punch and Judy baseball and they’re not going to spend money. Their problems may be beyond the abilities of analytics to correct. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I guess I don't get the carping about Avila at least in this regard. He inherited a system at zero and it seems he is building out capacity as rapidly as any organization would likely be able to absorb it. These things are not linear races - in general as you commit resources to build up expertise you are going to close on your competition and approach the same limits they are up against asymptotically because progress at the limit is always much slower. The idea that you can never catch up just isn't how it works. Just ask any US tech company about China.:ponder:

And part of my reason for defending Avila is that he does seem to be making strides.  The team has gone from 1 to 14 in the analytics.   The minor league system has gone from bottom 5 to top 10.  That seems to be evidence of steps forward in laying the groundwork for future success.  These things don't happen overnight, thus my argument for giving him time.

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6 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

It sounds like a PowerPoint we’ve seen before. Starting the race well behind the other runners, the Tigers are going to analytically innovate their way out of 30th place into 28th place. I don’t know how much blood they can squeeze out of the turnup that this team is. They’re still going to play Punch and Judy baseball and they’re not going to spend money. Their problems may be beyond the abilities of analytics to correct.

So your solution is?   Spend an extra $100M a year like MrI?  Or just fire Avila so you've "done something"?

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4 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

And part of my reason for defending Avila is that he does seem to be making strides.  The team has gone from 1 to 14 in the analytics.   The minor league system has gone from bottom 5 to top 10.  That seems to be evidence of steps forward in laying the groundwork for future success.  These things don't happen overnight, thus my argument for giving him time.

It also goes to the criticism that as scouting director/development manager in the old regime the old system was his fault so he already has two strikes against him. But that make no logical sense. If the system before he took over was the one he wanted, would he be building a new one? I don't know if Avila is just whistling past the graveyard or is eventually going to get this right or not. I struggle with the fact that the team is terrible, but it's much less clear what their alternatives have been in the last 24 months (other than throwing around a lot of cash and losing money - which is an unreasonable fan expectation). When the lions, wings  and pistons have been terrible recently is has been pretty easy to see the clear FO mistakes and strategy failures. With Avila, other than the general discontent with the coaching staff, which is really hard to evaluate as a fan, things are nowhere as clear cut to me - other than the team record of course! 

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27 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

So your solution is?   Spend an extra $100M a year like MrI?  Or just fire Avila so you've "done something"?

I don’t have a solution. I don’t think Avila is necessarily the problem. I think Avila might be able to do more if he were allowed to do more. I think ownership should be guillotined. 

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38 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

So your solution is?   Spend an extra $100M a year like MrI?  Or just fire Avila so you've "done something"?

Neither one. 

Illitch is staying with Avila, obviously. If I’m an owner and I truly am going all in on systems that are totally new to my organization, I’m going to go outside and look for someone that has experience in these new systems, has a proven knowledge and a successful track record in the field of analytics and the supporting systems. Maybe I go for a top guy in another baseball organization. Or maybe I have to start with someone that has worked directly under a proven person in this capacity. If I am really serious about investing all in on analytics I do NOT give this responsibility to someone that has no experience in this area. So rather than spending big bucks on free agents like Mr. I, I would put my money in hiring an experienced and proven analytics team. Yes, Avila probably gets fired in my world. I would want a Billy Beane guy. That’s my #1 free agent signing right there. From that point I would let them drive the org. Certainly there would need to be a representation of experienced “on the field” guys in the org for feedback and review. Again, look in the A’s and Rays minor league systems and how they align everything from top to bottom. 

This rebuild is not going to succeed with Avila driving the truck. Gardenhire’s expiry date is 2020. Let him pretend to manage one more year. Perhaps he stays in the org after next year to roam the minors at the lower levels to enforce fundamentals in line with the existing system. 

Again, you can’t expect to succeed in this transition when the guy leading the change doesn’t understand the language. Sadly, Illitch doesn’t understand the intricacies enough either to know what’s right or wrong. This is where Al can tell him what he wants to hear whether it’s true or not-big problem. The more I hear these guys talk about analytics the more I realize how bad this situation really is.

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39 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

I don’t have a solution. I don’t think Avila is necessarily the problem. I think Avila might be able to do more if he were allowed to do more. I think ownership should be guillotined. 

They may be.  Unlike the Ford family at least the Illitch family has shown that teams they own can have sustained success.   Now the question will be if Chris Illitch can do as well or better than his old man?   I don't know but am willing to give him time to try.  He's obviously trying to do it with some constraints monetarily that his old man never had.  

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I would kick Al up to a glorified position, i.e., SVP of Baseball Operations, to save face like the Wings did with Jimmy Develano

Next, open up the vault for Houston’s Asst GM.  No idea who he or she is, but do it immediately after the World Series.

 

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And I will NEVER understand extending Avila, NEVER. Extending him was confirmation of how really in the dark ownership is about what it is needed to create a real change.

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It is a good thing that they are shoring up analytics. Choosing the right players would go a long way to improving this team.

 As for having maybe 35 million, let's say, to spend this year on FA's, I am rather neutral.

What I really want to see is one outfielder that can hit the damned cutoff man.

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The best case scenario in all this is that Avila truly understands the best of both worlds.

Phase 1: Right now the focus is on drafting and analytics because the farm system and Tech side of things were SO INCREDIBLY inept.

Phase 2: While on the back burner but not forgotten are the lessons from Mr. I and DD, that when the time is right Avila will reel in the proper big fish to push the team over the edge. 

We are simply in the mid to late stages of phase one and the truth will out as the young pitchers come up and we climb back to a .500 team.

 

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Analytics is an undeniably brilliant, proven tool but our team seems to be betting the farm on it as a one-size-fits-all answer because what they actually must do is a lot harder: getting rid of inept scouting and instructIonal personnel and replacing them with better people. 

The entire organization has to be rebuilt from the ground up and that’s sort of like rebuilding an engine while you’re hurling down I-75 and in no position to stop.

“We’re going out in search of college people…”  Wow.  Do they wear lab coats and have slide rules and Blackberries? It sounds like they’re taking a butter knife to a street fight. 

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