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2021 REGULAR SEASON DISCUSSION THREAD


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Just saw the Royals have pushed Adalberto Mondesi off Shortstop due to injury concerns and Lopez playing well. Plus they have Witt coming up soon. He is only 26 and has 2 more years of control. maybe we should try to get him ? I have heard Dan and Jim rave about his defense.

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45 minutes ago, Oblong said:

I was thinking about these moves in the front office and here's my take:

Avila went hard the other way to do what he could to make the team better analytically.  They wanted to be in that space.  At the same time that kind of thing takes time to implement.  Ausmus talked about this when he left, the systems are being built, but you don't just flip a switch.  

He preached patience with Ilitch and got it.  He gambled that it would pay off and the organization seems satisifed that they've seen the results internally to finally cement it officially with these promotions.

From a PR standpoint the team has to balance their knowledge that things will suck short term and it's silly to overspend during that transition.  Do some spot moves, they can't hurt, but you have to trust the process you put in place.  It's like counting cards in blackjack.  Follow the rules, have discipline even when you are on a losing streak.  It only works if you stick with it.

this is not to say the team is now primed to be elite, it just means they feel comfortable that they are now officially in that group of teams and have confidence.

An owner can't come out and say "We're going to suck, the guys we are signing in '19 and '20 are not who we really want but we need a 40 man roster".  They let Chadd and Littlefield operate their way in batches.  Chris Ilitch turned the pizza empire around using data. That's documented.  He knows that side of things.  He gave Avila's team room to grow and prove their point and he's seen enough to see it can work.

But the team is in process of turning the corner now.

Seems like a solid take, although I am still iffy on Al Avila's commitment to bringing Tigers analytics up to league par.

At best, Avila pushed for it behind the scenes for years and essentially failed at it, and it took the hiring of A.J. Hinch, like Gardy a "proven winner" manager who basically fell into their laps, to do in one year—fully integrate analytics on the field and throughout the system, and to remake the front office to follow through on that commitment—what Avila couldn't do in four or five.

At worst, Avila simply paid public lip service to analytics (and poorly at that, I think most would agree) in order to sidestep questions about it that he really didn't want to answer, simply hoping it would go away long enough to allow him to eventually Dombrowski his way to another Tigers playoff appearance in 202whatever, because that worked before.

I don't know where along the spectrum the truth lies, but either way, I still believe the sooner Avila goes, the better it will be for us. Even as things stand today, with the future brighter than it has been in half a decade, he's a cipher at best, and an impediment at worst.

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7 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Seems like a solid take, although I am still iffy on Al Avila's commitment to bringing Tigers analytics up to league par.

At best, Avila pushed for it behind the scenes for years and essentially failed at it, and it took the hiring of A.J. Hinch, like Gardy a "proven winner" manager who basically fell into their laps, to do in one year—fully integrate analytics on the field and throughout the system, and to remake the front office to follow through on that commitment—what Avila couldn't do in four or five.

At worst, Avila simply paid public lip service to analytics (and poorly at that, I think most would agree) in order to sidestep questions about it that he really didn't want to answer, simply hoping it would go away long enough to allow him to eventually Dombrowski his way to another Tigers playoff appearance in 202whatever.

I don't know where along the spectrum the truth lies, but either way, I still believe the sooner Avila goes, the better it will be for us. Even as things stand today, with the future brighter than it has been in half a decade, he's a cipher at best, and an impediment at worst.

I flat out disagree with this (with regards to Avila, specifically).

Oblong's take wins (in my book...).

The only positive (agreeable) point I see in this is that it did take Hinch, as the linchpin, to fully integrate analytics both on the field and in the system.

A huge boon to the Tigers, and to Avila and the system he is trying to put into place, for hiring him.

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3 minutes ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

I flat out disagree with this (with regards to Avila, specifically).

Oblong's take wins (in my book...).

The only positive (agreeable) point I see in this is that it did take Hinch, as the linchpin, to fully integrate analytics both on the field and in the system.

A huge boon to the Tigers, and to Avila and the system he is trying to put into place, for hiring him.

Why did it take Hinch to do it? Why couldn't Avila do it before this himself? I mean, he is the boss, after all. Isn't he?

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11 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Why did it take Hinch to do it? Why couldn't Avila do it before this himself? I mean, he is the boss, after all. Isn't he?

The boss doesn't manage the players on the field.

You still have to be able to obtain the correct Manager, to make the system work.

That would be Hinch.

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18 minutes ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

The boss doesn't manage the players on the field.

You still have to be able to obtain the correct Manager, to make the system work.

That would be Hinch.

avila hired the bad managers they had before hinch.  avila is in charge, he could have come in immediately and made changes.

i give avila credit for signing hinch and taking advantage of the good fortune that he was available.  however, there are plenty of "analytical" minded managerial candidates out there and instead of hiring them he initially hired ron gardenhire.

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55 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Why did it take Hinch to do it? Why couldn't Avila do it before this himself? I mean, he is the boss, after all. Isn't he?

It didn't, they have been steadily working on it. Hinch is just a good fit.

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54 minutes ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

The boss doesn't manage the players on the field.

You still have to be able to obtain the correct Manager, to make the system work.

That would be Hinch.

After basically moving at a glacial pace on analytics for years, then all of a sudden it blossoms throughout the system this season, finally manifesting itself in front office changes obviously related to it—do you think that was pure Avila? That Hinch was not involved in that? That the system-wide sudden moves would still have happened if perhaps, say, Pedro Grifol, or Marcus Thames, was named manager?

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56 minutes ago, Buddha said:

avila hired the bad managers they had before hinch.  avila is in charge, he could have come in immediately and made changes.

i give avila credit for signing hinch and taking advantage of the good fortune that he was available.  however, there are plenty of "analytical" minded managerial candidates out there and instead of hiring them he initially hired ron gardenhire.

If you think they didn't use analytics in a similar manner when Gardenhire was here, you'd be mistaken. It wasn't his background or his forte, but he was on board with it.

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19 minutes ago, chasfh said:

After basically moving at a glacial pace on analytics for years, then all of a sudden it blossoms throughout the system this season, finally manifesting itself in front office changes obviously related to it—do you think that was pure Avila? That Hinch was not involved in that? That the system-wide sudden moves would still have happened if perhaps, say, Pedro Grifol, or Marcus Thames, was named manager?

It was blossoming prior to this season.

But it's taken off this year due to Hinch.

But it didn't start at absolute zero this year. It just didn't. There were systems in place prior to this (analytics) that were being used. Hinch is just a more able/ high-end user of that data then what we've had prior, so great. But he didn't draft in 2019 or 2020, Avila did.

To your earlier question, I'm not certain what the correct answer(s) are... why didn't Avila hire the right manager previously? Maybe they weren't available, or maybe we lost out to other teams that weren't just starting on a rebuild. You may have a point there... but I don't think it displaces that there was work done previously to get this team moving in the right direction analytically. Even if it was, and I think everyone agrees with you here, at a "glacial pace".

Everyone is annoyed that it took this long to get here... but I think also happy in the direction that this team, right now, appears to be going...

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Maybe they used analytics to determine the manager didn't matter at this point in the dev cycle and so they went with a relatively cheap option on a guy with some name recognition.   Maybe he was the only guy who wanted to come here?  I always took Ron's position here as a guy who wanted to make some more money and bring his buddies along for one last paycheck for the gang.  It was the equivalent to guys making the 2nd sequel to a movie when they know it's all **** but the pay ain't bad...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Oblong said:

Maybe they used analytics to determine the manager didn't matter at this point in the dev cycle and so they went with a relatively cheap option on a guy with some name recognition.   Maybe he was the only guy who wanted to come here?  I always took Ron's position here as a guy who wanted to make some more money and bring his buddies along for one last paycheck for the gang.  It was the equivalent to guys making the 2nd sequel to a movie when they know it's all **** but the pay ain't bad...

right. And it didn't even need analytics. You can't change a farm system and a roster overnight - Gardenhire was a caretaker hire, and he had a high enough profile because of his age and history to give them some baseball credibility while the changes under the hood were being made.  And it worked pretty well really. Compare all the dissension and bad press that used to emanate from the Tiger clubhouse when they were losing pre-Leyland. Gardenhire ran a disciplined ship and really, other than the little dust-up between McCann and Iglesias the Tigers had one of the calmest clubhouses you are likely to find in a 100 loss team.

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2 hours ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

It was blossoming prior to this season.

But it's taken off this year due to Hinch.

But it didn't start at absolute zero this year. It just didn't. There were systems in place prior to this (analytics) that were being used. Hinch is just a more able/ high-end user of that data then what we've had prior, so great. But he didn't draft in 2019 or 2020, Avila did.

To your earlier question, I'm not certain what the correct answer(s) are... why didn't Avila hire the right manager previously? Maybe they weren't available, or maybe we lost out to other teams that weren't just starting on a rebuild. You may have a point there... but I don't think it displaces that there was work done previously to get this team moving in the right direction analytically. Even if it was, and I think everyone agrees with you here, at a "glacial pace".

Everyone is annoyed that it took this long to get here... but I think also happy in the direction that this team, right now, appears to be going...

I didn't say it started at absolute zero this year. I just didn't. ?

I also didn't ask why didn't Avila hire the right manager previously.

At least you got the "glacial" part right. ?

I know there were analytics in the building (Hail Caesar!), probably relegated to a third floor cube over by the bathrooms. Now they are sitting in window offices, as they should have from the beginning, and I think it's due almost solely to A.J. Hinch coming on board insisting on decision-making authority across the entire organization, including and perhaps particularly in the analytics. I think Avila's contribution is that he agreed to allow Hinch to have the latitude he required to take the job, or at least that he didn't cockblock Hinch along the way. I don't think that's enough to keep Avila on the job for the long haul, even after Hinch leaves. We can agree to disagree on that.

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

?? know there were analytics in the building (Hail Caesar!), probably relegated to a third floor cube over by the bathrooms. Now they are sitting in window offices, as they should have from the beginning, and I think it's due almost solely to A.J. Hinch coming on board insisting on decision-making authority across the entire organization, including and perhaps particularly in the analytics.

I think you are making a lot of erroneous assumptions.

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58 minutes ago, chasfh said:

... I know there were analytics in the building (Hail Caesar!), probably relegated to a third floor cube over by the bathrooms. Now they are sitting in window offices, as they should have from the beginning, and I think it's due almost solely to A.J. Hinch coming on board insisting on decision-making authority across the entire organization, including and perhaps particularly in the analytics. I think Avila's contribution is that he agreed to allow Hinch to have the latitude he required to take the job, or at least that he didn't cockblock Hinch along the way...

Well...

I didn't say anything about the long haul, either. ?

I just thought you were putting it as 0% credit Avila and 100% Hinch.

I don't think Avila gets 0% credit. 

In fact... I'd run a 3-part poll to see what everyone feels about these two...

Question 1: What % do each play in this "Recovery": Hinch 100%, Avila 0%; Hinch 75%, Avila 25%; Hinch 50%, Avila 50%; Hinch 25%, Avila 75%; Hinch 0%, Avila 100%

(I'm probably close to 50/50, maybe a bit less than 50 for Avila. I think AA has done extensive work prior to this year and gets credit for that, but that Hinch's impact, just this year, is a major catalyst and gets him 50%, or maybe more of the credit. It would be interesting to see how everyone else feels...)

As for the long haul:

Question 2: Who has had the bigger impact on this year's winning team? 1) Hinch, 2) Avila.

Question 3: If you had to choose one going forward to lead this team, at any position in the Org, who would you choose? 1) Hinch, 2) Avila, 3) Caesar, 4) Someone else.

On Q2 & 3, I'm choosing Hinch. I think most on here would.. damn near 100%. But as for laying the groundwork... I think Avila gets some of that credit.

 

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1: 50/50. They weren't forced to hire Hinch. They brought him in for a reason. They made a push to become more analytic for two years prior. 

2: 2. There's no way Hinch has made a bigger impact than Avila. Though Hinch has had a much bigger impact than I would have expected. But he didn't bring in Hasse, Baddoo, Mize, Skubal, Schoop, Grossman, etc. 

3. 1.

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I'm about the same as Yoda.

Although.. maybe on the second question I should differentiate on bringing in the players (obviously Avila) versus developing the players to their current level. Avila had a hand in developing Manning (through his development system and coaches, and maybe some analytics too), Funk, Alexander, Skubal, Soto, Hill, etc... But Hinch (and especially Fetters) have had a major impact at the MLB level... Who gets more developmental credit? 

I think Hinch & his coaches get some credit (quite a bit) on that basis... but Avila and his system/ analytics/ coaches did quite a lot of leg work pre-MLB there as well...

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4 hours ago, Yoda said:

1: 50/50. They weren't forced to hire Hinch. They brought him in for a reason. They made a push to become more analytic for two years prior. 

2: 2. There's no way Hinch has made a bigger impact than Avila. Though Hinch has had a much bigger impact than I would have expected. But he didn't bring in Hasse, Baddoo, Mize, Skubal, Schoop, Grossman, etc. 

3. 1.

Yes

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6 hours ago, Charles Liston said:

When is Hinch going to get off his *** and resolve world hunger, once and for all?

Perhaps he has resolved that hunger is the result of free will which causes some to ignore the plight of their fellow humans.  He allows it to test the virtue of his followers.

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