Einstein, dept.
E=MC2 for Jack, that's for sure


At BJOL yesterday:


Hey Bill, It’s 1959 and you’re transported back to the Kansas City A’s owner’s office. You have one day to talk with him and the GM to try to impart as much as you can to them with the goal of trying to create a Kansas City A’s dynasty in the 1960s and beyond. Without naming names or saying stuff like “go trade for that young 1st baseman on the Giants”, that is, teaching them how to fish instead of giving them a fish, what are the things you would tell them to look at or to do? What are your priorities to get across to them to turn their club around?
Asked by: chuck
Answered: 1/6/2015
The number one thing, certainly for THAT organization, is to get them to understand that player development is a process that takes time and requires patience. 1959 is a little bit too late to save that franchise. In 1959 they had no farm system to speak of. Connie Mack's old farm system from Philadelphia, that moved to KC in '55, was way behind the time, and didn't produce anything from 1955 to 1959.
There is nothing you can do with nothing; you can't trade your way to a pennant if you have nothing to start with, so the first thing you have to do is build a farm system.
By 1959 that process was underway but slow. By 1963, with the hiring of Hank Peters, their development system started moving, and by 1967, when they left for Oakland, this was producing talent. So if you could move that process forward by 4 years, from 1963 to 1959, that would have helped, and if the organization had shown more patience with young players like Lou Klimchock, Nelson Mathews, Manny Jimenez, Bill Bryan, Fred Norman and others, that would have helped, and if you put those two things together, we could have moved the clock back to where the organization was rolling in 1964, rather than in 1968.


Isn't it hilarious, watching James throw off names like Klimchock and Mathews like a mechanic would throw off the spark plug gaps for a 1956 Chevy?  He does the same thing live.


Back on point, here again, you have the Meta Concept.  You have the idea that a lousy Roto owner with $360 can beat a great one with $260.  A lousy chess player can beat the world champion, if he's got two more pieces to play with.

But what number would you put on Zduriencik's farm system now, compared to the one we had 10-12 years ago?  $460 vs. $80?  Which is why we say that it might not even matter what Zduriencik's other skills are.  If you have $460 to spend, what do I care whether you pay $40 vs $45 for Nelson Cruz.

It's dimes against dollars.  If the Mariners are going to keep producing Roenis Eliases and Kyle Seagers, every other question about their competence is academic.  At least if your two points of reference are (1) Mariners 2014 and (2) Mariners 2005.


Going into 2015, the Mariners are (by many accounts) the AL's best team on paper.  Here is their E=MC2 factor at a glance:

Lineup Slot Position How Obtained Remark
1 CF Nick Franklin #27 overall (scoffed at)
2 RF Brandon Maurer late-round draftpick, Bavasi era
5 3B (Kyle Seager) 3rd-round pick, Jay-Z 2009
6 1B Carter Capps 3rd-round pick, Jay-Z 2011
7 LF (Dustin Ackley) #2 overall (applauded)
8 C (Mike Zunino) #3 overall ("well, ok")
9a SS (Chris Taylor) 5th-round pick, Jay-Z 2012
9b SS (Brad Miller) 2nd-round pick , Jay-Z 2011 -- scoffed at
1 SP (Felix) Int'l sign, Gillick era
2 SP (WBC-san) Free agent snag for $1.5M, Jay-Z
3 SP (K-Pax) 4th-round slide, 1st-round $$
4 SP (Roenis Elias) Int'l sign, Jay-Z
5 SP Michael Saunders

Mid-round pick, way back when

6 SP (Taijuan) 1st-round pick, scoffed at
  RHP 1 Ichiro, age 50 Trade acquisition from Yankee$
  LHP 1 Doug Fister Bavasi player


Each player highlighted in red is an interesting story, except perhaps Dustin Ackley.  For example, there were 29 other teams that could have gone for Hisashi Iwakuma, and did not.  There were 29 other teams that could have looked past James Paxton's year off; Jack Zduriencik was the one who cared about talent more than he did the asterisks.  The Mariners could have taken a lot of scrubs back, before they selected Danny Farquhar.

Per the Sandy-Raleigh recipe, the M's have filled their roster with the inside straights -- and then they went out and got three big stars with their free agent money.

That list makes Jack Zduriencik, at a 30,000-foot altitude, look a whale of a lot better than he did from the forest floor.  Not that he looked bad there, either.


Dr D





The Miller pick also gets the "scoffed at" tag. His ceiling comp at the time was Craig Counsell.


Got it - I'm the one that was confused.

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