to letting players 'learn in the majors.' I'll readily admit that I wasn't 'aware' of the M's until the end of his tenure in Seattle, but this thought frequently pops into my head as I see different people approach developmental procedures (like education, parenting, or skill training) in vastly different ways:
Is it possible that Lou was, when dealing with a certain psychological bandwidth of the baseball talent pool, supremely talented at getting these certain types of players to produce and didn't want the high-minors managers wrecking them before he got his hands on them?
Some players appreciate a fiery, in-your-face approach (I would argue that most mega athletes respond well, or at least not negatively, to this approach) while others are less aggressive and respond to more of a kid glove approach. Could it be that Lou wasn't just picking skills but was more focused on psychological makeup when he looked down on the farm and declared, in no uncertain terms, which kid could help the team right now -- based almost entirely on Lou's confidence in his own ability to help this kid make the transition from the minors to the Big Show?
I mean...Lou would know what kind of athletic assets a player would need just to have a shot at succeeding, so maybe his focus was less on a given player's toolset and more on his mental makeup.
Pete Carroll certainly seems to believe that the Always Compete mantra isn't for everyone, and he rabidly seeks out players who he thinks will respond well to an Always Compete atmosphere. He seems far less concerned with specific skills a player possesses and far more concerned with whether or not a player will give it everything he has for each and every snap that he's out on the field.
The marriage of men and women in child-rearing wasn't an accident; it was a market response to a proven, successful formula which produced humans who were able to out-compete their counterparts who were not raised in such an environment. Men and women bring different things, emotionally and physically, to the process of raising children and it's the complementary nature of these qualities which made marriage the fundamental institution on which modern humanity is based.
It seems to me that Lou's approach was much like a given parent's might be in a marriage; he had a package of 'moves,' he could execute them to perfection, and he was practiced and observant enough to predict with alarming accuracy which 'children' would respond well to his peculiar style of teaching/discipline/training. Lou probably needed Pat Gillick in order to present a 'united front' to everyone not involved in their private plans, and to help erect a setting which would maximize their relative skillsets.