Experience, huh
The heroes lose 60 and the clowns win 60 ...


  1. practical contact with and observation of facts or events: 

    "he had already learned his lesson by painful experience"

    synonyms: involvement in · participation in · contact with · 


Bill has graciously given us explicit permission to --- > clip his ideas for re-paste at SSI.  It's not that we're best buds, by any stretch of the imagination.  What's actually up is that Bill hates hates HATES the idea of copyrighting a blinkin' essay and charging people $1 every time they read it in the library.  

Let's take all those authors, put all their material in Fort Knox, and make the public go through seven Get Smart security doors before they get to read anything the guy ever wrote.  That'll make everybody happy.  ... that's his quip, not mine.

BJOL still only $3 a month, rat cheer.  We've heard tell that SSI denizens enjoy it when Dr. D moshes Bill James light bulbs against current events in Seattle.  Hey, I hear translators make $200 an hour.  Poetic justice.

There has been a lot of debate over Scott Servais' experience.  Let's apply a bit of nuance to that word Experience, whattaya say.


Scott Servais has been hired as Seattle Mariners manager without any experience. I used to think, and still do to some extant, that if you hire a manager without big league experience it should be someone who has managed in your system. He would get to know the players, learn game strategy and have some experience dealing with the media. I know the Mets, the team that I am most familiar with, have had about 15 managers and only Joe Frazier and Davey Johnson have gone the minors to manager route. I suspect other teams are similar. Are the jobs so different that managing in the minors doesn't really prepare you? Or is it a case of if you want to get hired, location is more important and that means as a coach or some position where you regularly interact with those who hire managers?
Asked by: ZachSmith
Answered: 10/26/2015
1) The jobs of being a minor league manager and a major league manager are VERY different. There is SOME overlap between the two, but I wouldn't say there is a lot.
2) Given my druthers, I would much rather hire a major league manager with no previous experience, rather than a manager with previous experience.
I was very much influenced by one of the best pieces of sports journalism I have ever seen, which appeared in The Sporting News about 1973, which was a long interview with Carroll Rosenbloom on the subject of how he hired a head coach. Rosenbloom hired three head coaches in his life, who were Weeb Eubank, Don Shula and Chuck Knox. Anyway, Rosenbloom said that he wouldn't even talk to anybody who had tried and failed somewhere else, because if a guy had failed somewhere else he didn't care where he had failed or why; there were lots of good candidates who hadn't had an opportunity yet.
I think that MOST managers are most successful in their first major league assignment, although there are certainly many exceptions to that rule.


1.  Now that I think about it ... James' last sentence there, it would capture a lot of guys like Earl Weaver.  Earl was most successful in his first major league assignment, like, guess why.  Because he only needed one major league assignment.  Automatically, when you analyze "first hires" you are capturing every Earl Weaver in history.  This simple light bulb had never occurred to Dr. D.


2.  If you just joined us, the MAIN job of an NBA, or MLB, or NFL head coach is relating to his players.

In the minors, in college, anyplace where the guys don't have 7-year $100M contracts, the coach just talks AT his 21-year-olds.  They do what he says, or they miss out on a career.  But once the TV cameras are on, it's more like a marriage.  You talk WITH each other, or you wind up in court with a judge deciding who gets the family dog.  (Sorry Mojo.)

In Seattle, there was a lot of talk about the 'risk' of hiring a President who had never before been President.  But most of the best U.S. Presidents had never been Presidents before.  There was a lot of debate on this nationally also:  here's a Fox article about the 'troubling trend' of hiring inexperienced managers.

The takeaway for me here:  the 'risk' of hiring an 'inexperienced' manager, isn't.  ... the Rainiers' manager isn't experienced at dealing with Robinson Cano, either.


3.  When we say 'no previous experience,' let's keep it in context.  Scott Servais is not exactly a stranger to a major league dugout, not exactly inexperienced when it comes to gauging when a pitcher is tired, not exactly a rube when it comes to batter-pitcher matchups.  We're talking core skills here, aren't we?  Marshawn Lynch may never have played a game of rugby in his life, but if we have a pickup game this Saturday at the picnic, I'll take Marshawn and you can have my nephew.

Experience, huh.  :: sniff ::


Dr D



What a terrific statement.  Man, I love it.

I hadn't thought of this before, at least as a consistent preference:  In my years as a Mayor, I was part of the hiring of 3 city managers.  In each case I pushed for the hiring of somebody without city manager experience.  Twice it worked out, once quite well and once wonderfully well.  Once it didn't.  That manager was let go.  The first two had municipal experience, but never as a manager. In each case, we had plenty of good applicants with experience. 


Twice we hired interim managers.  The time it worked best was when we offered it to a former police chief.  He was superb in the interim.


Weird that I hadn't thought about all that as some sort of consistent thought process in me.  Hmmmmmm.......


Never know who you're talking to.  Can you tell us what city or would you have to kill us?

At least that explains the golf ...

OBF's picture

We've known about Moe's Mayorship for a long time!  Reedsport, Oregon IIRC...

P.S.  His really name isn't Moe...  but you knew that ;)

OBF's picture

Keith Tymchuk_web

Keith Tymchuk is the Mayor of Reedsport, serving his 6th term. He is also a Port of Umpqua Commissioner and the Convener of the South Coast Regional Solutions Advisory Team and member of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust Board of Directors. In his professional life, he is in his 34th year as a High School educator. He likes to point out that he recently experienced his 52nd first day of school.

Although I enjoy the pic from this article better :)


Here I always thought MoeDog was a street name.  Moe must've gotten all his gang tattoos lasered off.  Cool write up!  What's a wave energy commission?  I'm envisioning a hydroelectric turbine, except at the beach.  But wave energy could be anything. 


Photoshop can do wonders to "erasing" embarrassing tats!

Thank goodness!  :)

Alas, no tatoos here, actually.  "Moe" is actually our real life schnauzer/terrier/dumbest dog on the planet.  But he is a great fishing buddy. 

Moj, more than a decade ago, (for various reasons) this particular part of the Oregon coast was identified as a "hot spot" for harnessing wave energy, utilizing hydrokinetic devices that generate power through the harnessing of the rising and falling motion of waves (and there are other designs, as well).  As it turns out, the water that wave energy devices like is the same water that the Oregon Dungeness Crab industry likes.  Ergo, there were conflicts and concerns.  I was asked to Convene (Chair) an Oregon Solutions process (a really cool program) to bring all the potential players and parties to the table and seek common ground.  We were only partly successful.  But through that, we held the first Wave Energy Summit in the nation here in this neck of the woods, which I had the pleasure of hosting.  Through that I was occassionally asked to speak to groups around the state about the promise and problems of wave energy.  7 years ago, or so, Oregon Business Magazine (weirdly) named me one of "Oregon's 50 Great Leaders."  They have a new list every year so it comes with a grain of salt most assuredly.  Eventually (because I had got to know all the players) I was asked to have a seat as a Director with the newly formed Oregon Wave Energy Trust. Still have it.  Wave energy development has moved more slowly than we once thought, but likely about as fast as we should have thought.  Problems still exist, partially with the technology and partly with conflicts with current ocean users, but there is promise.  Newport, just up the coast from me, is home to the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC-affiliated with Oregon State University) and is well situated to receive federal DOE funding for test-births for wave devices.  Developers would be able to "plug and play," monitoring their devices without the huge permitting and investment cost of developing their own sites.  My community narrowly lost out to Newport (I led the push...losing again) to site PMEC here.  I still think we had better water but Newport had research-based infrastructure advantages.  A rising economic tide floats all our coastal boats, however. so a couple of months ago, as I sat on a panel at the Oregon Coast Economic Summit, I encouraged the state to put some skin in the game and make sure we don't lose those dollars to California, who is late to the game but pursuing them, too.  $40M is at stake.  It should come here.

On a related topic, recently I wrote an Op-Ed piece encouraging support for a small off-shore wind effort, which would be sited 18 miles off the coast.You can read the piece here: 


The whiting industry is generally against that development.  Conflicts, again.

Somewhere in my economic development efforts I was asked to Convene (Chair) the Governor's Regional Economic Solutions Advisory Team for the three Oregon South Coast counties.  I still do that.  Meeting Friday.  Had a call from the Governor's office on that topic today.  It rang in the middle a Government/Modern Problems class so I let it go.  Seemed appropriate.

A boring tail, I know.  Thought I would tie my story together.

And heres a great piece about a homegrown wave energy success story.  This technology harnesses the pressure of a passing wave, not the up/down motion of the wave.  The M3 test was very successful. 


For goodness sake, shut me up!


Here, you have buddies at SSI, some of who like weird futuristic inventions better than baseball.  Don't you think wave collecting self replicating robots might make a good Konspiracy Korner this off season?  And what about the KK issue of whether big oil is suppressing green energy?  Also, are these sea wind farms  or wave farms better than solar power?  This is all most interesting stuff.  Don't hold out on good SSI topics.  :)


We've got a doggone Northwest CELEBRITY in our midst!!

I remembered you were a mayor 'n' all, but my word, man, a Person Of Standing, a Government Committee Man, taking calls from The Governers Office?! Chairing statewide meetings on business and high-tech energy development?! With your faithful dog Moe?!

I have some dear friends from when we lived in Vancouver, WA who moved to Reedsport for a few years before returning some years ago. He is a brilliant now-retired software systems engineer who in his spare time built his own 3D printer in his garage in the days before anybody was talking about them. His family loved it in Reedsport.

Anyway, keep up the good work there. So far as we're concerned it's YOU who are Moe, and we enjoy your Mariners screeds, taking them about as seriously as we take our own, just so's we can keep your head from, um, overfilling your cap.


I hope that by including my "story" it did not look like my cap is "overfilled!"

Certainly that is not the case.  But since it was brought up, I figured I would dot the i's.

I've always enjoyed the challenges that have come up, am frequently frustrated, unerringly optimistic, and I try my utmost to respect people, ideas and the process.  I think I've done the last three especially well, which is why (I assume) I keep getting "asked" to take on new challenges.  22+ years ago, when I first became a Port Commissioner, I thought that would be the end of it.  Teacher-Coach-Port Commissioner would be quite enough.  Little did I know.....

Thank goodness my wife and daughters have been supportive of my (way too) many evenings at meetings and hours away.

In my world of community service, I've always believed that once your reputation is shot and you've lost the respect of folks then you're doomed as an effective voice. I continually try to preserve both.  Learned that from my Mom and Dad. 

My apologies if all of this has been out of place.  But I do try to bring that same open-mindedness and respectfull demeanor to SSI. Good humor and my own analysis, too. You guys are the best.  I've had (way too) many late and frustrating meeting nights that were saved by the therapy of this place.

Likely, that is why we all come.

And since I'm always on the go, I seem to frequently come up with the most braid-dead/hurried typos on the planet.  They embarrass me sometimes.  I appreciate all you guys being so tolerant of them!!


re: "overfilled cap," NOT AT ALL. That was not the intent of my jest. Just horsing around between compatriots. I ought to have been more careful to avoid suggesting it.

Oh, and we do highly esteem your posts, just in case you wondered about any implications with that as well.


Thanks for giving a little bit of yourself here :- )  I'm pressed to filling my quota shtick, or we'd just noodle around in this thread for a week ...

Not only info-taining but inspiring.  Right at the flagstick!


To me, the hidden nugget in the question posed is, "...get to know the players...."

We now have a general manager, a manager, a bench coach and a head of minor league development who know less about our system's players than some of the regular people who post here.  

Is this a problem?  Well, there's something to be said about a fresh set of eyes.  But on the other hand, could you expect JD to make an off season trade involving players from his system that he has hardly--or never--seen play?  You might even ask the same question about putting together the optimal 40 man roster.  

OBF's picture

I expect he know *A LITTLE* about our players...  and certainly his view of them is going to be different and less clouded than the guy who drafted them, so I am EXCITED to see JeDi's moves because they will give us input on how the rest of the game views our players.

The fact that he is gutting the player development side of things already tells us that we were spot on with our own judgment (our being SSI in general)...  That our talent is't that bad, but we are HORRID at developing said talent.

In particular I am excited to see what JeDi has planned for Zunino and Montero...  sure seems like Zuni could be an all star with the right tweak.


He protested that he had to use a TON of time to become --- > familiar enough to know when to use who.  That struck me as pretty odd too.

I agree with you here, Diderot - that would be a definite plus on (say) Edgar's ledger, that he was so intimately familiar with each player's trends, good and bad habits, matchup 'tempations,' etc.

Just one plus, among many factors to consider, but a big factor.


I would love the new guys to succeed as much as anyone else.

I just find it odd that there is such complete turnover among all the people who know the players in the system.  I'm guessing it's close to unprecedented?  We're like a first year expansion franchise (in that respect).

I note that Servais said it will take time to build trust with the players.  I think that's a great sign of the person he is...but also a description of the situation.  

I think Montero is a good example.  By what we've seen, he has 'turned it around', at least in terms of attitude/discipline, etc.  Now, that may have been totally self-generated.  It may have been DESPITE what the system did for/to him.  But it also could have been the way he was handled/treated by the now departed administration.  All I'm saying is that the new guys would have no idea how to handle his specific case until they got a chance to know who he is and what makes him tick.  In other words, it will take time--for everyone.  

Chris Gwynn may be a great guy. But his results weren't.  Will the new mental motivation guy be able to work wonders with a one-size-fits-all approach?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  People are just going to take some time to get to know each other until we see real results.

Now, having said that, here's hoping I'm wrong. 

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