Thursday, March 5, 2009

A GM's Thoughts and Dairy #1

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a GM and the decisions one makes? Just like todays economy one must be justifiably prudent in their actions most of the time. Maybe a class on Econ 101 would be helpful. How many saw that the economy was gonna go south other than me? Only those that grew up in the 60's and 70's I would imagine and they probably understand this parallel. Boom followed by recession, history repeats itself once again. Everyone can disagree with me on this but there was two key things that happened then, that happened now. Once again the powers that be try to solve the effect instead of the cause and then don't pay attention to a more serious problem brewing elsewhere.

Okay what does that Econ 101 history lesson have to do with this game? I took the Sand Walkers team over last year (Season 10) as I wanted a team in the South division just so I could be in El Paso. Sounds like a dumb reason but it is true. The team had the fourth pick in the draft that is an effect. The cause is simple, the ML team was pathetic, some hitting and very little in the pitching department but low salary. The minors had very little in the cupboards also being another cause. Being a new owner I was more crippled with spending caps, another cause, as it is hard to discern some talent between good and borderline. So which cause and effect to fix as you can't fix three at the same time and keep another problem from brewing. It really takes two seasons to fix the cap problem and get them where you want, so nothing to fix there as it was set the best it could be, maxed out upwards.

Since the cupboard was bare, it was decided that it would be more prudent to start restocking the minors first. I could have tried to fix the ML team with some Free Agents, but that would not have been prudent because I needed too many. Too many is more than three by the way. So it was decided to go after at least two blue chip IFA prospects and hope for a good draft. That would be a start at restocking the minors with 5 to 8 players. Watching the Waiver Wire and maybe picking up another player or two also. Rule 5 is a way of picking up a good player or two for the future also. So, how did I do?

Rule 5
Benny Harnisch. Young Long reliever with emergency start capabilities with some room to grow.

Vin Acosta - Okay not a blue chip player but very cheap and if his defensive abilities are realized could make a good key position bench player.
Louie Duran - Was drafted as a 2B but best he could be is a RF, has some hitting upside. Depending on how he develops could be in the ML.
Midre Jose - Will progress through the ranks to AAA at least this year and find a Starting Rotation job next season. Well worth the money spent.

Alex Russell - 1st round pick that will probably need at least 3 seasons in the minors before being a starter at the ML level.
Billy Kinney - 3rd round pick that will need more time depending, but should be good as a 4th or 5th starter.

Analysis: Though not what I had hoped for in picking up 5 to 8 players but I did manage to pick up four good pitchers for the future. Coupled with the previous owners first round pitcher will give me a viable rotation in a season or two that could feature three Cy Young candidates. But I didn't come up with anything in the hitting department.

The Season 10 ML team was bad as expected using what was serviceable from the previous season and what was available in the minors. I really thought they would have been a little better than their record indicated. Looking back at the season, maybe I could have won more games if I had gotten a Free Agent or two as our 1-run record was 21-24. Would have it been wise to spend $10M to $15M on a couple players to win 10 to 15 games at most? The answer is probably not as it would have taken $20M or more to shore the problems and making trades was out of the question.

Season 11 budget was the easiest to set up, since I did get enough players to restock the minors as hoped. Though I do have the 3rd overall pick and I get the 40th as a supplemental also which surprised me. It depends on the board, but will probably go for a power hitter first. Of course I upped my training and advance scouting to max and decided to get out of the IFA market opting for Free Agents. The tough decision is whether to go after College or High School players or a mix in the draft. I just like College better, now I just hope it is a decent crop this season as it could be split or lean one way or the other. Medical went to $16M where it will stay.

I didn't go after any hitting in the Free Agent market as it turned out I had a decent bunch to start with from last season just relatively young. They are not going to power over anyone, but will be a defensive small ball lot that will win games. I did spend a lot of money on the pitching staff this year and it is showing so far.

Rule 5
Felix Embree. Not really wanting him but his future hitting style was worth a shot especially at lead off and there wasn't any pitching that was going to help available.

After examination of the team, the minor league cupboard is still pretty bare. Hoping the draft will help once again and keeping a close eye on the WW.

As play keeps going in the minors, I am keeping a watchful eye on my blue chip players waiting on that first improvement bump to see where they stand and a possible promotion to go with it.

The play of the ML team is about as I expected. They don't get worried about facing the big boys and play their game. What does happen is going to those plus away stadiums, the power just isn't there to keep up.

John Tamura - Injured again, what can you expect with a 31 health. Although he is a big bat that I lack, he will probably stay on the DL till someone else gets injured and I can bring him off and release him.

Duke Jackson - He showed improvement at AAA and it was decided to give him a chance as a call up for the injured John Tamura. So far so good in the pen.

Dicky Woo - I had enough of his antics in the pitching department today and I need a backup catcher so down to AAA he goes and will probably never see the ML again for the Sand Walkers.

Joe Clemens - Was brought up from the AAA deactive roster as the missing backup catcher. Why? Look at his durability, can only be a spot starter and backup with a good bat. Will be his last season and was held in ready reserve long enough. Will make a good DH when the time comes also. Should get 150 AB's in with 15 to 20 starts and 6 DH starts.

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