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Thread: The model organization to emulate?

  1. #1
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    The model organization to emulate?

    Some interesting parts:

    'The amazing thing to me is the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 and the only two players left from that roster are Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina (plus the injured Chris Carpenter). '

    'But the rest of the roster has completely turned over, and it's been done without the luxury of high draft picks, usually the surest way to developing stars.... '

    'What makes the Cardinals so smart, however, is that they don't necessarily fall in love with their prospects. They're very good at evaluation once these guys start playing in the minors. Daric Barton, Brett Wallace and Zack Cox were all first-round picks traded away before reaching the majors. The team traded Colby Rasmus back in 2011 to help bring in reinforcements for a playoff run, believing in Jon Jay in center field. '

    The best organization in baseball - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    I'd have a hard time looking at any La Russa managed team and think that the players are clean. Sorry.
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  3. #3
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    Is La Russa around? NO. Did he assemble these players? Do the present Cardinals give the impression of rampant drug use? NO and NO. When MLB cast its net this year, were any Cardinals mentioned/cited? And if any present-day Cardinals really are users, how does this fall on La Russa?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Is La Russa around? NO. Did he assemble these players? Do the present Cardinals give the impression of rampant drug use? NO and NO. When MLB cast its net this year, were any Cardinals mentioned/cited? And if any present-day Cardinals really are users, how does this fall on La Russa?
    I always thought Molina was using something. Was I the only one?

  5. #5
    Head Moderator All-Star glunn's Avatar
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    This is getting way off topic.

    The article about the Cardinals is interesting. Why not discuss what the Twins might learn from the Cardinals? Or perhaps debate whether the Rays or the A's or some other team might make a better role model?

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    The obvious answer would be 50/50 between the Rays & A's. However that can't really be done the way they have succeeded so well in the past as easily atleast.

    The Rays had an unprecedented streak of bad years getting top 5 picks, but they also very smartly played the compensation cards getting extra picks as FA comp in the few rounds. This really isnt possible anymore with the new FA compensation system.

    The A's have traded guys before they lost their value, loaded up on pitching & smartly played the FA market with short term deals and using good analytics to identify bargains to take chances on. They also seem to platoon players as well as any maximizing value. With all the teams really being much smarter using all these new tools, fewer diamonds in the rough are falling through the cracks.

    I would lean towards the Braves, they don't overpay or trade the wrong guys, arent afraid to deal the ones whom are & do an admirable job buying low on talent they feel they can turn around.

    The Cardinals being a great example but they have had an unprecedented run of luck nailing on guyys in later rounds who have fourished. IT's almost uncanny.
    Last edited by Trevor0333; 10-11-2013 at 01:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor0333 View Post
    The obvious answer would be 50/50 between the Rays & A's. However that can't really be done the way they have succeeded so well in the past as easily atleast.

    The Rays had an unprecedented streak of bad years getting top 5 picks, but they also very smartly played the compensation cards getting extra picks as FA comp in the few rounds. This really isnt possible anymore with the new FA compensation system.

    The A's have traded guys before they lost their value, loaded up on pitching & smartly played the FA market with short term deals and using good analytics to identify bargains to take chances on. They also seem to platoon players as well as any maximizing value. With all the teams really being much smarter using all these new tools, fewer diamonds in the rough are falling through the cracks.

    I would lean towards the Braves, they don't overpay or trade the wrong guys, arent afraid to deal the ones whom are & do an admirable job buying low on talent they feel they can turn around.

    The Cardinals being a great example but they have had an unprecendented run of luck nailing on guys in later rounds who have flourished. IT's almost uncanny.
    Frame this and give a copy to the front office: a) there is a lot of talent in the draft other than the top three players; b) it isn't luck that teams find these players; c) you have failed to credit the Cardinals (and others) to deveelop this young man into a quality MLB player--or is that luck also?; d) it is a pathetic response to obscure the failure in the Twins organization by claiming that success by others is luck.

  8. #8
    Ryan still thinks teams emulate the Twins. I dont think he's open to looking outside the box.

  9. #9
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    Lots of research in the business world shows that if all you try to do is take best practices, you can't win long term.....because everyone else is doing that. You need to do things differently.

    I do think they can learn from the teams mentioned here, but their success is largely driven by end to end thinking....it isn't just about acquiring players, but how you use them on the field also.

    I hope the Twins somehow get off their high horse, that they have this "one right way, the Twins way", and start showing they are changing/improving/evolving.
    Lighten up Francis....

  10. #10
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    Here are a few of my observations from spending time in a family (married into) of Cardinals fans.

    This is the way the Twins need to run their organization in baseball. I hesitate to use the term 'best run organization,' because teams like the A's and the Rays, are operating with completely different budgets and they do a TREMENDOUS job with the resources they have. Ultimately, though it is about winning championships and having a team that has that opportnity every year. That's the Cardinals.

    Pitching: There was an article in SI this summer that had an amazing Cardinals feature in it. It spoke of the organizational philosophy in what the look for in pitchers (didn't give details). They look for specific physical traits that keep their pitchers from breaking down and also makeup is a key component. Their stuff, although very important, is not top priority.

    Fanbase support: Secondly, as a previous poster had said, the organization doesn't get "emotionally" attached. And like some posters here, that tend to fall into the "blindly" following of the Twins FO, the majority of Cardinals fans are like this. When it was time to sign Pujols, the fan base was split on whether to pay him the 10 year deal or not, but when the organization stuck to its model and said no to Pujols, the fanbase didn't have a meltdown (maybe a very short-term one), but send let's see how we can replace him and the FO did (at least in the aggregate). THe Twins FO may be on to a something, but the Cardinals FO has creditbility.

    Acquiring FA: The Cardinals sign top free agents or trade for them as a part of their strategy. This is not their only way, they develop within and make trades, but they are not afraid to pony up some cash to fill a void. They don't get into the Elite/crazy expensive guys like Greinke, BJ Upton, or other guys, but they will find the RIGHT player at the RIGHT price. Lately, the Cards have been getting the injured-ridden, past their prime stars and pay them fairly and on shorter term deals (see Beltran and Berkman) and have milked their last couple of seasons from them. These guys have produced.

    Development: The Cardinals' organization also develops players year after year, in both the minors and at the big league level. An area that often goes unnoticed is their young guys on the MLB roster keep improving. That can't be said about our favorite organization. Continung to improve in the minors AND at the MLB level is essential. Baseball America always has Cardinals prospects littering their top 100 and that is without high draft picks. They have a strategy in their scouting and developing that work hand in hand.

    The Cardinals are in the same financial tier as the Twins and should be used as THE model. The A's and Rays have many great ideas that we can use, but the Cardinals have proven success over MANY seasons and agai we compare financially to the Cardinals.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    This is getting way off topic.

    The article about the Cardinals is interesting. Why not discuss what the Twins might learn from the Cardinals? Or perhaps debate whether the Rays or the A's or some other team might make a better role model?
    Seriously though, no one thinks Molina's a roider? I'm the only one?

    More seriously, I think the Cards have probably been the best run org for some time now. They've had some nice stability in the FO and management for some time, the org knows who it is, they've used payroll pretty well to add nice pieces. I don't think they're the little team that could - they had nice payrolls and their fans were actually upset it didn't increase at times - but even teams with better payrolls haven't done as well as them. I've always been a bit dismissive of NL teams but we'll ignore that for now.
    Last edited by ChiTownTwinsFan; 10-11-2013 at 10:45 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    GREAT post, Siehbiscuit.

    While I agree with mikewantswins that each team has to find their own path to success, there are obviously some strategies that the Twins could adopt from the Cards (and some other teams).

    I was struck again, this morning, though by the "Money Factor". Before the playoffs began, SI had an article about how this year's playoff roster was the lowest average payroll. And that was true when the playoffs began. But when you look at where we are at going into the Division Series, we have 3 of the top 5 payrolls in baseball and the Cardinals at #11.

    It seems to me that the Braves' success is very similar to that of the Twins. A lot of regular season success but limited playoff success (although not quite as dismal in the 1st round as the Twins).

    The Cards seem to have been able to move beyond that. Although they have a bit more revenue than the Twins, its not so much as to put them into a different tier. It would be well worth it to study some of their strategies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    The Cards seem to have been able to move beyond that. Although they have a bit more revenue than the Twins, its not so much as to put them into a different tier. It would be well worth it to study some of their strategies.
    Last year the Cardinals had 25M more in revenue. Haven't seen the numbers this year, but in baseball terms, is that considered a big gap, especially if they go by around the 52% rule? We're talking about an ability to spend and additional 12M+ difference in payroll. If we aren't AT our 52% spending anyway, does that difference actually matter?
    Last edited by ThePuck; 10-11-2013 at 10:40 AM.
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  14. #14
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Last year the Cardinals had 25M more in revenue. Haven't seen the numbers this year, but in baseball terms, is that considered a big gap, especially if they go by around the 52% rule? We're talking about an ability to spend and additional 12M+ difference in payroll. If we aren't AT our 52% spending anyway, does that difference actually matter?
    What we're looking at here is long-term strategy/success, isn't it? Not just a return to relevance next year?

    All of these threads are starting to run together for me because it seems like it is coming down to $, $, $.

    And, if so, isn't the question whether the Twins can be -- and STAY -- a mid-market team rather than fall into the bottom tier in revenue? And if they can do so, how do they translate that revenue (that is certainly greater than that of the A's, Rays, etc.) into success knowing that they will NEVER be in the same revenue category as the Yankees, Red, Sox, Dodger, etc.

    Part of it may well be revisiting the 50% rule (or 52% or 54%) so that becomes an average over a period of years (7-10) rather than the "rule" for A particular year. If, in these years of futility, they said that they were harboring dollars for "better days" so they could really make a run when prospects arrive, I'd could accept that but it has never been their business model and it still isn't something that they talk about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    What we're looking at here is long-term strategy/success, isn't it? Not just a return to relevance next year?

    All of these threads are starting to run together for me because it seems like it is coming down to $, $, $.

    And, if so, isn't the question whether the Twins can be -- and STAY -- a mid-market team rather than fall into the bottom tier in revenue? And if they can do so, how do they translate that revenue (that is certainly greater than that of the A's, Rays, etc.) into success knowing that they will NEVER be in the same revenue category as the Yankees, Red, Sox, Dodger, etc.

    Part of it may well be revisiting the 50% rule (or 52% or 54%) so that becomes an average over a period of years (7-10) rather than the "rule" for A particular year. If, in these years of futility, they said that they were harboring dollars for "better days" so they could really make a run when prospects arrive, I'd could accept that but it has never been their business model and it still isn't something that they talk about.
    I was just asking for clarification on what you meant. You mentioned their revenue being a bit more, and all I'm saying is if their revenue is only 25M more than ours, the spending should only be a difference of 12M+. That 12M advantage for payroll is only there if both teams spend the same percentage, but if the Twins choose to spend say, 40%, now the gap in payroll advantage is artificially larger than it needs to be. And it goes both ways. If the Twins are spending their 52% but the Cards go nuts and spend 60%, that 12M+ difference will get artificially larger.

    Does that make sense? I'm not making it about payroll, that was the last place I was going with this when I posted it, but I was looking to get clarification on something you wrote.
    Last edited by ThePuck; 10-11-2013 at 11:15 AM.
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  16. #16
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    Thank you JB......this isn't about money, this is about a lot of things. Money matters, but it is not the only thing.
    Lighten up Francis....

  17. #17
    I think the one thing we can say about both the Cardinals and A's is that they aren't afraid to move "prospects" or supplement their talent with Free Agents. I would say the Twins under Terry Ryan have an extreme aversion to both. Certainly not the only way to be successful, but I fear the Twins have fallen too in love with themselves and their philosophy and aren't willing to try new approaches. It seems to me that after three straight awful seasons, you might be willing to try a new approach, yet we just hear Ryan saying they are going to keep doing what they've been doing.

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    Whichever Cardinals executive negotiated that they qualify for a competitive balance draft pick was a genius.

  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    At the risk of inciting a firestorm (which I am not intentionally trying to do) why are some people so enamored with the Oakland system?

    Let me explain my question. The Twins have been critiqued for not embracing the newer competitive advantages that other teams have developed (and that critique is not without merit), and the A's are often seen as a model for that. Yet, they have not been that much more successful than Minnesota. They have won 1 postseason series during Billy Beane's tenure (same as Minnesota during that time frame). Some have been critical of Gardenhire because of his post-season record, but Bob Melvin's in Oakland is no better. Since 2000 Oakland has won 6 division titles. So has Minnesota. Granted, right now Oakland is "peaking" and Minnesota is in the pits. But is their overall track record really that much better that we should be lauding them as much as some do?

  20. #20
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Pilgrim, you are right and that's why, unfortunately, I think a lot of it does come down to money (I wasn't really arguing with you Puck, just trying to clarify).

    The Rays, Oakland and the 2002-2009 Twins were all praised as having success on low budgets -- and they did. But the fact is that without the extra $$$, their success generally ends/ended early in the playoffs.

    I think that down the road the Twins have the ability to add pieces that could push them to a little more playoff success but they'll have to take some risks as well. My big issue is that I don't trust Terry Ryan to do that but we've been over that ad nauseum.

    But before they even reach that point, I want to be sure that the Twins STAY a mid-market team in revenue and part of that is to put a good enough product on the field that they can continue to draw close to 3 million even in down years (and that is a concern since attendance fell below 2.5 million this year per ESPN).

    It is a tricky balance -- and one that requires some on-the-field success even while rebuilding so that attendance and revenues don't nosedive before the prospects "arrive".

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