Thursday, July 10, 2008

Front office dysfunction

Jon is definitely right here. The media criticisms about the Dodgers not being able to get a deal done are asinine and uninformed. I'm not going to disparage the news collecting techniques of Rosenthal, Carroll, or whoever else is spinning these yarns, but let's just say I haven't seen this criticism coming from anybody whose opinions about how to put together a major league roster are opinions I hold in high regard.

However, I will say that I see some relation between the apparent phenomenon of the Dodgers front office not being united in what it wants and the criticisms of Colletti that I actually have. I mean, I would be surprised if there is all that much agreement about how to evaluate players between Colletti and his assistant GM's, Ng, Watson, and White. With them presumably doing the legwork in some trade talks, it's easy to see how the Dodgers' desires might appear a moving target.

I would not at all hammer the Dodgers for not being able to get a trade done, especially since any trade in which the Dodgers are "buyers" probably won't be very good for the organization. However, I think that it ultimately stems from Colletti not having a coherent approach to evaluating and valuing talent. If you use ad hoc, subjective input as your basis for deciding whether you like a player or your team's roster, to identify Problems, and to choose Solutions, then it is hard to be very resolute. If instead you try to put hard values on everything using a comprehensive system that can put all of the complicating factors (How much is a compensatory draft pick worth? How much more valuable is a Dodger win in 2008 than a win in 2010? and so on) into clear focus where the moving parts can be compared directly to each other, then you are probably only going to waver on whether to do something when it's close. If you just think in terms of which problems you are looking to address, then you will have a lot of problems to consider and will have problems deciding whether a trade creates problems. This is how Colletti appears to approach these things, and if he were to instead try to build up a systematic approach, then not only would he be less of a moving target, but his subordinates would be more on the same page.

Again, I have no direct knowledge of the Dodgers front office, and I'm only offering my speculation as a criticism of other speculation. I think, though, from the history of decisions made by the Colletti front office and also by Colletti's own statements (obligatory self-referential link), that my speculation has something to it.


Post a Comment

<< Home