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Sullivan: Agent Of Change Not Always Popular

April 3rd, 2009 by Melvin

I don’t know what this guy did with Tim Sullivan, but I’m liking it. What a fair review of Sandy Alderson’s tenure.

Before their recent retrenchment, the Padres maintained a $73 million payroll that ranked 19th among the 30 major league clubs in 2008. Without greater payroll flexibility or more impact prospects, the Padres were probably destined for a dramatic fall. As Moores grew more detached from the club’s operations, many fans focused on Alderson as a convenient scapegoat and as the symbol of a failed strategy.

Much of that criticism was misguided. The strategy Alderson has sought to implement with the Padres, one founded on statistical analysis, is much the same approach that has brought two world championships over the past five seasons to Fenway Park. The major difference between the Padres and the Boston Red Sox is fiscal rather than philosophical, and that difference is profound.

In November of 2006, the Red Sox spent more than $51 million for exclusive negotiating rights with Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, a sum greater than the Padres will spend on their entire 2009 major league payroll.

Although I don’t like the idea of lumping all of the philosphy under “statistical analysis”. That really isn’t what it is, and never has been. The philosophy is finding undervalued assets.

Often, this involves advanced metrics other teams don’t believe in or havn’t caught up with yet (See Heath Bell and his BABIP). But it isn’t always that. More recently, we saw the Padres grab a string of shorter players in the amateur draft, whom teams may have passed on more due to bias than evidence. This is what the philosophy is about.

Posted in sacrificial links | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Sullivan: Agent Of Change Not Always Popular”

  1. william says:

    Didn’t he write a piece a few months back saying much the same things? That the fans anger at this front office was misguided? I though i remember reading that.

  2. Ray says:

    What was the the team’s strategy before Alderson arrived? It seemed like Towers has always been pretty statistically savvy.

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