Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The More Things Change...

The infamous Adam Rubin reported today that John Ricco is the most likely successor to Omar Minaya. Matt Cerrone said the same thing yesterday.

I admit that I know very little about John Ricco, but this is a horrible idea. As I feared, it sounds like the Mets are planning on Jim Duquette v2 (or Al Harazin v3). Ricco's lack of scouting experience will give Jeff Wilpon all the more reason to rely on the committee-approach to decision making.

Rubin's article says that the Wilpons like the idea of promoting from within "because much of the front office and other staff can remain intact if Ricco ascends to the role, avoiding the type of costly overhaul that could ensue if a new general manager is hired from outside the organization and wants to replace 12 front-office members, plus dismiss the on-field staff."

The Mets need a costly overhaul! They need to replace prominent front-office members! The last thing they need is to keep the front office intact. I'm not an Omar fan, but it's clear that the problems with the Mets organization run too deep to be solved by replacing one man. The Mets desperately need to bring in an outsider from a well-run organization, and give that outsider full autonomy to restructure everything, top to bottom. Firing Omar and promoting Ricco will just result in a front office with all the flaws of the Omar era, but lacking Omar's one strength: his ability and courage to pull the trigger on big moves. Do we really believe that a Ricco-led committee could have pulled off the Johan trade?

15 comments:

Bryan said...

I don't know how you reconcile this argument with the "I don't know anything about Tony Bernazard" one.

Fred Coupon said...

As I've said before, every scout, doctor, and instructor has to go. Get started by firing people now because it's gonna be a long turnover process.

Bryan said...

I think that's silly. Any organization has good people and bad people, institutional people and smart people merely working within an institution under someone else's control. Case-by-case basis.

cannatar said...

I can reconcile it thusly:

I can tell from the outside how the Mets organization as a whole is functioning - I can see what transactions they've made over the years, I can see how the players they've developed have turned out in the major leagues, etc.

I can also look at the last 18 years and see the common pattern of promoting GMs from within (I realize that Omar was the exception, but he hadn't been gone from the organization long).

I'm not arguing that John Ricco himself is not intelligent, not knowledgeable, not capable of being a baseball GM. I'm arguing that based on their publicly available track record, the Mets organization has not been run well. Therefore, I believe that the organization needs to be completely revamped, which can be much more easily accomplished by someone from outside the organization who has complete autonomy.

The Mza said...

like a new owner?

cannatar said...

If you're the Chairman of the Board of a company that has been consistently underperforming its competitors for the last 18 years, do you (a) fire the CEO and replace him with the CFO, who has never worked for any company in the industry other than yours, and keep all of your other senior decision makers in place; or (b) interview a variety of candidates who have held senior positions at competitors who have performed much better than your company, and ask them what changes need to be made to your company in order get the results that these superior companies are achieving?

cannatar said...

MZA hit the nail on the head - the only solution is to kill the Wilpons (or buy them out).

Bryan said...

It's not another "industry" if you hire a different baseball guy. They're all baseball guys.

Sounds like the owner is ultimately the problem and any "best practices" solution to this is just wasted air because of that.

Bryan said...

That is, I don't know how you reconcile your views on this whole thing with anything other than, yes, remove the Wilpons. It seems all the rest is guesswork. I'm guessing anyone Wilpon hired, even from outside the organization, would be someone he thought ran the team to his liking. So I don't see the distinction then between outside of or inside the organization.

cannatar said...

Bryan -

I guess my ultimate hope is that Jeff Wilpon wakes up one day and suddenly realizes that his family does a terrible job of running a baseball team. Some owners are more hands-on and some are more hands-off. I'm hoping that Jeff Wilpon becomes a bit more self-aware and decides to become a very hands-off owner.

A smaller hope is that the Wilpons at least realize that the way they've been doing things hasn't been working and are willing to make some serious changes to the way the organization is run.

If they hire someone from the outside and give them full autonomy, I'll take that as sign that the Wilpons have realized that things aren't working and are willing to be somewhat more hands-off to help change things.

Fred Coupon said...

Stole this from someone else, but the Met situation is like the one the country faced in November 2008: it didn't need another Washington 'insider.'

Bryan said...

I guess my question then is whether or not you think John Ricco, with full autonomy, would necessarily be a bad thing. And I'm guessing there's no way to prove it one way or the other. But he won't have full autonomy either way.

I would say it's moot, but I don't have to root for the team. Uh, go Mets?

Fred Coupon said...

The Orioles were in a similar boat when Angelos fancied himself a baseball guy and handed out stupid contracts. He finally got the message and let MacPhail run the team, and you can see a bright future ahead. The Mets are in a position where they can speed up the process because of the resources they have.

Bryan said...

I'm not as sold on the Orioles turnaround, but sure.

More comments than Frowns today. SUCK IT, FRIZZIES!

cannatar said...

No, I don't necessarily think Ricco with full autonomy would be a bad thing, but I'll be immediately skeptical of any new GM that doesn't shake up the organization early on.