The Lightning Rod That is Allard Baird

absintheofmalaise

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
I think Hazen would have been my third choice, after Girsch and Dipoto.

If hiring Hazen helps keep the Sox international scouting team intact, then it's a good thing. If hiring Hazen keeps Allard Baird on the payroll, though, I'm not so sure.

Missing on drafts and international signings isn't a good thing. But it doesn't cripple a franchise the way consistent misses in handing out 8-9 figure salaries does, either.
People around here have been after Baird's head for quite a while. But I'm curious as to why. He hasn't made decisions on players. Yes, he has input into the decision making process, but so have a lot of people. Is he just the scapegoat here or has he done some specific things that warrant him getting fired?
 

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
I think Hazen would have been my third choice, after Girsch and Dipoto.

If hiring Hazen helps keep the Sox international scouting team intact, then it's a good thing. If hiring Hazen keeps Allard Baird on the payroll, though, I'm not so sure.

Missing on drafts and international signings isn't a good thing. But it doesn't cripple a franchise the way consistent misses in handing out 8-9 figure salaries does, either.
 
What does "missing on drafts" mean? Assuming that Baird has even had a significant voice in who has been drafted, the Sox have been pretty strong in the draft overall with this front office group and the last five years doesn't suggest there's been any recent change in that regard.
 
2011 is obviously the outlier here with how insanely good it was, but to recap: Barnes, Owens, Swihart, Betts, Shaw, JBJ, and Noe Ramirez were 7 of their first 12 picks.
 
2012: Deven Marrero, Brian Johnson and Pat Light were their first three picks.
 
The 2013 draft looks pretty rough, with Trey Ball, Teddy Stankiewicz and Jon Denny as their first three selections, but they did grab Nick Longhi, who soxprospects.com has as the number 15 prospect in the system right now. Stankiewicz is 18th, so he's not a complete bust. And the Ball pick, while inching closer to bust status every day, still has time to pan out. The 7th selection is high for the Red Sox, but it's not a sure thing slot, so I have a hard time getting too worked up over that pick, even if I wanted Meadows at the time.
 
2014 looks like a strong draft as well. Chavis started to hit in the second half and finished the season with 16 home runs, Kopech had lots of positive notes about his development before the suspension and Sam Travis might be the starting first baseman in Boston by the end of next season. There are a number of interesting lotto ticket types in the mix as well with Whitson, Sturgeon, and Ockimey.
 
2015: Andrew Benintendi is looking like a phenomenal pick, Austin Rei adds some nice catcher depth to the system because his glove is really solid already, and Logan Allen looked incredibly good in rookie ball.
 
So, out of the last 5 years of the draft, the Sox have 8 players on the major league roster, 5 of their top 10 prospects and 13 of their top 20, with players from each of those years represented in that top 20. Where are the drafts that they missed on?
 

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
What does "missing on drafts" mean? Assuming that Baird has even had a significant voice in who has been drafted, the Sox have been pretty strong in the draft overall with this front office group and the last five years doesn't suggest there's been any recent change in that regard.
 
 
Pretty sure you're missing his point.  He's saying that Baird's role has been to miss on the 8-9 figure salaries.
 

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The Baird criticism is an interesting phenomenon given that there really isn't a whole lot of public knowledge on what his role actually is.

I know there were some stories that he was the main proponent of the Crawford signing - and there have been a few more recent ones concerning his advocacy of Pablo. But we don't really know anything. Maybe his role is to be the contrarian in the room and he's just really good at it?

I think most of it stems from his background in KC - which was perceived (rightly IMO) as a failed organization. They were a very tools oriented organization and seemed to prefer athletes to actual baseball players. And that approach is about as far as you can get to the RedSox during the Henry era.
 

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absintheofmalaise said:
People around here have been after Baird's head for quite a while. But I'm curious as to why. He hasn't made decisions on players. Yes, he has input into the decision making process, but so have a lot of people. Is he just the scapegoat here or has he done some specific things that warrant him getting fired?
 
Baird is just a scapegoat for bad decisions so people can continue saying Cherington was blameless in the team's failures with him at the helm.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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absintheofmalaise said:
People around here have been after Baird's head for quite a while. But I'm curious as to why. He hasn't made decisions on players. Yes, he has input into the decision making process, but so have a lot of people. Is he just the scapegoat here or has he done some specific things that warrant him getting fired?
If he doesn't make the final decision on players, he's in charge of what information recommends a particular course of action.

Baird has been either the top pro scout preparing the recommendation, or the top executive in charge of the pro scouting group which makes the recommendation, on almost all pro player acquisitions since Carl Crawford.

That responsibility makes him nominally answerable for the Sox comitting $511MM to Carl Crawford, Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, and Rick Porcello.

Now, missing on a bet now and then happens. But when virtually every contract over $30MM that you hand out ends up busting, over a period of four straight years, there is a problem. And that problem is most likely attributable to the information on which the decision is made.

Garbage in, garbage out. Gammons may say he's the hardest-working man in badeball, but that says nothing about whether he makes the right decision.

I don't think he makes the right decision often enough, to warrant the executive role he occupies.
 

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
If he doesn't make the final decision on players, he's in charge of what information recommends a particular course of action.

Baird has been either the top pro scout preparing the recommendation, or the top executive in charge of the pro scouting group which makes the recommendation, on almost all pro player acquisitions since Carl Crawford.

That responsibility makes him nominally answerable for the Sox comitting $511MM to Carl Crawford, Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, and Rick Porcello.

Now, missing on a bet now and then happens. But when virtually every contract over $30MM that you hand out ends up busting, over a period of four straight years, there is a problem. And that problem is most likely attributable to the information on which the decision is made.
 
Let's see...Panda and Porcello are in year 1 of long-term deals (and regressing positively already), and Craig was never anything besides mildly speculative dead weight to acquire Kelly, who is also in the early stages of being here a while.  Victorino was worth every single solitary penny.  But, yup, all busts.
 

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The continued crucifixion of Allard Baird is perhaps the biggest reach of the main board over the last few years, slightly behind the notion that the Sox will eat half of Hanley or Pablo's contract to dump them. 
 
People pay too much attention to titles and attribute too much weight to them. End of day the decision is the GMs or the owner's. Baird may have given bad advice but I'm sure every other FO has a guy in his position, whatever the title, that has given a lot worse. 
 
If anyone wants to blame every bad acquisition on him, I have a bridge to sell you. And also a pamphlet about the good moves the FO has made since he;s been in employ, but I assume you'll just attribute those to someone else. 
 
An MLB FO is much bigger than any singular person, positive or negative. We saw that as Theo's minions began to be poached. 
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
The continued crucifixion of Allard Baird is perhaps the biggest reach of the main board over the last few years, slightly behind the notion that the Sox will eat half of Hanley or Pablo's contract to dump them. 
 
People pay too much attention to titles and attribute too much weight to them. End of day the decision is the GMs or the owner's. Baird may have given bad advice but I'm sure every other FO has a guy in his position, whatever the title, that has given a lot worse. 
 
If anyone wants to blame every bad acquisition on him, I have a bridge to sell you. And also a pamphlet about the good moves the FO has made since he;s been in employ, but I assume you'll just attribute those to someone else. 
 
An MLB FO is much bigger than any singular person, positive or negative. We saw that as Theo's minions began to be poached.
well , if he was the primary driving force behind the Crawford, Panda and Hanley deals then I doubt he'll survive. For what it's worth - probably nothing - in Hazen's presser today he reamed off along list of his fellow FO staff workers that he felt were a team .. A list from which Baird was conspicuously absent (although he did mention him later on)
 

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
well , if he was the primary driving force behind the Crawford, Panda and Hanley deals then I doubt he'll survive. For what it's worth - probably nothing - in Hazen's presser today he reamed off along list of his fellow FO staff workers that he felt were a team .. A list from which Baird was conspicuously absent (although he did mention him later on)
First, the jury is still very much out on Pablo and Hanley. We witnessed first hand from Lackey that there is always time to make a contract worth it.

Second, he is and was a subordinate. "Primary driving force" =\= "decision maker". He was not the one that signed those contracts at the end of the day. That was Theo and Ben.

Quite frankly we have no idea exactly what his role is and how much influence he has, but complaining about a second level executive to the extent that persists strikes me as witch hunting. Yes he didn't have a successful stint as a GM, but he didn't get that job because he won a contest. Further, the people that hired and employ him are not idiots.

He doesn't have his finger on the button, so to me blaming him for anything really comes off as making excuses for TE or BC. If you think he was ultimately responsible for three of the last four biggest contracts the team has decided to sign, I think you need to reconsider your view on the FO and the hierarchy there.
 

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absintheofmalaise said:
People around here have been after Baird's head for quite a while. But I'm curious as to why. He hasn't made decisions on players. Yes, he has input into the decision making process, but so have a lot of people. Is he just the scapegoat here or has he done some specific things that warrant him getting fired?
Some (as we've seen with the responses) mark him as directly responsible for the big failed contracts of the last half decade and want him gone for that reason, but that wasn't really his job.
 
What he did do was head the pro scouting portion of a club that:
1. did make horrible big money FA signings of established pros, i.e. the very players who's evaluation would fall under his demesne.
2. brought mL players up who were clearly still 1/2 to 1 year away from ML ready, a fact that got a mea culpa from the Sox ownership and top brass this past winter.
3. was part of the decision making process in evaluating the ML capabilities of players like Josh Reddick, Alex Wilson, Mark Melancon (coming and going), etc..
4. has, over the last half decade with only one notable exception (2013), generally been worse in-division as opposed to outside of division, so failing to win the advanced scouting battle against the teams we see the most.
 
Now maybe he protested against the path that led to some or all of these negatives and maybe they were specifically given to someone else, but we as fans can't really know that.  What we do know is that this all falls under the umbrella of pro personnel evaluation which is an umbrella we've been told he holds, per his own comments and those of his superiors.
 
If he was truly blameless in these mistakes I'm sure Dombrowski will see the truth of it, but if not his support of Epstein in his later years and Cherington in his early ones is rather damning.
 
That said, maybe people should be careful what they wish for as I'd be willing to bet if Baird was replaced it would be with another old school baseball kind of guy, namely Frank Wren.  But who knows, maybe when all the musical chairs at the GM level settle down Dipoto is left without a seat.  That would be quite the coup.
 

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I think the problem with Baird is that other than his draft picks, which were kind of hit or miss compared to draft position, he was a terrible asst. GM and GM for the Royals, a team that under his watch had seasons with 64, 77, 65, 62, 83, 58, 56, and 62 wins (the last coming in the season in which he was fired in May).  He was rapidly promoted from being a minor league instructor and scout to be groomed as Herk Robinson's replacement, and he was gawdawful.  
 
His biggest problem as GM were the returns he got in trades and his FA acquisitions (which were admittedly paltry).  Obviously he also had budget constraints.  Basically the job he is hired to do as a Red Sox, evaluating players that will be traded for or signed, was his biggest weakness as a GM.  You can always say that as a GM he was simply over-promoted, but I don't know that other than his continued employment there is any evidence he can actually do the job and the circumstantial evidence points to similar issues on a larger scale with the Red Sox.  I'm happy to trust the Red Sox to make these decisions, but the finger pointing at Baird is for really good reason.  I agree that he is an easy fall guy to take all the "bad decisions" off of Cherington, but Cherington (and Theo) have to take that responsibility.  On the other hand, he has a pretty big title and I assume the influence that goes with it. 
 

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
 
The Sox have played better ball under Lovullo, it's not a demotion, Farrell's strengths fit that role perfectly, and he probably could use the break from grueling travel next summer, anyway.
 
Yes to this.  Also, I think that some of the Baird dislike was in place when he arrived due to the perception that he underperformed as GM of the Royals.  The return on Damon, Beltran and Dye was pretty weak in each case, and more disturbing to me, was the timing of each of those trades.  None were made at the deadline when I'd think the most value could be extracted. Bad timing and a weak return on trades with the Royals led to a dislike of hiring the guy on day one with Boston.  At least that's my recollection.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Allard_Baird#Significant_Trades
 

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absintheofmalaise said:
Dipoto was signed to a three month contract and I'd be very surprised if he isn't hired as a GM. I didn't see the press conference yesterday where he was barely mentioned, but if Baird is let go, that would create the opening in the FO for Farrell. 
I would expect Dipoto to land a GM job as well, but that is far from a certainty as there are only so many top jobs to go around.  If Dombrowski does see reason to replace Baird he'll have some worthwhile candidates to pick from.
 

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I wonder if we could break out a bunch of the Allard Baird commentary into its own thread.
 
It would obviously help to clean up and refocus the discussion on Hazen and other management threads where the topic tends to bleed into.
 
But I also think it would be interesting to put the case against Baird "on the record" for a full discussion, since it is something that is frequently alluded to, but less frequently supported with the details.
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
The continued crucifixion of Allard Baird is perhaps the biggest reach of the main board over the last few years, slightly behind the notion that the Sox will eat half of Hanley or Pablo's contract to dump them. 
 
People pay too much attention to titles and attribute too much weight to them. End of day the decision is the GMs or the owner's. Baird may have given bad advice but I'm sure every other FO has a guy in his position, whatever the title, that has given a lot worse. 
 
If anyone wants to blame every bad acquisition on him, I have a bridge to sell you. And also a pamphlet about the good moves the FO has made since he;s been in employ, but I assume you'll just attribute those to someone else. 
 
An MLB FO is much bigger than any singular person, positive or negative. We saw that as Theo's minions began to be poached. 
 
You make some valid points (as have others against you), but the bolded is a flat-out ridiculous statement and hyperbole of the highest order.
 

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This is a message board, dude. Ridiculous statements and hyperbole are what we traffic in.
 
But it sure does seem like Allard Baird must have kicked some posters' puppies or something, given the disproportionate vitriol that is thrown his way.
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
First, the jury is still very much out on Pablo and Hanley. We witnessed first hand from Lackey that there is always time to make a contract worth it.

Second, he is and was a subordinate. "Primary driving force" =\= "decision maker". He was not the one that signed those contracts at the end of the day. That was Theo and Ben.

Quite frankly we have no idea exactly what his role is and how much influence he has, but complaining about a second level executive to the extent that persists strikes me as witch hunting. Yes he didn't have a successful stint as a GM, but he didn't get that job because he won a contest. Further, the people that hired and employ him are not idiots.

He doesn't have his finger on the button, so to me blaming him for anything really comes off as making excuses for TE or BC. If you think he was ultimately responsible for three of the last four biggest contracts the team has decided to sign, I think you need to reconsider your view on the FO and the hierarchy there.
 
Well, while I do have an opinion I also believe that, as we really have no idea of his actual input or power its probably unfair to condemn him. The point I was trying to make is that if DD comes to the conclusion that he was the major driver of these "failed" moves then he would most assuredly be canned.
 
My own opinion is more driven by is KC track record than anything else. I remember his original hire being a real head scratcher.
 

alwyn96

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cahlton said:
Just to add to the limited information we have about Baird's duties and track record with the Red Sox: He allegedly signed Jose Abreu, only to be "overruled by ownership." Or so says Gammons.
 
http://www.gammonsdaily.com/peter-gammons-sea-of-possibilities-for-dombrowski-in-boston/
 
That would have been weird. Abreu signed the day before game 6 of the 2013 World Series. Signing a new 1B with Mike Napoli coming off a 4 WAR season and yet to wander around Boston in a shirtless drunken haze might have been a bit of a PR problem. In retrospect, the right baseball decision, but it would have been impossible to sell at the time.
 
Gammons does seem to have a lot of respect for Baird:
On Dombrowski coming to Boston: "He quickly learned why Allard Baird is considered by his peers the hardest-working and most loyal person in the organization."
Baird at risk for reassignment: "Allard Baird, the hardest-working, most loyal employee"
On bringing Bannister on board: "With the help of Allard Baird and Jared Porter, they centered on Brian Bannister, a former major league pitcher who made 114 starts over five seasons with the Mets and Royals and, after retirement continued his photography and gradually became fascinated by the data, analytical and sabermetric studies of the baseball he so loves."
On Cherington's off-season work in 2014: "his inner circle with Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, Ben Crockett, et al, is really smart and detailed; in fact, the best news since the Derek Jeter end to the season is that Hazen didn’t get one of the general manager openings"
 
I do kind of wonder how much professional scouting really makes a difference in signings and deals. I'm curious about the kind of information you could get from scouts that you couldn't just pick up from the stats or a lay understanding. I mean, you don't need a scout to know how good most players are. I feel like I have a decent sense of how good Brett Gardner is, for example (pretty good. not great but a solid OF). It seems like their insight is more valuable in terms of stuff like "Mike Trout is a having a hard time with high fastballs right now. We should try pitching him that way" or "Tanaka's throwing tons of first-pitch fastballs for strikes. We should jump on him early." Scouting information seems most useful when stats can't already tell you 90% of the story, like in non-MLB settings or in getting mechanistic advantages against specific players.
 

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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
This is a message board, dude. Ridiculous statements and hyperbole are what we traffic in.
 
But it sure does seem like Allard Baird must have kicked some posters' puppies or something, given the disproportionate vitriol that is thrown his way.
 
I'm actually not sure what's so complicated about it.
 
1.It has been largely established, that the Red Sox have been terrible at evaluating MLB talent over the past few years; either for trades, long term contracts, etc. One could even say it's the one aspect that probably cost Cherington his job.
 
2.It is understood (mostly due to his title + some anecdotal info) that this particular area was the responsibility of one Allard Baird.
 
3.Ergo, at a time when changes are made in the organization (especially with respect to item 1 above), one need not have had their puppies kicked by Allard Baird to expect some change in that position as well.
 
Now:
-The first responsible for those mistakes was BC, regardless of whatever advice may or may not have been given by Allard Baird. He was the GM, the buck stops with him, and he's said so himself. He's paid for the mistakes with his job. He gone.
 
-The Red Sox set-up from the outside was pretty tough to read, seemingly by design or otherwise. So yeah, people are just guessing (based on his title) what AB's role in this mess has been.
 
Unless you disagree with any of points 1,2 and 3 above, it's not difficult to understand why people would expect Baird to be shown the door. A lot of the "vitriol" probably comes from the fact that AB came to Boston with a reputation (deserved or not) as one of the worst GMs in baseball, because of his misadventures with the Royals. This is what people primarily remember him as - and that's just exacerbating the perception of mistakes made by the Cherington front office. That's what happens when you have somebody with a terrible track record (or perceived as such) in a position to influence big decisions. If things go wrong, it's pretty much guaranteed people will think he had something to do with it.
 
Now we have Wren in that role, et rebelote. 
 

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
well , if he was the primary driving force behind the Crawford, Panda and Hanley deals then I doubt he'll survive. For what it's worth - probably nothing - in Hazen's presser today he reamed off along list of his fellow FO staff workers that he felt were a team .. A list from which Baird was conspicuously absent (although he did mention him later on)
 
As has been said, the jury is still out of Hanley and Panda, but I think Hanley was 100 percent Cherington. He goes back with Hanley to when Ramirez was 16 and spoke almost paternally at the press conference about "bringing Hanley home."
 

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alwyn96 said:
 
Gammons does seem to have a lot of respect for Baird:
On Dombrowski coming to Boston: "He quickly learned why Allard Baird is considered by his peers the hardest-working and most loyal person in the organization."
Baird at risk for reassignment: "Allard Baird, the hardest-working, most loyal employee"
On bringing Bannister on board: "With the help of Allard Baird and Jared Porter, they centered on Brian Bannister, a former major league pitcher who made 114 starts over five seasons with the Mets and Royals and, after retirement continued his photography and gradually became fascinated by the data, analytical and sabermetric studies of the baseball he so loves."
On Cherington's off-season work in 2014: "his inner circle with Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, Ben Crockett, et al, is really smart and detailed; in fact, the best news since the Derek Jeter end to the season is that Hazen didn’t get one of the general manager openings"
 
There's nothing in there that specifically points to Baird being at all useful. Hard working? Yes. Loyal? Sure. Great, you just described Lou Merloni.
 

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
There's nothing in there that specifically points to Baird being at all useful. Hard working? Yes. Loyal? Sure. Great, you just described Lou Merloni.
 
Well it did sort of say he was smart, but yeah, it's hard to find stuff like that about most FO people. I mean, is Brian O'Hallaron at all useful? What about Raquel Ferriera? Is Mike Regan getting it done? Maybe Gregory Rybarczyk and Joe McDonald should be on the hot seat? Actually I don't even know if all those people are still in the org, but it's tough for a fan to know.
 
That said, Baird is generally considered a player evaluation guy, and when teams that were expected to be good are lousy, a good portion of that failure to meet expectations is going to fall on player evaluation (whether that's fair or not). Seems like an obvious place to change things up.
 

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alwyn96 said:
I do kind of wonder how much professional scouting really makes a difference in signings and deals. I'm curious about the kind of information you could get from scouts that you couldn't just pick up from the stats or a lay understanding. I mean, you don't need a scout to know how good most players are. I feel like I have a decent sense of how good Brett Gardner is, for example (pretty good. not great but a solid OF). It seems like their insight is more valuable in terms of stuff like "Mike Trout is a having a hard time with high fastballs right now. We should try pitching him that way" or "Tanaka's throwing tons of first-pitch fastballs for strikes. We should jump on him early." Scouting information seems most useful when stats can't already tell you 90% of the story, like in non-MLB settings or in getting mechanistic advantages against specific players.
I think you're confusing the task of advance scouts (who evaluate short-term recent trends in order to find competitive advantages), with player evaluation scouts (who compare and project players for the puropose of acquisition).

To use non-loaded examples, the Sox had advance scout David Gauss following the Cardinals in late 2004, and his reports were roundly praised as giving the Sox a great game plan to silence the bats of Rolen, Pujols, and Edmonds.

OTOH, the Sox also had unnamed pro scouts following Coco Crisp as a possible acquisition target through 2004-05. But the job there wasn't to break down how to attack Crisp the next time the Sox faced the Indians, rather to assess how Crisp's peak would project based on his skills as a young player, and whether he had the ability to transition from left field to center, in case Damon couldn't be re-signed.
 

alwyn96

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
I think you're confusing the task of advance scouts (who evaluate short-term recent trends in order to find competitive advantages), with player evaluation scouts (who compare and project players for the puropose of acquisition).

To use non-loaded examples, the Sox had advance scout David Gauss following the Cardinals in late 2004, and his reports were roundly praised as giving the Sox a great game plan to silence the bats of Rolen, Pujols, and Edmonds.

OTOH, the Sox also had unnamed pro scouts following Coco Crisp as a possible acquisition target through 2004-05. But the job there wasn't to break down how to attack Crisp the next time the Sox faced the Indians, rather to assess how Crisp's peak would project based on his skills as a young player, and whether he had the ability to transition from left field to center, in case Damon couldn't be re-signed.
 
Well, what you say makes sense. I guess I didn't realize scouts had that kind of division of labor. I sort of assumed they were sort of jacks of all trades, but I guess it makes sense that they'd have specialties or something. And that Crisp example is good - that kind of thing wouldn't really show up in the stats. I can kind of see how pro player eval scouts might actually be useful! You're really turning me around here. :)
 

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FWIW, I don't blame Baird for all the Sox recent miscues. Luchhino and Cherington also have to shoulder a proportional share of the blame, as well.

The failures of the 2014 deadline I place mostly on Lucchino, who never was much one for rebuilds, and who I expect specifically directed Ben to bring back MLB players rather than prospects for the two jewels of the deadline: Lackey and Lester.

I only hold Cherington to task for choosing the specific packages he got. That final judgment was his, as GM. Now, I can't fault him for not getting Josh Bell, even though he's who I wanted for the return, when I also suspect Lucchino told him "no prospects" in no uncertain terms.

But the pro scouting reports that evaluated Allen Craig as Joe Kelly being worth Lackey's year at minimum salary, that's on Baird. His reports wrote whatever subjective analysis suggested Allan Craig would return post-injury to the feared hitter he was in 2011-13. As do the reports which must have suggested Joe Kelly was about to break out.

It was never my goal to hold Baird solely responsible, but those other guys, they're already gone.
 

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
There's nothing in there that specifically points to Baird being at all useful. Hard working? Yes. Loyal? Sure. Great, you just described Lou Merloni.
 
And a German Shepherd
 

AB in DC

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Jul 10, 2002
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Springfield, VA
alwyn96 said:
 
Gammons does seem to have a lot of respect for Baird:
On Dombrowski coming to Boston: "He quickly learned why Allard Baird is considered by his peers the hardest-working and most loyal person in the organization."
Baird at risk for reassignment: "Allard Baird, the hardest-working, most loyal employee"
On bringing Bannister on board: "With the help of Allard Baird and Jared Porter, they centered on Brian Bannister, a former major league pitcher who made 114 starts over five seasons with the Mets and Royals and, after retirement continued his photography and gradually became fascinated by the data, analytical and sabermetric studies of the baseball he so loves."
On Cherington's off-season work in 2014: "his inner circle with Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, Ben Crockett, et al, is really smart and detailed; in fact, the best news since the Derek Jeter end to the season is that Hazen didn’t get one of the general manager openings"
 
 
Either that, or Baird has been a great source for Gammons over the years and Gammons is just returning the favor.
 
(Which makes me wonder - did Baird call in a favor because he's afraid of getting forced out?)
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
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Jul 10, 2007
18,784
The wrong side of the bridge....
alwyn96 said:
Gammons does seem to have a lot of respect for Baird:
On Dombrowski coming to Boston: "He quickly learned why Allard Baird is considered by his peers the hardest-working and most loyal person in the organization."
Baird at risk for reassignment: "Allard Baird, the hardest-working, most loyal employee"
On bringing Bannister on board: "With the help of Allard Baird and Jared Porter, they centered on Brian Bannister, a former major league pitcher who made 114 starts over five seasons with the Mets and Royals and, after retirement continued his photography and gradually became fascinated by the data, analytical and sabermetric studies of the baseball he so loves."
On Cherington's off-season work in 2014: "his inner circle with Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, Ben Crockett, et al, is really smart and detailed; in fact, the best news since the Derek Jeter end to the season is that Hazen didn’t get one of the general manager openings"
 
Although "Hardest-working, most loyal" is kind of damning with, if not faint, notably incomplete praise. I mean, that might be your whole list of qualifications if you're looking for a sled dog, but for a baseball ops executive, perhaps not so much. (I realize he also said "really smart" but there he's talking about a group of people.)
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
1,762
Papelbon's Poutine said:
First, the jury is still very much out on Pablo and Hanley. We witnessed first hand from Lackey that there is always time to make a contract worth it. 
This is maybe a separate topic entirely, but what would a reasonable bounceback year for Sandoval look like? He has, by one measure, been the worst player in baseball this year as of this moment (maybe Victor will "pass" him).  He'll turn 30 during the year. I know injuries have been a factor this year, and I would say conditioning also, but I'm not familiar enough with his work in SF to say for sure. 
 
Is it reasonable to expect him to transform back into the guy he was in 2012-13 (.280/.341/.430, 20ish HR power)? Would it be more like 2014 SF Panda (.279/.324/.415, 15ish HR power)? Are either of those possible, or did that version of Sandoval disappear when he left the West Coast? And if either of them are possible, do they justify $19 mil in AAV? The excuse of the May HBP would seem a lot stronger to me if he hadn't been much better in June (.775 OPS) than July, August, and September (.593, .650, .461). 
 
One need only to look at Friday night's game to recognize that unlikely things can and do happen in baseball, but I'm not optimistic. 
 

alwyn96

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Aug 24, 2005
1,351
Danny_Darwin said:
This is maybe a separate topic entirely, but what would a reasonable bounceback year for Sandoval look like? He has, by one measure, been the worst player in baseball this year as of this moment (maybe Victor will "pass" him).  He'll turn 30 during the year. I know injuries have been a factor this year, and I would say conditioning also, but I'm not familiar enough with his work in SF to say for sure. 
 
Is it reasonable to expect him to transform back into the guy he was in 2012-13 (.280/.341/.430, 20ish HR power)? Would it be more like 2014 SF Panda (.279/.324/.415, 15ish HR power)? Are either of those possible, or did that version of Sandoval disappear when he left the West Coast? And if either of them are possible, do they justify $19 mil in AAV? The excuse of the May HBP would seem a lot stronger to me if he hadn't been much better in June (.775 OPS) than July, August, and September (.593, .650, .461). 
 
One need only to look at Friday night's game to recognize that unlikely things can and do happen in baseball, but I'm not optimistic. 
 
This probably doesn't belong in this thread at all, but it seems pretty easy (to me) to imagine Panda bouncing back. Even if you just apply his career .307 BABIP to this year's numbers (assuming the same BB% and all the extra hits are singles), his line gets up to around 278/325/399, which is still pretty light for Fenway but not wildly out of line with his raw career numbers, and maybe like a 93 wRC+ or something. His terrible defense this year really hurts him in the WAR calculations, though. If he had average-ish defensive numbers and a BABIP in keeping with his career, he'd pretty much be having Chase Headley's season. Of course he hasn't been even remotely average, but he was above average as recently as last year.
 
So yeah, I think a bounceback season from Sandoval is likely in at least one of the next 3-5 years, but it may be mixed in with seasons like 2015, too. I think Sandoval will hit better, but he's going to need to be healthy and field better to keep his WAR up.
 

mt8thsw9th

anti-SoSHal
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Jul 17, 2005
17,120
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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
This is a message board, dude. Ridiculous statements and hyperbole are what we traffic in.
 
But it sure does seem like Allard Baird must have kicked some posters' puppies or something, given the disproportionate vitriol that is thrown his way.
Allard Baird seems like the Red Sox version of Dale Snitterman.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Jun 30, 2006
10,569
God Damn.

What pictures does this guy have of John Henry? He's made of teflon.

I think I need some alone time now, to practice my coping skills.