I’m reading several different reports that Sandy Alderson may bring former ousted GM’s J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta to the Mets.
What can I tell you about them? Not much, but being that I have no intention of reading either of their memoirs or auto biographies, I can only look at their record and whatever tidbits I can find on other sites like… Wikipedia?
Like this one for example which I’m actually referencing from Matt Cerrone the blogfather of Mets blogs. Matt writes,
The way I see it, DePodesta would be a great hire. He’s super smart. I realize he was unsuccessful as a GM, but he’s still very highly regarded around the game for his research, critical thinking and command of the business of the game.
His Wikipedia reads:
”DePodesta has been somewhat controversial in that his decisions have been heavily influenced by sabermetric principles. He is often considered part of a new breed of front-office executives whose personnel decisions rely heavily on analysis of performance data, often at the perceived expense of more traditional methods of scouting and observation.”
Well it’s good that he’s super smart yet unsuccessful as a GM, sort of like umm… Omar Minaya, and his apparent command of the business of the game, well, I’m sure that can’t hurt.
All kidding aside, as long as DePodesta is not our GM, I don’t have a problem with him having a role on the team. We already know that Alderson has a high regard for advanced metrics, and we should expect hires like this. I do believe Alderson will keep his word. He said on Friday that he would consider all things in addition to stats because “there’s other important things in baseball that cannot be measured”. (like scouting reports, character, makeup, etc.)
It looks like DePodesta’s problem was that he in fact did ignore scouting reports and observations which only ended up leading him to the unemployment line, at least until the Padres came knocking.
As for J.P…. the former Mets minor leaguer is also a strong advocate of sabermetrics and spent some time as Alderson’s assistant when they were together in Oakland.
Ricciardi probably is not as “super smart” as DePodesta, because Big Paul probably would have never given Vernon Wells a contract like this one:
Vernon Wells – 7 Years at $126 million dollars
2008 – $9.0 MM
2009 – $10.0 MM
2010 – $21.0 MM
2011 – $23.0 MM
2012 – $21.0 MM
2013 – $21.0 MM
2014 – $21.0 MM
Gulp… He signed Wells to that deal after a 2007 season in which Wells batted .245 with 16 home runs and 80 RBIs, based purely on statistical probability. That may be one of the worst contracts of this decade. Plus he gave him a full no-trade clause. I may never cry over the Oliver Perez contract again.
So what… big deal… every general manager makes a bad deal now and then, right?
After that crippling contract was signed, he doled out another $70 million dollars to Alex Rios in a ghastly seven year deal which runs through 2014 as well.
Soon after, the Blue Jays tried desperately to move both of them because of the financial stranglehold those contracts placed on the team. They were not successful moving either of them, but lucked out when they finally placed Rios on waivers and he was claimed by the White Sox. But still, they got nothing in return for a player they made a seven year commitment to.
Other doozies include a $17 million, three-year deal for Corey Koskie, and a $47 million, five-year deal for B.J. Ryan who was eventually released soon after his back problem was revealed to be an elbow injury instead that required Tommy John surgery. Ricciardi’s reason for lying was as follows as reported by MLB.com:
Last week, during a radio call-in show on the FAN 590 AM in Toronto, Ricciardi admitted that the team intentionally fabricated the back problem to protect the pitcher from questioning by the press.
“There’s a lot of things we don’t tell the media, because the media doesn’t need to know it and the fans don’t need to know it. They’re not lies if we know the truth.”
Wow… Did he really say that?
He also pissed of the MLB Players Association and really took a cheap shot at Adam Dunn when he said this about him responding to a question:
“Did you know the guy doesn’t really like baseball that much? Do you know the guy doesn’t have a passion to play the game that much? There’s a reason why you’re attracted to some players and there’s a reason why you’re not attracted to some players. I don’t think you’d be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here.”
For a team that already has had it’s share of embarrassing moments and memories we would like to forget, a loose cannon like Ricciardi just seems like a bad idea.
So based on my non-exhaustive, and unextensive research, I’ll give Paul DePodesta one thumb up, and as for J.R. definitely two thumbs down.