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  1. #1
    Can_of_corn's Avatar
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    Two part Melewski interview with AM about international operations.

    Some of it sounded good, some of it was unsettling, one line was confusing.

    my suspicion is our budget is bigger this year than it was last year.
    Yea that would be the confusing one.

    Part 1- http://www.masnsports.com/steve_mele...l-efforts.html

    Part 2- http://www.masnsports.com/steve_mele...l-efforts.html


  2. #2
    skanar is offline Plus Member Since 10/12 Major League Starter Reputation
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    Quick summary: MacPhail is convinced that big bonuses for very young Dominicans are unwarranted, and he's being pretty clear about it. He also seems fine with spreading some money out among several smaller-profile guys who have been scouted in games.

    This quote annoys the heck out of me:
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Macphail
    Yeah and we are not excluding ourselves from it. We are excluding ourselves from a very small percentage of that 33 percent. I haven't done the study, but you ought to do the study of how many of those $4 or $5 million dollar players, how are they doing?
    This study isn't that hard. We're talking a three-week job for a statistics grad student once you've got the data. If they recognize that running the numbers is a good idea, why not DO IT?

  3. #3
    Burg is offline Plus Member Since January 2009 Major League Starter Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Some real head scratchers in that interview. One really stuck out to me:

    "It's me. I am just not big on throwing $4 or $5 million at a guy that has just been at tryout camps that you haven't had a chance to see in a competitive environment."

    But we'll give 15+ million to Vlad and D. Lee? That's not a risk? Also, how about actually trying to see them in a competitive environment?

    This mindset is why we will never succeed in the AL East. Sure - Angelos is the majority of the problem but if AM is this risk-averse to international talent then we are screwed.
    Last edited by Burg; 07-11-2011 at 03:58 PM.

  4. #4
    NewMarketSean's Avatar
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    Yikes. AM did not come off well in that interview.

    "I would remind you we found (Alfredo) Simon in Mexico and Koji (Uehara) from Japan and they count for something. I said it out there in front of our season ticket holders. I am not ready to commit $4 million to a player that is just in tryout camps. I don't think it's a good place to spend your $4 million. Spend your $4 million elsewhere.
    He goes on to mention some DR guys are throwing in the 90's. Great. Do they know where it is going? Otherwise you've found yourself a couple more Simons. And how hard was Uehara to sign? He declared Fa in the US and had a large track record from Japan. Not exactly having your scouts find a needle in a haystack.

    He also mentions "not wanting to spend $4 million on one guy" a lot. We get it!

    And where else have you spent that $4 million, Andy? Garrett Atkins? Gonzalez? Gregg? Lee? Vlad? Yeah -- great way of spending that $4 mil.

    "They come out July 2, a spate of signings right now. It's just not in our vocabulary to do that. I don't doubt that the kid is impressive as hell in batting practice. It might translate, it may not. To me, again, this is a product of being close to 60 years old and growing up in the game the way I did. I just don't see this as a good idea."
    Proof we need a young mind in our FA. Andy is too old-school.

    "Yeah and we are not excluding ourselves from it. We are excluding ourselves from a very small percentage of that 33 percent. I haven't done the study, but you ought to do the study of how many of those $4 or $5 million dollar players, how are they doing?"
    YOU do the study, Andy! You're the freaking GM! You do the study and see if it's worth spending your $4 million on these guys!!!!! WOW!!!!

    "The other spending compared to our opponents in the division, as it relates to Boston and New York, is in the major league payroll. We are just not going to, neither is Tampa and Toronto, I'm not sure about Toronto for sure down the road, but we are just not going to have a $200 million payroll."
    OK. How come they produce WAY MORE talent than we do, even with higher payrolls?

    "Dave (Stockstill) is running our efforts there and we are getting pretty reasonable results.
    Yeah everyone shoots for "reasonable results".

    "If you want to put $5 million down on batting practice, have at it. Now, in three years, if I'm wrong and I see that's where you should be, then we'll be there. But I am going to need to see proof that I am wrong, that's all."
    Smarter teams are doing it, Andy. Maybe you could learn a thing or two from them.

  5. #5
    BrunoCherrytown's Avatar
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    My favorite part is his not-so blatant admission that he understocks the international department staff:

    What do you mean American evaluators? Some of your own amateur scouts?

    "Or player development guys. So if an infield rover, for example, goes over to the Dominican, we will make sure he sees some guys we are looking at that are middle infielders. If the pitching rover goes over, we will make sure he sees some arms. If (hitting instructor) Denny Walling goes over, we look at some bats.

    "Where I am really headed with this is we just seem to be more American-centric with our cross-checking."
    At least he didn't say that when the Orioles Bird goes over there on goodwill missions, he is a critical part of the contract negotiations.

  6. #6
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    Dislike:
    "You could say maybe I'm conservative or time may have passed me by. I'm a product of the old days, whatever, but I just don't think that's a good bet.
    Like:

    "A guy like (Seattle's Michael) Pineda, that is throwing 87 (mph) and then, in about a year or two they are throwing 97 because they are growing and westernized diets or whatever. I think you can expect more of that from us this year.
    I think from here, he's saying that he'll spend money on signing international talent, but nothing high dollar. And by high dollar, I'm inferring that this means ~$3 million+.

    He wraps it up here:
    "It's me. I am just not big on throwing $4 or $5 million at a guy that has just been at tryout camps that you haven't had a chance to see in a competitive environment."
    "The absence of those big signings doesn't mean an absence of interest or work on our part."
    So, he's saying that they'll spend money on international players, but nothing of high value without seeing them in a competitive environment.

    Interesting:
    Q: You have said the O's are spending more than the other American League East teams from 2007-2010 in the domestic June draft, but in international, where would your spending rank in the division?
    "A: In the division, I don't know, but I can tell you last year, with international, we were roughly about 17th or so out of 30. The reason we are there (and not higher) is because we are not dropping $4 million on one guy."
    So, run of the mill/average in terms of dollars. But what about in terms of # of players? I'd like to see the success rate of international players that were signed for $4 million or more, to be quite honest.

    Q: Didn't Texas just sign a player for $5 million that maybe they had not seen in a game, just in batting practice?
    A: "They come out July 2, a spate of signings right now. It's just not in our vocabulary to do that. I don't doubt that the kid is impressive as hell in batting practice. It might translate, it may not. To me, again, this is a product of being close to 60 years old and growing up in the game the way I did. I just don't see this as a good idea."
    Shouldn't there be more information from scouts to take chances on these kinds of guys? Is Texas *really* just signing this guy based on *1* short look [or 2 or so..]?


    Q: Isn't it also true that somewhere around 30 percent of major league rosters are international players? Isn't that a significant chunk of talent?
    A: "Yeah and we are not excluding ourselves from it. We are excluding ourselves from a very small percentage of that 33 percent. I haven't done the study, but you ought to do the study of how many of those $4 or $5 million dollar players, how are they doing?"
    This is disturbing. I'm asking the same question above. Shouldn't the Orioles actually DO that study? And weigh it out against the success rate..of..say..signing aging veteran players or..the success rate of draft picks?

    Q: Were the O's one of the finalists for Miguel Sano?
    A: "Yeah. What we did with Sano is we valued him where we thought he'd go in the draft and made an offer commensurate with that, and he did better."

    Q: So what he signed for was more than your final offer?
    A: "Yeah, by a good margin. Not that we were lowballing him, but by a good margin. We had the advantage of having Sano in our camp playing games. So we went out and made a first-round type of offer, but where we would have thought he'd go in the first round. He said, 'I can do better,' and he did it."
    Sano signed for $3.15 million. I'd like to know what our offer was. The Twins got him. Clearly $3 million isn't $4 million or more. They've seen him in camp. They offered first-round type of offer..what does that mean? Clearly not high level first-round money. So what was it? Is this just posturing?

    Q: You yourself said, "Maybe it's me, my generation." Do you ever think about that, that a younger general manager might say we must be doing more than this on the international front?
    A: "If you want to put $5 million down on batting practice, have at it. Now, in three years, if I'm wrong and I see that's where you should be, then we'll be there. But I am going to need to see proof that I am wrong, that's all."
    I kind of like hearing this, to tell you the truth. Basically he's asking for proof...is the return just not worth it right now? Do the majority of players that sign for $3/$4+ million just not pan out in a respectful capacity. I like saying that he'd change if the evidence was there.

  7. #7
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    I would hope there isn't a doubt that MacPhail should not be back in 2012 now after reading these comments.

    This just shows you how much of the game has passed him by and how fast he's turning into another Syd Thrift.

    His views on the international market are biased and outdated and he's not willing to do the research to even see if he's right. That sounds a lot like Thrift used to.
    Last edited by JTrea81; 07-11-2011 at 04:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crstoner97 View Post
    Melewski did a good job with the questions asked, and following-up.
    I agree. Very good job.

  9. #9
    Dipper9's Avatar
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    Judging by these posts, I'm not going to waste my time reading this article because I feel no need to become more angry than I already am.

    This is what he's saying..."Hey O's fans. We stink, and we will continue to stink because I'm old school and I ain't changing for nothin'."

  10. #10
    Can_of_corn's Avatar
    Can_of_corn is offline Plus Member since 12/09 Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by crstoner97 View Post
    Melewski did a good job with the questions asked, and following-up.
    Quote Originally Posted by LookitsPuck View Post
    I agree. Very good job.
    Yes, I am not a huge fan of his but I left a comment to that effect.

  11. #11
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTrea81 View Post
    I would hope there isn't a doubt that MacPhail should not be back in 2012 now after reading these comments.

    This just shows you how much of the game has passed him by and how fast he's turning into another Syd Thrift.

    His views on the international market are biased and outdated and he's not willing to do the research to even see if he's right. That sounds a lot like Thrift used to.
    I am not so sure you are right here. It is obvious that the international market has changed a lot just in the last few years. It is by no means clear that the teams who have bid up the cost of a handful of high-priced prospects are going to be happy with those investments five years from now.

    I want to make my position on this crystal clear -- I am not saying that MacPhail is correct. But the fact that he isn't choosing to do what some other teams are doing certainly doesn't make him wrong. Only time will tell.

    And, it is too simplistic to say, "the Orioles have poor record in bringing in Latin American talent, therefore MacPhail must be doing it wrong." MacPhail hasn't been here that long, and the main results of his Latin strategy won't be known for several more years.

    Again, I'm not defending the strategy, just saying that we don't really know yet if it is right or wrong.

  12. #12
    NewMarketSean's Avatar
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    What frustrates me the most isn't that MacPhail isn't spending top dollar for international players, it's that he hasn't replaced that void with anything else to give the O's an advantage.

  13. #13
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    I dont understand why McPhail completely dismisses the benefits of conducting a workout vs watching the player in a live game situation. In a game situation a player will have around 4 or 5 at bats and maybe 3 plays in the field. How many games does he think are required to get an idea of what type of player a person is. I would argue that you can get a better look at that player by having an intensive workout. Bring in pitching prospects that you are looking at to provide adequate competition. Put him thru tough fielding drills. McPhail makes it seem that the rangers are drafting players who only participated in a home run derby.

  14. #14
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    Don't we sign guys all the time based on bullpen sessions or workouts? Like Justin Duchscherer, Steve Trachsel and Adam Eaton to name a few?

    And yet we are willing to sign a potentially washed up vet with a workout and not a 16-17 year old kid?

  15. #15
    Stotle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luper2207 View Post
    I dont understand why McPhail completely dismisses the benefits of conducting a workout vs watching the player in a live game situation. In a game situation a player will have around 4 or 5 at bats and maybe 3 plays in the field. How many games does he think are required to get an idea of what type of player a person is. I would argue that you can get a better look at that player by having an intensive workout. Bring in pitching prospects that you are looking at to provide adequate competition. Put him thru tough fielding drills. McPhail makes it seem that the rangers are drafting players who only participated in a home run derby.
    The second most expensive player the rangers signed was actually in last year's Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley, playing against the top HS talent in last year's class (as a then 15 yr old). Stood out there for his projectability and raw power.

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