No one wants to be labeled a kiss ass, brown noser in life. No one likes being that guy...but sometimes, you've gotta be that guy no matter how great you've been at your job, no matter how many awards you've won, no matter how many years you've grinded it out...because unless you are the BSD who's writing the checks, calling the shots, making the decisions on how the company is going to move forward...well, you can most likely be replaced. Surhoff comes across as thinking his part time, roving instructor position was irreplaceable, his haughtiness in this article is kind of appalling.
Sometimes you gotta buddy up with the new boss, sometimes you gotta be mocked and laughed at by your co-workers and have them call you a brown noser behind your back because...well, they're not doing it and can't put their egos aside. And you've gotta play the game to show people that you provide value and do a good job so if all things between you and your co-workers are equal on the day some layoffs need to be made you get to keep your job while they're sent packing. Meanwhile, they're STILL calling you a brown noser, suck up, kiss ass, etc and acting like they're owed something. Did anyone mention that this article says that Brady Anderson still has a job?
The bitch of it is that Surhoff was probably pretty solid at what he did. I bet there was nothing wrong with the instruction that Surhoff provided players. You say too many artifacts clogging up the machine and while I don't disagree with that idea...a roving instructor can't really clog up the machine. He shouldn't be able to get in the way of player development in the way that a minor league pitching coach or a minor league manager could get in the way. I imagine that on the totem pole of a baseball organization's coaching staff, a roving instructor has to be near the very bottom. And therefore easily let go NO MATTER HOW GOOD they are.
You are right, corporate America is about evolving with the times. Sometimes those evolutions come gradually, sometimes they're very small. Sometimes they're big and jarring and people freak out because we're creatures of habit and don't like it when our way of doing something is tampered with or overhauled. Surhoff's failure to evolve with the times, IMO, didn't come from his instruction on how to hit a baseball or an inability to grasp newfangled analytics...it came from his inability to communicate effectively what he did and how he added value.
Moose, that is a perfect response. No doubt, feelings will get hurt when making changes. But, baseball is a Business last time I checked. Connolly is highlighting the whole problem with all these articles: too many artifacts from the old regime were clogging up the machine. Whether he realizes that or not, who knows. But, corporate America is all about evolving with the times.
If it was up to Elias, Davis would not be on the team in 2020 and probably not on the roster today. There is no benefit to Davis being on the roster except for the Angelos brothers not wanting to eat the contract.
Mountcastle, Hays and others are going to be on the roster for most of or all the 2020 season, there is no reason for Davis to waste a valuable roster spot. It doesn't matter if the Orioles are ready to win. Young players need to get experience when they are ready.
This is very much like the Redskins. Everything is a call-back to the glory years of the Gibbs-era 80s.
It's what teams that haven't done much (if anything) in recent memory do...tug on the heartstrings of those who are old enough to remember the good times. And if you're too young to remember those days, they try to paint a picture of what it COULD be like. To your point it is a taunt of sorts, for sure.
I'm not sure what Surhoff expected here. To draw another football comparison, does anyone here watch Hard Knocks? It's practically the same thing every year when they cut players, they have an assistant coach find the guys they're going to cut and they say...."Coach wants to see you, bring your playbook."
The player knows what's coming. Hangs his head, grabs his playbook and goes towards the head coaches office.
The head coach goes..."Hey, we've made a decision to release you and move in a different direction today. Thank you for your hard work, we appreciate it."
"Ok, thank you."
Maybe, MAYBE they talk for a minute about an area of improvement that needs to be addressed on the players side so he knows what he needs to work on so he can stick with another team. If not, they shake hands, player gets up, leaves, packs his things and he's gone. From the time the assistant coach gets him to the time he's in the parking lot, it looks like the whole thing takes less than 10 minutes.
And that's for a guy who's fighting for his career. That's a guy who's dying for a shot at professional football. That's a guy who is showing up to the facility every day, going through drills, spending time in the film room, playing in preseason games and getting to know his coaches and fellow players. That's what Hard Knocks is mostly about, the journey of guys who are trying to fight and find a way to make the roster.
Every single one of those guys that gets cut on Hard Knocks spends more time with their coaching staff than Surhoff did with Elias. And every single one of those guys gets cut in the blink of an eye with a handshake and a thank you.
Surhoff had an ENTIRE YEAR to figure out what was going on. I read the whole article during my morning constitutional today, it was terrible. Ruined the whole thing.
(FYI, @TonySoprano I know you've been campaigning for The Athletic for awhile now...I got a free year of The Athletic because I subscribed to Joe Posnanski's blog. And Posnanski got picked up by The Athletic a few weeks ago so he gave his subscribers a free year to The Athletic. So far, it's been pretty good stuff and I like that it's ad free. I doubt I'll remember in September of 2020 to cancel it before they bill my card for the next year. But they do have Ken Rosenthal on staff so I won't mind too much when I see that charge hit my account.)
Here's some of the whining that made me roll my eyes:
My take on Surhoff's sour grapes (make no mistake, he says it's not sour grapes and then proceeds to show us he's a professional vinter) is that he wanted Elias to reach out and kiss his ass from day 1. Surhoff spent an entire year doing his part time job and sitting by the phone waiting for Elias to call him.
Did it ever dawn on Surhoff to reach out to Elias? Did Connolly even bother to ask?
Did Surhoff ever stop to think, "Hey, the Orioles just hired this new guy, he's analytics driven, he's been successful in Houston and...maybe I should call him to introduce myself, tell him that I really like working here and that I want to meet with him to learn everything they're doing and SHOW that I'm adaptable?"
Communication is a two way street. "Present it to us....show it to me....I'll still talk to people if they reach out..."
Not ONCE did he say anything about reaching out to them. All Surhoff wanted was for the new sheriff in town to call him and be like "Hey, you were the #1 draft pick in '85 right? You had a great career! Wow, I will really value your insights! 35 years in pro ball, I'm barely over 35 years old myself! Hey, let's do lunch at Dempsey's next week and you can tell me about everything you know!"
Not once in this whole blathering article did Surhoff ever say anything about "Yeah, I called Elias, like, 50 times to reach out and show that I want to be a part of his vision and a part of what he's doing...and he never got back to me." I'd be more sympathetic and understanding then.
You know, it's funny. You hear ballplayers, athletes, coaches across all sports talk about being aggressive, having to work for things, "first one in, last one to leave," learning new things, different approaches, blah blah blah...all the old cliches that have been worn out over the years about hard work, dedication, etc...which are cliches because they've been repeated so often but are true in practice.
And for a guy like Surhoff to act like once you hang 'em up, the aggressiveness, the having to work for things doesn't matter anymore because you had a great career and you're kind of a someone in team history and that things and people who ARE NOW YOUR BOSS should come to you is completely naive. Especially for a part time role that's obviously isn't crucial to the team's success moving forward, the idea that Elias had to reach out and talk to him is asinine.
Again, did he reach out? Did he ever reach out to Elias to make a case for himself? Was he proactive in showing Elias that he did make a difference, that he did help out?
Baseball is a game of adjustments. We hear it all the time on the broadcasts. A guy gets called up from the minors, hammers big league pitching for his first few weeks and then the book gets out on him, the league makes adjustments. So he needs to see if he can make adjustments back.
BJ Surhoff failed to make adjustments in his plate approach to life. He sat back and was looking for fastballs that he could drive and got a steady dose of off-speed stuff and breaking balls that he couldn't handle and grounded out weakly to the opposite side. And then proceeded to cry Paul O'Neill style on his way back to the dugout about how the pitcher was unfair to him.
Marco Gonzalez has been a workhorse for a bad Mariners team in 2019.
The 2013 1st-Round draft pick is winding down his 2nd consecutive solid season for the men from western Washington.
Marco Elias Gonzalez - LHP )) (16-11, 4.14 ERA) ) *
* )) Leads the American League in Games Started (32)
BALTIMORE O RIOLES
John Alan Means - LHP )) (10-11, 3.65 ERA)