Reese Kaplan -- The Organizational Cost of Stalling


On Sunday Jeff Wilpon met with the media and made several statements.  The one that got most of the attention was his assertion that the refusal to spend on the top tier free agents or take on other teams’ contracts was on Sandy Alderson, not the owners.  Allegedly that was the reason – Sandy Alderson insisted on the oddball and low rent personnel decisions.  You can debate that one for hours on end, but another tidbit seemingly flew under the radar.

Jeff Wilpon said that the process of evaluating potential successors to Sandy Alderson has been going on since June, yet no one has been interviewed and that the whole hiring process is being led by the Three Stooges (my words, not his).  Furthermore, under no circumstances would any Stooge be brought back to take the reins.  However, should the hiring process extend beyond the GM meetings, then the Three Stooges would help out until the new Stooge could be secured.


Let’s think that one through for a moment.  Let’s say you own a very successful coffee franchise.  You’ve had a history of wild success, but lately things have not gone as well after a number of competitors put out a better product and you find yourself searching for a new management team with the vision to take the company back to the forefront of the market.

How would you then go about doing that?  Well, for one you’ve recognized that the current management team is simply not getting it done.  You’ve even publicly stated as much.  Consequently, entrusting them to find the new general manager who likely will fire them and bring in a competent crew is a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.  If the handwriting is already on the wall that your job is in jeopardy and that the sooner you find your replacement the sooner you’ll be on the unemployment line, what incentive is there to find someone quickly to take the helm?

What the coffee company owners would likely do is find a professional executive placement agency (known colloquially as “headhunters”) to do the independent screening of the best of the best, but in an expeditious timetable, turning over the top candidates to the owners for interview and final decision making.  This approach is tried and true throughout business. 

There’s no way the owners would entrust the people deemed incompetent to run the company to do the searching.  Furthermore, if the search extends well beyond the national food and beverage convention would they want the incompetent team to take the reins to make inroads with other influential industry people since they are on the way out the door?  That would be utterly ridiculous.

So now let’s look again at the WIlpon plan.  That’s WAY more disturbing than any shade he’s throwing at Sandy Alderson while he's down.  Jeffy wants us to believe that the people he deems incapable of running his ballclub suddenly competent to find their successor despite not having brought a single candidate in for an interview in the last four months.  Then he’s ready to punt on another season by letting the Three Stooges represent him at the GM meetings, the Winter meetings and probably until even someone as clueless as Jeffy realizes that they’re stalling to save their own jobs.

You can’t make this stuff up!


Gary Seagren said...

Einstein's definition of insanity so we have to ask ourselves again "why are we still fan's of this team"? Looking forward is daunting because when Freddy and Saul die Jeff takes full control right?

Tom Brennan said...

They have reached a real crossroads here...ending up 2018 with the best rotation in baseball, and highly encouraging play from Rosario, Nimmo, Conforto and McNeil. Will they recognize that and do it RIGHT and get into the 2019 playoffs easily after an off season of strong roster adjustments? Or screw it up again?

History is worrisome here. For sure.

Eddie Corona said...

Very good article Reese... and great point Gary. I ask myself that question all the time

Viper said...

I think the 3 Stooges will be safe simply because in their business, they normally take care of each other knowing that it could be them at any time. At worse, they will be re-assigned.

But your point is very valid in that they have no real interest of setting up an interview for someone who can potentially fire them.

Yet, another way of looking at it would be that if ... say Omar, recommends executive "A" for an interview and he gets the job, he is not likely to fire the person who recommended him to the job right?

We will have to wait and see.

Reese Kaplan said...

All I know is if I had a vacancy to fill and I had not brought in any candidates in over 4 months then my head would be on the chopping block. Furthermore, I recently went through the exercise of relocating a department from Houston to El Paso where the folks in Houston were going to be losing their jobs but expected to train the new hires in El Paso on what to do. How do you think they went about it? It required me standing over their heads to say, "If you want your retention bonus for staying until the Houston department closes then you need to work to your fullest ability every day." I didn't let them slide. And as a result it was a successful transition.

Mack Ade said...

A couple of things...

1. The Wilpons are so stupid they don't realize they are stupid. They can't manage a bowel movement.

2. The Wilpons will NEVER allow anyone to add big contracts like the one that would get you a player like Machado. They would demand that their GM live with the old big deals that Sandy made until they ran out.

3. Because of this, your team is two or three years away from having enough talent to win... but then your quality pitchers start going away


There are only two roads to follow here.

1. Take the hit. Eat your big failed contracts, DFA the players, and sign new, younger replacements

2. Or keep away from the park for two more years and drive revenue down in hopes of a Board of Director lead takeover and sale.

Past that, your only hope is a funeral.

My spin:

1. Work under the premise that nothing is ever going to change in the front office.

2. We learned a lot this past second half of the season. We have a great rotation (with pipeline depth), and keepers in Nimmo, Conforto, Rosario, and McNeil.

3. Give a 10% raise to the guys that are picking the draft players and international kids the last three years. They are returning this team to organizational depth.

4. And... because you aren't going to get blood out of a rock for a potential big buck deal for someone like Machado, target your 2019 needs (catcher, center fielder, reliever) to successful players like Realmuto by packaging a couple of your chips from positions you have depth

Tom Brennan said...

Mack and others, there is a possible World Series to win next year with this team's core. Fix catcher, and most of all, fix the pen. I mean, cut the pen ERA by 30% or more. For the outfield, we can hope that Cespedes will return to a pennant contender after the All Star break - nice trade deadline "acquisition". This team CAN win it all next year - with REAL, DOABLE fixes.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

you are right

the outfield is a partial mess but there is enough talent out there to help this team

it's the catcher and probably two relievers now that Lugo is being stretched.

(and what's with that? a precursor to a Vargas pen move?)

Tom Brennan said...

Vargas could be the good Ollie Perez in the bullpen for them in 2019.

They must be hoping that Dunn moves fast and Peterson moves faster, and that both are ready in the July-August time frame. Unless they trade one or the other this off season. Seems unlikely, since both would be making MLB minimum when called up.

They need to not expect great team health and try to do just enough that if the health is great, it will work. They can't afford to have a few lengthy injuries and find they have to use Sewald types (not to pick on Paul, but 0-13 is 0-13 - we don't need 0-13 types).

Reese Kaplan said...

Or it could be they're still thinking to trade a starter. Stretching Lugo opens up that possibility

Dave Schulps said...

Which "they" is that, Reese? As far as I can tell, there's no "they" there.

Mack's Mets © 2012