What happens when you take a bankrupt baseball franchise, a part owner who was arguably the most successful pitcher of the 60′s and 70′s and team him up with the youngest General Manager in history who is a self proclaimed Saber-metrics Geek?
You get a team with a $50 million payroll heading to the World Series.
You have to admire the fusion of ideas from the 60′s, 70′s and today. Nolan Ryan, arguably one of the best pitchers ever to play the game, current part owner and president of the Texas Rangers, brings a belief that pitchers should not be subject to pitch counts and should pitch deep into games as in decades past.
Jon Daniels, youngest GM in the majors, brings the saber-metrics revolution to the Texas Rangers. Sabermetrics, the statistical analysis of a players future potential, enables many small market teams to identify potential low cost talent and explains why small markets teams who implement saber-metrics are able to compete with teams in larger markets.
It’s an interesting combination and although Nolan Ryan has taken some credit for turning the Texas Rangers around due to the emphasis on pitchers going deeper in games, Jon Daniels, super sabermetrics geek, is now a hot commodity and a highly sought after GM.
Teams that are able to blend the traditional game of baseball with a true understanding of saber-metrics will be the most successful teams in the game. Hence, why the search for the Mets next GM is so important.
I’m still dabbling in the world of Saber-Metrics myself but wonder if a GM with a true understanding of Saber-Metrics would have signed the likes of Gary Sheffield, Oliver Perez, John Maine, Pedro Martinez, Luis Castillo, J.J. Putz, and the many other players who didn’t pan out as planned.
In a day and age where you can easily calculate a player’s “VORP” or “Value Over Replacement Player” the decision to sign or drop a player should be a lot easier for any GM to make and, thankfully, the Mets have narrowed down the field of potential GM’s to two people who both understand sabermetrics. Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes.
But in the end, it still feels like it’s down to only one person, Sandy Alderson, and that decision felt like it had been made three weeks ago. Sandy Alderson is the only candidate who brings that blend of old school & new school baseball mentalities that has catapulted the Texas Rangers to the World Series. So the question remains and seems an easy one to answer…
Will the Mets follow the Texas Rangers game plan?