Nolan Ryan and Saber-Metrics Go To The World Series

Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan holds up the ALCS trophy as the Rangers beat the New York Yankees 6-1 to take game six of the ALCS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 22, 2010.  It will be the Rangers first trip to the World Series. UPI/Ian Halperin Photo via Newscom 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?

Mets Should Wait for Jon Daniels

Texas Rangers' GM John Daniels watches as the Rangers prepare to take on the New York Yankees in the ALCS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 14, 2010.  Game one of the best of seven series will be on October 15, 2010 in Arlington.  UPI/Ian Halperin Photo via Newscom you’re a Mets fan and you’re not aware that the Mets have interviewed Allard Baird, Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes, Sandy Alderson, and Logan White for the open GM position, you’ve been living under a rock. The Mets also were denied permission to speak to Tigers assistant GM Al Avila.

Before making any final decisions, the Wilpons should wait to talk to Jon Daniels, the current Texas Rangers GM. He’s only 33 years old and has been GM of the Rangers since 2005. Oh and by the way, he grew up in Queens as a Mets fan.

I’m not saying the Mets should hire him. But Daniels has an out clause in his contract if the Rangers are sold, which they were this season. So he can bail out on the Rangers at the end of the Rangers playoff run.

It took him five years to build a winner in Texas. So it’s not like he instantly changed the team there. But you could see that the Rangers were moving in the right direction with second place finishes in 2008 and 2009.

I certainly haven’t loved everything that I’ve seen from Daniels. He’s the GM that made that awful trade sending Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres for nothing in 2006. And in 2007 he sent John Danks to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy. Another bad deal.

He’s had some good deals as well though. He got Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus from the Braves for Mark Teixeira. And he got Josh Hamilton from the Reds for Edinson Volquez. Most of his other trades have landed somewhere in the middle. But he did build the farm system into the number one rated system in 2008.

It’s been a mixed bag with Daniels, as it is with most GM’s when you look back at their trade histories. But it’s worth it for the Mets to postpone a decision to see if they can talk to Daniels. At worst, they’ll spark a bidding war with the Rangers for Daniels.

The Mets should bring in some people that have a personal connection to the organization. It isn’t a required attribute for a candidate but it would mean something to us as fans. I would love to see a combination of Daniels at GM and Wally Backman managing. That’s something that we all could get behind for the 2011 season.