Posts Tagged ‘baseball parody’

The Wizard of Odds

July 25, 2012

The world of baseball and building a winning team goes way beyond “Moneyball” these days.

These days, the smart money is on the franchise administration that values multiple sources of information as the basis for deciding everything from a young player’s draftability to his probability of eventually succeeding at the big league level. So, rather than looking for a general manager who possesses all the powerful magic of a Branch Rickey, the trend today is to look for a GM who both understands and knows how to build a farm system based upon some high probability  that its measurable products are capable of successful high performance at the major league level.

In other words, baseball is on the path of trading their blind faith in a “Wizard of Oz” for a more focused statistically objectified hope in a GM like Jeff Luhnow of the Houston Astros – one who behaves more in tune with things vital to baseball success as the “Wizard of Odds.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I shall always believe that former Astros President and General Manger Tal Smith carried with him the most incredible compendium of baseball knowledge and fact I’ve ever been privileged to watch at work from afar. Tal just hit the wall with an owner who was ready to start everything over from scratch, even it meant throwing the bay out with the bath water, as I think it did with Tal.

I hate to say it, Tal, but I think that wall is out there waiting for most of us who live long enough. When we reach a certain age, some people and factions out there aren’t going to see us as the answer to any so-called “new” problem. The new Astros ownership wanted the younger person, the new kid on the block. That’s my slightly (but only slightly) unobjective take on this issue.

On the other hand, I do think Astros owner Jim Crane and Astros President George Postolos picked a real winner when they selected Jeff Luhnow as the new general manager. The bottom line on his value to the club is down the line with the team’s commitment to rebuilding the farm team and long-term success, but he impresses as baseball savvy and intellectually capable of the reach it will take over so many issues to get the Astros back to where they want to be.

My point is simply this: Both Tal Smith and Jeff Luhnow are bright men, and both are more on the Wizard of Odds side of the ledger. They just happened to come from different generations – and Luhnow is working with the idea of statistical measurement playing loud as a brass band as his mainsail wind while Smith used statistical data far more quietly.

But let’s get back to the fun part of this exercise with no ill will toward anyone.

Here are a parody pair of pictures to show how the Astros Directors of Scouting and Information Systems Processing both receive reports from staff who are responsible for evaluating a prospect’s draftability prior to the draft – as well as a brief word from three prospects as they work their way up the line through the minor league chain:

“We’ve thoroughly examined him. – Objectively projected him. – We find him not just nearly good. – He’s really most sincerely good.” (And we can sign him too!)

“We represent … the future of the “Stros … the future of the ‘Stros … the future of the ‘Stros! – We represent … the future of the ‘Stroooooooos! … We hope to make it up to Crawford Street!”

Good Luck, cleaning house on the roster, Jeff. – We are ready to trust in the long term odds. It’s just hard to watch in the short term.

Jim Crane and the Several Dwarfs

November 7, 2011


Hi Ho!  – Hi Ho!

It’s off – to work we go!

With a rookie here!

And a rookie there!

Hi Ho! – Hi Ho!



Unsure! – Just where!

We’ll hang – our threads with care!

Working old fatigue?

Or a brand new league?

Who knows? – Just where?



We cannot strain – our brain!

To slow  – or fast complain!

Goodbye, McLane!

Hello, Jim Crane!

Please keep – us sane!



Please spend a buck! – Or two!

On our sweet futuroo!

Sign a pitching gnome!

For your nice new home!

Hi Ho! – Hi Ho!