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September 22, 2023
      Does anyone remember where I published this thought line?   Where exactly. . . page number and book if you have it.  


Sometime in the '80's, you wrote something in a team chapter about how teams' success depends in part on how deep they believe the talent pool is. If they believe it's shallow, they make mistakes, but if they believe it's deep, they do better. 


I have been citing that to people for a long time, but I honestly don't know where you said it. A friend found a briefer version in the '88 Abstract, but it wasn't the full thing. Do you know?


COMMENTS (11 Comments, most recent shown first)

Answers here are a little tourettesy...not sure how Bassitt and Rickey jumped in. But I'll walk in talking too...

More recently I have bumped into people arguing that prospects tearing up A+ ball at Age 21 are an untouchable lock for major league stardom. Somebody said they wouldn't trade the Mets prospect Acuna, currently #47, for 24 yo Juan Soto. The correct answer....yes, you would trade him plus the entire farm plus the tractors for Juan Soto (assuming a long term deal was a lock)​
7:09 PM Sep 27th
Brock Hanke
abiggoof - That's not what really drove Rickey's successes. What Rickey did was to identify not new players, but whole new methods of procuring players. For the Cardinals, he developed the farm system. For the Dodgers, he developed integration. As long as he was in the forefront of those methods, he could dominate. But he wasn't really much better than anyone else at evaluating players or their replacability. In particular, his decision to trade Johnny Mize away from the Cardinals likely cost the team a couple of pennants. He just did not correctly evaluate just how good Mize was; how hard it would be to find someone else that good.
8:14 PM Sep 25th
abiggoof. The Braves of the 1990s were very good at letting free agents go and bringing in good talent to replace them. The current Braves are pretty good at that, too.
8:20 PM Sep 23rd
I think there’s a corollary at the big spender level: you can let any player go if you bring up young talent or sign stars; where this gets those teams in trouble is when they a) focus only on big names and salaries rather than bang for the buck value; b) where they get so cocky that they expect to add two big arms and a star outfielder and end up relying on leftovers because they can’t close the deal.​
5:14 PM Sep 23rd
If I understand this correctly, it’s saying the Rays approach works for the same reason Branch Rickey’s did in St. Louis and Brooklyn: any star or potential star you lose or trade can be replaced if you properly evaluate and obtain players without a significant MLB resume.

It’s not great for continuity, but his teams kept winning with different rosters in St. Louis and different pitching staffs in Brooklyn.
5:10 PM Sep 23rd
Which is why Bill should publish (or make available) a digital copy of his Abstracts with keyword search capability.
4:44 PM Sep 23rd
Well that might be a reason he doesn't need us.... ;-)
3:10 PM Sep 23rd
Speaking of Chris Bassit, he was born in 1989 and did very little until 2019, since then he has been a very good pitcher, 546 IP, 42 wins and having a good 2023. He and Marcus Semien were traded by the White Sox to the Athletics at the end of 2014 for nobody in particular.
I mention this because I just learned of it today then read this post so I group them together. Oakland capitalized on talent.
1:12 PM Sep 23rd
Great job guys!
A couple more of these and maybe Bill decides he needs us.... :ha:
12:21 AM Sep 23rd
Beat me to it! I am pretty sure this is the one. Page 115: "Poor organizations virtually always act as if they believed that talent was in short supply. The believe there is a magic in 'proven' major league talent. . . What the Blue Jays have proven clearly ... is that it is not in short supply, that there are any number of players around who can help you win ballgames if you will give them a chance." The 1983 Abstract, pages 14-15, covers a similar theme.
9:28 PM Sep 22nd
Page 113 of the 1984 Abstract, team comment about the Blue Jays, you talk about teams understanding replacement level and freely available talent. Not quite the quote, but it's along the same lines.
8:56 PM Sep 22nd
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