1) I'd encourage all to read this article: http://www.beyondthe...tion-and-scouts First question. The article states that the downsizing of scouting staffs across the league has been fairly universal...how many scouts have the Twins cut in recent years? And how much has the baseball analytics budget increased and how many tech employees have been added? Are they at league average...ahead...or behind?
Economist Joseph Schumpeter developed the theory of creative destruction, prophetically anticipating the high tech revolution and the nature of an ultra-competitive, overnight-obsolescence, market-based, informationally-driven economy by about 50 years. Simply put, rapid and repeated innovation and response, both to change, and the acceleration of change, in systems, are the key to survival and success in a competitive and generally free market...." innovation makes certain activities and skills obsolete that previous were highly valued."
It is reported that nearly 2/3rds of Apple's revenues come from products that are less than 4 years out of development and rollout. This is obviously the hyper-example from the cutting-edge end of the innovative spectrum, but it's highly likely that internal creative destruction at Apple happens on a near-daily basis at such a wildly successful and innovative company. Don Tapscott argues that a direct by-product of the information revolution means the good ol' boy, promote only from within, the "way we've always done things", command-and-control style of management is quickly going the way of the dinosaur, in favor of "self-organizing networks" that readily seek and find available solutions outside the closed-system organizational model. Too often, I feel like the Twins idea of game-theory within the MLB oligopoly is akin to playing Space Invaders on an Atari- classic old favorites well within the comfort zone of the Twins' culture....meanwhile, the leaders in the industry keep moving upward and onward to bigger and better gadgetry.....which leads to more "outside the box" thinking, resulting in more efficiencies and imaginative solutions.
As very successful business operators, I would presume that the Pohlad's employ elements of Schumpeter's philosophy relative to information-age capitalism in other areas of their portfolio, surely new creative lifeblood doesn't solely come from within in their other businesses.
2) Though Steil might be a breath of fresh air, before he was named farm director, he spent 12 years within the Twins organizational culture, working his way up. To me, this would imply that working well within the system is his greatest asset, not innovative thinking. I would have looked hard at someone from within the St Louis, Boston or Tampa Bay organizations. They have historically been drafting from the back of the pack and consistently struck gold through picking the right guys and then developing them at a quick pace.
Totally agree with Jokin on the "pace of change" in all industries. . . You have to be nimble now to survive.
In fairness to the Pohlad's and the Twins organizations, and I cannot comment on technical analytics and scouting changes because I don't have knowledge of such, but I can say I can say that the Pohlads have been pretty aggressive in some aspects of driving, in baseball terms - cutting edge changes. . i.e. they were among the first to build academies in Venezuela and the Dominican and they were among the first to scout Australia and are now large proponents of the Australian Baseball League.
They were also right on the heels of the Yankees in trying to build their own network for television -- Victory Sports. Baseball drives regional cable operators, because of the 162 game schedule, and if you are a regional cable operator it is hard to be profitable if you don't control the MLB team in your market. For various reasons, they dropped Victory for a larger rights fee from Fox. IMO not a great long term decison.
Its conceivable that Victory, if operating today, would bring in $100M in revenues. . the Pohlads, have generally stated, that they will bring players salaries up to about 53% of revenue. People, who I believe would know, beleive that if Victory had been successful the Twins would have about another $30-35M (the revenue % as compared to Fox rights fees)to spend on payroll.
I do, on another topic, believe that maybe they have let the course run too far with current baseball related field management. . .Gardenhire/Anderson. I feel that Gardenhire's loyalty to Anderson has not helped the pitching staff.