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Article: Baldelli Is More Coddling Millennial Than Field General

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#21 ashbury

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:44 PM

I'm not sure this is right either. "Servant Leadership" is a new(ish) leadership style

Not so new(ish). I'm not very young, and one of my favorite early bosses used to say that her job was to "bring water" - a metaphor I didn't precisely understand but took to mean a certain humility in the role.

 

No single management style works, in tech or in baseball. As the old saying goes, you need to know who needs a pat on the back and who needs a kick on the rump. At different times I needed and deserved either.

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#22 Alex Schieferdecker

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:24 PM

Of all of Baldelli's moves, I have been most impressed (like many of you) by his insistence on rest. No matter how important or how hot, every position player is getting rotated out of the line-up. guys like Gonzalez and Astudillo are basically everyday players, despite neither having a set position, entirely because they move around and fill in for whoever is scheduled to take the day off. 

 

A similar philosophy seems to be being applied to the bullpen as well. In the home series against the Angels, when the Twins played three close games in a row, the entire bullpen was used. It wasn't just Rogers, Parker, May, and Harper every night. (In fact, the idea that a guy like Harper could have already established himself as a high leverage option seems like something that would not have happened on most teams.)

 

I think the essential part (as the article mentions) is that Baldelli thinks that getting regular rest in the long run is more important than any one game's result. I think he's probably right. Baseball has 162 games in the regular season, it's a marathon, not a sprint. If the Twins get to the postseason, they could be the freshest team remaining.

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#23 Doomtints

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:35 PM

 

Not so new(ish). I'm not very young, and one of my favorite early bosses used to say that her job was to "bring water" - a metaphor I didn't precisely understand but took to mean a certain humility in the role.

 

No single management style works, in tech or in baseball. As the old saying goes, you need to know who needs a pat on the back and who needs a kick on the rump. At different times I needed and deserved either.

 

Yes, but these are all cliches, which yeah seem to work on about 30% of Americans judging by current polling.

The question is how do you lead the other 70%?

Twins Manifesto: Build for .500, hope for more.


#24 yarnivek1972

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:46 PM

Of all of Baldelli's moves, I have been most impressed (like many of you) by his insistence on rest. No matter how important or how hot, every position player is getting rotated out of the line-up. guys like Gonzalez and Astudillo are basically everyday players, despite neither having a set position, entirely because they move around and fill in for whoever is scheduled to take the day off.

A similar philosophy seems to be being applied to the bullpen as well. In the home series against the Angels, when the Twins played three close games in a row, the entire bullpen was used. It wasn't just Rogers, Parker, May, and Harper every night. (In fact, the idea that a guy like Harper could have already established himself as a high leverage option seems like something that would not have happened on most teams.)

I think the essential part (as the article mentions) is that Baldelli thinks that getting regular rest in the long run is more important than any one game's result. I think he's probably right. Baseball has 162 games in the regular season, it's a marathon, not a sprint. If the Twins get to the postseason, they could be the freshest team remaining.


Umm, huh?

His A/LI is .64. 1 would be medium leverage. Taylor Rogers is at 2.15 this year.

#25 DutchFarmer

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:06 PM

Ummmm....kind of an inconsequential comment here but Baldelli isn't even a millennial according to some definitions (e.g. US Census Bureau).
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#26 YOUNGDUMBSON

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:19 PM

 

Let's not confuse cause and affect too much here. Baldelli's basically never managed a team that's spent a day outside of first place. He's never managed in a race, never even managed a game in June. He has a team that's wildly over-achieving and playing .667 baseball. It's been beyond easy to spread playing time, and portray a 'soft'/patient vibe.

 

Fast forward to a hypothetical 2020 scenario. It's mid-July, and the Twins with high expectations, have been under-performing for weeks, and were just beat 3 games to 1 in a series against the upstart White Sox to fall into a tie for first place in the central. Tougher to stick with the ideal rotations at that point. And what demeanor will everyone (including leaders in the clubhouse) be looking for from Baldelli in that scenario? Every good manager has to have the 'coddling' card AND the 'field general' card in their toolbox. There were plenty of 'field managers'...the ones that did it right...that had the respect of their players. That will still be possible, I think. Every reason to be optimistic regarding Baldelli, but too early to pigeon-hole him into a category, IMO.

Just a couple of thoughts in response to your post. No one will argue that the Twins have been alot closer to the worst team in the A.L. than the best for quite a few years now. In the last 4 years they've lost 185 road games, pretty much against the good bad and ugly of the Major Leagues. You can't just look at Baldelli as the reason for the turn-around. The Twins finally have a front office with a long term vision that they are truly committed to!! Example: The Twins made a habit every year of taking flyers on "cheap" free agents, hoping that a couple would pan out. Today, they have completely embraced analytics and the "flyers" they gambled on weren't flyers at all. while success was by no means guaranteed, each signee in this off-season had an attainable upside that was well worth investing in.

Cron, Schoop, Gonzales, Cruz and Perez had big upside or reliable expectations based on recent performance or an environment that would increase their likelihood of success based on real statistical data, not a hope and dream of striking gold. Sano and Buxton are being groomed for success now instead of expecting it as a gift from God. Baldelli has looked so good as a manager because he was chosen to lead this team based on his understanding of analytics and his ability to apply this in his teaching and managing. Some interesting stats.

1. The Twins have now played 49 games, 26 on the road. They have yet to lose more than two games in a row. That's at least in part due to good managing.

2. He has been teaching the one thing that ensures success as a team. We are a team!!! We will fail or succeed together, creating a true all for one and one for all environment.

3. He believes in his players, and has shown that through some moments that left me wondering if he had a clue i.e. Cron, Gonzales, Adrianza etc slumps as well as with his relievers, having most of them enjoy success in high leverage situations.

 

Is this a team that will win at a .667 clip all year? I doubt it, but this is a team built to win today, based on the game today. Maybe we should look at management the same way we look at the players, They're a TEAM

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#27 bighat

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:58 PM

Molitor was almost physically unable to say the words "he had a good game" when talking about anyone. A guy could go 7 innings and give up 1 hit and Molitor would start the interview with "he got one up and made a mistake there in the 4th", or whatever.

 

Baldelli, on the other hand, sugar coats everything. Almost every interview he uses words like "very special" and "quality at bats" and stuff like that. Sounds like a teacher praising elementary school kids. But you know what? It seems to be working - that's all that matters in the end. If it ain't broke don't fix it, I say.

 

If I could talk to Rocco, I'd tell him he's having a very special year here as our manager. Just real quality stuff. Whatever works, man. I got absolutely no complaints.

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#28 Aerodeliria

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:55 AM

There are some perhaps subtle differences, which go over well with the players. I think his management style has less to do with dealing with millenials and more to do with simply respecting every player on the roster. Not trashing players in the media or anywhere else is simply wise managing skills.

 

He has said that he has only two rules, "Have fun but respect the game." I think that notion gives rise to more relaxed players. He also sits players down, something I see very rarely in baseball. This idea that, "Player X is starting in right field no matter what unless he's injured and even then, we'll see how bad his injury is," is not a good long-term strategy IMHO. Look at last year. Morrison played almost every game even though we found out that he actually had a nagging injury. Rocco's style is 180 degrees away from this idea. In his world, rested and healthy players have more fun than injured and wearied soldiers.

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#29 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:07 AM

One huge problem with employing the word "millennial" to describe Twins players of a certain age: 18 on the 40 man roster are from outside the United States. Thus, 45% of the players do not fit the millennial category at all, which, even for US-born humans, is a rather broad or generalized description of a group. 

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#30 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 03:19 AM

One thing not mentioned yet that I like about Rocco’s management style: he sets the lineups for an entire series at a time at the beginning of the series, so the players know which days they will be playing. That might have been done before, not exactly sure, but it’s definitely being done know, and I think it makes a lot of sense.
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#31 laloesch

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 05:37 AM

I'm not into the this generation is this and that generation is that but we'll see how Baldelli handles a struggling team in the future (hopefully not any time soon). All of this coddling talk and nap rooms? I mean comeonnnnn, were talking about grown men here playing baseball not a bunch of 2-3 year old kids that need a nap everyday at noon other wise you have to plop them in a cry room with coloring books, crayons and play-doh.

Edited by laloesch, 24 May 2019 - 05:38 AM.


#32 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 06:59 AM

One huge problem with employing the word "millennial" to describe Twins players of a certain age: 18 on the 40 man roster are from outside the United States. Thus, 45% of the players do not fit the millennial category at all, which, even for US-born humans, is a rather broad or generalized description of a group.

This is a very good point. I doubt many of these Latin players grew up laying on the wall to wall carpeting, staring into their iPads while nibbling on Pringles and sipping soda. Oh s*** I spilled I'll have to finish this later
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#33 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:02 AM

*Gardenhire was a guest this week on Starting 9, the second best non-team specific podcast out there right now IMHO. I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't yet. He's such an amazing interview.[/quote] What's the best non-team specific podcast?

#34 bighat

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:30 AM

 

One huge problem with employing the word "millennial" to describe Twins players of a certain age: 18 on the 40 man roster are from outside the United States. Thus, 45% of the players do not fit the millennial category at all, which, even for US-born humans, is a rather broad or generalized description of a group. 

 

Completely agree. Honestly I don't think many ballplayer types fit the typical profile of a "millennial kid". Guys who get to The Show and have come through the minors have probably lived a life somewhere between "Animal House" and "Beverly Hillbillies" since they were 18 years old. Okay, maybe not all of them...but my point is that pro athletes probably rode their big wheels without helmets when they were kids.

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#35 Number3

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:36 AM

"I don’t actually think he’s anything special as an in-game manager. I don’t care for his lineups....."

Excerpt from earlier post.

 

I thought he was "over managing" at first too but now I think it is sheer brilliance. Almost every player gets a different spot in the batting order in games and those who are able play different positions. Almost everyone starts frequently. Result? A fresh approach for the whole team in most games and each game takes on its own identity which fits perfectly into the "one game at a time" approach that is necessary for the long season. It also re-enforces the notion of "team vs individual" and no roles just play. Also really like the idea of announcing the lineups for every series as was posted.

 

As always, 2 factors determine win-loss record. How good are you? How good is the competition? Twins are obviously vastly improved as a team over recent years in more ways than one. The competition, in comparison, seems to be down overall from prior years. Way too early to worry about playoff matchups but October should be very interesting in 2019.

Edited by Number3, 24 May 2019 - 07:37 AM.

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#36 clutterheart

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:40 AM

I live in Red Sox Media market. The talk around Baldelli is similar to how Red Sox fans talked about Cora last year. But now after the Red Sox's slow start the knives are being sharpened. 

 

Cora deserved credit for last year just like Baldeli deserves credit this year. But one season does not a manager make. Its easier to be a good Manager when your team hits a gazzilion HR's. 

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#37 Alex Schieferdecker

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:44 AM

 

Umm, huh?

His A/LI is .64. 1 would be medium leverage. Taylor Rogers is at 2.15 this year.

Harper has appeared in plenty of low leverage situations. He has also appeared in a couple of higher leverage situations, as trust in him as seemed to grow.


#38 Jkeady12

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:07 AM

The thing I think stands out the most is his lineup changes daily. Thisnormally would drive me crazy but the Twins have so many weapons this year that it could behuge advantage as the year wears on. Injuries won't hurt as much because we have guys with lots of at bats to fill in and have played multiple positions which is rare. Also guys getting rested never hurts if you have a shot to make it to the playoffs.

 

Now the key in doing this is we are scoring at a record pace, how long that keeps up will be the question. Everything looks good when you score 16 runs, at some point we will have a losing streak but hard to argue with the success he has had with his strategy.

 

My question though is who gets the credit for the barrel hitting? Why or how have the Twins figured out this momentous contact? t Baldelli? Hitting Coach? Cruz? Or just contagious hitting?


#39 nokomismod

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:40 AM

I mentioned this somewhere else, but Baldelli's style reminds me a bit of the guy leading the football team in Dinkytown. Fleck and Baldelli both communicate very well and in a very positive way. They seem to make the game fun for the players as well. Looking forward to watching both of these coaches lead their teams for hopefully a long time.


#40 laloesch

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 05:32 AM

 

Personality management is certainly a large aspect to leading any team. I do think Rocco was given a pretty good lineup to put in place. Much better than I anticipated! The question is how will this style do when faced with a losing streak/adversity?

Exactly might thoughts as well. I've always been a believer in leaders who are strong and firm, but also fair be it in sports or on the job. You have to know when to pat someone on the back vs. kicking them in the ass to get them going because some guys and gals need a kick in the ass not coddling or hand holding.

 

Just my opinion,but I played 3 sports in high school and went on to play a sport in college and i've seen locker room behavior especially football. Believe me those guys don't need nap rooms and excessive hand holding. Baseball is definitely not the same on the field but you still have that dynamic in the clubhouse and those guys don't need cry rooms and soft talk from the manager.

 

I'm not really into the catering to this generation or that generation as people are people and everyone is different. The golden rule is always a good place to start.

Edited by laloesch, 19 June 2019 - 05:50 AM.




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