I'm not sure if anyone on AN has yet to read John Schuerholz's new book-"Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM". Schuerholz wrote the book with Larry Guest. This fact alone makes this book different from the AN bible because, as WE all know, Billy DID NOT write "Moneyball". So one could probably say Moneyball was written with a more objective eye vs "Built to Win". However I've yet to read "Built to Win"-but I will be as soon as my order comes in.
Apparently, there are some good stories about how the Bravers almost traded for Bonds, how the Braves signed Maddox away from the Yankees etc, etc, etc. But what I'm really interested in is the contrast between the Braves' vs the A's philosophy of building teams.
The Braves have won 15 divisional titles, 1 W.S. title in 1995 and have arguably one of the best minor league systems, year-in/year-out. Last year the Braves started a 47 year old at 1st base who was playing in the Mexican League while having approx 15 rookies on the 25 man roster. They won their division-again.
I listened to a Schuerholz interview today and the dude is fascinating. In the interview he contributes a successful winning team to three things:
- A successful minor league system.
- A very stout scouting staff who beat the bushes with a very strong reliance on the scouting department for drafting for the minor league system.
- A smart and successful Major League Manager who is a great teacher and a clever and gifted in game tactician. Bobby Cox, without a doubt, is a first ballot H of F.
Humph! Do the A's? Are the A's "built to win". Who would you want as the A's GM: Beane vs Schuerholz?