“General managers don’t make moves, they make recommendations,” Shapiro said. “If GM’s process is good, my job to approve the decision is easy.”
The key term here is process. Would Alex Anthopoulos like to go through a process or procedure to prove that every move he wants to make is a good one? Would he want to fight tooth and nail for every little manoeuvre, no matter how small, that he wanted to make? We all know what that’s like in our personal lives; trying to explain ourselves to someone always questioning our decisions. I’d get tired of that fast and it’s more clear to me now than ever why Alex did not accept his extension offer.
This whole situation smells of distrust. Why put a “process” in place if you have complete faith and trust in the person running the organization? Obviously Rogers didn’t and subsequently brought in Shapiro to run the business and baseball side.
What’s become clear in Alex’s evolution as a GM is that he has learned to trust his intuition. He followed process in hiring former manager John Farrell; he checked off all the boxes on his list. Farrell seemed like the right hire based on whatever such and such criteria Alex initially had for his first managerial hire, and made the decision based on what his brain told him was right. He later admitted that he didn’t follow his gut and obviously saw how that decision did not work out. He absolutely went with his gut later on to give current manager John Gibbons the reins and it turned out beautifully as we just witnessed this October.
Furthermore, last offseason Alex became acutely aware of the need for higher character guys in the clubhouse hence the need to sign Russell Martin and to trade for Josh Donaldson. How would you prove those decisions through process? The fact is that it isn’t always easy.
Additionally, Alex felt the need to supplement his roster this summer with some big acquisitions not the least of which was Troy Tulowitzki. Process, or using one’s logical mind to make rational decisions, said not to do the Tulo trade as the majority of his staff felt; that they needed pitching instead. But Anthopoulos felt otherwise. Yes it was to fix a mistake he made with acquiring Jose Reyes initially, but he recognized the need to fix it and improved the team and moved on. Low and behold, it worked out marvellously.
Then he just so happened to call Dave Dombrowski and inquired about David Price’s availability. Coincidence? Right place, right time? I think not.
Through it all, Alex acquired Revere, Hawkins, Lowe, and Pennington because he knew he could reach the post-season with some key reinforcements. He had faith in his roster. Process wouldn’t have done that. Process would rather dictate and reason that you’d be giving up way too many young prospects. Process would tell you that you’d be mortgaging the future and that you’d be taking too much of a risk.
Process can kiss it. If a guy knows without a shadow of doubt what his intuition is telling him and trusts those feelings, then everyone better get out of his way and let him do what feels right.
We’ve lost a good one here in Anthopoulos my friends. Sure Shapiro said all the right things today, as expected. But you can’t replace an inner knowing that Alex had surely developed, with something of a more logical nature, like process.