otibact ear drops 15 ml bottle buy cialis brand canada amikacin peak and trough timesamitripamoxil online elevil cialis online rezeptfrei aus kanada viagra simbabwe eutirox 25 en espanol amiloride hctz brand name prevacid prescription coupon offer amoxicillin no prescription cardizem cd generic equivalent shooting up buspirone great high where can i buy methotrexate alesse from canada 20 mg cialis too much tadalafil c100 for sale advantage multi for dogs reviews albuterol detox viagra purchase cipa canadian approved pharmacies world med direct pharmacy generic cialis sales on amazon prime picareta de diamante minecraft games canada oil kamagra chewable aricept 5mg side effects orlistat 120mg capsules en espanol no rx mirtazapine 30 mg antidepressants pyridium side effects mayo clinic baytril 136 mg side effects in dogs las vegas viagra order cialis tablets uk price of crestor at wal mart cholesterol lowering foods and supplements imitrex injection coupons flagyl pills reglan side effects tardive dyskinesia buy phentermine 37 5 mirtazapine for sleep dosage tizanidine street value order prozak from mexico folcres mexico phenergan dm omifin 50mg dosis efevtos delbamoxicilin canada viagra sales authentioc brand viagra cabergoline bodybuilding dosage pregnant baby not moving paracetamol contraindications is prescription needed for cialis lamisil cream for ringworm over the counter ed pills fda careprost bimatoprost ophthalmic solution reviews wellbutrin xl side effects libido comprar accutane in usa levitra without rx in the united states where do you buy viagra online tylenol side effects long term ritalin online pharmacy no prescription seroquel medication information prednisone 20mg tab watson prodotto 87 cyrux medicine cabinet proviron steroidology retirides reviews order free birth control online propecia finasteride treatment terramycin for sale order zestril lisinopril valacyclovir uk propecia 5mg kaufen singulair medicine reviewsskelaxin alendronate side effects webmd desogestrel vs levonorgestrel 40 viagra online flomax on line accutane before and after pics hydrea medication action cardura classification comprar viagra americano lipothin weight management system 1942 universal drugstore canada morphine withdrawal time ciplavasc side effectscipralex fluzol 150cc where to buy lasix bupropion hcl side effects staxyn reviews pregnant cat signs olanzapine medication asthma inhaler non prescription sotalol side effects betapace vs betapace corega denture adhesive gelcostco khasiat cialis tadalafil buy no prescription trimethoprim online percocet withdrawal symptoms lantus insulin side effects drug interactions zolpidem medication side effects primatene mist side effects epinephrine where to buy prednisone clindamycin phosphate gel usp 1 uses altace 2.5mg furolin tablets with windows betnovate n for dark spots zoloft weight gain zoloft weight loss phenamax reviews ospedale sacco milano flagyl 500mg no prescription lasix furosemide potassium levels body puppies for adoption ephedraxin review atepros 5mg order primatene mist in canada oral jelly cialis rxdrugstore medicines to take respectable cialis metformin 365 holland cialis online prescription viagra price in tamilnadu vrdrug reviews on 50 antabuse natural alternatives tizanidine 4mg zanaflex seroquel xr side effects alcohol faridexon fortessafasigyn buy valtrex cheap buy provera carafate 1gm 10ml suspension side effects budesonide drug interactions fraces de futbol buy orlistat online without script differin adapalene cream sildenafil tadalafil and vardenafil viagra and levitra tabs buy clomid cheap protonix medication side effects indocin medication wath is the store to buy viagra buy levothyroxine online without script hong kong pharmacies online tri cyclen online avapro side effects doctor sunsuria berhadapan tegretol buy on line ramipril 10mg prices lorinol 10 cost of nexeum in canada colchicine 0.6mg prices malaseb pledgets side effects microcidal vs microstatic frequency clomid without a rx fincar 5 mg india japanese pharmacy on line cheapest alli tablets xalatan side effects doctor bombay ed pills where can i purchase bupropion online aspirin side effects india generic drugs online pharmacy ortho tri cyclen lo purchase online tab omnic0 4mg this for what use venlafaxine hcl er 37.5 xalacom no prescription cialis tablet buy elavil overnight ephedraxin infonavit sunsuria development sdn bhd directors and officers qsymia cost bevispas 135 mg daily substitute for viagra doxycycl hyc haldol elderly benadryl ingredients medicines salzarex tadalafil cefaclor 250mg prospect clavamox without a prescription florinef for neurogenic orthostatic hypotension where to buy viagra in calgary anxiety attacks in children clonidine medication 0.1mg trimox 500mg drug sotalol hcl 80mg tab omnicef for sinus infection dosage online perscription abilify patient assistance program form ovral l pill same time daily newspaper ambien addiction story subutex withdrawal suboxone synthroid 0 1 mg tb metformin by echeck minoxidil side effects in women cheap ritalin no prescription nizoral shampoo buy prednisolone 5mg uk buy trinessa online cialis with dapoxetine for sale canada axet ear drop prices of viagra cialis lavitra exelon patch prednisolone eye drops side effects in dogs promethazine 25mg medication use insulin syringes 3/10 8mm 31g kamagra oral jelly can you order viagra from canada podofilox solution buyponalarpowergraprandin printable voltaren gel coupon advantage auto sales wichita ks rimadyl dosage for dogs after surgery noroxin antibiotic for uti malaseb dog shampoo levitra professional online clonidine medication for children nizagara ingredients in cigarettes ventolin 100 mg 24 hour z pak delivery praziquantel for cats tradewinds cialis rezeptfrei deutschland implicane sertralina para pinamox caps 500mg amoxicillin dosage metallica enter sandman mp3 rx relief card consumer reports moduretic drug emporium cheapest price for vardenafil 10mg lergigan fortessa cholesterol medications omnicef dosage for children chloroquine dose for malaria prophylaxis alfuzosin uroxatral 10 mg billig viagra online bestellen renagel medication bupropion cost without insurance prevacid side effects for infants what is betanoid tablets used for generic viagra cialis levitra cheap diclobru tablets with keyboards naproxen side effects medications acheter cialis 20 mg ospamox antibiotics androgel bodybuilding testosterone gel cefadroxil side effects doctor staxyn price at walmart benoquin 20 hyzaar dosage levitra promo code viagra india pharmacy furosemide 20 mg lasix zestoretic 20 12.5mg himalaya himcolin gel use in hindi 1 800 numbers for viagra arcoxia tablets 90mg bupropion weight loss men malegra sold in america north wyoming insurance licodexon obat sakit best online canadian viagra clobex clobetasol propionate ciprofloxacino 500 teva amoxicillin medshop 24 reviews liquid clavamox dosage for cats arcoxia medicine treatment drug testosterone pills free viagra trial no pay proviron 25mg tablets oracea 40 mg coupons desyrel side effects doctor buying hydrocodone while in canada ebay cheap kamagra uk diclofenaco 100 mg para que sirve myambutol adverse reactions to antibiotics hyzaar side effects hydrochlorothiazide side rocaltrol 0 5 mcg fentanyl dalacin t topical solution picture kamagra sildenafil citrate viagra naturale prezzo trazodone sleep aid side effects lipothin 200 fenofibrate 134 acyclovir for cold sores dosing augmentin and alcohol consumption premarin tablets 1.25 captopril renal scan hypertension viagra for sale in pennsylvania permethrin 10 livestock & premise spray accutane generic cost without insurance original viagra apotheke mupirocin ointment usp benadryl dosage for toddlers insulin pumps for diabetics amerimedrx discount tire fluoxetine 10mg for cats deltasone 20mg percocet ventolin side effects inhaler requip medication for parkinsons disease getmensmeds reviews viagra commercial rayhhealthcare online order medication buy vyvanse online without prescription calcitriol mail order pharmacy combivent inhalation aerosol uses top rated online pharmacies for viagra cialis and atrial fibrillation vermox bulk buy antibiotics and alcohol bacteria aricept and namenda combination therapy pfizer stock price history medameds complaints about doctors viagra for sale witthout perscribtion flomax kidney stones sublingual b12 viagra order a prepaid visa danazol side effects medication betamethasone valerate cream bp nexium lawsuit outcome next day cialise antabuse to purchase cheapest generic viagra 44 cent buy aldactone no prescription online no prescription pharmacy benadryl for infants for plane travel zyban smoking cessation reviews use of provera for amenorrhea doxycycline over the counter dormidina kaufen suhagra 100 side effects moduretic drug mexitil generic name lopressor metoprolol dosages ovral 28 birth control pills viagra for sale in tesco alfuzosin hydrochloride xatral minocycline for dogs side effects pregnant celebrities pictures cabaser tablets scored comprar cialis en miami venlafaxine 37.5mg viagra 150 mg from usa omeprazole medication class citalopram 40mg what is it used to treat ocd list of online pharmacy in india berifen 100 mg catafast powder mountain vermox and mebendazole where can i buy cialis google viagra on line plendil er buying ciplactin online generic cialis for sale online doxycycline no script alli diet pills canada cialis without prescriptions uk india pharmacy cheapest cialis ketorolac tromethamine injection uses elavil for sleep reviews arimidex for men side effects aricept to buy mavidol tr ketorolaco tramadol 10 mg 25 mge where to buy dapoxetine online when to take cialis 20 mg proventil inhaler manufacturer stanozolol side effects in dogs tramadol hcl 50 mg tablet pictures canadian no script pharmacy sildenafil citrate dapoxetine to buy abilify coupons coupon discounts viagra en tunisie sans ordonnance pharmacy technician certification study guide indomethacin gout treatment side effects flomist nasal spray decongestant indocin 50 mg iraplax orlistat 120mg uk viramune xr copay assistance trusted us pharmacy doxepin hydrochloride viagra for sale in austin texas alendronate sodium fosamax ingredients espn viagra ad can doxepin get you high cephorum animal tablets for sale hydroxyzine for dogs pet tofranil side effects children sifrol pramipexole treatment for hemorrhoids fosamax side effects fosamax lawsuit celebrex buy propranolol and alcohol interactions adderall withdrawal amphetamines cvs near me lopid side effects treatment global pharmacy canada complaints generic viagra 100mg pills vivid xm viagra commercial clindamycin phosphate gel usp 1 reviews generic cialis canadian pharmacy different type of viagra pills levitra 10mg rezeptfrei abilify and india cicloferon tabletas flexeril information medication avodart online pharmacy alternative to doxycycline robaxin online no prescription grifulvin griseofulvin pediatric dose indinavir crixivan/indinavir maxaman ingredients accutane prescription que es montelukast vibramycin medication for acne nasonex side effects domperidone breastfeeding dosage tadalafil foto cialis 10mg price cipa approved pharmacies order doxycycline without prescription aristocort cream ointment rhinathiol prospect medical group topiramate for migraines side effects what is arthrotec 50 mg used for medameds viagra commercial actress ranbaxy news levothroid dosage forms lotrel 10 20 mg side effects septra suspension presentation 3 day ship viagra tadapox 80mg oxy viagra without credit card vibramycin 100 mg for sinus infection online pharmacy levitra viagra thailand buy brand pfizer viagra pharmacy stockton biaxin side effects in children starcef capsulectomy levofloxacin side effects tendonitis generic plavix release viagra in the united states zentel liquid xenical orlistat buy online usa can i purchase qsymia online diarex pro series stone color enhancer reviews cheap ivermectin metformin weight loss diet levitra from india safe cialis generico vendita on line malaseb shampoo dogs viagra hungary how to use otibact ear avalide side effects irbesartan avapro buying finasteride in canada atomoxetine vs adderall high hd canadian pharmacy viagra cialis 40 mg reviews vermox plus medicine avastin and xeloda colon cancer nexium from canada with no prescription seroquel xr does low dose help pain terramicina pomada in english walmart cialis price comparison alli online sales dapoxetine india online disgrasil orlistat 120mg xenical zovirax online free proventil inhaler coupons combinar cialis con levitra actos medication generic name zofran lawsuits clavamox for cats fosamax lawsuit euroclinix review nifedipine and pregnancy amikacin injection sildenafil online pharmacy canada pharmacy viagra without script actos plus metformin generic where to buy viagra in india viagra for w celecoxib capsules side effects overnight viagra us pharmacy celebrex 200 mg side effects medication where to buy viagra in mexico hydroxyzine pamoate 25mg for dogs cardizem dosage chart kamagra uk next day delivery aristocort cream ospamox 500mg prospect lustral buy elomet ointment 0.1 similar paxil tramadol hcl 50mg treatment in dogs sertralina efectos adversos acido generic cialis american express vega 100 online italia voltaren gel for arthritis dosage valtrex without a subscription inderal medication contraindications dapox uso con sildenafil birth control online pharmacy canadian viagra 8 hour instant buy clonidine california alli shopping online medicine without prescription renagel medication classification liposafe reviews on fifty
Home All Articles Moneyball's Godfather Buys Us a Million More Hrs For Free

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 768 guests online

Atom RSS

Moneyball's Godfather Buys Us a Million More Hrs For Free PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
PoorBest 
Articles & Opinion
Written by Jeff Angus   
Sunday, 10 June 2007 03:07

Andy AldersonMariner home games this year and last average about 25 minutes less than they did in 2000, but with as much baseball action. For the blessing of less waste, we owe a debt of gratitude to a gent who is not just Baseball’s most effective management guru, but North America’s most effective working manager in any field: Sandy Alderson.

How Alderson, now President of the San Diego Padres (the Mariners' “traditional” Interleague rival), came to give the 2.5 million Mariner fans attending games last year somewhat over a million person-hours of their lives back without depriving them of a shred of on-field mano-a-mano is a fascinating story. It’s also a great example of intrepid skill and relentless negotiation that had to balance everyone else’s desires and needs but still come to the rescue of the fans who pay to see the National Pastime played out on Fields of Dreams and Schemes and even (yes, we remember the Bob Melvin Era) Screams.

Changing the behaviour and processes of established billion-dollar institutions is the most difficult management feat. Changing them is much harder when the institution has an almost a religious role  in our society’s view of itself (after all, how many centuries after Latin became a moribund language did it take the Roman Catholic church to give up conducting services in its original tongue?). And it’s harder still to get an institution to change when it’s on a hot streak of financial success, even when it knows it’s headed for a fall if it doesn’t change (uh, global warming anyone?).

But to appreciate how Alderson executed the initiative for Major League Baseball’s headquarters, it pays to know a little about him, where he comes from, how he became the wizard he is.

(Select Read More to see the rest of this article on The Biz of Baseball) 

Alderson grew up a military brat, a great background for a change expert.

“I grew up moving around a lot. As I try to figure out what kind of impact that had on my life, aside from the impact it may have had on personal relationships, I think it makes people more adaptable,” Alderson told me. “A willingness to embrace change, not allowing yourself to be daunted by new circumstances…the ability to create new relationships and operate in different environments. And changing all that every two- to four years.” And, he thinks, living overseas, partially in other cultures, contributes to the military brat’s successful coping toolkit.

College and law school at Ivy League institutions (another set of eccentric cultures that require adaptation) sandwiched Alderson’s service in the Marine Corps and a tour of duty in Vietnam. On graduating law school, he moved to San Francisco and practiced everyone’s favorite profession.

He practiced business law, but not with corporate clients, customers who force professional service providers to learn more and more about less, and that take their upper management ever farther away from the actual details of the working, practical part of the business.

“They were smaller clients who had more practical problems than they did theoretical ones. I was less involved in corporate governance issues and more involved in how to make a safe pole-vaulting pit. I enjoyed a range of diverse clients. I had some clients in agriculture…a lot of things where you could kick the tires and be part of the business as well as provide legal advice.”

In 1981, Alderson became general counsel to the Oakland A’s, but, as he said, “we had a small front office…bigger than Charlie Finley’s, but not by much. So while there was legal work, there was a lot of baseball administrative work…knowing all the rules…I was involved in.”

And like all great innovators, Alderson used slack time to increase his knowledge about his line of work and others. “Being a general counsel wasn’t a full-time occupation. I could go to Modesto and watch minor league games, do various things that would add to my baseball education.”

He learned enough that in late 1983, he became General Manager, a position rarely given to someone from outside the game. Michael Lewis, the author of the best-selling book Moneyball stated Sandy was the initiator of the evidence-based analytical approach that would help lead the team to dominant years in 1988 – 1990, and that, once the team was sold to real estate developers who were resistant to investing in players, would become one of the franchise’s leading strategic advantages in competing against better-funded competitors.

But as team president from 1993 - 1998, Alderson was relentless in his exploration for new kinds of data and new uses for old data,  it was human factors – hiring people like Billy Beane to be a scout and then general manager and the Merlin the Magician of contemporary pitching coaches, Rick Peterson, and Paul DePodesta to be assistant G.M. to revolutionize processes  on and off the field, that he believes made the difference. Looking back on all the A.L. flags of the 90’s and the Moneyball A’s chronic success since 2000, it’s the group of people he put together and mentored of which he seems proudest.

“That means so much…and that so many of that group are still there is very satisfying,” he said.

And when the time came to move on from that endeavor, he left under his own power, and to take on more challenges. In 1998 he moved to New York as an executive vice-president for Major League Baseball where his job would be about helping headquarters be more operationally-sound and to build up processes to make them more effective.

He executed the emotionally-supercharged and politically sensitive league operations around a visit of the world champion Cuban national baseball team to Baltimore, and the logistically drenched and internally sensitive U.S. team that headed to, and won, the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. But it was shortening game times that had oozed to over three hours that was one of baseball’s change management victories unsurpassed since the 1947 endeavor to take Jim Crow out of the game. And there are great management and life lessons in this victory.

The first lesson is that if you want to get change in a big, complex institution, you never waste your time with “voluntary compliance” or self-regulation”.

Alderson remembered, “In prior years, there had been some effort to speed up games. Steve Palermo (a former umpire) had been an advocate for speeding up games. But as there are so many times in life, ideas don’t always get translated to action or implemented properly when they do.

“Nothing really happened.

“When I got to Major League Baseball, Frank Robinson was in charge of time-of-game. He had three or four guys who would go around talk to managers and pitching coaches and say ‘Hey, hurry it up. Please do this or that’.”

Like any accomplished Marine NCO, Alderson said he’d never relied on personal persuasion as a long-term solution. “What I tried to do first was analyze the games themselves with the notion that if you can measure it, you can improve it.”

That’s the second lesson, which is while you’ll need that fuzzy and non-reproducible thing called “leadership,” to succeed, you won’t even get out of the starting gate without facts, evidence from which to design the new ways.

“We didn’t have a complete picture of the components of the game and it’s components and identify areas which were inefficient,” he said. “You can take all the actions in a game, get starting and stopping times and determine where you have slippage.

“You can have it between innings. There had been a lot of discussion about how we had more commercials than before and how that lengthened games.” But it turned out that when Alderson’s team analyzed that timing data, it wasn’t the commercials themselves that had caused time-between-innings  to become blubbericious.

“It wasn’t the time of commercials, it was the amount of time it was taking us to get out of the inning, come back to commercials and then get back to the game. We losing a minute or 45 seconds every half inning.”

Sandy noted it was players getting out to their positions, but more markedly, “sloppiness among broadcasters who wouldn’t get out of their inning and into a commercial break fast enough to get back in time”.

And as far as the near-norm, at least on televised Mariner games, of missing the first pitch of a half inning, “That’s one of the problems of the lack of collaboration between baseball and the broadcasters.” Baseball aims to give exactly the contracted length for breaks, 2:05 for local and 2:25 for national. “But the game can’t hit that exactly every time. So we aimed to change it from about 3:15 for an inning break to something more like 2:45. If they sell 2:25, they’ll never make it in and out. But people get greedy…we had one club that was selling its own ads and selling them right up to the edge”.

That’s the third lesson: if you want a chance for success, leave slack, leave enough room that even with imprecision, you can succeed.

And the fourth change management lesson at least for the tough ones might be the most important. Because while the easier changes are built around a one or two big behavioral changes (turning back the nationwide proliferation of lead poisoning by lowering the lead content of two systems that transmitted the most heavy metal into citizens, gasoline and paint), the tough ones require managers to pay attention to everything.

Fixing time-between-innings wasn’t enough to bring game times to the target length of 2 hours 46 minutes. Batters needed to set up more quickly and to step out of the box less. Pitchers needed to work faster. And there would be no help from the individual clubs on this issue: they didn’t want to enforce against their own players. So Alderson applied another indispensable behavioral change technique: he started the initiative with those not-yet enculturated to the standard behavior.

He started in the minor leagues, getting up-and-coming minor league players and managers used to the idea of tighter games.

“Back when he played, Mike Hargrove was known as ‘the human rain delay’, but he took very little time compared to today’s batters,” Alderson observed.

For the significantly higher number of crisper better-paced ball games we get to see, we owe a debt of gratitude to Sandy Alderson’s unsurpassed skill set and relentless drive.

It’s over a million hours a year for Mariner attendees alone. That’s longer than Jose Vidro going from 1st to home on a double.

Jeff Angus is a presenter on Management by Baseball, and the author of the book of the same name (available at Amazon.com ). His complete profile can be read on the Biz of Baseball's Author Profile page.

This article originally appeared in the May 2007 issue of Grand Salami, the best selling publication on the Seattle Mariners.

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?