cheap trazodone free delivery order triamterene beconase aq sublingual dosage what genetic disorder is caused by an extra sex chromosome safe pain meds for cats swiss legend trimix review erection packs 1 without methylprednisolone acetate injectable the chepest cleocin where to spend honor points alliance mop danazol mg buy erythromycin to buy from europe canadian ortho tri cyclen amoxicillin 875 mg for uti where purchase l-tryptophan buy pravachol in australia cheap cialis 20mg online stieva-a 0.025 uses singulair cost with insurance can you only get haridra on prescription fucidin h cream acne reviews mirapex sale viagra soft online india aldactone 50 mg tablet american phenergan buy cheap proscar prednisone prices at costco how to take lasix bodybuilding buy zofran online canada cialis canadian prices mirtazapine withdrawal side effects lukol without script canadian online pharmacy safe generic precose switzerland glycomet usa zoloft order online carafate canada head office where can i buy cleocin purchase fertomid pills atomoxetine hcl mechanism of action z pack antibiotics during pregnancy zantac generic reviews what does generic hyzaar look like tesco pharmacy slough opening times penegra uk next day delivery trusted medstore online best medicine for abortion in pakistan lipitor canadian source generic name alesse 28 paxil withdrawal symptoms lawsuit kamagra 100 mg (generic viagra) how to take periactin to gain weight is flonase nasal spray safe during pregnancy buying drugs from canada pros and cons how much does maxalt mlt cost prilosec alternative medicine triamcinolone hexacetonide injection ordering protonix zestril ordering no prescription 1001 nacht basel allegra what is fluoxetine medication purchase abilify 15 mg toprol xl canada prescription atacand tablets for sale cost of serevent diskus over the counter prilosec generic new depression medication 2012 viibryd levitra 10 mg 4 film tablet prospektu"s buy generic acyclovir can cymbalta cause weight gain seroquel on line in the canada dostinex tablet price cheap albendazole buy online how to take brand advair diskus where to buy pain meds online zaditor canadian pharmacy cheap clonidine us fast rumalaya deleviery is seroquel a prescription drug order finpecia without prescription doryx side effects acne low cost pharmacy indianapolis madison prometrium prices at costco metoprolol dose for hypertension indian pharmacy effexor xr buy cialis super active lowest price where can i buy cardizem mg anastrozole get rid of gyno diflucan canadian source buy cafergot suppositories online canadian health act principles buying strattera online no prescription buy online probalan generic purchase elocon in mexico where is alligator alley restaurant who has prilosec on sale ketoconazole cream what does vc mean in phenergan vc fluoxetine tablets us online order generic xenical aceon 10 mg cost methotrexate and cough medicine levothroid pharmacy online lanoxin cheap uk keppra weight gain how to take clomiphene citrate for women what strength does mirapex come in order generic micronase where to diamox elavil lawsuit settlements malegra dxt canada overnight delivery generic propecia safe to use buying generic viagra in the us can you buy avalide in ireland long term effects of accutane on women what is lisinopril 10mg tablets raclet allegra for sale all types clozaril pills top 10 online anacin sites no prescription buy hyzaar order how much does zovirax cream cost para que se usa baclofen western drug zithromax resources for capoten is it legal for americans to buy drugs from canada finast medicine biaxin dosage instructions buy generic diamox lov cost vpxl order bactrim online no presctiption how to take caverta 100 aristocort where can i buy it fineviagra com br remeron capsules robaxin medication order harder erection pills for men torsemide 5 mg tablets indocin generic release date wellbutrin cheap uk caverta canada head office generic imitrex no prescription atarax 25mg tabs aspirin dosage too high que pastilla es mejor viagra o cialis where to buy cialis online forum depakote without a prescription from australia generic lipitor ranbaxy cleocin gel shortage liver damage from methotrexate chloromycetin eye drops micronase wanted online review side effects of bentyl 10 mg watson 540 blue oval pill dosage buy omnicef suspension buy purinethol capsules methotrexate psoriasis alcohol buy accutane with cheap bystolic online reviews on dapoxetine buy flonase hong kong nasal spray lisinopril interactions with other drugs can you buy anacin in ireland diltiazem hydrochloride cream canadian online pharmacy for tadalis sx crestor prescription assistance program best cialis professional prices cheapest methotrexate how to buy ordering nimotop dolonex dt piroxicam tablets elocon side effects ointment gold vigra review to buy aciphex generique lopressor 100 mg proscar birth control online us pilex no prescription canada compare prices adalat billig lozol online kaufen ciplox oz tablets buy skelaxin generic average daily dose of wellbutrin how to use provera and clomid together prescription nausea medicine during pregnancy elavil from europe alli para adelgazar precio generic avapro drug xanax erowid dose buy dapoxetine online at canada pharmacy cost of zofran iv viagra tables for sale australia order nootropil pill florinef best price what conditions does ceftin treat can you get differin over counter auto rx buy buy nitrofurantoin 100mg online prazosin by mail order what type of seizures does keppra treat where prometrium furosemide combination product buy diflucan online reviews luvox cr online buyers of sumycin canada cialis vs viagra uk canadian pharmacy avapro all types clonidine pills overnight pharmacy order deltasone hytrin spain over counter buy snovitra super power 15mg online nexium side effects dizziness cheap lynoral buy online rumalaya reviews and dosage donde comprar finasteride madrid prevacid discount code finpecia prescription coupon alphagan medicine online evista overseas buy online menosan generic avapro tablets 300 mg side effects of depakote er 500mg strattera india companies only advair diskus online usa no prescription nizagara birth control online mexico unisom drugs for sale online sale of yasmin low price clozaril uk how much is my prescription without insurance rosuvastatin generic available acheter prandin prometrium generic brand stats counterbalancing what is levothroid 50 mcg tenormin on line in the mexico can you order promethazine with codeine online drugs similar to crestor high blood pressure medication bystolic tesco viagra stores augmentin 100mg pharmacies depakote online what does olanzapine help with how to take topamax for weight loss can you buy a generic singulair where to buy malegra fxt what are the most common side effects of depo provera online diakof india no prescription antibiotics canada micronase pas cher italie cialis sublingual 40mg norvasc delivery uk danazol no prescription compare prices mail order generic roxithromycin zyvox 600 mg price online pharmacy cost of generic lexapro does viagra do healthy man over the counter order augmentin online order naprosyn overnight lamisil without prescription canada olanzapine withdrawal hell get cleocin toronto valtrex 500 mg 10 tablet fiyat? where accutane canada dapoxetine generic cheap costs i want to pay some strattera viagra plus from usa pharmacy tamoxifen tablets buy where to buy cheap generic female cialis cheap yasmin birth control australia femcare legal us can you buy lamisil online drugstore terbinafine buy lozol online in usa american alliance of museums members where alli how to use omnicef what does flonase help with allergies stromectol online buy liv cost comparison prescription drugs online canada order viagra soft online uk avalide with no perscription side effects of maxalt 10 mg premarin cost canadian order exelon tablets tadacip sale fda approved cod female cialis tablets online how to use nymphomax social anxiety medication weight loss how much is sinequan tablets pharmacy has best price methotrexate buy lexapro 50 motrin online bestellen where to get famvir pct dulcolax without prescription florida viagra professional to buy viagra a t superdrug what is seroquel good for use of inderal medicine flomax how to buy buy bystolic generic nitroglycerin dosage chest pain achat de cialis pas cher is it legal to buy viagra acquisto lamictal sicuro online order generic fosamax atorvastatin vs simvastatin dosage epivir-hbv tablets side effects arimidex max dose purchase lasix 500mg augmentin pill shortage non persciption erythromycin quiero comprar doxycycline toprol side effects generic phone in order for amitriptyline order singulair 10mg how to use cytotec abortion how much does viagra cost in tijuana naprosyn delivery uk can i buy antibiotics for my dog online drugs dose flagyl dogs tamoxifen menstrual cramps symptoms of withdrawal from trazodone insomnia buy accutane with isotretinoin generic heartworm meds for dogs no prescription atorlip-5 max dose nimotop from canada purchase cheap order zithromax macrolide levitra plus by mail paxil for sale online compare prices benemid buy shatavari australia depakote phone orders is anafranil a prescription drug buy skelaxin online india viagra without prescriptions uk aciclovir mg buy buy tetracycline online with bacterial augmentin australia companies only zanaflex drugstore.com zyprexa overdose fatal how often to use benzaclin buy online prednisolone generic current lithium price all types shatavari pills where to get plavix levitra pills free buy trileptal quick top 10 online ginette-35 sites colchicine generico online buy atorlip-20 online india generic medrol uk paypal buy ampicillin online from australia how to use singulair effexor xr pharmacy coupons getting keppra in australia ayurslim cost in canada buy antivert online without a prescription anacin from europe where to get phenergan over counter paxil buy abilify us discount long time side effects dostinex what does digoxin do to the heart sarafem 100mg cheep inderal without a script discount canadian pharmacy ditropan flagyl oral tablet 500 mg ou acheter du viagra sur internet forum is there a drug comparative to femara clorfenamina tabletas 4mg can you get inhalers over the counter uk comprar protonix pela internet buy actos uk diet buy canada no prescription for digoxin what does trazodone 150 mg look like orlistat nhs prescription price xenical ireland canadian glucotrol xl xenical online in stock actonel prices costco cheap cialis trial packs cost of alli pills buy lantus online cheap order bupropion online us arava prescription only cheap amoxil usa pharmacy is zyban funded in new zealand metformin hydrochloride tablets i.p 850 mg research grade requip medicine online no prescription needed cost of yagara without insurance alli diet pills discount voucher codes canadian lariam without script moduretic tablet sale serpina perth australia buy ginseng in bulk strattera daily use reviews how to get amaryl suppliers of caverta in us trandate usa pharmacy femara comprar compare prices artane alli capsules 42 pack generic uk paypal alli atorlip-5 dose nizagara india where can you buy nizoral easy buy amaryl for daily use cheapest prices nizoral tablets online online pharmacy without a prescription aldactone dosage pre contest nolvadex for sale philippines minomycin pas cher buy erexin v mg citalopram hbr 20 mg generic z pack antibiotics sinus infection zebeta mg buy sildenafil citrate tablets uk xenical generic available singulair 10mg side effects research grade cialis professional cheap cardizem 100 mg discount medrol keflex paypal robaxin from europe where to buy robaxin without a prescription buy online alli medicine in alberta ca mixing zithromax alcohol how much is indinavir tablets very cheap ortho tri-cyclen cheap zerit buy online retin a cream online pharmacy diovan online canada how to use viagra properly bupropion usa sale cheap atarax my diflucan coupons purchase vermox in mexico how much is albenza tablets where was broadchurch filmed itv donde puedo comprar una membresia xbox live gold maxaman prescription coupon cheap generic promethazine zentel preturi cefadroxil side effects joint pain buy livestock chickens buy levaquin 10 what are the side effects of stopping fosamax order drugs from canada with prescription how much will benadryl cost buy cefadroxil hong kong viagra online deutschland bestellen buy lozol no prescription fast delivery viagra originally heart medication tenormin 25 mg where to buy in usa what is pfizer vgr 100 used for aspirin 500 mg price holistic medicine low back pain generic glucophage manufacturers safe buy nitrofurantoin online ventolin otc uk buy kamagra online no prescription us femcare to buy in england best generic cialis prices cipro cheapest rate zyban reviews weight loss can i make fml forte phone in order for strattera qsymia belviq why does levothyroxine need to be taken on an empty stomach biaxin birth control online mexico ordering alesse here in canada ciproxin 750 mg tablets trimox for sale discount duetact mg pukka shatavari reviews dove comprare abilify original diclofenac gel online altace pharmacies discount ramipril prevacid 42 count lowest price danazol tablets for sale cost comparison order roxithromycin view topic cheap prices celebrex carbozyne over counter uk can you buy trental in ireland cephalexin cost comprar clomid online how to take nolvadex seroflo cheap price viagra plus order buying capoten for dogs doxazosin mist canada generic equivalent for toprol xl alli tablets in spanish how to use avandamet can order pyridium online motrin 100 thalidomide disaster in germany in 1958 ampicillin tr 500mg for acne chloramphenicol legal in england exelon patch discounts brand levitra pharmacy how to order lariam online cheap anafranil prices discount zentel 200 mg 10 tabletas amoxil 500 mg price pakistan where purchase tretinoin 0,025 cytotec precio mexico 2013 where is bora bora from uk accutane treatment for acne regenon retard effet secondaire where to buy allopurinol ointment hoodia dosage instructions celexa 100mg tablet g8 new alliance insurance jobs uk get best results using cialis como curar la disfuncion erectil psicologica canadian alli online needed buy safe colospa buy buy cialis jelly paypal seroflo 100 review how long does it take for benadryl to leave your system lipitor 80 mg price philippines flomax results forum zithromax z-pak order online comprar forzest original buyers of ethionamide canada use propecia coupon online luvox pill shortage best site to buy maxaman prilosec australia price order viagra online canada pill wellbutrin sr western australia minomycin prices where to buy celadrin drugs online over the counter menosan doxazosin cardura dose top 10 online tofranil sites luvox discount card european pharmacy students association discount feldene of canada over counter cytotec ordering low dose procardia viagra sublingual 20 mg finpecia overnight drugs from canada no prescription permethrin 5 percent elimite otc order actoplus met online with visa snovitra super power brand order exelon drug interactions kroger pharmacy richmond ky phone number bactrim order is generic lipitor available now where to buy live crawfish in austin what is cm roxithromycin used for lozol usa pharmacy comprar viagra generico portugal periactin online prescription buy wellbutrin 100 where to buy unisom in canada buy cheap pyridium using pay pal protonix 20 mg tablets listen to purim music online levaquin lawsuit settlements finpecia medicine effects coreg 100 review what is cymbalta tablets cheap generic torsemide como comprar lamisil voltaren discount code order alligator pharmacy seroflo tablets uses does tricare pay for viagra order inderal on line usa gonorrhea treatment guidelines 2011 do you need rx zocor purchase kamagra soft cheap jelly
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 866 guests online

Atom RSS

Moneyball's Godfather Buys Us a Million More Hrs For Free PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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?