sustiva online usa no prescription purchase motilium in australia maxalt discount coupon is there a generic for cymbalta in canada where to purchase buspar where to buy antabuse from buying pharmacy drugs in mexico lisinopril no prescription needed fluoxetine fast canada premarin billig kaufen buy viagra professional mg 40 mg prozac 300 mg wellbutrin digoxin sales where cholestoplex genuine trandate best price cipla medpro india elocon cream over the counter original artane online low price duphalac uk how to import voltaren rhinocort over the counter order floxin canadian pharmacy best price for real meclizine canadian protonix gonorrhea treatment dosage can women take cialis or viagra buy oxytrol perth australia buy synthroid cheap buy lasix bulk buy eulexin cheap buy accutane online uk pills 100 mg motrin infant where to buy cefixime drugs online what is dispersible doxycycline tablets bp skelaxin from india prednisolone 5mg for dogs side effects viagra canada pharmacy com get prograf las vegas antivert prices cvs generic rx for plavix what does lamictal feel like exelon generic release date viagra without pre generic allopurinol usa pharmacy donde puedo comprar prazosin best online pharmacy generic rumalaya liniment purinethol 50 mg tablet hydrochlorothiazide mims lamisil side effects rash what does atrovent do for copd diflucan 200 mg tablet hyzaar without food ampicillin online no prescription cheap drugstore makeup uk revista palermo rosa online buy keflex from mexico online buy venlor greece clomiphene citrate tablets australia celexa generico online buy tetracycline online pharmacy prescription buy accutane online where levitra coupon bayer bula no rx alesse online safe to buy generic zovirax from usa disgrasil 120 mg cyproheptadine 4 mg appetite can you get high from snorting lamictal zoloft pill canadian order actonel cheap erexin uk levitra or cialis or viagra buy amantadine fast shipping dye free benadryl generic v-gel legal in england mirtazapine reviews 2012 procardia online store where to buy elimite in canada safely ethionamide prices usa cost of lamictal in canada how much will generic singulair cost i pill sumycin website ireland online pharmacy seroquel xr dosage is there a generic drug for effexor xr what does vc mean in phenergan dm trimox cost in canada reglan for men sale in uk is orlistat available over the counter can i get neurontin costo de dostinex en mexico prescriptions without a script buy differin 0.3 gel where can i buy trental in canada cozaar cost without insurance rules for buying claritin d xalatan reviews for men buy cheap finpecia using pay pal how to by glucophage online fast rumalaya delivery birth control pills asacol what are the side effects of diltiazem hydrochloride buy naprosyn online at canada pharmacy donde comprar viagra online espan~a lamictal reviews and dosage hypothyroidism synthroid weight loss cozaar discount card florinef perth australia femara letrozole fertility issues canada drugs vpxl with prescription mircette phone orders diclofenac sodium and alcohol consumption maxaman usa cvs prices buy tamoxifen uk pharmacy generic toprol xl switzerland alphagan brand order terramycin for cats uk brand furosemide buy minocin more drug_side_effects asian veterinary medications no prescription cheap zyloprim mg where can i get serpina pills codeine cough syrup dosage ditropan 20 mg sumycin noprescrition needed canada online pharmacy advair copd side effects lozol online australia fincar looking for oxytrol from canada what is nitrofurantoin mono listaflex carisoprodol posologia buying cialis in singapore can you buy ventolin over the counter in spain prescription buy actos pioglitazone hcl what is micardis plus medication soft cialis us companies only how to use chloroquine online sominex purchase what are the side effects of long term aspirin use what date is lexapro going generic viagra generic canada discount furosemid rezeptfrei apotheke alphagan pharmacies brimonidine generic depakote er side effects exelon starting dose what is celadrin tablets eurax overnight order strattera from india without prescription oral erythromycin for acne in pregnancy what is brand viagra where can i buy viagra tablets how long does it take for promethazine pills to kick in bentyl brand viagra cheap mexico pharmacy how long does it take to get lisinopril out of your system do i need a prescription for prevacid propecia delivery buy lasix greece antabuse for daily use canada promethazine codeine syrup price street fast noroxin delivery flonase in the uk current price snovitra super power amitriptyline generic usa aygestin online pharmacy uk zofran injection prescribing information online erythromycin purchase is there a generic for zanaflex buy effexor xr without capsule 75mg generic antabuse india online pharmacy reviews modafinil what types of female cialis are there how long does it take for bentyl to start working baclofen perth australia how to buy viagra in india bupron sr 150 india differin cream sale can you buy alphagan eye drops call lithium pill shop discount code nitrofurantoin wanted online review estrace delivery london use uroxatral coupon online what drug category is innopran xl quickest female cialis order lariam tablets prednisone for dogs to treat cancer buy aricept mgb no prescription metformin online online pharmacy no prescription needed zestril glaxo wellbutrin lawsuit why has v-gel been discontinued buy provera in uk should women use propecia discount oakley rx sunglasses where can i buy hoodia in south africa where to buy cheap generic amoxil low dose aspirin prices azithromycin generic cost common side effects of levothyroxine finpecia legal in england legal buy pamelor online canada naltrexone implant side effects can i buy zoloft over the counter aygestin brand positioning side effects of venlor xr 75 metformin 1000 mg spc worldwide pharmacy inderal metoclopramide annual sales retin-a ge prix en pharmacie en france how much does valtrex cost do i need a prescription for lasix cheap per pill buy antabuse amaryl 2mg side effects cheapest flagyl er in the uk is atarax over the counter antihistamines uk pharmacies online that sell abilify buy zyvox with cheap crestor 20mg online cost of baclofen at walgreens i missed my dose of wellbutrin buy cheap clomid from uk buy prednisolone online thru paypals list of tesco stores selling probalan compare prices albenza cheapest place to buy imitrex lowest priced altace erection pills that work where to get urispas pct buy nimotop viagra jelly online overnight shipping prednisone generic manufacturer is propecia better than generic finasteride order desyrel cleocin pediatric rxlist generic viagra online canada no prescription pharmacy saw palmetto shortage friv 1000 juegos aleve without a prescription codeine cough syrup dosage recreational acai berry slimming pills reviews where to buy kamagra in pattaya slimming tablets uk alli ketoconazole without prescription what is kamagra chewable drugs lisinopril 20 mg 12.5 paroxetine 20 mg reviews craigslist football tickets manchester alli weight loss pills success stories buy starlix online cheap can you buy permethrin cream over the counter uk cyklokapron from usa cheap diclofenac sodium 50mg uk non prescription diabecon pharmacy cheap kamagra uk com viagra canadian alliance of physiotherapy regulators trained maxalt compare olanzapine 20 mg side effects buy furosemide online from mexico can you take risperdal daily cialis sublingual visa purchase phenergan online roxithromycin 150mg arrow 100mg zoloft not working buy abana in ireland plavix generic release date 2012 levothroid online sales sildenafil citrate 100mg review do i need a prescription for clomid in canada buy forzest generic cialis vs brand name cialis sominex ships from india minocin online meds inderal without prescription canada taking 20mg of prednisone shallaki in the uk onde comprar luvox mais barato best non prescription erection pills femcare delivery london best deal cialis online canadian extremely painful ovulation on clomid acai berry malaysia pharmacy floxin canada overnight delivery legal requirements emergency sale ventolin prescription buy benfotiamine bulk ordering viagra drugstore original acivir pills online benadryl cream rxlist arimidex costco cyklokapron prix en pharmacie en france decadron medication where to buy levitra sale canada 10mg drug market order dostinex plavix lawsuit update 2013 there generic cipro hc otic side effects of seroquel 25mg nexium for purchase without a prescription where to buy anacin drugs online precose cheap where to purchase atacand coumadin necrosis treatment get meclizine las vegas how to get viagra jelly on line cozaar sale prescription reviews on inderal ordering alesse acivir pills uk brand name fertility drugs for menopause provera online from uk tamoxifen usage indian pharmacy association ca donde comprar viagra femenino en buenos aires protonix shop viagra soft tabs dosage saroten retard buy daily dose cialis clomid medicine online alli precios online prevacid dose for infants cheap procardia xl amaryl diabetes med ketoconazole 2 shampoo uk cheapest emsam tablets uk side effects of avapro irbesartan tablets cozaar medication dosage dutas drug class can i take more than 20 mg of levitra cephalexin online shipping cardizem mg buy what is orlistat 60 furosemide 20 mg oral tablet betoptic rxlist valtrex online legally eurax prescription only proscar order in the us remeron australia price what does cytotec mean order lexapro from viagra otc india hyaluronic acid suppositories buy wellbutrin vs bupropion generic cialis 20 mg price walgreens avalide tablets uses elocon no prescription reviews on amaryllis beach resort barbados forum baclofene et alcool syntheroid uk levitra coupon youtube clomid for sale no prescription uk pastillas para ereccion cialis buy indinavir online from usa what is flonase pills used for cheap nolvadex buy acheter kytril abilify in canada pharmacies silagra online store buy diflucan hong kong risperdal for anxiety reviews generic viagra website reviews viagra for sale online approved sale zoloft buy haldol generic benadryl tablets 150 mg acquisto malegra fxt sicuro online sominex online cheap lioresal online usa no prescription anafranil with american express cefixime 400mg genuine acticin 100mg tegretol retard 200 mg tablets canadian pharmacy vermox buy clomid fast delivery artane overseas cialis trial pack generic levitra purchase plavix drug rogaine 5 non perscription countries what is antivert meclizine over counter cipro can you have alcohol with keflex cheap prednisone arjuna pills buy pyridium medication discontinued atorvastatin and amlodipine tablets medicine buy cholestoplex mg generic generic singulair medication buy viagra professional online with mastercard does meclizine make you gain weight what;s in aleve medication where is the drama broadchurch filmed buyers of reglan canada the new order alliance daoc drugstore cialis commercial 2013 how to buy viagra in usa is mail order tinidazole safe vermox 100 mg tabletta adagola'sa non prescription dipyridamole pharmacy tadacip buy online india side effects of sildenafil in children promethazine online order finasteride propecia reviews muscletech 100 premium acai hydroxycut reviews ayurslim delivery london buy inderal with paypal over the counter drugs similar to cephalexin acheter provera best over the counter treatment for erectile dysfunction can you buy xenical online abana herbal medicine himalaya acai trim pills side effects buy diflucan usa celebrex mail order generic suprax kesan pil perancang mercilon how to use pulmicort respules video what is fosamax plus d aldactone prescription blood drugs pariet tablet 10mg how long does it take for zyrtec to work where can i buy diazepam no prescription haridra medicine children depakote without script acheter alli en suisse best place buy benadryl pct herbal medicine for depression anxiety and insomnia a review of psychopharmacology and clinical evidence buy aldara imiquimod cream 5 compazine lowest price best generic lamictal review levitra vardenafil side effects paxil online purchase sito italiano cialis what is augmentin duo forte tablets cialis comprar andorra much does valtrex prescription cost cialis jelly where can i buy it nexium tablets buy cheap genuine lasix online buy online lioresal generic buy finast bulk over counter hyaluronic acid welbutrin without prescription buyers of arimidex canada antabuse alcohol free products how much is dilantin tablets costco pharmacy finpecia price asacol now where can i get liposafe tenormin medication used cleocin gel refills fincar without script is topamax available over the counter viagra sublingual canada otc drugs similar to prednisone viagra online billig kaufen mirapex side effects long term use where can i buy alligator meat in tennessee no prescription celadrin sale elavil medication information zantac medication for babies vasodilan uk brand name lozol australia price i pill paxil website prescription viagra how to take diamox mg side effects of estrace during ivf zoloft no prescription needed canadian online pharmacy cheapest nexium to buy atarax on line nizagara uses medication order tinidazole on line canada why was alesse discontinued high altitude pulmonary edema cialis buying keppra online levlen online prescription buying altace using paypal finpecia pharmacy2home.com buy cheap voveran sr using pay pal where to inject methotrexate injection for ectopic viagra tablets side effects how to buy strattera online worldwide pharmacy plendil desyrel phone orders are diclofenac tablets prescription only albendazole mexico pharmacy fertomid online uk buy chloroquine mg januvia medication cost script purchase albendazole without can you buy pain pills online insulin-international-pharmacy brand name atarax online septilin delivery london naprosyn lowest price tadalafil 10mg vs 20mg what class of drug is flagyl atomoxetine price walmart benzac tablets uk pastillas cytotec precio venezuela unisom overdose symptoms depakote er australia best site get speman danazol pill canadian orlistat tablets purchase on line i pill cytotec website healthy male diet example
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 1107 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?