atarax reviews for men pyridium pills glucophage xr 750 mg generic pregnancy after taking accutane mail order generic rogaine 5 cheap cialis online cost of cholestoplex without insurance albendazole legal in england cialis jelly pas cher how to use tadapox crestor vs lipitor 2013 trazodone 100 mg street price indian trandate discount atarax mg canadian rx diuretic aldactone duphalac syrup price xeloda prices at costco what is antabuse pills used for where to buy cheap generic paroxetine order coversyl 10mg prilosec coupons 2012 prilosec prix en pharmacie en france finpecia for sale usa amoxil side effects in infants amlodipine interactions with simvastatin mirapex side effects gambling buy lisinopril 2.5 mg buy antabuse online usa haldol spain buy generic serophene side effects of clindamycin phosphate lotion valtrex para que se usa which uk site to buy motrin alavert online cheap how to get noroxin on line what is baclofen 10mg tab buy nexium online from usa hyzaar 50mg tablets how to order rumalaya what are the side effects of diflucan retin-a ge weight gain valtrex mais barato cephalexin 500mg for dogs dosage where can you get tetracycline generic viagra canada customs deltasone refill pack xbox live price increase canada lasix cheap australia pharmacy tretinoin cream over the counter uk non persciption brand levitra buy kamagra gold with visa azithromycin uses 500mg fml forte pharmacy bad side effects of methotrexate side effects of warfarin tablets phenergan 10 mg anafranil generico online to buy neurontin in uk kamagra soft generico prilosec drug store online canada and levaquin periactin no prescription buy levitra coupon free trial canadian tinidazole tablets from buy celebrex class action lawsuit 2009 cabgolin perth australia nolvadex pct price where can i buy periactin what is sodium diclofenac 50mg used for novolog vs humalog differences flomax discount canada can you buy birth control pill over counter canadian pharmacy residency board buy premarin with visa buy mirapex hong kong lady era order cobra 120 erfahrungsberichte beconase aq barato how to purchase tinidazole side effects of zyrtec d wspa northwest pharmacy convention aceon shortage 2012 where to get antabuse pct retin-a 0,05 online usa generic cialis capsules is buying prescription drugs from canada safe best generic nolvadex sites cheap abana 11 tablets buy tretinoin 0,05 next day mirtazapine 15 mg overdose sublingual drugs list pharmacy online nz sumycin reviews finpecia overnight pharmacy generic pills for remeron ordering viagra soft guaranteed synthroid t4 tsh aciclovir crema precio how to get zenegra drug buy estrace cream buy online chemist propanolol cheapest place to buy pariet buy ranitidine online cheap health canada elimite buy kamagra oral jelly mg online order differin cream buy generic adderall online no prescription no membership where purchase torsemide where can i buy xenical pills how long does it take for amitriptyline to work for insomnia buy nolvadex quick cheap pills gasex usa echeck delivery order diclofenac gel what is a normal dose of doxycycline for acne alavert for sale philippines zanaflex generic for prilosec discontinued cheapest generic zithromax nolvadex street prices prednisone pack 5mg directions premarin discount card fosamax sold over counter buy coumadin next day buy zenegra 100mg online order generic cialis online no prescription desyrel supplier in uk order celebrex no prescription paroxetine hcl reviews super cialis online prescription aciphex ortho tri cyclen generic brand ordering viagra professional sildenafil where to buy synthroid wihout a prescriptio generic for differin lotion acivir canada pharmacy plavix 100mg cheap fincar online shipping where can i get diltiazem pills can you buy ventolin over the counter in australia there generic acyclovir ointment acheter pas cher fertomid can i get yasmin on the nhs brahmi powder price in india is generic nootropil available in usa buy nexium online overnight delivery can order triamterene canada what is the best viagra to take neurontin buy uk kamagra oral jelly discount medications buy coreg online in usa omifin embarazo multiple 2010 buy viagra pills zyvox by mail where can i order depakote can i make casodex canada and terramycin phenamax sold over counter buy aleve d order lamisil spray risperdal weight gain prevention indian generics online vytorin buy zovirax bulk side effects of lanoxin 0.25mg beconase aq imuran generic reviews combivent respimat cost discount malegra dxt endep brands india canadian nexium prescription doxycycline pills chlamydia very cheap levlen buy aciphex online pharmacy where to get glucophage doxycycline dose for anti malaria do i need a prescription for urispas donde comprar ginseng rojo coreano doxycycline for animals in canada what are lithium carbonate pills for glyset costco esomeprazole magnesium 40 mg po cpdr migraine medication maxalt side effects purchase voltaren average price cialis daily where can i buy nootropil in canada where do i cialis super active in mexico clomiphene citrate dosage men lotrel over the counter atorvastatin tablets in india good cheap drugstore powder foundation purchase asacol pills zanaflex for sale usa what does the drug cephalexin do valtrex medication side effects prescription tadacip exelon lawsuit order levothroid online in usa propranolol reviews uk lariam not generic is casodex legal in uk no prescription noroxin can you buy zovirax at the supermarket tadalis sx maximum dosage diuretic pills furosemide silagra canadian online viagra tablet for sale diflucan mg price prinivil roche precio argentina tegretol delivery uk arimidex daily use reviews tricor canada overnight delivery cialis pharm antibiotic roxithromycin alcohol ordering gyne-lotrimin what is the generic name for prilosec buying zyban in the uk alphagan online forum buy live fish direct quickest zanaflex buy sumycin uk free shipping veterinary medication online price increase prandin buy online chloroquine generic ciprofloxacin and tinidazole dose drugstore order allopurinol online buy femara online from india inderal perth australia femara mexico companies only glucophage uk buy penegra supplier in uk where do i ditropan in canada tijuana pharmacy steroids is ginette-35 available over the counter where to buy premarin in canada safely antibiotics for fluid in ear esomeprazole magnesium uses viagra 100mg directions flagyl no rx what does celexa help with serm raloxifene osteoporosis mylan bupropion sr reviews hydrocortisone on face everyday minocin mr rosacea can you buy discount avalide online florida tadacip what is asacol hd dr 800 mg tablets buy vasodilan online thru paypals serum estradiol test prednisolone next day shipping unisom uk brand name publix pharmacy free lisinopril xalatan discount card roxithromycin sandoz 150mg side effects canadian american discount meds famvir once review can your buy cialis super active in ireland why is there a shortage of capoten donde puedo comprar hoodia gordonii en mexico canadian pharmacy bupron sr cheap floxin 100 mg how can you get promethazine prescribed levitra stores mail order dilantin how much is propranolol tablets your pharmacy online customer care@365wellst.com suprax 40 mg dose use of augmentin duo syrup no prescription arimidex zyprexa for purchase haldol 5 mg tablet generic viagra reviews forum reorders buy snovitra super power online amazon metoclopramide tablet sale purchase vytorin withdrawal from paroxetine can be severe get medication next day online purchasing kamagra gold online what is nitroglycerin patches used for buy usa adalat without buy xeloda 15mg online lipothin pill shortage zovirax tablets for sale cleocin gel for daily use canada cheap minocin free delivery paxil 40 mg tablet 100 mg aspirin during pregnancy buy nexium tablets canada to buy noroxin in uk cytotec misoprostol peru costo buy meclizine tablets canada crestor 40 mg equivalent buy revia from canada acheter clomid sans ordonnance en france side effects of antibiotics for babies morning after pill boots manchester avodart usage buy benadryl skin cream is there a drug comparative to forzest prescription valtrex cold sores which uk site to buy avapro discount canadian pharmacy tamoxifen differin india no prescription what does seroquel do to you if you don;t need it citalopram reviews for depression generic diltiazem usa pharmacy big blue pillows can nitrofurantoin capsules be opened and sprinkled on food claritin generico italiano protonix generic based teva buying avalide benadryl without rx buy metronidazole 500 mg online better than flonase generic benemid buy canada ventolin overdose free coupon for voveran super p force international shipping olanzapine tablets 10mg recreational trimix atorvastatin at walmart cephalexin from uk supplements for increasing metabolism lasix to buy in australia discover stratford opening times artane rx zyban cost australia can i import clomid to uk seroquel xr 100mg side effects what does a zyrtec d pill look like most reliable place to buy risperdal online importing drugs from canada illegal zovirax online usa no prescription ordering pharmacy buy actoplus met how to order viagra professional dosage of zoloft for ocd ajanta pharma limited mumbai contact purchase sildenafil fluoxetine here cheapest malegra fxt buy cheapest kamagra oral jelly what is the best medication for anxiety disorder differin tablets online elimite canada sale recommended dose of levaquin for pneumonia which uk site to buy pyridium can you buy nymphomax online prescription drug celebrex celecoxib anti inflammatory viagra 100mg pills nizagara australia price advair 250 50 coupon what is cleocin t used for aciphex commercial prescription pain meds for arthritis can i get tretinoin cream over the counter xenical lawsuit canada minocycline no prescription overnight delivery flagyl er order canada buy biaxin overseas snovitra super power online uk cefixime side effects long term use canadian healthcare network tech talk worldpharm4u buy viagra usa lov cost avodart cost of trazodone per pill can buy sarafem online can i buy cialis over the counter in spain where to buy benadryl perfect measure calan pharmacy coupons safe place order brahmi american alli canada buy cipro paypal que significa actos wikipedia what is rumalaya forte pills used for can you buy viagra over the counter in hong kong alli when will it be available revatio country sources what is erythromycin ophthalmic ointment usp 0.5 used for does asacol hd cause weight gain tinidazole online usa buy bentyl in ireland what are the side effects of taking too much levothyroxine kolla svenska filmer online gratis resultados de omifin en hombres is nitroglycerin ointment available over the counter us pharmacy online biaxin lisinopril 20mg tablets side effects over counter lincocin brand retin-a 0,05 for sale comprar doxazosin en argentina half sinemet cr tablets enalapril maleate for dogs buy desyrel xr without prescription valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide generic sustiva 2010 sales cytoxan 50mg tablets cleocin dosage pediatric how to order ashwagandha online what is benadryl called in australia valtrex side effects shingles voltaren emulgel shoppers drug mart cialis pharmacie en ligne luxembourg online pharmacy famvir purchase accutane 40 mg without nexium generic date best price cafergot zyrtec for children dosage medicine ampicillin mg how to take diabecon mg xenical no rx buy valtrex 500mg cheap viagra uk sale pharmacy mexico exelon what is biaxin for medrol dose pack user reviews safe canadian online pharmacies buy minocycline mexican pharmacies geriforte prescription only side effects of finasteride proscar propecia liposafe usa cvs prices 118 118 jobs pulmicort nebulizer dose for children fertomid 50 mg price does abilify cause weight gain or loss orlistat availability roche buy female cialis mg prednisone on line in the canada buy reminyl singapore buy oxytetracycline online uk revatio sale viagra brand name generic name for isoniazid ivermectin for chickens buy how to get prevacid in australia crestor prescription only nizoral with no rx safe cialis soft no precription buy aldactone boots pharmacy where to get doxycycline in singapore buy tulasi seeds online cheap genuine evecare online generic viagra sales pharmacy viagra brand positioning doxycycline 50mg acne aristocort pills tri levlen 28 reviews himalaya speman price in india buy dramamine online cheap cheap generic geriforte syrup grifulvin v with no rx azithromycin drug interaction alcohol advair diskus generico italiano trileptal for sale australia plavix tablete 75 mg medrol online no prescription methylprednisolone medication what is amiodarone cordarone pastillas o inyecciones para abortar en ecuador buy fluoxetine online reviews nolvadex canadian source how to buy clomiphene citrate online elocon cream baby eczema how to order amitriptyline online diclofenac gel drugs online purchases safe myambutol no prescription erectile dysfunction ayurvedic drugs in india messi stats 2012/13 how long does it take for premarin tablets to work ayurvedic medicines online purchase in india periostat buy buy kamagra jelly cheap generic viagra ciprofloxacin dosage uti allegra d generic for sale aspirin online uk kamagra soft tablets uses benicar 40 mg dose generic viagra in singapore online female viagra purchase flagyl er online australia fda approved online pet pharmacies buy ventolin capsules renagel from india buy doxycline 50 mg torsemide cost can you buy amoxicillin uk cheap drugs india risperdal prescription program vasotec without prescription canada buy sarafem from mexico online can i make singulair rhinocort aqua side effects long term use stopping wellbutrin side effects do you need rx evista how to get cialis in pakistan canada drugs micronase with prescription long term side effects of alesse glucophage cost canadian cymbalta best price strattera discount coupons pharmacy cymbalta from australia quickest viagra jelly nymphomax phone orders avalide price india how much does walgreens pay nurse practitioners order abilify no prescription phenergan otc canada medrol steroid dose pack westhroid thyroid how to use red panax ginseng extractum calan pill canadian alesse in italia atorvastatin calcium walmart inhouse drugstore can you order yasmin all types ventolin pills online generic nolvadex medco mail order pharmacy phone number cordarone maximum dosage is it safe to take water pills for weight loss canadian adalat bupropion hcl xl side effects brand levitra over the counter buy genuine cardura uk can i order buspar no prescription in the usa where to purchase brand advair diskus bupropion in the uk price of plavix without insurance integrated medicine alliance p a nj vasotec italiano yasmin pille comprar trimox mg buy where to buy alli diet pills in south africa buy marvelon online australia altace cost comparison health canada rogaine 2 alesse online pharmacy what is metronidazole used for in humans perscriptionmeds zovirax without a prescription from india best time to take benicar medicine order seroflo online in usa want to buy cialis colospa without prescription canada names generic buspar mentat comanda online reminyl pas cher revia spain pilex online usa buy fertomid boots generic diabecon buy canada list of tesco stores selling unisom viagra suppositories buy generic form of zofran urispas cheap alli pill cost doxycycline 100 mg spc top 10 online robaxin sites buy exelon online pharmacy get levlen toronto viagra professional noprescrition needed canada online pharmacy amitriptyline alcohol interaction generic brand advair diskus uk paypal best pharmacy in tijuana ginseng mg price buy cheap allegra d voltaren retard 75 mg tablets buy malegra fxt with no rx lotrisone cream generic name where can i buy orlistat tablets what is generic for diovan hct cheapest place to buy allegra drugstore where to zantac sildenafil citrate 50mg effects buy protonix pantoprazole united support services inc charlotte abilify 5mg tablets kokemuksia levitrasta buy lisinopril 10 mg no prescription avalide prescription side effects order cipro online pharmacy 500mg where to buy relafen in canada safely buy valtrex online augmentin y su generico german remedies pharma-products cleocin online in usa buy baclofen paypal order erythromycin tablets buy paxil quick what does a clomid pill look like trusted online viagra sites cheap aciclovir 1 200mg tablets baclofen uses medication do acai berry pills holland barrett work how to buy avandamet buy kytril 15mg online indinavir pill shortage price of himalaya septilin order flovent where can i purchase brand cialis cheap trileptal 40 mg buy canada no prescription for female cialis abilify cost with insurance order amitriptyline 10mg evista over the counter does celebrex cause you to gain weight mobic dose kroger marketplace newport ky pharmacy acai usa sale cymbalta brand order beat way to order omnicef diltiazem delivery seroflo roche precio argentina
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 1174 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?