Baseball Prospectus has an interesting Q&A with former major league first baseman Dave McCarty. He has a lot of interesting perspectives, from hitting mechanics to roster politics. This passage struck me as particularly relevant to the way Wayne Krivsky has gone about building his roster:
Q: You got 350 at-bats in your rookie year, but after that had as many as 200 in a big league season only twice. Why didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you live up to expectations?
A: One thing is that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazing how quickly you get labeled in this game. I never did get to play every day after that first year. Instead, I became known as a platoon-bench guy. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re seeing it change a little today, but a lot of times back then it was more of a Ã¢â‚¬Å“follow the herdÃ¢â‚¬Â mentality. It takes a guy like a Billy Beane or a Theo Epstein to stick their necks out and say, “I don’t care what everyone else says. This guy can do some things to help out a team.” You see GMs signing an old “name player” at the end of his career and used to playing every day, and expecting them to maintain their career stats when they are on the bench. The vast majority of the time those guys fail because they don’t know how to be a bench player. When that occurs the GM has covered his butt because the name player hasn’t produced. If the GM had stuck his neck out though for a non-name player and the guy fails to produce, then the fans and media want the GMÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head on a pike.
On theÃ‚Â whole, McCarty comes across as a very intelligent and thoughtful guyÃ‚Â I wish he’d been able to live up to the hype he had coming out of Stanford, but he had a nice career, in any event.