Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Guess Who’s Smart Again?

Set the Way-Back Machine for 2 October 2006. Here’s what Dr. Phil had to say the day Andy MacPhail resigned his gig as Cubs team president:

A club president impacts an organization two ways – by setting agendas and by hiring the personnel to carry them out.

[Cubs interim President John] McDonough is inheriting his biggest hire, as he does not appear inclined to abandon general manager Jim Hendry…That leaves the agenda, and McDonough again appears to be holding the current course – fix everything overnight, win tomorrow, if not sooner…

McDonough could be the person [to lead the team to the World Series]. But on Sunday, I didn’t hear him say anything MacPhail hasn’t said for the last twelve years.

And here’s Dr. Phil today, talking about MacPhail taking on the president’s job for the Baltimore Orioles:

You can argue that MacPhail—or MacFail, in the vernacular of Murphy's Bleachers—didn't fight hard enough for his budget, believing you can win without squeezing the profit margin. His resignation last September led to general manager Jim Hendry having access to new depths of the company vault.

But MacPhail kept both his bosses and his front-office staff happy, which is never happy. If Mark Prior and Kerry Wood had been healthy, he could have stuck around Wrigley Field forever—or at least until he succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner…

Instead of having hands-on control of the Cubs, he hired guys like Ed Lynch and Hendry to do the dirty work. But it was MacPhail who made the biggest decisions—the Sammy Sosa decisions, in particular—and set the organizational philosophy. It's amazing that his emphasis of player development and scouting didn't pay more dividends.

MacPhail knew what to do. It just didn't work out.

To sum up – Dr. Phil chided McDonough in October for holding the “win now” agenda that MacPhail set (the “current course,” as he puts it).

Today, Dr Phil is “amazed” that MacPhail’s “organizational philosophy” (the one about “fixing everything overnight”) “just didn’t work out.”

The lesson to be learned: players, managers, executives are idiots when they’re with the Cubs. As soon as they leave the team, they get smart again.

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