Thursday, October 7, 2010

Defending Allard Baird getting an interview...

I don't know much about Allard Baird but when I saw that he had run the Royals from 2000-2006 and their track record during that time, I said to myself why are they wasting their time with him.  My first thought was that this was just a due diligence interview, but the Mets seem far to serious to be wasting their time with their first interviews on a waste of time guy. 

Lets get rid of the ugly stuff; he finished fifth four times, twice fourth and his only winning season was an 83 win third place finish.  Baird is credited with many lopsided trades in which many future All-Star players and popular players were moved for next to nothing.  Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, and Jermiane Dye were all traded away for not much in return. 

He had spent his entire career with the Royals, starting as a minor league hitting instructor and climbing his way up to the GMs position.  After leaving in 2006 he signed on as an assistant GM with the Red Sox. 

So what is there good to say about this guy ?

Royals blog Kings of Kauffman posted a great read in defending Baird, describing the Glass family as directly effecting what he could and couldn't do.  Specifically telling him who to trade and what he needed to get in return. 

If you accept the fact that the Glass family is leaving Moore alone, and I do, then the fact he is getting the same results as Allard Baird did while dealing with interference makes Allard Baird a superior GM. He, in fact, might have been a genius and let’s not forget that two of the three cornerstones of this franchise were drafted by Allard.

Add in the fact that we know via multiple published reports, and publicly provided thoughts from baseball insiders that the Glass family absolutely dictated what Baird could or could not do. This is far from urban legend. The only way this knowledge could be more definitive is if Allard Baird came out and said that all the rumors were true. That will never happen, however, because Baird remains a class act. source Kings of Kauffman
So the linked post above sounds like the writer really liked Baird, maybe his view is bias. But even in the article discussing his firing by ESPN in which most of the article paints a pretty negitive picture of Baird while trumpetting the Drayton Moore hiring, the last paragraph said the following;

Baird might have been fired just as his program was on the threshold of bearing fruit. There are several promising prospects at Double-A Wichita this year, including infielder Alex Gordon, who was taken as the No. 2 pick in last year's draft. source ESPN
So one of the best GMs in the business, Theo Epstien hires Baird as one of his assistance, that should say something about his talent but the real measure is how have thing worked out.  It seems like the Red Sox are happy with his work, using his scouting talents to fill holes that the Red Sox had due to injuries and a budget that couldn't keep up with the Yankees. 
He’s the finder of lost careers, looking under the bushes to uncover the next, best fill-in.

Of course, Allard Baird does more than that as Theo Epstein’s top talent-finder in his capacity as assistant to the general manager and director of professional scouting for the Red Sox, but his track record of late has been, well, impeccable.“I don’t even ask where Allard is,’’ said one National League scout. “I know he’s somewhere trying to find something and it’s not always in the traditional places. He does a great job.’’ source Boston Globe