There’s been a lot of talk about Sandy Alderson’s strategy of picking a manager who is going to follow through on the front office’s plans. Most people have been critical of this position because they feel it means the manager won’t have a head on his shoulders and will have limited power. They feel the new manager will not have any teeth and will only be Alderson’s puppet. I see it differently.
I’ve had situations where I’ve put together teams for particular work projects. In these situations it’s always helpful to have people who buy in to the strategies I’ve chosen to get the project done. This doesn’t mean that I won’t listen to suggestions that may get things done better and it certainly doesn’t mean the people I choose for the project are my puppets. Quite the opposite. If they’re buying in then they’re more likely to fill their roles more efficiently. If they’re not buying in I still trust that their professionalism will lead to a job well done but I’ve found that buying in usually leads to better results.
This experience can be applied to Alderson’s managerial pick. Alderson is not necesarily looking for someone he can control and who will do what he says. He’s looking for someone who will buy in to his strategy for building a team and whos managerial style will support that strategy.