Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dan Rohn, Free!

With mixed emotion, I read the news today about Dan Rohn's firing. As you know, I'm a big fan of Dan Rohn. He should've been the manager of the M's this year. In signing Hargrove to a multiyear deal, the M's were not going to fire him after only one season. As the season started, the word around USSM was that Hargrove was on a short leash, and common sense could lead one to believe that Rohn (who was hired as a newly-created "Administrative Coach") was the logical successor. In spite of a multitude of evidence, for whatever reason, the M's decided not to fire Mike Hargrove, even when there were many reasons to do so.

While reliable statistics have yet to be determined on how to measure the importance of a manager (measuring defense statistically, even in its early stages, is WAAAAY further along than this), I believe it's clearly observable that the M's are adversely affected by Mike Hargrove's managing skills. A lot of us familiar with the Tacoma Rainiers know how Dan Rohn manages a club. If you followed last season in Tacoma at all, you know what I'm talking about when I still sit here in awe thinking about the job that Dan Rohn did, given the players and the constant roster churnage he was given in 2005. I can imagine that more than once Rohn had to change the lineup card several times within the last hour of a game. He was basically tasked with organizing chaos -- and he did a damn fine job of it, too.

So, with a touch of sadness, I'm happy to say that Dan Rohn has been set free! I'm disappointed that he won't be given the chance to warm the hearts of the Seattle fans who didn't get to see him work his magic in Tacoma. I realize he has his own weaknesses (hello aggressive baserunning!), but he was still so able to keep control of his team and bring excitement into every baseball game he managed.

Don't be fooled -- with Hassey quitting as well, Hargrove's days are numbered. Those days cannot pass quick enough.


At 9/14/2006 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Rohn's skill set as a manager is by far the best in the Mariner system.

Those in Tacoma know he's one hell of a skipper, and loves the game.

10 years in the system and this is the reward? Nice call Seattle.

Mr. Bavasi, start looking for a gig,
maybe put together a expansion team in the California Golden League.... Hey, why not call them "Bavasi's Bad News Bears".

Seattle not only made a poor decision, they executed it in a very bush league manner.

At 9/14/2006 11:03 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Thanks for your comments!

I do agree that it does seem like a harsh way to treat a guy who's been around your system for so long. But, there are also probably other things that we don't and won't know about that hold me back from really slamming Bavasi for making this move. While it does, at the surface level, -- especially for us fans of Rohn -- appear very brash and a crappy way to treat him, I'm sure there are reasons why it happened. With Rohn's passionate temper, we certainly could speculate that he rubbed someone entirely the wrong way. Not saying that's true, of course, but it's certainly one idea.

One thing I would argue with, though, is that Rohn had the best manager skill set "by far..." I like Brundage a lot as a manager. There are a lot of other people that are very familiar with all levels of the M's minor league system that believe Brundage is actually a better-skilled manager. Rohn was higher in the ranks, and certainly would've been a GREAT fit here in Seattle (for reasons well beyond the fact that he merely wasn't named Mike Hargrove). But Brundage is probably just as good, or close, even if he isn't quite Dan Rohn.

In spite of that, though, Brundage hasn't done what Rohn did with Tacoma in 2005. Having kept a bit of a close eye on the 2005 Rainiers, I've never seen a manager run a team like the 2005 Rainiers were run. As much as I like Lou, he had a heck of a slate of talent to work with. Rohn really didn't. I give Rohn tons of credit for 2005.

At 9/15/2006 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,
I posted over on USSM on the Shakeup thread these thoughts, but I'm sure the thread will disappear soon.

This is another instance where I think people are believing Dave at USSM because they (and you) so desperately WANT to believe him - that Hargrove will be gone. Three articles (P-I, Times, and TNT) report today that he'll be back, and cite proof in the fact that he and Bavasi are compiling the list of new bench coaches to interview. (It ain't to find one to finish out this season).

to Anonymous: Dan Rohn = one helluva good manager, one helluva good guy - and not just for the 2005 season, for several before. totally agree on the bush-league-ness of the execution of the move. While the Ms insist they weren't sending a message, if what Larry Larue at the TNT says is true, they most certainly were. That message is: Hargrove is our man, and if you question him or try to undermine his authority, you're outta here.

At 9/15/2006 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The powers to be are pretty quiet concerning Rohns departure. I can only assume Hargrove grew weary of looking over his shoulder and seeing Rohn right behind him. Hargrove threw Rohn under the bus, and Bavasi was behind the wheel.

My opinion, Hargrove should have the next several weeks to ponder his future at home, not Rohn.

Rohn was instrumental in the development of most of the young talent playing at Safeco, and he won with those players. He commanded respect from those players and got in in Tacoma.

No doubt he would have been successful in achieving the same respect from the Mariners veteran playes as well.

Dan, if you happen to stumble across this blog, find a gig in the American League, and come back to Seattle and show em how it should be done.

In regards to Dave Brundage, I would agree with you, however his management syle is uniquely different from Rohn. He did a good job with less talent than Dan had in Tacoma in 2005, and his roster shuffles left gaps in the outfield, and spots were routinely filled with young Everett players.

He likes to run the bases that's for sure, and while mostly successful, at times it took us out of innings and run opportunities in close games.

Give him a A- for his 1st year in the PCL.

At 9/15/2006 11:43 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

I will say that the articles in the TNT, P-I, and Times all really seem to throw a wrench in the "Hargrove is 100% Gone" theories. I cannot deny that -- it does appear very strange that this talk of collaboration between Hargrove and Bavasi on 2007's bench coach would occur.

I have reasons other than that those who run the "authoritative" blogs (USSM, LookoutLanding, Prospect Insider, etc...) say "trust me - he's gone..." While the newspaper dudes all point out what little sense it would make for a potential short-timer like Bavasi to be given reign to hire a manager when Bavasi himself might be gone early in that manager's tenure, they merely are speculating on Bavasi's status himself.

It's possible that Bavasi has been told, too, that he won't return for 2007. It's also possible that his superiors in the front office like their "yes" man and are going to give him a 2-3 year extension to allow him to further develop his plan and see it into fruition. I believe it's the latter. While I don't agree with everything that Bavasi has done, I think he's fit himself well within the model of how this team is run. CHowArmLinStrong certainly aren't going to let Bavasi go so they can hire someone who doesn't fit within their vision of how their franchise should run. They clearly aren't going to ever hire someone who doesn't conform to their standards or someone who challenges their authority. For that reason, they're likely going to give Bavasi some more leash to work with.

I'm still quite shell-shocked by Rohn's firing. One thing I do see as a likely cause that was revealed in the papers today was the point that Larue brings up -- he was likely pointing out things he didn't like, and that rubbed folks the wrong way. Rather than jumping to the conclusion that LaRue and others make (that it's a sign of support for Hargrove), I'm thinking that he's a casualty of friendly fire.

The mixed messages certainly are confusing, and at the surface it definitely appears that the front office once again has no clue what they're doing. I don't like the fact that Rohn is gone. It saddens me incredibly. But I'm a little bit aware of what's going on underneath the surface enough to know that things aren't as they appear to be. What's being said in the papers, as any M's fan -- and especially any M's blogger -- should know by now is far from the complete story.

I'm not totally sure what to make of all this, of course, but I'm 99.9% sure that Hargrove is not going to manage the 2007 Mariners.

At 9/29/2006 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one thing that is consistent about the Mariners this year and about their management. That's 'mediocrity'. What we have is manager that is politically astute, and a general manager that is a talking head 'yes' man. Nepotism means that opposing views are not welcome. So welcome to the world of "mellow". Don't worry about passion, creativity, and a "warrior" mentality. It went out with Pinella and Dan Rohn


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