Will Cameron Maybin put a dent in Larry Beinfest’s reputation? I have 3 answers:
- Yes, for those who think that his track record consists mostly of successful moves.
- No, evaluating baseball talent is difficult. The most telling fact about that job is that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. Even the best have failures.
- Yes, but not the dent you’re thinking of, I’m thinking Dark Knight.
Harvey Dent once told Bruce Wayne, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” I recalled that movie line after hearing about the recent exploits of Cameron Maybin and it made me think of Larry Beinfest, the Florida Marlins Director of Baseball Operations. If we alter the quote to fit Beinfest’s job, it might say;
“You either quit after a championship or hang around long enough to miss on four consecutive 1st round draft picks and cause people to snicker when they hear you referred to as a genius by fawning fans and/or radio personalities.”
The analysis below from the Elias Sports Bureau is why the two hyper-linked in my mind:
Cameron Maybin recorded two hits, including a home run, stole two bases and scored two runs to help the Padres earn a split of their four-game series against the Mets with a 3-2 win on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. It was Maybin’s 11th multiple-hit game out of the 26 games he’s played since the All-Star break and his third in the series against the Mets. He had two or more hits in only 19 of his 74 games this season before the All-Star break. Maybin’s two stolen bases on Thursday give him a major league-high total of 17 since the Midsummer Classic. He had only 12 steals at the break this year and was tied for 42nd in majors in that category at that time.
The Marlins traded then 23-year old Maybin last November to the San Diego Padres for Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb. If Maybin continues to play well, and especially as long as the Marlins don’t have a center fielder, the Maybin move may prove to be Larry Beinfest’s 2nd worst move, the Cabrera trade being Denton True Young career wins type-untouchable. If anything, it doubles-down on how badly that trade worked out in that the Marlins may have gotten a good player out of the trade, only to quit on that player right before he blossomed.
But unlike the Marlins finances, evaluating personnel trades or roster moves is rarely straightforward. Did you notice how I qualified my comment by noting ‘if’ Maybin continues to play well. Even the Cabrera trade is mitigated by the fact that the Marlins were desperate to move him for monetary reasons. This year, Beinfest’s best move is the one he didn’t make by sticking with Emilio Bonifacio [see my Boni cheerleading here and aqui].
So while I’m not interested in ripping the guy, I am a little frustrated to see managers come and go while Beinfest’s responsibility for the team’s supposed failures [playoffs?] is seemingly non-existent. I’ll use my unlimited blog space to list what I consider the most important trades and roster moves since the end of the 2005 season, when the Marlins made the strategic decision to drastically minimize player salaries.
I classified each move as good, even, or bad. The idea of weighting the moves — I get that the Cabrera trade should not be offset by picking up Ross Gload — makes my head spin, so I’ll have to live with the limitations of this type of review, although ideas are welcome. Another flaw in this approach is that deals which were not made may have been really smart moves that we’ll never know about, as I noted in hanging with Bonifacio this year. The biggest limitation is that I am not recognizing the positive results of the drafts [e.g., Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton] but only the negatives, when players were released. So consider this only a partial and flawed review of the job Beinfest has done. But it’s a start and the moves are tangible.
So here’s my flawed tabulation of Beinfest’s personnel moves, good-even-bad.
- 2005 — 2-1-3
- 2006 — 2-1-0
- 2007 — 1-0-1
- 2008 — 2-1-2
- 2009 — 1-2-2
- 2010 — 1-4-5
- 2011 — 1-0-1
Good = 10
Even = 9
Bad = 14
My review shows that even people who are good at their jobs frequently get it wrong, like Dave Dombrowski signing Dontrelle Willis. But then again, I don’t see genius or even greatness in many of the moves. I see part of the reason that Freddi Gonzalez and Edwin Rodriguez had to move on to new jobs.
And yet, I’d rather have a guy like Beinfest doing that job, someone who’s been good enough at his job to survive his failures. Because I think people with experience and failures make the best type of management, those whose humility is real because everyday there is at least one box score [or tax return] to remind them. I like the stability of the Marlins baseball operations. I’d just like to see that stability extended to those outside the inner circle. How about to the dugout?