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Fast gone from the FO

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Wulaw Horn, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Some successful minor league managers and a couple scouts gone... interesting, I’d love to know some of the back story for these moves and issues.
    Tough place to work?
    Super high expectations?
    Management philosophy with forced turnover every year to avoid stagnation?
    FO believing they can upgrade?
    Everything I’ve heard about Fast was good. Wondering if it was his decision or made for him? Maybe he’s already got a better gig lined up. Interesting to me any way.
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Astros director of research and development Mike Fast has left the organization, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart was among those to cover. Fast tells Jake Kaplan of The Athletic that he’s hoping “to latch on with another team” in some capacity, though he did not otherwise offer any clues as to the reason for his departure or his expectations in pursuing a new opportunity.

    Don't have a subscription but from the opening:

    Mike Fast, a core member of Jeff Luhnow’s front office throughout the Houston Astros’ rise from last-place finishers to 2017 World Series champions, has left the team after seven seasons to seek a new opportunity.

    It’s not known what prompted Fast’s decision to depart the only team he’s ever worked for, but he said Friday he hopes to continue working in baseball. His contract with the Astros is set to expire at the end of October and he informed Luhnow on Wednesday he wouldn’t seek a renewal.

    “It was time to move on, and I’m looking for other opportunities,” Fast told The Athletic. “I definitely would like to latch on with another team.”
     
  3. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    No illumination in that article. Just like there was no illumination on the minor league issues I mentioned. It’s the mark of a good FO they aren’t airing their laundry in public, so I’m not mad about that, just curious
     
  4. Buck Turgidson

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    Could have something to do with Taubman getting the Asst GM promotion. Maybe he felt he had gone as far up the ladder with the Astros as he could and wanted to move on to advance his career elsewhere? That's what it sounds like to me.
     
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  5. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Maybe. Be interesting to know if he’s already got another job/promotion lined up or if he just thinks he can do better.
    There has seemingly been a lot of talent leave the organization in the last 2 or 3 years which is obviously the tax you pay for winning. Be interesting to see how Luhnow does replacing that talent as the organization will probably find itself turning over every 3-5 years as long as it remains successful.
     
  6. Malaya

    Malaya Member

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    He will keep recruiting from Baseball Prospectus
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Mike Elias is still Luhnow’s #1 guy... when he leaves, you may have to worry about a little bit of ramifications, just like the Cardinals worried when Luhnow left.

    Then again, Jeff is too smart to allow the same things that affected the Cardinals to happen here.
     
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  8. elrond

    elrond Member

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    I saw one of the articles earlier that also mentioned they lost 4 minor league coaches. No clear information on whether they left, were fired, or what the deal was. Only reason why I noticed was that Morgan Ensberg was one of the coaches named.
     
  9. Buck Turgidson

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    You'll never know why, so I'd get the **** over it or talk to Ground Control.

    Or ask McKinsey? Whichever works for ya.
     
  10. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    I mean, if I had a direct line to either Ground Control or Lunow I'd be sure to ask. I'm not holding my breath or anything, I just happen to find the organizational building and structure to be compelling. Not to the same level as the product on the diamond, but if the organization isn't in good shape the stuff on the diamond won't take care of itself either. So, it's something I watch and follow to the extent I can. I thought it might be a subject some here might find interesting. That's all.
     
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  11. Nook

    Nook Member

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    The Astros under Jeff Luhnow have made a lot of changes in the structure and emphasis concerning their scouting department and minor league/player development over the last 4 years. At first it concerned me, but it doesn't anymore because his assessment has typically been correct.

    Luhnow is not one of those guys that finds a formula for success and sticks to it. He has fired scouts that were successful, has promoted people that were a surprise, lost people around him ...... has changed our minor league affiliate number and how the international kids are taught. He seems to want to stay ahead of the curve to maximize his advantages.

    I will ask my friend in DeKalb (40 minutes from my home) that gets to work for the Astros, and live 1,000 miles from MMP. However my guess is that Fast was bottle necked with the Astros love for Taubman and Elias.
     
  12. Buck Turgidson

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    They've done this every year and nobody knows why. And that's ok with me.
     
  13. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Sure. I don't get why they got rid of an entire team last year. My standard in anything that the FO does is "they are a lot smarter than me and know what they are doing."

    When I question them it's more like I'm trying to figure out what the logic or plan is to try to gauge how they are going forward and why and what that says about other moves they are likely to make in the future.

    They aren't infallible or right 100% of the time, but I sure trust their process.

    I don't know any of the inner workings of the scouts/managers let go but it would not surprise me if it was something like "one of these guys is too old, one of them has a drinking problem, one of them we just don't think is as good as this guy over there and the other one just sort of sucks?" while saying nothing to the press. I'm not saying that is, just giving a hypothetical as to why a move that looks like a risk from the outside might just be blindingly self evident with enough information inside. Or, maybe it's nothing like that at all and he just believes that he needs to turnover the worst 10% of the organization every year and when you are a really good organization the worst 10% is still pretty good. Or, something else entirely.
     
  14. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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  15. sealclubber1016

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    We knew a brain drain was gonna occur, there's only so much room for upward mobility in a loaded organization.

    I imagine everybody involved with this organization's front office has a glittering resume that will be much sought after.
     
  16. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    This is likely true - but the path usually begins with a job offer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't these three left without said offers?... That could speak to some internal discord - possibly rooted in internal opportunities, yes - but why would they willingly walk away from a paycheck? I guarantee you, while I'm sure these guys were paid well - I doubt they were paid in a way that would allow them to just walk away with nothing lined up. These aren't multimillionaires. Sports franchises pay players & coaches, not FO people.

    It's a curious decision that is now reaching pattern status...
     
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  17. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    But aren’t they just letting their contracts expire? I look at that differently vs a bunch of guys either just quitting or resigning with years left.

    Like most of these decisions, we’re not going to be privy to all the details... and its probably not unilateral. Maybe, as there is less decision sciencing to be done, and more war-time big league moves, Luhnow doesn’t have as big of a need for them... and maybe that was going to be reflected in their new deals (i.e. - forced paycut).

    Also, with time, a natural heirarchy starts to develop, where some of the middle men can see either further opportunity or an end of the line.
     
  18. moonsh0t

    moonsh0t Member

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    Sig leaving worries me a little bit, but maybe that's just because I'm so familiar with his story from Astroball. Execs in the corporate world generally don't stay for more than 5-10 years before moving on to another opportunity or joining a few boards and retiring to their gobs of $. Maybe this is no different.
     
  19. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    http://www.astroscounty.com/2018/11/monday-morning-hot-links.html

    Sig Mejdal, our NASA scientist, is not sticking around in our front office in 2019 just like everybody else in the front office. The Astros have now lost the following:

    Sig Mejdal, Analytics Lead/Draft and Major League Personnel Decisions Contributor
    Mike Fast, Director of Research and Development
    Ryan Hallahan, Senior Technical Architect
    Doug White, Bullpen Coach
    Jeff Albert, Assistant Hitting Coach
    along with these 2019 Free Agents unlikely to come back:
    Brian McCann, Catcher
    Evan Gattis, Designated Hitter
    Dallas Keuchel, Starting Pitcher
    and 2019 Free Agents that may or may not come back:
    Charlie Morton, Starting Pitcher
    Tony Sipp, Relief Pitcher
    Martin Maldonado, Catcher
    Marwin Gonzalez, Anywhere

    This list does not include Joe Espada, who still might find a managerial job in 2019 as well as Astros assistant GM Mike Elias, who has been contacted by Baltimore.

    That is a lot of departures.
     
  20. Marteen

    Marteen Member
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