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A Plain Dealer Blowout on the Indians

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Two great pieces in the Plain Dealer today: first, an update to the 2003 series on the front office, and secondly, a lengthy interview with Paul Dolan, the son of owner Larry Dolan.

Both articles were intriguing and well worth the time to read them, but I loved this response Paul Dolan made to a question about owner behavior:

I know that I don't have that kind of talent or expertise, and that's why we hired people who are skilled at it and let them do their jobs. That's not a management style that's unique to baseball. In professional sports generally, I suspect from what I observe at a distance, the temptation to play general manager is great.

Just like fans and the media can make their own talent assessments, I suspect that owners do as well; maybe they give in to the temptation to influence the decision process because at the end of the day, it is their team, their organization.

We don't have that need to do that. I hope it's just because we're smart enough to recognize that we're not smart enough to do that.

In other words, hire someone who knows what they're doing, sign the checks, and stay out of the way.

The article on the front office covers much of the same territory as the 2003 series, although there were some interesting nuggets. We find out that yes, the Indians were interested in Matt Clement and Jon Lieber before "settling" for Millwood, but also that the team thought about going after Moises Alou before the Millwood deal happened.

The main thrust of the article is that the front office tries to compensate for the lack of cash with an attention to detail, whether that be in the form of individualized player plans, scouting, or even extensive medical tests.

Great job by the PD.