Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Andrew Friedman and conquering the perils of decision-making

By Jon Weisman

Andrew Friedman’s introduction to Los Angeles today as president of baseball operations for the Dodgers came with all the big-picture talk that you’d expect.

But what Friedman clearly knows, even as he emphasizes his philosophical approach, is that it’s the details of execution that make the difference.

“I think information is king,” Friedman said at today’s press conference at Dodger Stadium. “I think analytics is very important. I think scouting reports are very important. I think makeup information, getting a feel for what makes someone tick — all those things are incredibly important to me in the decision-making process. The difficult part is taking all that information and synthesizing it in a way to make efficient decisions.”

In other words: Step one for any leader is having an open mind. Step two is having a discerning mind.

Friedman acknowledged there would be differences between his new situation and the one he left behind in Tampa Bay after nearly a decade as the top baseball executive there, but in each case, you evaluate based on your existing needs and abilities.

“What’s constant is trying to solve for winning,” Friedman said. “It’s about solving for talent. Our focus is going to be on constructing the best team we possibly can. … There’s shopping in different aisles and the mindset’s a little different (compared with Tampa Bay). I think it’s important for us to embrace the financial advantage that we have. We’re not going to shy away from it. That being said, we’re still going to maintain some of the disciplines that I still feel are important in roster construction to put ourselves in the best position to sustain success.”

Some of the choices Friedman will make will be easy, obvious. Others will be dilemmas where, if one were to measure, one option might have a 51 percent chance of success and the other 49 percent. Or there will be three options, or six options, and you might as well be rolling dice.

Then history will decide, based on those slim margins, whether Friedman is a genius savior or the latest pinata for the media and fans.

It could be fair or unfair. But it’s for his skill in making evaluations — or as he would put it, drawing from different sources to make those evaluations — that the Dodgers have entrusted Friedman with their on-field product. With his track record of success in challenging circumstances, Friedman offers a tantalizing possibility that the very best will come.


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  1. His hiring at least makes the sting of the playoff disaster (especially the Giants going to the World Series again) a little better. At least I’m confident knowing the front office is in capable hands.

  2. Hey, Jon, can we see video of the press conference anywhere?

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