East Roast Showcase
"Just drink the Kool-Aid and smile," a senior scout from the northeast said to me afterwards.
It also gave DeSear an opportunity to roll out some organizational changes to the scouting department. More on this during my next post.
But Goldie seemed a bit different this trip. We actually had some time to talk and he began to open up. I think even he appreciated our discussions. He even paid me a compliment. "You know Cutter, you're all right for an old guy." Trust me, coming from Goldie, that's a compliment.
What floored me, however, was Goldie's claim that he played minor league ball. As I looked at him in his wheelchair, I thought I was hearing things. Never once has he mentioned it before. Sure enough, I checked out his story and confirmed that he actually played three years of college ball and one year in the minor leagues. Half a season in rookie ball and the other in low-A. That would explain why at times he flashes some brilliance in his scouting reports. Ironically, he actually knows baseball from the inside but chooses to put his faith in statistics, past performance, and fancy-pants number crunching.
I haven't yet decided if this is more salt in the wound or a blessing in disguise. Maybe there's hope for me to sway him back. After all, he admitted that he was a product of good old-fashioned, grass roots, projectionable scouting. Well, he didn't quite put it like that, but that's the truth.
During our last meeting with DeSear, he pointed out some of the failures from our last draft and then some of the successes. "One of the draft's best success stories," according to DeSear, "was and continues to be pitcher Rio Carbrera." Started in rookie ball, promoted to low-A in just over a month, and now on his way to our AA club.
My jaw just about hit the floor. DeSear brought Goldie up to the front of the group to discuss how Goldie found this "pitching machine," how he knew that Rio would register success, and a review of all pre-draft and post-draft discussions. It was all very deliberate-- leaving me out of the presentation. But make no mistake, what Goldie laid out was a template of sorts for handling future prospects. That too was very deliberate.
Then came the announcement.