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Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish
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Author:  Powerprosfan31 [ Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

Oh bby, Weaver SINGLE HANDEDLY bringin that World Series trophy to Arizona

what a legend

Author:  detroittigers15 [ Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

Powerprosfan31 wrote:
Oh bby, Weaver SINGLE HANDEDLY bringin that World Series trophy to Arizona

what a legend

He was the difference between the Diamondbacks having Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson instead of Robert Person and Greg Swindell in their rotation. Most low key sports legend ever.

Author:  Powerprosfan31 [ Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

I'm glad his story's finally being told, as he deserves

Author:  detroittigers15 [ Wed May 23, 2018 11:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

August 25th, 2000
4:35 PM
Phoenix, AZ

"Take a seat, Matthew."

It was the final Friday of mine and Preston's internship with the Diamondbacks, and I was sitting down in the office of GM Tom Gates for my performance review. Preston was outside, waiting to go after me. I was inside, sweating horribly. I kept my arms close to my side to obscure the sweat stains under my arms from his view.

"Are you excited to go back to school?" Mr. Gates had apparently elected to start with some small talk.
"I suppose. To be honest, I much prefer it here."
Mr. Gates laughed. "I don't blame you. After all, what could be better than working in Major League Baseball?"
I smiled, relaxing a bit. "I can't imagine anything, sir."
"So this is something you see yourself doing in the future?"
I nodded. "I'd like nothing more." Mr. Gates smiled.
"That's great to hear. You graduate this coming May, correct?"
"Yes sir."
"Keep an ear to the ground when that date approaches. You'll be hearing from us about a job offer."
My jaw dropped, and my heart raced again. "Are you serious?"
"Your presence here this summer has been invaluable. Send Preston in, won't you?"
"Thank you, sir!"

Mr. Gates smiled and nodded, and I stepped to the door. Remembering something, I turned around.

"What about my performance review?"
"Curt Schilling is 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA with us, and we're 70-56 with a legitimate shot at the division because of it. There's your performance review."
I felt my mouth spread ear to ear. "Thank you, sir."
"Good luck at school this fall."

I walked outside, still grinning. Preston looked up at me and flashed a smile.

"That was quick. I take it it went well?"
"It went, great, actually," I replied.
"That's awesome, dude! Hopefully that means he's in a good mood." Preston stood up and walked to Mr. Gates' office door.
"He, uh, he actually told me I'd be getting a job offer here after graduation."

"No way!" Preston exclaimed. "Did he say what you'd be doing?" I shook my head. " Well still, that's incredible! You deserve it, man. I'm really happy for you." The expression on his face was full of cheer, and his voice carried through the room without even a hint of jealousy. I smiled at my best friend.

"Thanks, Preston."

Preston put his hand on the door. "Wish me luck." He headed inside the office, and I could hear him greeting Mr. Gates with all the confidence and charisma in the world as the door closed behind him. I headed to the elevator on a cloud.

Author:  Powerprosfan31 [ Sat May 26, 2018 12:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

damn, Big Weaver closing the deal :eyes:

Big Preston tho.......

Author:  detroittigers15 [ Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

October 2nd, 2015
12:01 PM
Honolulu, HI

"Uh, Matty, are you going to get to the point soon?" Claire asked suddenly. "It's been like half an hour, and all you've done is brag about your resumé."
"I'm getting there! The backstory is important," I insisted.
"Well skip ahead at least. To the part that matters." I must have looked offended, because Claire added. "Not that this isn't interesting!"
"No, no, you're right." I supposed I'd been dragging on a bit. "So, the summer after graduating college, I immediately moved into a position with the Diamondbacks as a special assistant to the general manager."
"So you were like the guy from Moneyball?"
I laughed. "A little bit, yeah. I worked directly with Gates all year. Preston got a job there too, but he worked more on the business side of things. Anyway, as you know, we won the World Series that year. Luis Gonzalez hit the walk-off, everybody went nuts. But for reasons that are still unknown to this day..."

November 7th, 2001
8:48 AM
Phoenix, AZ

"Hey, Preston. What the hell's going on here? Why does everybody look so panicked?"

I'd just walked into the office, where faces were not as jovial as I'd expected. It was three days after our World Series win, and we'd just had Monday and Tuesday off as celebration. Yet here I was, surrounded by sullen and confused expressions.

"You haven't heard? Mr. Gates is gone," Preston answered, looking sterner than I'd ever seen him. My heat leaped into my throat.
"Gone? What do you mean? Is he..." I couldn't even say it.
"Nobody knows for sure, but nobody's heard from him since Sunday at the game, and today they found this bizarre letter of resignation on his desk."
"What did it say?"
"It just said, 'as of November 5th, 2001, I will no longer be serving as General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.' It wasn't even signed or anything."
"So it's been there since Monday?"
Preston shrugged. "Nobody knows."

Our conversation was then interrupted by a familiar, friendly voice.

"Good morning, Mr. Reilly," Preston said.
"I take it you have heard the news?"
"We have, sir. Is Mr. Gates all right?"
Reilly shook his head. "I don't know any more than you two, I'm afraid. But, in light of the unfortunate departure of our dear General Manager, I have some more pleasant news: you are both on the short list of interviewees for the position."

My jaw dropped, and Preston -- as usual -- spoke up first.

"Are you serious! I'm honored, sir!" Preston exclaimed.
"Y-yes, thank you, sir," I stammered, scrambling to pull myself together. Reilly smiled.

"Don't get too excited. We will be conducting preliminary interviews with at least ten people from in-house, as well as some from outside. But your aptitude during your time with this organization, however short it may have been, has been made more than apparent." Reilly looked right at me as he was saying this. "Both of you are very bright young men that we are thrilled to have on board, and regardless of what happens, we feel you will both be an integral part of this franchise's success."

"You can count on us!" said Preston. "Matthew and I are an unstoppable team!" he said, putting his arm around me. I felt a bit embarrassed by the display in front of the club's owner, but Preston paid little mind to such things.

"Excellent," Reilly said. "The first round of interviews will be this Friday. I suggest you both take this time to prepare. If you have any questions, please, don't hesitate to ask."

Friday?? That only gave us two days!

"Yes, sir," we each said in unison. As Reilly walked away, Preston turned to me.

"Can you believe it?! Who would've thought that we'd be looking at an opportunity like this so early on in our careers? This is incredible!" Preston was nearly shouting.
"It's just an interview. And a preliminary interview, at that. It's probably just for show. Usually they already know who they're going to hire before interviews even start. We shouldn't get too excited." Or too nervous, I thought, my racing heart betraying my words.
"Don't be such a downer, Matty. This is the opportunity of a lifetime!" Preston paused suddenly and scrunched his face, seeming to have thought of something that troubled him.

"Let's promise each other one thing," he said.
"What's that?" I asked.
"No matter what happens, whether one or neither of us gets the job, we'll always put our friendship first." I smiled.

Author:  AgentP [ Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

This log is, genuinely, one of the few things that keeps me checking this site so frequently.

Excellent writing as usual, JP.

Author:  detroittigers15 [ Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

AgentP wrote:
This log is, genuinely, one of the few things that keeps me checking this site so frequently.

Excellent writing as usual, JP.

I appreciate the kind words. It's good to know that there is a nonzero number of people keeping up with the story. I have a lot of things planned that I'm pretty excited about.

Author:  Baseballteen9500 [ Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

I'm still plenty devoted to thid

Author:  PP27 [ Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

AgentP wrote:
This log is, genuinely, one of the few things that keeps me checking this site so frequently.

I thought it was because I'm so charming and funny

Author:  Powerprosfan31 [ Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

oh boy, can't wait to see Matty and Preston keep that friendship strong!

Author:  detroittigers15 [ Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

November 16th, 2001
10:30 AM
Phoenix, AZ

The following Friday, Preston and I had somehow found ourselves among the finalists for the GM position.

Each just 21 years old, either one of us would have been the youngest general manager in MLB history, and by no small margin. It was nothing short of a miracle that we were still in the running. Alongside us were three other candidates: Scouting Director Dave Briggs, Assistant GM Kevin Spade, and Director of Player Development Owen Vickers. We knew all three of them from our time with the team; Briggs was an old school guy in his sixties, focused on tools and a player's "feel." He was hard-nosed and driven, and he didn't talk to Preston or I much. Although he was a bit slow to adopt sabermetrics, his craft was finely honed over four decades of experience, and it was obvious to everyone that he wanted the job bad.

Spade was younger, about 45, and a former minor leaguer. He caught and played first but never made it past A ball, but he had a great reputation as a coach in the minor leagues. The Diamondbacks poached him from the Rangers' farm system, where he was managing AA, and offered him a front office position. He'd served as Tom Gates' right hand man since the expansion draft in '98 and was the clear favorite for the position.

Lastly, Vickers was a bit of a wild card. He was young -- though not quite as young as Preston and I, I had him pegged for late twenties -- and was a fellow proponent of sabermetrics. He and I had worked together on numerous occasion over the past two seasons, evaluating players and offering advice to Gates. He was nice enough, although he gave off the impression that he'd cut your throat to get ahead if he had to. With a degree in statistics from Yale, he represented the new wave of baseball analytics, and those who favored his hiring thought it a great opportunity for the Diamondbacks to get ahead of the curve.

Then, inexplicably, there was us. Two fresh-faced, 21-year old college graduates with less than two years of experience. Spiteful glares from those who'd be ousted from the race had become abundant, and the three men we were up against seemed either unthreatened or insulted by our persistence. But we'd worked hard to keep ourselves in the running -- late nights doing mock interviews and player analysis, preparing reports, and discussing the direction of the team -- Preston and I had been together every step of the way. Just as we'd said we would.

At 10:30 AM on Friday, November 16th, 2001, the interview that would change dramatically the lives of all five of these men commenced.


"Good morning, Matthew. Please, take a seat. You know John Ohner." Reilly's friendly voice did little to calm my nerves. Mr. Ohner was Reilly's business partner, and the other majority owner of the Diamondbacks. They each owned 30%, or something like that, with the rest divided among several minority stakeholders.
"It's good to see you, Matthew," John said.
"It's good to see you too, Mr. Ohner," I replied, breathing carefully to steady my voice.
"Well, Matthew, I'm going to cut right to the chase. We like you a lot. We think you've got a very bright future in baseball, and we want that future to be with us," Reilly's words were comforting. "That said, we have several outstanding candidates to consider, and we need one who stands out. So that brings me to my main question: what makes you stand out?"

For a moment, words failed me. The question was a far cry from anything Preston and I had prepared for, and it caught me off guard. I looked for a place to start, hoping that the words would come naturally once I found a footing.

"What sets me apart is my unique perspective."

Holy shit, what a lame answer.

"Could you elaborate on that?" asked Reilly.

My mind was racing for something better to say. Come on, what makes me unique? Think, damn it. You haven't said anything for like three seconds now. Finally, I opened my mouth, and words flowed out.

"The cross section of my studies as a student of economics and statistics -- along with my intimate knowledge of baseball -- allows me to analyze and understand the game in a way no one else can." That sentence spilled out of me like vomit, but it felt like a good vomit. Reilly and Ohner looked intrigued. Intrigued enough to give me confidence. I continued.

"What wins baseball games? There's really only one correct answer: runs. When acquiring players, what you're really looking at is a market for runs. There's a supply of runs and a demand for them. And at the intersection of these, there is a fair market price for runs. At this price, say, $100,000 per run, you are getting exactly what you paid for."

"The problem is, we don't know how many runs a player will give us or prevent for us. So there's an uncertainty in the quality of the good you're paying for. We can make a pretty good guess -- Mark McGwire is worth more runs than Toby Hall -- but when players are close in quality, it becomes extremely difficult to discern their values. Sometimes you end up getting less than what you paid for, and sometimes you get more. Some teams -- like the Yankees or the Dodgers -- are able to pay significantly above market value to avoid this uncertainty. If you can sign the absolute cream of the crop, and you can get some underperformers and still have budget space, you have a significantly higher margin for error than a small market team like the Athletics or even a mid-market team like us.

“Of course, as a result of the uncertainty, the market isn't perfect. Players underperform, get injured, what have you. Which means that the market can be "beat," in a sense. This is either where supply is too high or demand is too low, resulting in an equilibrium price for a specific player or type of player that is below the market price for runs."

I came out of the zone I was in to see the two men in front of me looking highly interested and impressed.

"So you would apply this sort of economic thinking to the role of General Manager," Ohner suggested.

I nodded. "But it's only a piece of the puzzle. We still need to find a way to evaluate players that other people aren't already doing. Which is where advanced statistics come in."
"Do you mean to suggest that traditional scouting is useless?"
"Of course not. If statistics tell us the what, scouting and film can tell us the why. Perhaps a player is striking out too much because he's pulling off on the off-speed pitch away. Maybe a pitcher is giving up too many home runs because he's tipping his slider by changing his arm slot. Really, it's the perfect marriage of three concepts -- markets, sabermetrics, and scouting -- all of which must be done proficiently to create a winning baseball team."

Reilly and Ohner looked at each other, then back at me.

"That's some great stuff, Matthew," said Reilly, "and it's exactly why we're so thrilled about having you on board. If you don't mind, though, I'd like to change the topic of discussion for a moment, and it could be considered a bit of a sensitive subject. Is that all right?"

I had no idea what was coming, and I began to sweat.

"Certainly, sir," I replied.

"We interviewed Preston Greene earlier this morning, just before you. I know you two are close friends. You were roommates at NYU, correct?"
"Of course, none of this should leave this room."
"Right." My heart was racing. What the hell was he about to say?
"John and I both felt that that interview went pretty well. He talked about some of the same things as you, although it was a bit more financial. Both of you are very bright young men, but we have some questions about his..." Reilly dug around for the right word. "Well, let's just say we have some questions for you, since you know him so well."
"Okay..." By this point, I was so nervous, my entire body went numb.
"Preston is a very charismatic and friendly individual, no doubt, but we feel like he might have trouble making the tough decisions that come with the position. Things like releasing and trading players. Do you feel like that might be an issue for him?"
"I know he's your friend, but the best thing you can do for him is be honest," Reilly encouraged.

I thought for a moment. It was an impossible question. What was I supposed to say? I couldn’t lie. I did my best to find honest words that wouldn’t make him look bad.

"The great thing about Preston is he has this heart of gold. He loves everyone. He never wants anything bad to happen to people, even those who maybe don't like him."
"So it might be hard for him to tell a player that he's been cut or traded."
I thought again, briefly. Reilly was pushing me towards a firmer answer. "Yeah, it probably would,” I conceded.

Reilly nodded, then continued on. “The GM position is one that comes with a lot of pressure. Pressure from the media, from the fans, from the players, from your colleagues. Pressure that we feel you can handle. Do you believe that Preston could handle that kind of pressure?"

I thought about it for a second. I thought of how Preston was always thinking what people thought of him, how he took the smallest perceived slight to heart. I had no choice but to answer honestly.


Reilly nodded once more, and continued. "Do you think Preston would make a good General Manager?"

I straightened in my chair, taken aback by the question. It wasn't like the others. It wasn't about Preston's personal character, something I'd had first hand experience with. Reilly was directly asking me to evaluate him professionally, to do what he was supposed to do. I didn't understand why he felt he had to ask something like that. Was he testing me, to see if I'd put the team over a personal friendship? The interview had gone really well to that point, and I didn't want to blow it by making it seems as though I'd let a personal relationship stand in the way of my work. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought Preston wouldn't really be a good GM. He would put on that confident air, as he always did, but inside the constant scrutiny and difficult decisions would tear him apart. I knew that better than anyone. It was for his own benefit, really, and he would never have to know.

Having made up my mind, I sat up straight, looked Mr. Reilly dead in the eye, and spoke firmly.


Author:  AgentP [ Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

Holy shit

Holy... shit.

Author:  Powerprosfan31 [ Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

detroittigers15 wrote:

oh dear

Author:  Kungfupandacam [ Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Honolulu Gunmen - A Fight to the Finish

boo, i hate this mathew guy. #rootforpreston

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