The first question posed to Patrick Saunders in his mailbag asked about where Walt Weiss and Jeff Bridich differed in philosophy. Saunders responded that Weiss "wanted to manage based on his gut feelings" more than communications with the front office. "He didn't like what he perceived was interference from the front office," Saunders suggests.
If we want to map "old school" and "new school" on to managers, it probably comes down to this question. No front office would discount soft factors such as chemistry and instinct, and few managers would discredit the value of analytics; however, no front office would be keen on on the outdated idea that the general manager provides the players and the manager does as he will in the game. Clint Hurdle has even adapted to the model of vertical communication regarding in-game tactics, and to great success. Walt Weiss, it appears, might have been more antique than we realized.
Later in the mailbag, Saunders suggests that he thinks Bud Black is the right person for the job. While I wouldn't hate it, the prospect of Black coming in to manage the Rockies right now would smack of a conservative search and a lack of creativity. Black's a solid manager, but I don't think he's right leading a young team through a growth period and, let's hope, toward a window of contention.
The Chicago Cubs, you might have heard, have won the National League pennant and are going to the World Series for the first time since baseball became modern. Jarrett Seidler at Baseball Prospectus selects some of the key moves the Cubs made since hiring Theo Epstein to lead baseball operations five years ago. In short, some smart and timely trades, the benefit of drafting high, and signing big ticket free agents when the time was right led to the Cubs' pennant win. It's not that all teams that do those things will create a baseball team as good as the Cubs are, but it doesn't hurt.