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Monday, May 16, 2016

Jed Hoyer, The Other Guy in Cubs front office, fits role perfectly - Chicago Tribune

Talk about the Cubs around town and Jed only comes before Theo alphabetically, a reality Hoyer accepts without a hint of resentment.

“No, it doesn’t bother me,’’ Hoyer said. “One of the first things we talked about when we did this was that this only is going to work is if it’s a total collaboration. No one knows who works on what deals or what contracts. Once you start getting into who deserves credit in a front office, it’s a huge negative and we’ve done what we can to avoid that.’‘

It helps that Hoyer holds his buddy in as high esteem as others.

“Listen, Theo is one of a kind,’’ Hoyer said. “He has created an amazing culture and is as good of a baseball executive as this game has seen in long time. I’m fortunate I’ve been able to learn from him. We form a great partnership and know the way the other thinks. How I see it is, your ultimate goal in every sport is to be a good teammate and help your team win. … I want to be that good teammate.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2016 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general managers, jed hoyer

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Alex Anthopoulos reflects on time Blue Jays | MLB.com

On his reasons behind walking away at the end of 2015…
Anthopoulos: “I know a lot was made that I wasn’t as forthcoming, or maybe it should have been a little more specific, but I wanted to keep that more private overall ... I did my best to try to enjoy the playoffs. I really made a conscious effort to try to enjoy it. And until the decision is final, it’s not final.
“I would say through the end of the month of August, I expected to be here for five, 10, 20 years, whatever it was going to be, and then things rolled into September, and that’s probably the first time it entered my mind that it might not be back. But certainly the decision wasn’t done until the end.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 07, 2016 at 11:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, blue jays, general managers

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

To learn about himself, Ben Cherington decided to teach - The Boston Globe

I still believe he was scapegoated.

The topics seemingly have sharpened Cherington’s views of what happened during his time in Boston. Even as the organization’s emerging young core — which Cherington proved resolute in preserving — appears to have the team back on a promising track, he understands why he is no longer GM of the Red Sox.

“Results do matter. In Boston, you know they matter. That’s fundamentally a part of the job,” he said. “In Boston, you know that the results do matter and there isn’t a long time to get there. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think that covering yourself in the sort of gauze of strategy and process is sufficient if you’re really trying to learn from what happened. Yes, there were reasons why we did everything we did, but the bottom line is we didn’t perform well enough for two years. When that happens in a place like Boston, there’s a lot of pressure on the institution to make change because it’s a business. That change happened. If I’m going to learn something from it, I think I have to embrace that the results weren’t there, and why was that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Baseball Historian: The Cardinals Way: A Review

I’ve read about a third of the book and I’m enjoying it very much.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM, wife navigate unique situation

Among those competing for a roster spot are catcher Chris Herrmann and reliever Enrique Burgos. Both are former clients of Stewart, the club’s GM. Both are current clients of Murray, the GM’s wife.

shoewizard Posted: March 29, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, diamondbacks, general, general managers, legal

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ruben Amaro Jr. reflects on time with Phillies | phillies.com

Members of the new Phillies’ regime have said the analytics system was way more advanced than they had anticipated, based on nothing more than the world’s outside perception of it.

If that is true, then why did the Phillies try to seem so unanalytical at times?

“We didn’t think it was all that important for us to have to advertise what we were doing,” Amaro said. “Why do we have to advertise what we do? Am I doing it to save my job or what? We were a little behind I think with some of the analytics. The reality of it is we won without the analytics. We had the best team in baseball without the analytics … a full analytics core. Could we have been better? Maybe. There’s always ways to improve, but that’s probably why I’m in a uniform now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies, ruben amaro jr.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The day the direction of the Padres changed | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

The story gets better.

Preller was the quirky, baseball savant who showed up for interviews with a nondescript spiral notebook that Peter Seidler, the franchise’s lead investor, described as the kind you’d pick up at a Target with “scribbles and notes at all these weird angles.”

Other finalists, by contrast, surrounded themselves with leather-bound notepads, Power Point presentations and unmistakable polish.

Preller, though, had climbed into final contention for the job with Yankees Assistant GM Billy Eppler, now GM of the Anaheim Angels and reportedly Dee’s initial pick. The candidate with the no-ego notebook requested one more sit-down as he scouted an area high school tournament.

“I told him I’d meet him one last time, just as a kind of courtesy, because he was so good throughout the process,” Dee said. “He basically blew me away. When I said, if we don’t go with you because of this concern or that concern, he was just like an attorney cross-examining. He basically mitigated every concern.

“I got back to San Diego at 5 a.m. and called (Chairman) Ron Fowler at 8 a.m. I said, ‘I had a change of heart overnight.’ We have to hire A.J.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 03:22 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. preller, general managers, padres

Monday, March 07, 2016

Interview With Former GM and Baseball Lifer Dan Evans

Evan had an opportunity to work alongside former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for the past few years, Evans spoke about the work ethic of Anthopoulos.

“Alex has as much passion as anyone I have ever worked with, and he has an unrivalled capacity for work. A good friend of mine dubbed me The Energizer Bunny a few years ago, but Alex wins the gold medal in energy. I have immense respect for his character and creativity, and appreciated how he fully immersed himself, reading every report. We chatted when he took the Dodgers’ position, and I know that he will definitely make a positive contribution to a franchise that I have a ton of respect for. I wish him the best, but my focus and goal is trying to win the 2016 World Series with the Blue Jays.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dan evans, general managers

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Jeff Bridich sees no point predicting when Rockies turn corner 

Asked why he has not publicly stated when be believes the Rockies might actually have a window of opportunity to begin winning, Bridich replied:

“What’s the point? Why limit ourselves? So if I were to come out and say something that’s pleasing to the ear of you, or a fan here or a fan there, and I say, ‘We’re not going to win for X.’ So what? What’s the point of doing that?

It’s about people. It’s about process. And it’s about how well can we do that together. If a lot of that or most of that comes together for us this year, wonderful. Why say something where it’s got to happen X number of months and years in the future, where really a lot of good things can happen this year. I just don’t see the point.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2016 at 07:21 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jeff bridich, rockies

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tom Ricketts plans to make Theo Epstein baseball’s highest paid executive - Chicago Tribune

Why can’t the Red Sox get a general manager like Theo who can blend scouting and analytics well?

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts understands the price of success.

In this case, he appears prepared to make President Theo Epstein the highest paid executive in major league baseball.

“He’s the best at what he does in the game,” Ricketts told reporters after addressing Cubs players before the first full-squad workout.

“And from a compensation standpoint, it should be reflected. We’re generally on the same page. We spend a lot of time together, not just on the contract.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2016 at 06:18 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general managers, theo epstein

Friday, February 19, 2016


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff continues to carve out role in baseball world - Indians - Ohio

A lot of good stuff in this article.

It is in this goal that Chernoff finds his place in the Indians’ front office as the de factor second-in-command to Antonetti. He is an organizer, a representer and an evaluator.

“[Antonetti] and I have been working side-by-side for 12 years. We’ve gotten really close and know each other’s styles really well,” Chernoff said. “Chris is leading decisions and he gets this intense focus on that process. I’ve often found my role to be to go out, gather a lot of input and ideas, generate new ideas and look at it from different angles. I tend to have some emotion and passion for what I’m advocating for. Chris is a really good balance for that. Those styles complement each other. Hopefully, sometimes I bring some of that to the table in our discussions.”

The information revolution in baseball over the past decade has created a need for streamlined systems of organization. Synthesizing data is as crucial as it has ever been. More data, viewpoints and ways to break down the game means a higher chance of disorganization and crucial information getting lost in the fray. Chernoff is a facilitator of data to take to Antonetti as a means to better make a more informed decision rather than relying on incomplete information, which recently has become an increasingly present issue for teams when any player could have half a dozen indicators of future performance all pointing in different directions.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, indians, mike chernoff

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Thursday, January 07, 2016

The 1998 Indians had a “dream team” front office.

John Hart’s real legacy.

“It’s one of those things you get a sinking feeling,” Hart said. “But we were doing so well and people want to take your guys.”

Success affected the front office in other ways, in O’Dowd’s estimation.

“The culture changed when we got really good,” he said, “because everybody wanted something for themselves within that process, including me. It changed the dynamic of the relationships. Sometimes it’s harder to manage success than failure. When you fail, there’s this bond that ties you all together and creates something special. Once you get special, where do you go from there? I actually think Apple’s going through that now.”

Just as the Indians endured the difficulty of keeping an elite team together on the field after the sell-out streak ended and the robust revenues ran dry, they also saw the front office evolve. As evidenced by Toronto’s hire of Shapiro to run both the business and baseball operations, Cleveland is still regarded in the industry as one of the more collaborative and well-organized offices in the game. A place worth poaching.

But we might never again see a group as jam-packed with GM prospects as that 1998 stash. Hart’s family tree has surely left its mark on baseball, and DePodesta’s bold move to the Browns is extending its influence to the gridiron.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2016 at 10:16 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers, indians, john hart

Monday, December 21, 2015

Peter Gammons: Reconstructing Gillickism in Boston - GammonsDaily.com

Peter Gammons says nice things about Dave Dombrowski.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 21, 2015 at 11:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, general managers, red sox

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Executive Viewpoints: Structural Change with Regime Change | FanGraphs Baseball

“What gets lost in the shuffle sometimes is just how complex this industry can be. It’s a large infrastructure that branches out quickly. It’s almost like an iceberg with the GM on top. When you get below the water line, there is a lot going on and a lot of people involved. When you consider all the different facets of an organization – scouting, development, the business side, the major league club – there are a lot of moving parts. It’s not surprising different teams can take different approaches to making those parts fit and interact as smoothly as possible.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Al Avila: Going from assistant to GM a little like getting married

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

Avila, the Tigers’ assistant general manager before replacing Dave Dombrowski late last season, has spent a lifetime in baseball waiting for the opportunity to make such deals.

“It’s been easy in the sense that I’ve been through it so many years, so many times over and over,” Avila said. “Same system. We go through the same meetings.

“The biggest difference is when you’re in charge, everything is on your shoulders. That responsibility is big. Nobody should take it lightly. You don’t really know until you get that responsibility. You think you know, because you’ve been there, you’ve done that, over and over. And you think you know. But once you’re appointed that position and the responsibility is yours, it’s a whole different feeling.

“I’m not going to compare it to being a kid, but I remember being single. You get married. All of a sudden you’re married, and now you feel a little more pressure. Now you have your first kid, it’s a whole different responsibility. I’m not going to compare it to that, maybe I am ... It happens, and all of a sudden you feel it. With time, it feels normal.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: al avila, general managers, tigers

Friday, December 04, 2015

Jeff Bridich on Building the Rockies | FanGraphs Baseball

Here’s some interesting comments on the Rockies from General Manager Greg Bridich.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2015 at 04:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jeff bridich

Hardball Retrospective – General Manager Trading Scorecard | Seamheads.com

I don’t have time to go through all this at the moment but at first glance it looks like some impressive research.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2015 at 04:34 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, sabermetrics

Blue Jays name Ross Atkins as team’s new general manager - Sportsnet.ca

Atkins, a 42-year-old from Greensboro, N.C., has a long resume in player development, a strong breeding ground for general managers because countless decisions and evaluations must be made on players, coaches and staff. He also has experience in Latin America, an area the Blue Jays plan to continue prioritizing despite international director Ismael Cruz’s departure for the Dodgers.

A right-handed pitcher who spent five seasons in the Indians system before topping out at double-A, he’d been expected to join the Blue Jays in some capacity under Shapiro, as the two became close in Cleveland.

Atkins served as vice-president of player personnel in 2015, helping negotiate big-league deals, working on arbitration cases, dealing with roster-management issues and participating in off-season planning. Prior to that, he worked in the club’s player development department as a director from 2007-10 and vice-president from 2011-14.

Players developed under his watch include Cody Allen, Lonnie Chisenhall, Kyle Crockett, Tyler Holt, T.J. House, Jason Kipnis, Roberto Perez, Jose Ramirez and Danny Salazar.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2015 at 07:43 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, ross atkins

 

 

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