General Managers Newsbeat
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Does he still have credibility with other GMs?
Monday, October 17, 2016
Sunday, October 09, 2016
In his case, it looks like prudent judgement.
But while the ownership involvement and the obvious volatility (they’re about to hire their seventh GM in 13 years) are potential issues, the Arizona GM job is still seen as desirable by many. To reports about candidates being turned off by the seeming instability, one interested party who hasn’t been mentioned yet opined, “That’s BS. There are only 30 of these jobs.”
Thursday, October 06, 2016
I’ve argued in the past for the idea of “emergent WAR,” which is the idea of teams deriving value, not from individual contributions, but from the ways in which the parts of the roster can interact with one another. For example, putting a groundball-heavy pitcher in front of a good infield defense can be worth several hits turned into outs, and turning a hit into an out is worth roughly three-quarters of a run each time you do it. A good GM could have the wherewithal to execute a plan to gather those players together. These specific ideas (catcher framing, putting a groundball staff in front of a great infield) may not be earth shattering any more, but there are more of those out there, and they can easily be worth the amount of value it would take to justify a salary like $10 million per year, even if a GM only has one or two of them in his pocket.
The GM has to be the organizing emergent principle behind a front office. The much-discussed “rapidly expanding front office” is actually a nod to the fact that no one person can do everything that needs doing. That’s not a slam on them, that’s just the way things are. There has to be one person who can aggregate all of that knowledge and those little advantages and turn it into a coherent actionable whole. Someone who can understand why the statistical thing is important and why the scouting thing is needed and why we’re even talking about the player development thing. Without that, a front office is just a bunch of people making noise.
With that emergent organizing principle in place, a baseball team is a living, breathing organism that is more than the sum of its parts. That’s where the GM makes his money. A baseball team is such a complex organism and the skill set it takes to run one well, while not impossible to find, isn’t easy either. There are probably plenty of people who can approximate it, but very few who can do it exceptionally well, and the spaces in between really could be worth the kinds of millions that executives are starting to be paid.
Sure, the 31st-best general manager in baseball knows a lot more about baseball than everyone who is currently reading this article. But there’s a lot of room to grow. We see that in the 30 GMs who are currently employed. And yeah, it’s not unreasonable to think that the best GM in baseball is worth a win or two more than that 31st guy.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
On how the organization intends to improve its defense before next season:
“Any time you identify something you want to address, whether it’s defense, power, the pitching, a lot of times it’s at what cost? And what I mean by that is, to get better defense, we may have to take a step back offensively. In terms of internal analysis that we do upstairs, that’s certainly an exercise we’re going to do. Then we’re going to decide what makes us look like a better club. But none of us is satisfied with 81 wins. So as we look to the offseason, we’ll certainly explore all the available options that we feel can help us improve.”
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Of course, Ben Cherington showed patience, which got him booted.
Despite the success, Epstein admits he made mistakes near the end of his Red Sox tenure.
“I got in too much of a rush to build an uber-team and got too aggressive in free agency rather than relying on the things we did well as an organization — scouting, player development, and trying to find undervalued players.’’
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The search expands.
A few hours before Dozier connected off a Daniel Norris fastball in the third inning, the Twins formally requested permission to interview Chicago Cubs executive Jason McLeod for their top baseball operations job. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed the request, telling reporters he expected the interview to take place.
“There’s probably not a better scouting and player-development guy out there,” Hoyer told the Chicago Tribune. “He has all the skills to do every other part of the job. He’s got a great way about him as a person. He manages people very easily. They love working for him. He deserves a shot at some point soon.”
Posted: September 13, 2016 at 12:01 PM | 32 comment(s)
Friday, September 09, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
““So what’s next for the Diamondbacks? The owner and the CEO are the same. Will they stay old school? Will they go outside-the-box? Will they hire someone who’s got a series of impressive degrees and worked in a baseball front office? Will they go purely sabermetric? Or will they stay where they are and augment La Russa with someone he knows and trusts, like Walt Jocketty?
Any guesses about their future might be accurate because the Diamondbacks have tried just about everything. There’s no reason to believe they’ll make any alterations to that haphazard arrangement now and, judging by their somewhat bizarre history, it’s liable to work.”“
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Hernandez’s zinger could have been worse. He could have compared Zaidi to LA Times sports columnists. Those guys, phew, they aren’t that bright.
While Zaidi was speaking, Fox Sports posted a story online about how Puig departed Dodger Stadium in a huff after being told he would be traded or demoted.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” Zaidi said. “We have an off day today. Anything further, we’ll address and comment on tomorrow.”
Zaidi has a doctorate in behavioral economics from the University of California. He is smarter than most of the numbers crunchers in the game who use their affinity for analytics to masquerade as intellectuals.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Now he needs to have his team start clicking again.
Friday, July 29, 2016
I don’t buy into the classifications but an interesting look at today’s GMs.
Farhan Zaidi, Dodgers
Zaidi holds the title of GM, but this front office also features Alex Anthopoulos, Josh Byrnes, Gerry Hunsicker and Ned Colletti, all of whom are former GMs with varying degrees of influence. Stan Kasten is the club president, but it appears that all baseball decisions run through president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, a former small-market guru who now runs the team with baseball’s highest payroll. All insist their deals are collaborative, but there are a lot of moving pieces here.
“I defy you to find a tougher front office to explain,” said one longtime observer of the franchise.
Posted: July 29, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016
The best way to answer the critics is to win.
The trade of Brad Ziegler incited some unexpected controversy when unnamed executives complained to a couple reporters that their teams offered a better package (or packages) for the reliever. And one exec even told Peter Gammons that he suspected that Tony La Russa only did that allegedly bad deal with the Boston Red Sox’s Dave Dombrowski because those two worked together with the White Sox three decades ago.
Seems like an unlikely reason to make a deal, but that’s what they allegedly said.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
If we expect the unexpected, does the unexpected become expected?
Yes, the market for starting pitching is especially thin at a time when there aren’t that many overall difference-makers available. But Hoyer also pointed to the Red Sox flipping Jon Lester to the Oakland A’s in the Yoenis Cespedes deal at the 2014 deadline (an eye-opening experience outside of Boston that ultimately helped the Cubs sign the $155 million pitcher).
“That was like a total shock,” Hoyer said. “I think we should expect the unexpected.”
Monday, July 18, 2016
Terry Ryan was relieved of his duties as Twins executive vice president and general manager on Monday, with assistant GM Rob Antony replacing him on an interim basis.
“Since joining our organization as a player in 1972, Terry has been a dedicated, loyal and respected member of the Minnesota Twins family,” Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said in announcing the dismissal. “Terry has been a gifted leader of the baseball department for over 18 seasons. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to our game, our team and the Upper Midwest baseball community.
“The decision to part ways with Terry was difficult, painful and not obvious. We are extremely grateful and very thankful to Terry, his wife Karilyn and their family for being a part of the Minnesota Twins.”
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
So, he’s saying Theo isn’t perfect. Of course, nobody is.
Monday, May 16, 2016
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.’‘
Saturday, May 07, 2016
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.”
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
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.”
for his generous support.
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