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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Secrets of Baseball Management | FOX Sports

Earl Weaver took over the managing job after spending years in the Orioles farm system. If you read his books, he was most proud of his ability to evaluate players. This helps explain his level of comfort making some of the moves that he did.

Rob: Reading about the moves Earl Weaver made, immediately upon taking over as manager of the Orioles—making Don Buford an every-day player and using Elrod Hendricks more often—led me to wonder, how many times have new managers made big decisions that paid off so handsomely? Seems like the sort of thing that would separate a great manager from everyone else.

Mark: I agree. Normally when a guy takes over a club in mid-season he seems reluctant to change things too dramatically right away—why call attention to the fact that you thought the other guy (in this case Hank Bauer, who had won a World Series two years earlier) was wrong? Weaver, who had never worn a big league uniform until becoming first base coach that season, really took command. Buford had been a little-used infielder, but in Weaver’s very first game he moved Buford to the outfield, installed him as the leadoff hitter, and started him every day the rest of the year.  That takes confidence, and Weaver managed his entire career with an extreme belief that he knew which players should play.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2015 at 08:38 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: books, general managers

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

red sox - Seventy-one pages that helped define Dave Dombrowski - WEEI | Rob Bradford

Who wouldn’t like college work spread throughout the Internet almost 40 years later?

“This answer is not known at this time, but it appears that baseball is moving head-on toward the answer. If tickets reach a price level of ten dollars per person, it will cost a family of four at least fifty dollars to attend a game, which would seem to push the game out of the price level of the average family. Attending a game would become a novelty, and the average fan who is the true supporter of the team would no longer be able to afford the pleasure.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 04:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, general managers

Shapiro comes to Blue Jays as well-loved individual - Sportsnet.ca

Shapiro spoke at a SABR convention in Cleveland. I remember being impressed.

“We don’t have enough time,” Francona said. “This guy is a combination of intelligent probably bordering on … he’s that smart. But he takes that intelligence and he’s very driven and organized. And you take it with the people skills … a pretty nice combination.”

Francona describes Shapiro as a dynamic speaker with the ability to make any topic interesting — even the typically tedious organizational meetings that can test coaches’ patience.

“Two minutes into it you see guys reaching for pencils because they want to take notes,” Francona said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general managers, indians

Angels seek quick resolution for GM opening - The Orange County Register

Why not just let Mike Scioscia pick the new GM?

Of the external candidates who have been interviewed so far, none has been a major league general manager before, the source said. The Angels are planning to speak to at least some candidates with experience in that position, according to a source.

The Angels will not keep interim general manager Bill Stoneman in that position beyond this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, general managers

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Madden: It’s panic in the owner’s box season in baseball - NY Daily News

Andrew Friedman is not going anywhere.

And what if the Dodgers, with their $300 million payroll, somehow miss the postseason — or if they somehow don’t make it out of the first round despite having Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke pitching Games 1 & 2? If either happens, Don Mattingly will most surely be fired as manager, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will also have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. Like why, with all his money and prospect resources, didn’t he adequately address the Dodgers’ biggest needs at the deadline — a frontline starting pitcher a la Price or Hamels, and bullpen help for closer Kenley Jansen, instead settling for mediocrities in Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Jim Johnson? And why didn’t he send struggling rookie Joc Pederson back to Triple-A to work on making hitting adjustments and regaining his confidence instead of continuing to force-feed him, hopelessly overmatched, in the majors? And lastly, what was he thinking giving oft-injured Brandon McCarthy four years and $48 million last winter, and why is $87.5 million of that $300M payroll being paid to guys who no longer play for the Dodgers?


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Zduriencik the latest GM discarded in MLB’s executive shuffle | FOX Sports

Jon Paul Morosi’s recent notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, notes

With Mariners looking for a new GM, could Rangers lose Thad Levine? | | Dallas Morning News

Cold.

The Seattle Mariners on Friday fired GM Jack Zduriencik, which is bad news for the Rangers on two fronts.

First, it means that the Rangers won’t be able to count on Zduriencik fielding a flawed team on an annual basis.

Second, it means that another GM’s job has opened that might be a fit for talented Thad Levine, who was Jon Daniels’ first hire when he became GM and who has been a critical, but low-key, member of the Rangers’ inner circle.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2015 at 07:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, mariners, rangers, thad levine

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Astros, Dodgers try to be smart, but mistakes more affordable for L.A. - Houston Chronicle

At the core, being better at player evaluation than your opponent is the most important attribute of any great organization. Having a lot of cash, though, let’s you wallpaper over mistakes, at least in the short-term.

When Boston was in town in July, Ben Cherington was still its GM. In a long session with reporters, he made an observation related to his own failures.

“Every team’s talent is more evenly distributed,” said Cherington, who has since left the Red Sox. “Every team has access to information. It’s a very sort of flat world, so you have to find ways to build advantages any way you can. Obviously, we haven’t done a good job of that the last two years.”

Friedman surveyed the landscape similarly.

“I do think that competitive balance is at its apex as you look back at least over the last 20 years,” he said. “I think things are at least becoming more efficient, and as things become efficient, it’s more difficult to find an advantage. What’s exciting about what we do on a daily basis: trying to figure out different advantages and different benefits, even on the margins.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, astros, dodgers, general managers, jeff luhnow

Levine: Theo Epstein, Cubs Are A Long-Term Match « CBS Chicago

Why can’t the Red Sox get great GMs like Theo Epstein?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general managers, theo epstein

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Inside Baseball: More GMs and managers on the hot seat; plus notes - CBSSports.com

Jon Heyman’s latest includes speculation galore on the GM moves this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, notes

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dave Dombrowski in Boston: ‘Things sure changed in a hurry’

The Nationals? That’s very surprising.

Dombrowski, who interviewed three hours last Thursday at the MLB owners’ quarterly meetings with the Red Sox, told USA TODAY Sports that he also had a formal interview with another club, and spoke with a third club. One of the clubs, according to a person familiar with the talks, was the Washington Nationals.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 19, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, general managers, nationals, red sox

Frank Wren reportedly ‘leading contender’ for new Red Sox GM - Over the Monster

Marc Normandin with some insight on Frank Wren’s possible role with the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 19, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: frank wren, general managers, red sox

Saturday, August 08, 2015

How confident are you in your MLB general manager? - MLB Daily Dish

In the end, the Cubs and the Astros finished in a virtual tie for the top spot, with their fanbases each rating them at just a shade under 4.9 out of 5.0. This isn’t terribly surprising. Both clubs are run by exceptionally smart people, with excellent reputations, and are competitive a year ahead of schedule. It’s easy to buy into that. To no one’s surprise, the Marlins finished dead last, as every single respondent rated their confidence in Mike Berger at one. The other day, Mike Hill, President of Baseball Operations for the Marlins, said that he “would hope our fans are educated enough to see what we’re doing here.” Rest assured, Mike. They are.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 08, 2015 at 01:29 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, ratings

Friday, August 07, 2015

Ben Cherington is taking the heat in stride - The Boston Globe

The Henry Red Sox have always blended scouting and analytics. Always.

How about the mix between analytics and traditional scouting? Are the Red Sox too numbers-oriented? Too much Bill James?

“I think we have good people in both areas,” Cherington said. “I don’t think we’re lacking for information. You always have to find ways to get more information and better information and process it the right way. You can look back and see decisions that have worked out and others that haven’t or haven’t in the short term and learn from those.

“We’ve got a lot of resources and hire good people in different areas. We’re always looking for good people. Not to rule out additions, because we’ve had a difficult two years and that’s something we have to keep in mind. It falls on me to find better answers.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2015 at 08:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Billy Beane might not be the A’s GM for much longer - SBNation.com

This would mean the A’s have joined the Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox, Giants, and more as teams instituting a president of baseball operations who is a former GM, one who can remain hands on with the department. The Red Sox could end up joining this mix soon, or the Blue Jays, or whoever ends up with Dave Dombrowski now that the Tigers let him go. It’ll be sad if Beane takes a step back or becomes more reclusive with the promotion, but the guy has been around and successful for so long that it’s hard to believe he hasn’t already been given a fancy new title. Maybe he should have abused his powers as a minority owner in the team a long time ago to get that ball rolling.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2015 at 08:22 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, general managers

Saturday, August 01, 2015

MLB trade deadline losers | FOX Sports

Last winter’s genius is this summer’s dummy, at least according to Ken Rosenthal.

Ken Rosenthal has been a favorite on this site for a long time. His reporting skills are fantastic. He also seems like a very nice guy, a nice guy who would be great to watch a game with at the pub or at the ball park. Like a lot of reporters, however, I’m not particularly enamored with his analysis. Although I like his reporting on my favorite team, I wouldn’t want the Red Sox following his suggestions. Neither should the Padres fans.

Case in point one: the Padres getting Starlin Castro. This kid certainly has some talent. His poor defense and lack of patience at the plate make him a second division starter, though, not the kind of shortstop a playoff contender should be looking to acquire.

First of all, even accounting for the crazy spit-balling nature of the deadline, it’s absurd to ask for a franchise player such as Goldschmidt in his prime. A Padres source told the Arizona Republic that the mention of Goldschmidt was not serious, but really, that’s the least of it, anyway. If the Padres truly are going for it, they should have added more than Rzepczynski. They should have acquired a shortstop such as the Cubs’ Starlin Castro, and taken their best shot.

Case in point two: at last year’s Winter Meetings, Rosenthal thought getting Matt Kemp was a good idea. Now, I didn’t think it was an awful idea, I just thought it wasn’t a good idea. Kemp’s contract, even at $15 million per year over the next five seasons, just didn’t seem like a good gamble.

Dodgers busy during Winter meetings

Kemp is headed to the Padres along with catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million for catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin. The Dodgers then are expected to flip Eflin to the Phillies as part of the package for Rollins.

Approval from the commissioner’s office is needed to complete the deal, but that is a given. The review of medical records is a far bigger concern — Kemp, Grandal and Wieland all have significant injury histories, and officials on both sides are nervous about possible hang-ups.

The Padres, if the deal goes through, will be getting a steal — Kemp at $15 million per season for the next five years. Federowicz will replace Grandal, teaming with Rene Rivera at a position where the Pads were strong. There is no other way to say it — the trade will be a huge coup for new general manager A.J. Preller and the club’s ownership, one of the most inspired moves in club history.

Suggesting that the Padres should be digging a bigger hole, while making fun of Preller, isn’t very helpful analysis.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 01, 2015 at 02:02 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. preller, general managers, padres

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Thesis Could Be Written on Haverford College’s Influence in Baseball - The New York Times

If you want to work in baseball, you might want to consider Haverford College.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 28, 2015 at 07:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks left draft cash on table

But there was one thing the Diamondbacks didn’t do, something that raised eyebrows for many in the industry: They left a sizeable chunk of their $12.8 million draft allotment unspent, leaving some $1.7 million in pool money on the table. That’s the most unspent pool money by a team in the four years since the current collective bargaining agreement went into effect….

Given some other moves the team has made — blowing up its international pool for only one player (Yoan Lopez) rather than signing several; apparently not getting full value for Touki Toussaint when he was sold to the Braves — it seems fair to wonder if the organization cares about maximizing value.

 

shoewizard Posted: July 22, 2015 at 11:47 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, draft, general, general managers, scouting

Monday, July 20, 2015

Full Count: Trade deadline looming | FOX Sports

Robothal’s latest.

My guess: The stalemate is going to continue, maybe right until the final days leading to the deadline. The buyers need a fuller picture of who exactly is available and how those pitchers are performing. The sellers, meanwhile, need the urgency of the deadline to spur action — and in some cases, more time to polish their goods.

I’m not talking about Hamels, who will return to his old self the moment he escapes the losing, angst-ridden environment in Philadelphia. But Cueto’s six-walk performance on Sunday likely renewed concerns for teams already worried about his elbow; his average fastball velocity of 92.68 mph was his second-lowest of the season, according to Brooksbaseball.net (the only game in which Cueto’s velocity was lower was on May 19, after which he missed a start due to stiffness in his elbow).


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rockies Q&A: GM Jeff Bridich on MLB trade deadline, Tulowitzki

Q: What is the percentage chance that Troy Tulowitzki is on your team next year?

A: (Laughs) I don’t know. What do you think it is?

Q: 95 percent chance? Wild guess?

A: I really don’t know. I think we’ll know more over the next two weeks.

Q: His situation has changed though. He’s been healthy. He’s hitting well.

A: To this point, yeah. He’s healthy. He’s basically playing most of the time, like he should be. We’ve given him regular rest, like we should, with any player who has played a lot in his career and plays a demanding position and has the injury history that he does. His surgery was successful. The rehab was successful. The maintenance he does has helped him. All that combined has helped him be a very productive, elite player.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, rockies, troy tulowitzki

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Could this be Dave Dombrowski’s final year as Detroit Tigers general manager? | FOX Sports

With the Tigers at the end of a good run, it might be a good time for Dombrowski to head to a new place.

One name that could be added to that list: Dave Dombrowski, the club’s president and general manager for 14 seasons.

Dombrowski’s contract expires at the end of October, and on Friday he declined to speak about his status when contacted by FOX Sports. However, major-league sources say there’s been no recent progress toward an extension for Dombrowski.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2015 at 07:13 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, general managers

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Peter Gammons: Manager-GM Collaboration; Trade Deadline Ambiguity - GammonsDaily.com

The older age is improved and empowered by the new age, the new age buoyed by the eyes, ears, experience and human understanding of the traditionalists. Scioscia and DiPoto should have worked. Did each make mistakes? Probably. But while Moreno is running his own businesses, he needed to define the Angels organization and, instead, sometimes making capricious decisions (like Josh Hamilton) and not having a clear, defined structure, created confusion.

This is not about stat freaks and baseball men, it’s about how the a billion dollar business has to be structured and run. Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio talked about how Marge Schott wanted to be in on every decision, and the drifts that created. Similarly, Moreno preferred what he saw as his own traditional company model, and the result is that there were no partners, there was little collaborative thought and now Bill Stoneman, the first and fourth of Moreno’s general managers, is out looking for number five.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2015 at 07:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, trade deadline

Friday, June 26, 2015

Polite and persistent: How Bobby Evans became the Giants’ GM - Giants Extra

This is a GREAT feature on Bobby Evans and his path to the GM job.

“In his sleep, he can do what’s needed as far as contracts and roster management,” Sabean said. “The next step is to become more immersed on the player personnel side. That’s acquired knowledge, and he didn’t come up through the field side. His biggest hurdle will be relationships — with Boch, with the major league staff, with players, because you are involved on a day to day basis. He has to be first and foremost plugged into the major league team, and I told him that. It’s incumbent upon him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby evans, general managers, giants

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fire Ben Cherington and John Farrell? That’s not going to happen - Sports - The Boston Globe

A GM has to balance short-term desires and long-term needs. Cherington is a patient sort who leans towards long-term part of the spectrum. Despite having three world championships in the last 12 years, the typical Red Sox fan, like most fans, falls firmly on the short-term desire side of the spectrum. When you add in a rabid, impatient press, that’s not a good mix.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2015 at 12:59 PM | 158 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, john farrell, red sox

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Some NL exec would start a team with Adam Jones over Mike Trout

The story: asking various executives which player they would choose to build a team around. Most execs chose Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, which makes sense. Some chose Andrew McCutchen, which, sure, why not? Others went with young prospects or decided that it was most important to build around certain positions like shortstop or catcher…

But there is one exec — a general manager no less! — who made a choice and a justification therefor which is impossible to get one’s head around:

“Adam Jones is a five-tool guy who comes to beat you every day and is a great leader,” an NL GM said of the Orioles’ center fielder. “I love Trout, but I just love Jones a little more.”

PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2015 at 11:55 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, general managers, mike trout

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