Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Remington: Ranking Baseball’s General Managers From Best to Worst

Fifth tier:
Ned Coletti
Brian Sabean
Jim Bowden

The dregs. Coletti is a worse version of Hendry—the spend-and-suck variety—and Sabean has been a shadow of his former self for years now, completely inept at putting together a major league team. Both of them lead teams with money that have resolutely underperformed where they should be, given their financial resources and fan bases. I may not be giving Coletti enough credit for getting Manny Ramirez, but before Manny came along, his outfield was a mess, with two good players, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, and two of the worst contracts in baseball, Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones. The upshot: they ate $20 million of Andruw’s contract to make him go away, and they’ll still have to hand Pierre hundreds of useless at-bats next year.

The image of the Giants is on a slight upswing thanks to the respective 2008 breakouts of Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner, and the extraordinarily weak division combined with the acquisition of Randy Johnson makes them look like they may have a pitching staff, if nothing else. While the farm is looking pretty good thanks to a nice top 4, the major league lineup is still outrageously thin.

Sixth tier...and lower.

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2009 at 03:21 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 24, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3059610)
I'd switch Sabean and Minaya. Also Jocketty belongs on the list somewhere -- probably around the same as Dombrowski. I'd put Beinfest in the first tier.
   2. rfloh Posted: January 24, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3059619)
It's easy to argue that the money makes Cashman look smart, but he was badly hamstrung by Steinbrenner,


Ah, the old all the bad deals were by Steinbrenner, all the good deals were by Cashman argument.

and in the last couple years that he's had greater control, he's drafted well, signed the guys he wanted, and made the deals he wanted. Rich teams don't necessarily succeed. Cashman spends his money pretty well.


What is the point of spending the money well, if not success?

Jon Daniels could easily be second-tier;


ROFPML. Good joke.
   3. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 24, 2009 at 04:39 PM (#3059632)
Carlos Santana (the minor league guy, not the guitarist)

Really?
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 24, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3059633)
Beinfest isn't the general manager anymore (some guy named Michael Hill is). Is it generally assumed Beinfest is still acting in the GM capacity?
   5. Dr Love Posted: January 24, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3059644)
Jocketty, Wade and MacPhail are "newbies"? Okay...
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3059648)
The article won't open but Hendry should't take any shots after building a team that won the most games in the NL and another division title.

Results matter....
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 24, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3059688)
The article won't open but Hendry should't take any shots after building a team that won the most games in the NL and another division title.

Results matter....


The biggest question for me, as a Cubs fan, is whether Hendry is the driving force behind their pitcher development & scouting or whether those folks were all inherited from MacPhail. Due to his advantages as compared to the rest of the NL Central I'm disinclined to give him too much credit for those wins. I think his assembly of ML talent on his budget has been fairly comparable to Minaya. I will agree that fourth tier is too low of a ranking. In fact, I would take any of those fourth tier guys (Hendry, Towers & Ricciardi) over third tier GMs Moore, O'Dowd & Daniels.
   8. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: January 24, 2009 at 08:00 PM (#3059709)
Hendry's got his faults, but I'd take him over anyone in that "third tier" besides Melvin. Byrnes? Are you kidding me? And what has Jon Daniels done to deserve that ranking? I'd also put Hendry head and shoulders over his "fourth tier" brethren.

I'd put Beinfest in the first tier, but that's just, like, my opinion, man.
   9. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: January 24, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3059712)
I was disappointed not to see a sixth tier, which would be empty, holding a place for a seventh tier, where Bill Smith would be. Yes, I want Matt Garza back.

To be fair, part of my problem with any list like this is definitional -- should a good GM be the one that delivers the results that the fans want? Or that the owners want? They're not identical, and sometimes (Pittsburgh?) wildly divergent; and in the case where the GM is satisfying the former and not the latter, they won't be employed for long. So I suppose any accurate list of GMs will collapse into a list of owners, right?
   10. RJ in TO Posted: January 24, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3059723)
This is probably unfair to Ricciardi and Hendry, but with the money they have, they really shouldn't have lost so many games. They spend too conservatively and too aggressively, don't pay enough attention to drafting, and don't have much to show for it.


So they're too conservatively aggressive? Or are they too aggressively conservative?

Ricciardi has a huge mountain to climb in the AL East with the Red Sox and Yankees looming, and now the Rays, but the Yankees stumbled last year and the Jays weren't anywhere near able to capitalize.


The Jays, by pythag, were a 93 win team last year, behind only the Red Sox in the AL. Granted, 93 pythag wins don't mean #### if you don't also win 93 real games, but GMs only have so much control over when their teams score runs.

As a side note, the Jays have fairly consistently underperformed their pythagorean records during JPs tenure:
2001: 80-82 vs. 82-80 (-2)
2002: 78-84 vs. 80-82 (-2)
2003: 86-74 vs. 87-75 (-1)
2004: 67-94 vs. 71-90 (-4)
2005: 80-82 vs. 88-74 (-8)
2006: 87-75 vs. 86-76 (+1)
2007: 83-79 vs. 87-75 (-4)
2008: 86-76 vs. 93-69 (-7)

Anyone want to guess as to why?
   11. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 24, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3059760)
Chemistry?
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 24, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3059762)
Roy Halladay?
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 24, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3059768)
Anyone want to guess as to why?
Perhaps they fluff up their margin on Tampa Bay and Baltimore, and lose the tight ones against the Yankees and Sox?

I may be in the minority here, but I don't see how JP still has a job. This is his ninth year, they've never sniffed the playoffs, and I don't see them as better than a fourth place team this year either.
   14. RJ in TO Posted: January 24, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3059774)
I may be in the minority here, but I don't see how JP still has a job. This is his ninth year, they've never sniffed the playoffs, and I don't see them as better than a fourth place team this year either.


Attendance is up from 20K a game to 29K a game during his tenure. Television ratings are up too. Even if things haven't panned out, he's also had a couple seasons recently where the casual fan has actually believed, coming into the season, that the Jays have had a shot (even if it didn't turn out that way). It's also helped that Paul Godfrey has been one of JPs biggest supporters.

Now that Godfrey is gone, however, it's likely that JP is done after this year unless he can pull out a playoff spot.
   15. bibigon Posted: January 25, 2009 at 12:20 AM (#3059780)
Perhaps they fluff up their margin on Tampa Bay and Baltimore, and lose the tight ones against the Yankees and Sox?


This isn't a very helpful answer unless you think that have some special skill for doing this in excess of how much other teams beat up on poor teams. As in, do you think it has any predictive value?

I may be in the minority here, but I don't see how JP still has a job. This is his ninth year, they've never sniffed the playoffs, and I don't see them as better than a fourth place team this year either.


Why do you think you're in the minority here? JP might be the most hated GM on BTF...
   16. Elston Gunn Posted: January 25, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3059791)
Yeah, I'm no Ricciardi fan, but that Jays team last year was between the 3rd and 5th best team in baseball. It's been overrated how difficult it is to win in the AL East (the West has been just as hard/harder for many years), but they got very unlucky last year, and now they're screwed.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: January 25, 2009 at 01:28 AM (#3059794)
Anyone want to guess as to why?


It's the curse of Jimy Willams, the worst pythagger in
MLB history!
   18. rr Posted: January 25, 2009 at 01:33 AM (#3059796)
JP might be the most hated GM on BTF...


Naw. I think that would be Sabean, Wade, or Coletti.
   19. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: January 25, 2009 at 04:54 AM (#3059844)
Kenny Williams makes some head-scratching moves (Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik?

I didn't like it at first either, but it deserved more thought than that.
   20. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 25, 2009 at 05:05 AM (#3059847)
This isn't a very helpful answer unless you think that have some special skill for doing this in excess of how much other teams beat up on poor teams. As in, do you think it has any predictive value?
Well, I don't think they have some special skill, I just think they often have two really, really terrible teams in their division (or used to, anyway) and two really excellent teams. I'm perfectly willing to accept another explanation.
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 25, 2009 at 05:07 AM (#3059848)
Attendance is up from 20K a game to 29K a game during his tenure. Television ratings are up too. Even if things haven't panned out, he's also had a couple seasons recently where the casual fan has actually believed, coming into the season, that the Jays have had a shot (even if it didn't turn out that way). It's also helped that Paul Godfrey has been one of JPs biggest supporters.
Fair enough. From a team-quality perspective though, it seems like he should be out.
   22. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3059854)
Fair enough. From a team-quality perspective though, it seems like he should be out.


He's had only one truly bad season since he's been there (2004, where everyone and their replacements got hurt). In the last three years, despite dealing with the unbalanced schedule (and the previously mentioned shitty luck), he's had teams with 86, 83, and 87 wins. That's actually a pretty decent on-field performance.

The problem hasn't so much been team-quality, as team-upside. Looking around the roster, there's no one on offense who seems likely to explode for 30+ HR, and no one who seems too likely to completely collapse. Instead, there's just enough roughly average talent for them to have a decent offense, capable of taking them back to a win total in the low to mid 80s - enough for them to be 'competitive' but not actually contenders.
   23. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 25, 2009 at 05:39 AM (#3059855)
I agree on the offense part, but isn't he pitching likely to collapse this year? I'm not overjoyed about the possibilities of a Halladay, Litsch, ?, ?, ? rotation, and I'd have to think that Downs, Tallet, and Carlson will all regress, at least slightly. I'm not all that well informed, but a quick glance through the ZiPS suggests that there's not much hope for the rotation.
   24. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 25, 2009 at 05:42 AM (#3059856)
...and they’ll still have to hand Pierre hundreds of useless at-bats next year.
Will they?
In August and September, following the trade for Manny, Pierre got 85 plate appearances. That includes a span of more than a month (36 team games) in which he went to the plate only 40 times with just 5 starts.
So, no, I don't think the Dodgers feel they have to hand JP anything.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 25, 2009 at 06:00 AM (#3059861)
Anyone want to guess as to why?

The U.S./Canadian conversion rate?
   26. Honkie Kong Posted: January 25, 2009 at 06:06 AM (#3059863)
I think JP's problem has been the inability to string an offence together. They have constructed pretty good bullpens from crap and minor trades. And they have had a decent rotation more often than not.
But the inability to find power has been damning. The Frank Thomas experiment. Cutting Stairs..no flier on Cust. Rios/Wells settling to middling levels, and Overbay being a bust.
The Jays have to generate some offence, and seem incapable of doing it in the near term.
   27. Jeff K. Posted: January 25, 2009 at 06:57 AM (#3059870)
Anyone want to guess as to why?

Was this rhetorical? I assumed so, but a couple of actual, non-jokey answers have come out and they weren't what I immediately assumed you had to mean if it was so obvious that you could ask rhetorically. I figured it was a comment about Beane/Ricciardi's underrating of bullpens, as that's a pretty easy way to underperform Pythag and one of the very few that will allow you to consistently do so.
   28. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2009 at 07:01 AM (#3059872)
I agree on the offense part, but isn't he pitching likely to collapse this year? I'm not overjoyed about the possibilities of a Halladay, Litsch, ?, ?, ? rotation, and I'd have to think that Downs, Tallet, and Carlson will all regress, at least slightly. I'm not all that well informed, but a quick glance through the ZiPS suggests that there's not much hope for the rotation.


I'm not too concerned about the bullpen, but I agree about the starting rotation. This coming year is going to be ugly, if only due to the injuries to Marcum, McGowan, and Jansen (and the AJ Burnett departure won't help much either. The thing is that they were so far above average last year, that even with only getting a half season of McGowan, and using Purcey, Parrish, and/or Richmond every 5th day, they've probably got a decent chance to beat a league average ERA+ for the full team. That's not to say that the pitchers will really be above average as a collective, but that the generally good defense will cover up a lot of problems.
   29. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2009 at 07:03 AM (#3059873)
Was this rhetorical? I assumed so, but a couple of actual, non-jokey answers have come out and they weren't what I immediately assumed you had to mean if it was so obvious that you could ask rhetorically. I figured it was a comment about Beane/Ricciardi's underrating of bullpens, as that's a pretty easy way to underperform Pythag and one of the very few that will allow you to consistently do so.


Actually, it was an honest question. I have no idea why the Jays seem to consistently underperform Pythag, but it seems to keep happening. Even last year, with a top notch bullpen, it happened again, and by a significant margin.
   30. xbhaskarx Posted: January 25, 2009 at 09:02 AM (#3059883)
JP would have shot up two tiers if Sabean had accepted that Lincecum for Rios trade.
   31. alilisd Posted: January 25, 2009 at 12:04 PM (#3059893)
Not that anyone cares about the Padres, at least the author does not appear to, but towers is a much better GM than O'Dowd and certainly has as much reason to be rated higher than 4th tier as Byrnes. Yeah, odd that Jocketty couldn't be ranked based on is time with St. Louis, but it's the Towers rating which irks me the most.
   32. CFiJ Posted: January 25, 2009 at 03:07 PM (#3059912)
Allow me to play the injured Cubs fan. Jim Hendry, fourth tier? WTF? You definitely have to dock him for the Lost Years (2005-2006, maybe even 2004), and sure, dock him for his large payroll, but this man is 504-467 and has brought the Cubs three(!) division championships in six years. He's made some fantastic trades, and been pretty good at stocking the farm, too. He's in the third tier at worst, certainly not below average, and looks even better if you weight the last two years more heavily.
   33. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: January 25, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3059919)
Kenny Williams makes some head-scratching moves (Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik?

I didn't like it at first either, but it deserved more thought than that.


Well, it's pretty obvious that the author didn't give much thought to ANY part of his list. Mark Shapiro at the front of the second tier? The guy whose team has made the playoffs ONCE in his 7 years as GM? Whose teams are 570-564 during his tenure?
   34. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: January 25, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3059944)
Actually, the Jays problem hasn't been the AL East.

It's been again second division teams.

Best Regards

John
   35. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 25, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3060040)
The Jays did not cut Matt Stairs.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
danielj
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(964 - 9:48am, Oct 30)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogSan Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals - October 29, 2014 | MLB.com Box
(33 - 9:47am, Oct 30)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogJoe Maddon is to become Cubs manager, sources say
(60 - 9:46am, Oct 30)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4571 - 9:45am, Oct 30)
Last: The Good Face

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 7 OMNICHATTER
(1427 - 9:42am, Oct 30)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogMadison Bumgarner, World Series legend - McCovey Chronicles
(17 - 9:38am, Oct 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-30-2014
(2 - 9:37am, Oct 30)
Last: Dan Lee is some pumkins

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(572 - 9:33am, Oct 30)
Last: HMS Moses Taylor

NewsblogAngell: The World Series is Almost Over
(1 - 9:22am, Oct 30)
Last: sotapop

NewsblogJapan Times: Nakamura belts three-run homer in 10th to put Hawks one win away from Japan Series title
(7 - 8:55am, Oct 30)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

NewsblogHeyman: Pablo Sandoval is on Boston's 3B wish list, but so is Chase Headley
(25 - 8:14am, Oct 30)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogRoad maps to pitching success in Game 7 | FOX Sports
(9 - 1:14am, Oct 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogESPN: Jose Canseco shoots self in hand
(66 - 11:53pm, Oct 29)
Last: eric

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(15 - 11:14pm, Oct 29)
Last: CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(509 - 10:55pm, Oct 29)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

Page rendered in 0.4481 seconds
52 querie(s) executed