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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Book Excerpt: Future Value: The Battle for Baseball’s Soul and How Teams Will Find the Next Supersta

Depending on what your career goals and timetable are, and despite the fact that everyone in baseball took a unique path, there are lanes to place yourself in to increase your odds at success.

If your goal is to be a GM (this is the most common dream), then you need to figure out what your separating skill will be (you don’t have one right now) and go down the path to be an expert in that area. Increasingly, being an ace scout isn’t a recipe to run a team, so that’s not the smartest way to position yourself for a move up the ladder to GM. You can come up in scouting departments or player development, but be based in the office so you have a management point of view, are getting face time around those people, and are in those meetings. You may need to be a coach or scout as a first step, but know that your path needs to get you into the office sooner than later.

More commonly, GMs come from people who are office-lifer types, who come up as assistants in baseball operations (general contributors across departments), a step up to coordinator or assistant director (managing schedules and interns or entry-level employees, introduced to decision-making meetings), then becoming director of baseball operations (in charge of budgets, rules, running the office day-to-day, pitching in on hiring and higher-level decisions) then assistant GM, where your specialty (running the office, rules, overseeing a scouting or player dev department) is the flavor that your job takes, along with the thing that can headline your résumé for GM.

A sitting GM once described to us that he and his three AGMs are in charge of servicing the various departments (analytics, big league operations, international scouting, domestic scouting, pro scouting, player development). There’s more departments than the four of them, so they’re playing a zone coverage, constantly going between all the areas, making sure each department has what they need to succeed and, ideally, not needing further direction or correction.

Some thoughts concerning obtaining a front-office position in MLB.

 

QLE Posted: April 18, 2020 at 01:20 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general managers, jobs

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5941651)
Given it is unlikely I will ever play CF for the Cubs (though I wouldn't have been much worse than most of the guys who did!) I suppose my "dream job" in baseball now is TV broadcaster. I assume they're paid pretty well, I still get to mouth off about baseball, play armchair manager and GM, watch baseball for a living all without the responsibility and pressure of running a team. And once you're in, it seems to offer pretty good job security. That's not a very likely career path either but at least there are 60 local jobs plus network jobs ... and, like Cub CFs, I can't really be worse than Rick Sutcliffe can I?
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 18, 2020 at 06:35 PM (#5941653)
like Cub CFs, I can't really be worse than Rick Sutcliffe can I?


And here I thought he was a pitcher. Can you imagine Rick Sutcliffe playing center? Who wins, a team of 26 Mike Trouts, or 26 Rick Sutcliffes?
   3. Rally Posted: April 18, 2020 at 09:11 PM (#5941692)
Growing up my dream job was to be a starting pitcher. Idolized Nolan Ryan and wanted to be him. Obviously didn’t happen.

If I could go back in time and give myself the talent to achieve my dreams, I would change my mind and be a closer. Because I’m lazy. Sit around on my ass for 8 innings, come in to get 3 outs, and I’m the center of the celebration. I’ll take that.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5941698)
Sutcliffe was a pretty decent hitter for a pitcher and ... this kinda stuns me ... he had 17 RBI in 1979. That is tied for 12th of the expansion era (if I did the P-I search right) and the only more recent season with more was Adam Wainwright in 2016 with 18. It seems to be the 2nd-most of the 5-day/man rotation era.

Still, I like Mr Trout's chances.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: April 18, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5941699)
I remember reading that Lee Smith came to the ballpark, took a nap and then, if the Cubs were winning, he’d wake up and pitch the last inning or two, which would have been around 3:30 or 4 for Cubs day games. I’m 45 now, and that sounds perfect.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2020 at 09:29 PM (#5941701)
Wainwright was a beast that year. 13 hits including 7 doubles, a triple and 2 HR, good for a 242 ISO. 18 RBI in 69 PA, he was on a Hackian pace. He had one 1-RBI game, two 2-RBI games, three 3-RBI games and one 4 RBI game.
   7. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: April 21, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5942684)
And once you're in, it seems to offer pretty good job security.

If your last name is "Buck", sure. For everybody else, broadcasting is anything but secure, especially these days.
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 21, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5942702)
Sutcliffe was a pretty decent hitter for a pitcher and ... this kinda stuns me ... he had 17 RBI in 1979. That is tied for 12th of the expansion era (if I did the P-I search right)

you did

the names on that list are the expected ones--Earl Wilson, Gary Peters, Bob Gibson. The one that jumped out at me is Camilo Pasqual in 1962.I did NOT remember him as being a decent hitter, but , upon checking, he was. Vin Scully used to say that a quick and dirty shorthand for determining if someone is a "good hitter for a pitcher" is if he has as many or more hits than strikeouts. In 1962 Pasqual had 26 hits and only 8 K's
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 21, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5942707)
the leader on that list is Tony Cloninger, and 9 of those RBIs came in one game
   10. Rally Posted: April 21, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5942743)
Vin Scully used to say that a quick and dirty shorthand for determining if someone is a "good hitter for a pitcher" is if he has as many or more hits than strikeouts. In 1962 Pasqual had 26 hits and only 8 K's


As a shorthand, since 2018 any batter with more hits than strikeouts is better than MLB average.
   11. JJ1986 Posted: April 21, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5942744)
Has anyone read this book? I like both authors a lot, but from the marketing it seems more targeted to people who are somehow involved with baseball.
   12. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: April 21, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5942757)
the leader on that list is Tony Cloninger, and 9 of those RBIs came in one game


And another 5 came in a game 2 1/2 weeks before that.
   13. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: April 21, 2020 at 06:27 PM (#5942846)
11: I've started it - I haven't learned much yet, beyond some fun anecdotes, but I'm really into scouting/minor league stuff. It's pretty good and could work a number of types of baseball fans.

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