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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Giants working to get GM in place as search for new manager begins

SAN FRANCISCO—As he sat at the podium Tuesday and talked about all the work ahead of him, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi laughed while telling a story about 2014. Zaidi was a rising star in the industry and had just been hired by Andrew Friedman, a similar talent, to serve as general manager of the Dodgers.

“There was a lot of talk that this seems like a game of title inflation,” Zaidi recalled. “‘Nobody ever needed a president and a GM before, how’s this going to work?’ I feel in five years baseball has come a long way because there’s a tremendous amount of alarm that we don’t have a GM at this point. I think it shows the evolution of front offices and how sophisticated, and at times complex and involved, running a baseball operations department is.”

Giants officials got that sense every time they walked into Dodger Stadium in recent years. To get to the visiting clubhouse you have to walk past the old clubhouse, which now houses the organization’s massive analytics department. Baseball operations has become big business, and the Giants—who mostly have had the same group in place for a couple decades—plan to keep up.

After being somewhat coy about the process during the season, Zaidi came out Tuesday and made it clear he will hire a general manager. He called it a high priority and said he would move as quickly as possible, but insisted “there’s no favorite, let alone somebody who has either (the GM or manager) job in the bag.”

Sincere question:

Is it actually needed to have both a president of baseball operations and a general manager, and, if so, is it just a matter of “complexity” vaguely, or due to actual specific needs?

 

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 12:59 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: farhan zaidi, general managers, giants

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   1. The Duke Posted: October 07, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5887279)
Work expands to fill the space. Create a new role and it will find work to do. I wonder at what point analytics will simply be outsourced to a company that can do this at a higher level and tailor analytics to each team in its portfolio. It seems crazy to build all this capability internally. 80-20 rule would dictate that most of the value of analytics has probably already been realized.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 07, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5887282)
Work expands to fill the space. Create a new role and it will find work to do. I wonder at what point analytics will simply be outsourced to a company that can do this at a higher level and tailor analytics to each team in its portfolio. It seems crazy to build all this capability internally. 80-20 rule would dictate that most of the value of analytics has probably already been realized.

If you outsource analytics, you can't gain any proprietary advantage from it. Player evaluation is the absolute last thing a baseball team should outsource.

And what are we talking about here anyway. An analytics dept. is what, 5-10 guys? Even if they make $200G each (they don't) that's less than the cost of a single mediocre reliever. It would be crazy NOT to build this capability internally.

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