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Friday, December 04, 2020

Texas Rangers name ex-pitcher Chris Young as new GM

Chris Young, the former MLB pitcher who most recently worked in the Commissioner’s Office, has been named the new general manager of the Texas Rangers, the team announced Friday.

Young, 41, is from Dallas and made his MLB debut for these same Rangers back in 2004. Now 16 years later finds himself leading their front office. In an era where MLB executives are more likely to come Ivy League institutions and have zero experience playing pro baseball, Young is something of an anomaly. He’s now one of only two GMs who played in MLB. Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners is the other. However, Young also attended Princeton, so he checks the Ivy League box too.

Jon Daniels, the Rangers’ longtime GM and president of baseball operations, will now just serve as president, with Young essentially becoming his right-hand man.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 04:42 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris young, rangers

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   1. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: December 04, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5992516)
Turning around the Rangers is sure going to be a tall order for Chris Young.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5992523)
I once had a colleague who attended Princeton with Young.

she pretty much had her pick of any athlete on campus, and she once mused about passing on Young - they were just friends, she said (and dating and then marrying a blueblood from another blueblood school instead).

she was a foot shorter, fwiw, but not vertically challenged.

Young made about $30M as a player, while she married a hedge fund guy.

so could be a financial net gain or loss, but she would have been comfortable enough either way.

Young's senior thesis at Princeton was titled "The Impact of Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball on Racial Stereotypes in America: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Stories about Race in the New York Times."

he has a 12-year-old daughter, I see - who has the same first name as my ex-colleague.

and yes, it's a common enough name that I believe that to be a coincidence.
   3. depletion Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:35 PM (#5992533)
General Manager wanted. Tall preferred.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2020 at 02:23 AM (#5992547)
Chris Young 16.5 career WAR
Chris Young 17.5 career WAR
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 05, 2020 at 08:39 AM (#5992554)
she once mused about passing on Young

Maybe Young passed on her, hmmm? (Actually, at 6'10", he might not have even seen her...)
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5992560)
"Trade me for Adrian Gonzalez, again"
"You're hired!"

(sorry that was funnier in my head)
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5992565)
He was heads and shoulders above the other candidates.

Interestingly, he withdrew from consideration from the Mets GM job, presumably to take this one.
   8. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 05, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5992576)
Doesn't this mean that the other one has to get hired as GM for the Diamondbacks?
   9. Voodoo Posted: December 05, 2020 at 02:06 PM (#5992594)
Is this the Chris Young that Derek Lee took a swing at?
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5992597)
Young is a Texan through and through
   11. Jose Canusee Posted: December 05, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5992681)
Good trick question for Dipoto, was expecting the other one to be Billy Beane who is not a GM anymore.
   12. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: December 05, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5992683)
So, the GM title is now really the "assistant to the GM" with the Head of Baseball Operations being the defect GM, right? Or does the GM still make all personnel decisions? This re-organization - while around for quite some time now - has never made too much sense to me. It reeks of the crap I deal with at my University. Every Dean has 3 secretaries and Associate Deans, etc. It all just smacks of lining the front office with more bodies in middle management.

Anyway, I'm seriously curious if the GM title still carries the same weight it did 10-15 years ago. My instinct is no...but would love input from others...

   13. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: December 05, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5992687)
You are definitely correct, Jim. The duties that 20 years ago were performed by the General Manager are now performed, in most (nearly all?) modern organizations, by the CEO/Team President/Director of Operations/whatever. But I think the level of autonomy or lack thereof the GM gets can vary from team to team (because the interest in, thus direct involvement in, baseball operations by the Team President varies).
   14. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 05, 2020 at 11:23 PM (#5992699)
The duties that 20 years ago were performed by the General Manager are now performed, in most (nearly all?) modern organizations, by the CEO/Team President/Director of Operations/whatever.


Remarkably, the longest-tenured GM is with the team I would have most expected to use job-title inflation. Cashman has been with the Yankees since '98 and his title is just Senior Vice President, General Manager.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2020 at 02:22 AM (#5992708)
The most popular new title is "President of Baseball Operations." It's not uncommon for "assistant GMs" to be Senior or regular VPs. But given the FOs have a greater role in on-field, analysis, training (via video, etc.), they're doing a lot more micro-managing so do have broader responsibilities than FOs of old. So I suspect that while the most important duties of old-school GMs are usually taken by the PBO, some have been delegated to the GM who is responsible for more than an old assistant GM would have been. But the significant MLB decisions that we mostly concern ourselves with I'm confident rest with the PBO (or whatever) but that a fair number of the minor decisions (waiver claims, short-term promotions) are primarily the responsibility of the GM with the PBO pretty much rubber-stamping them.

But also agree that this split seems to vary from org to org, possibly partly as a function of the personalities involved. For the Cubs for example, Epstein and Hoyer had been working together for a long time before the Cubs and while there's no question Theo was the head guy, I think he trusted Hoyer completely and was grooming for a big job somewhere. With the Rangers, Daniels has been there so long without a whole lot of success that maybe the owners have told him to give up some of his responsibilities ... or, after 15 seasons, he's just ready to let some stuff go. (He's still only 43!)

It's unusual to see a guy last this long period much less without sustained success. It hasn't been a disaster -- 2 pennants, 4 Div titles, one WC, all over a 7-year period. But I'm not sure they've developed a single star player in that time (do they get credit for Hamilton? have I forgotten somebody?) -- which makes the decent level of success more impressive but also suggests you may never get to the top. He'd probably be a very good GM for a team where the window is closing but they think they have two more decent runs in them; seems he'd be a very bad choice for a rebuild.

Maybe that's part of this move -- they were terrible in 2020 and bad in 2018 (decent in 2019) and maybe ownership recognized this is a rebuild team and has instructed Daniels to turn over that part of the job to somebody else.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 06, 2020 at 04:36 AM (#5992709)
It reeks of the crap I deal with at my University. Every Dean has 3 secretaries and Associate Deans, etc. It all just smacks of lining the front office with more bodies in middle management.

This is the main reason a college education costs an effing fortune these days: something like 10x (after you adjust for inflation!) than it was 50 years ago. Hell, I could pay for my college classes (early-to-mid 80s) with just a summer job; not anymore.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 04:51 AM (#5992711)
Hmm, Young and I are the same age which means I know a couple of guys who went to Princeton with him. I doubt either of them have made $30 million but they’ve done all right for themselves.
   18. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: December 06, 2020 at 09:14 AM (#5992719)
@16, I'd lay it more at the feet of federally-backed student loans. There's no financial barrier to attending a typical public university anymore and there's no need to work while in school either. My graduate degree was free and I was still offered $25,000 a year in federal loans. Universities can raise tuition with a fair amount of impunity and the customers don't dry up. This in turn funds administrative bloat, massive capital projects, etc.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5992735)
Anyway, I'm seriously curious if the GM title still carries the same weight it did 10-15 years ago. My instinct is no...but would love input from others...


I can't say it about every team, but in St Louis it absolutely does not. I have to take a second to even remember the name of our GM(okay, I had to go to Bb-reference for the name... Mike Girsch), Mo still runs the show, still does interviews with the press, is the one doing the presenting at the baseball writers dinner and talking about the team... The GM's job is basically to handle day to day matters and work on ideas that he still needs to put forward to the President of baseball operations for approval.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5992795)
Probably 10 years ago or so I read something on the UCal system that claimed that the number of faculty was the same as it was in the early 70s (80s? whenever) as it was at the time of writing but that the adminstrative size had increased like 5-fold and was equal in size to the faculty. I don't imagine it's gotten any better.

As to Princeton ... the other Chris Young made $52 M, drafted out of HS, so that's what an Ivy education will do for ya.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 05:13 PM (#5992805)
It’s not just administrative bloat. Schools seem to be in a race to provide students with the nicest amenities and the fanciest educational facilities (and yes the existence of cheap loans contributes to this). I know the dorm I lived in during college has undergone two renovations in the 20 years since I graduated. There are also new science labs which are great but I don’t know whether the average undergrad benefits as much as those things cost.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2020 at 11:45 PM (#5992844)
#21 ... true. Plus there's always money for new buildings since that's a short-term cost. But administrative expansion brings much the same (greater?) long-term financial liability as faculty expansion without have any obvious effect on revenue generation (outside of the alumni office) so it's less obvious why it has expanded so much.
   23. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: December 07, 2020 at 08:07 AM (#5992852)
Higher ed administrator here (aka library director since 1998 for various US institutions) who got his bachelor's degree from UofO just as Oregon was for political reasons surrendering the last-century tradition of legislative support for its colleges and universities. Many of us are likely from that era, when loans mitigated costs but were not the sole means of financial aid and in-state tuition was affordable. Many of us now have kids of our own and know just how much that era is ancient history.

Why more administrators and associate deans and what have you? Universities are expected to act like corporations now -- well, for at least 20 years now. They resemble them not coincidentally, since that's the sensibility behind seeking their revenue streams. Students are customers and treated as such. Most colleges offer a residential experience that needs to be filled to capacity in order to pay down the note for creating/updating that infrastructure. Technology was supplementing curriculum delivery, but until this year, institutions were reluctant to put both feet in because, well, there's a physical plant that needs to be populated. How else to justify all those middle manager salaries? Meanwhile, the ever-growing army of adjunct temps are pitted against the tenured faculty at every turn -- hard to know who to root for in those ginned-up turf wars. Everyone but the big shots feels very disposable, probably because we are. Oh, and then this year happened. So there's that. I won't talk about how rapidly libraries are turning into information automats unless you all want to hear about it, and you'd be the first to want that.

If this sounds too much like every other damn thing in 2020, well, there you have it.

Congrats to this Chris Young, however. The Rangers are a lot of things, but they don't mind spending money. That makes them pretty weird in this New Austerity.
   24. GregD Posted: December 07, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5992883)
Faculty here so of course I complain about admin bloat.

That said a few caveats
1) I haven’t looked in a couple of years but last time I looked admin costs were a minor part of increased college costs. Vast reduction in state support for public universities was the main driver for them. For privates it was supply and demand; population growth plus international recruiting while many places kept seats stable.

2) that has softened but in the odd way that private colleges “charge” tuitions they don’t charge but instead fictitiously list while actually charging very different numbers, meaning the first thing you have to do is ignore completely—and forever—anyone who makes an argument based on listed tuition numbers

3) increased tuition has caused admin bloat as people expect more for their money. Everyone knew they were getting good teaching but terrible service at old nearly free publics. So admin bloat an effect more than cause of tuition rise

4) increased governmental regulations requiring admin to report continually on things they didn’t even use to measure. Every university has to designate admin points of contact on different federally regulated issues

5) change in societal perception of things like mental health. Colleges offer way way more mental health services than they used to, ideally out of compassion but also because it’s untenable to recruit students with the reputation that Cornell used to have.

Other issues not tied to admin bloat. The society expects young people to have way more space than prior generations. This shift is broad. Poor people used to expect to have a boys room and a girls room for six or eight kids. Middle class people expected doubling up even upper middle class people. About twenty years ago, a family member in admin noticed increased problems in roommate situations in dorms and they started doing focus groups. None of the kids had ever shared a room with anyone. For a while they trained the kids. Now they just charge the parents more for singles, and parents pay it.

And yes the student loan system sucks and some bad actors and predictably unfortunate situations account for a good deal of it

And also we pay zero attention to the main places where students study—community colleges and four year state institutions that draw from commuters (not flagship campuses.) states that do those well can take a huge whack at the problem
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: December 07, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5992886)
Poor people used to expect to have a boys room and a girls room


My daughter's school has solved this problem. Gender neutral bathrooms for everybody.

Yes, she goes to Oberlin.

   26. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5992902)
The dorm bathrooms were all co-ed when I got to Vassar in 1988. Not sure when it started.
   27. base ball chick Posted: December 08, 2020 at 02:42 PM (#5993127)
GregD Posted: December 07, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5992883)
Faculty here so of course I complain about admin bloat.

... that has softened but in the odd way that private colleges “charge” tuitions they don’t charge but instead fictitiously list while actually charging very different numbers, meaning the first thing you have to do is ignore completely—and forever—anyone who makes an argument based on listed tuition numbers


- what do you mean? they charge more than what they claim????


... change in societal perception of things like mental health. Colleges offer way way more mental health services than they used to, ideally out of compassion but also because it’s untenable to recruit students with the reputation that Cornell used to have.


- i'm curious - what reputation? i did a search but can't find anything. i would guess it would be everyone be depressed because of 9 months of cold and ice, but that would be true of every place north of like, dallas

Other issues not tied to admin bloat. The society expects young people to have way more space than prior generations. This shift is broad. Poor people used to expect to have a boys room and a girls room for six or eight kids. Middle class people expected doubling up even upper middle class people. About twenty years ago, a family member in admin noticed increased problems in roommate situations in dorms and they started doing focus groups. None of the kids had ever shared a room with anyone. For a while they trained the kids. Now they just charge the parents more for singles, and parents pay it.


- this means they got no poor kids there because we are used to sharing rooms. my kidz grew up sharing rooms.


   28. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 08, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5993140)
- what do you mean? they charge more than what they claim????


No, less. Sticker prices at private schools are very inflated. People don't have a good way to gauge the quality of a school (fit for a particular student would be a better measure, but I digress), and use cost as a proxy. But since few people can afford to pay full freight at these places, they rarely require people to foot the entire bill.

Cornell's reputation was that it was so stressful that students would jump into the gorge.

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