In building a franchise, what GM would you choose based on track record and nothing else?
Let’s play the game of “If you were in charge.” You have a chance to make a decision to hire a General Manager for your baseball club. However, you want to make sure you are making the right decision and want to remove any bias or preconceived notions about the candidates. Each candidate has had some degree of success, but all are now seeking a second chance. So, you look at the nameless resumes first before you press on with interviews. You may have a preference. Perhaps someone who uses analytics and the latest technology to advance the team, or a candidate who was more conservative but still won. Or maybe someone who has managed to use a mixture of new and old ways to build a team. How far would you go to win? Which GM would you choose?
This candidate has quite a track record. He spent his first job overseeing the scouting, international, and player development aspects of the team. He led development in Latin America and even built a computer program to house data on all the players in the organization, from scouting reports to personal information. All the hard work paid off as this candidate saw two pennants, a World Series win, and a runner up finish in a league championship. In his first general manager position, his minor league affiliates all made the postseason in one season within his first two years. His data-mining completely changed the course of several players’ careers, allowing them to perform their best.
This candidate has been a scout, coach, and general manager. He worked his way up and helped find talent that would result in a World Series victory. After that, he was scouting director and played a role in signing one of the biggest players in the franchise’s history. Finally, he would get his first crack being a GM. He uses more old school ways and is just now getting caught up in analytics by tripling his staff. You are pretty sure he’s restricted by payroll but when he did have it, the players did not work out. His experience is there, but a track record to adapt quickly is not. He has fell just short of post-season experience. He is a Hall of Famer and can evaluate talent, based on his past track record.
This candidate was an interim GM at one time. He has been with the same organization for more than 10 years, but prior to that, he was a scout, a national scouting supervisor, a director of player development, a national crosschecker and he spent time in another front office prior to his last stop. He was an early adapter in advance metrics. He is looking for his first opportunity.
This candidate of all of them has the most experience. He served as a farm director, then assistant GM duties before a fowl went and cut it short quickly. Aggressive in his pursuits to acquire talent, his way to build a franchise is through trades. He has won a pair of World Series and has gotten clubs to numerous post-season appearances. He has torn teams down and rebuilt them up. He also has a spotty record building up a team with the farm system but more hits than misses. However, in the new era of analytics and using them to build a team, he may have fallen behind this trend. His tree of executives he has hired and worked with is quite impressive.
So there are your GM candidates. Pick yours and tomorrow I will reveal the names and a bit of history of each candidate.