Potential GM Candidates, a gigantic post

DMZ · June 17, 2008 at 6:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I’m trying not to focus too much on who might get hired and who won’t, or what criteria the M’s will look at. I’ll write about that separately. At the same time, I tried to write up a brief explanation of why the team might particularly go for them or not.

So if you think they’re not going to hire someone who understands VORP, there’s a whole class of candidates that rules out, but it’s not noted in each one, and if you think they value a person’s long history in baseball, that’s also not listed in the pros for those candidates.

Again — as much as I agree that the hiring process is important, and people are right to be concerned about having Armstrong/Lincoln making the decisions, the intent here is to talk about potential candidates. Process and who they might or will hire will follow. We promise.

Glossary
AGM = assistant GM
AtGM = assistant to the general manager (“Assistant Regional Manager” “Assistant *to* the Regional Manager”)
SVP = Senior Vice President
DPD = Director Player Development
DPP = Director Player Personnel

Internal Candidates

Lee Pelekoudas
Current job: Interim GM, VP and Associate GM

In 1988, Pelekoudas was Director of Baseball Administration. Then in 1996-7, Senior Director. Then VP of Baseball Admin until 2006.

Why they might be hired: he’s familiar, the M’s organization is comfortable with him, by all accounts he’s done a good job within his area.
Why they might be turned down: if they’re serious about going in a new direction, and Lee was as involved in personnel decisions as they’ve said, then his involvement with these disastrous teams will keep him from ascending.

Retreads: former and current GMs

Jim Beattie
Current job: ?
GM experience: Expos, Orioles (sort-of)

Why they might be hired: his time in Baltimore for Angelos proved he was willing to stay in a humiliating job sharing arrangement where a powerful and sometimes irrational owner frequently made things even worse, so he might be viewed as reliable and pliable
Why they might be turned down: uggghhh

Billy Beane
Current job: Athletics GM
Not going anywhere, he’s a part-owner of the A’s.

Brian Cashman
Current job: Yankees GM

Stone-mentioned. I don’t think he’ll go anywhere. It’s hard to separate Cashman’s performance from the Yankee organization as a whole, the owners, and all that fun stuff.

Paul DePodesta
Current job: Padres AtGM
GM experience: Dodgers, 04-05

I want to preface this by saying that I really like DePodesta. You can check out his blog for some good, direct DePodesta knowledge.

The problem is that his time in LA didn’t go well, and was dominated by attacks from the local media and an inability to get along with people within the organization. I’ve heard that he’s a great front-office guy who may never be well-suited for the top role, and I think that’s too dismissive: it assumes that he didn’t learn anything from his time in LA, and that he’s incapable of growth. I don’t think either of those things are true, and at some point, he’ll get his shot if he wants it.

Why they might be hired: he’s smart, he gets it, he’s exactly the kind of GM candidate who would be able to sift through the organization and start figuring out what’s working and what isn’t.

Why they might be turned down: as publicity-conscious and conservative about decision-making as the M’s are, it’s easy to see them passing just out of fear over the media reception and those relationships, and that the M’s org as a whole, which includes a lot of old-school long-timers, might reject him in the same way the Dodgers did.

Dan Duquette
Current job: ?
GM experience: Expos, Red Sox

I mention this because I feel like Gammons will float the idea at some point. Rested! Ready!

Jim Duquette
Current job: ?
GM experience: Mets, briefly

Why they might be hired: As Stone points out, if they want to hire Valentine to manage, Duquette might help.
Why they might be turned down: what’s the compelling reason to hire him?

Dan Evans
Current job: agent
GM experience: Dodgers GM

Why they might be hired: The M’s almost hired him once before
Why they might be turned down: If they’re making a clean break with Bavasi, that may well preclude Evans from consideration, since Evans spent 2005-2007 with Seattle as an AtGM.

Pat Gillick
Current job: Phillies GM
Larry Stone mentioned this in his article, but I don’t see it happening. Gillick’s become something of a specialist GM, in that he takes jobs where a team’s close to contention, puts them in the playoffs a couple times, and then scampers off before the collapse. The 2009 Mariners aren’t the kind of team he’s chosen to pick up before. If Gillick wanted a challenge he’d have stayed on as Mariner GM.

Gerry Hunsicker
Current job: Rays SVP Baseball Operations
GM experience: Astros GM
Unlikely to be a candidate: he’s content in a nice job in an up-and-coming successful franchise.

Wayne Krivsky
Current job: ?
GM experience: Reds

Why they might be hired: he’s an old-school guy with a ton of experience, been around Griffey lately
Why they might be turned down: not a new approach, or particularly successful

Steve Phillips
Current job: well-compensated oxygen-to-carbon-dioxide converter for ESPN
GM experience: Mets

I’m sure this’ll be brought up eventually.

Why they might be hired: he almost signed Alex but then didn’t
Why they might be turned down: bad record

Kevin Towers
Current job: Padres GM

I hadn’t considered that he might be a possibility until Stone mentioned him. If he’s moving, he may be the best combination of “suitable for Lincoln and Howard” and “new school”. Towers is the only current GM who really bridges the perceived gap between old and new, and can live in both. He’s an experienced hand who just kept learning, he’s well-respected by both sides even as he’ll try and apply new tools and strategies.

I also really like Towers. If you’ve been to an event with him, you understand why.

Why they might be hired: he’s enough of an old-school trooper to ace the interviews
Why they might be turned down: may not be available, the Padres record is not great, so that might be an awkward conversation

Bob Watson
Current job: works for MLB
GM experience: Astros, Yankees

A Stone mention. I’m not sure why Larry threw his name out, but he has to have a good reason. Doesn’t he?

Why they might be hired: I don’t know.
Why they might be turned down: No special reason.

Current front office types

Ruben Amaro Jr.
Current job: Phillies AGM
Nope, he’s getting Gillick’s job when Gillick leaves.

Al Avila
Current job: Tigers AGM.

Why they might be hired: Did well the last time the M’s interviewed him. I don’t care about the Tigers fortunes this year, if there’s any way that Dombrowski’s magic rubbed off on Avila over the years, it’d be great.
Why they might be turned down: ?

Chris Antonetti
See here.

David Forst
Current job: A’s AGM

Why they might be hired: awesome
Why they might be turned down: Hiring someone from the A’s, who have year after year handed the M’s their ass on a fraction of the budget, might be too embarrassing for the higher-ups, an admission that all the scorn they’ve tried to heap on the A’s was misplaced.

Tony LaCava
Current job: Jays DPP

Regarded as a “rising star” and often mentioned in these conversations

Why they might be hired: he’s got the personal skills, he’s enough of a traditionalist to appeal to the M’s
Why they might be turned down:

Bonus link 1, Bonus link 2

Kim Ng
Current job: Dodgers AGM

Why they might be hired: she’s sharp, she’s got a great resume, she’s respected, she’s been USSM-endorsed
Why they might be turned down: if they’re looking to really move forward and get one of the new uberGMs, the Antonetti/DePodesta/Forst candidates are more sabermetrically-inclined.
Bonus link: 2003 interview with friend-of-USSM Jonah Keri

Logan White
Current job: Dodgers AGM

Why they might be hired: comes from the scouting side
Why they might be turned down: not the huge break to new approach offered by other candidates

Bonus link 1, bonus link 2

Peter Woodfork

Current job: Diamondbacks AGM

There’s a whole Red Sox-Diamondbacks group that could go in here. Jerry DiPoto, AJ Hinch, Jed Hoyer, among others. I’m writing up Woodfork because he seems to be the most discussed among them.

Why they might be hired: personable, offers the Antonetti/Forst sales pitch without the baggage
Why they might be turned down:

Not really that much of a bonus bonus link

Jack Zduriencik
Current job: Brewers AtGM, Director of Amateur Scouting

Why they might be hired: long scouting experience, awesome last name
Why they might be turned down: again, if they’re looking to break with the scouting/old school player dev approach, it’s a tough sell

Comments

59 Responses to “Potential GM Candidates, a gigantic post”

  1. PatrickMeighan on June 17th, 2008 6:42 pm

    “Why (Depodesta) might be turned down: as publicity-conscious and conservative about decision-making as the M’s are, it’s easy to see them passing just out of fear over the media reception and those relationships, and that the M’s org as a whole, which includes a lot of old-school long-timers, might reject him in the same way the Dodgers did.”

    If the M’s organization is gonna be willing to overlook an otherwise-ideal candidate because they want someone who’ll dazzle the press, hawk the team and kiss major old-school ass, it’s gonna be really hard for me to maintain even the slightest iota of caring about this team. C’mon M’s, if you want PR, hire a PR person. If you want someone to make smart choices about this franchise and the pieces which compose it, you hire the smartest and most clear-eyed guy you can get, quotes and solicitude be damned.

    It was fun to follow the Dodgers when DePo was running ‘em, because they were making smart, efficient decisions which protected the long-term future of the franchise. They were they anti-’08-Mariners (and, for that matter, the anti-’08-Dodgers, who are similarly un-fun to follow).

    Please hire DePodesta. Please oh please oh please.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  2. terry on June 17th, 2008 6:48 pm

    Thanks for this thread Derek….

  3. jlc on June 17th, 2008 6:56 pm

    Thanks for all the info here, including the links. It’ll take more than a casual read. I love that.

  4. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 6:58 pm

    If the M’s organization is gonna be willing to overlook an otherwise-ideal candidate because they want someone who’ll dazzle the press, hawk the team and kiss major old-school ass, it’s gonna be really hard for me to maintain even the slightest iota of caring about this team.

    Don’t undersell the relationship with the old-schoolers. Someone who comes in and antagonizes the rest of the staff is really not a good fit for the organization. That introduces problems that are totally unnecessary. And if the Ms’ organization is anything, they’re old school…

    On the other hand, if DePodesta has learned from his experience, and is able to get his ideas accomplished while still placating the old schoolers, then this might be a good fit…

    At any rate, I think the team should look to the younger folks—at some point the old school folks are going to die off…

  5. Reed4GG on June 17th, 2008 6:58 pm

    DMZ,

    What about Terry Ryan? Do you think he is interested in a big payroll and good scouting department. I thought one of the reason why he left the Twins was because he had no payroll to work with. Maybe a fresh start would help.

  6. PatrickMeighan on June 17th, 2008 7:17 pm

    “Don’t undersell the relationship with the old-schoolers. Someone who comes in and antagonizes the rest of the staff is really not a good fit for the organization. That introduces problems that are totally unnecessary. And if the Ms’ organization is anything, they’re old school…”

    Antagonization is one thing. Failing to kiss major old-school butt is another.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone claim that Paul DePodesta was antagonistic to anyone: press, old-schoolers, players, coaches, Frank & Jamie McCourt, anyone. Rather, the book on DePodesta, as best I understood it, was that he was simply (and politely) disinterested in expending energy maintaining press relationships, hobnobbing with Dodger alums and legacy, and massaging the McCourts’ egos. He thought his job was to show up to work, make very, very smart and efficient personnel decisions that maintained the long term health of the franchise and drew maximum utility from the payroll budget the McCourts wished to spend, and then, at day’s end, say a nice bye-bye to everyone and go home to his wife and family.

    Quite frankly, that’s exactly what I want in the next GM. 100%.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  7. joser on June 17th, 2008 7:17 pm

    It’s really bugging me that you have all those repeated “why they might be hired” and “why they might be turned down” entries. These are individuals, not couples or groups or hive minds. I realize you did it solely because you have Kim Ng in there so you’re trying to use a gender neutral pronoun, but it’s both confusing (the “they” everywhere else in the post is Lincoln/Armstrong/etc) and unnecessary: you’ve got a computer, you can do search and replace or cut and paste, and only one entry needs special treatment to switch “he” to “she”…

  8. DAMellen on June 17th, 2008 7:23 pm

    So the – means that you think they’d be a good hire?

  9. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 7:26 pm

    joser: I wrote it that way without any particular intent in mind, though your thought that I did it out of consideration for Ng is, I guess, complimentary.

    The – just means I couldn’t think of any particular reason that candidate might not be hired, not that they’re good or I recommend them.

  10. PatrickMeighan on June 17th, 2008 7:28 pm

    “Someone who comes in and antagonizes the rest of the staff is really not a good fit for the organization. That introduces problems that are totally unnecessary.”

    By the way, I think if the past few seasons (and this season in particular) have taught M’s fans anything, it’s that the biggest and most unnecessary problem in a baseball franchise is the compilation of a roster consisting of poor players who are paid too much, with contracts which are too lengthy. Compared to that problem, supposed personality issues are of trivial impact.

    Unless I’m mistaken (and I genuinely might be), we seem to have reached a consensus here that, given the choice between signing a player who simply shows up and performs his job well vs. signing a player whose playing performance is shaky but who represents “character” and “leadership,” you really oughtta select the former and not the latter. I genuinely believe the same is true in selecting folks for the team’s front office. I don’t want a “character” and “leadership” GM. I don’t want a “good quote” GM, or a GM that everyone would like to go out and have a beer with, or a GM who wells up whenever he hears the name Harold Baines. I want a GM who shows up, keeps his mouth shut, and is simply smarter than the other GMs and is able to direct that intelligence toward the work of making smarter and more efficient roster decisions.

    That’s it. That’s all I want.

    Please hire Paul DePodesta.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  11. NBarnes on June 17th, 2008 7:33 pm

    ‘they’ as a third person singular is the wave of the future. Those who resist will drown under the tides of history!

  12. tgf on June 17th, 2008 7:35 pm

    I went to the BP-sponsored spring training Q & A with Bavasi and Towers a few years back. Towers answered questions thoroughly, gave provided some insight and opinion about philosophy and was very impressive. Bavasi less so, but I got the impression he was very cautios about sharing organizational philosophy.

    Fun facts–

    Bavasi was asked about the Soriano-Wilkerson trade from the perspective “How could Texas be that dumb?” He said that he really liked Wilkerson and liked the trade for Texas.

    KT was asked what he liked in pitchers. He said that command was the most important, and movement on the fastball also important. He felt the most important second pitch (after a well located fastball) was a good change-up.

  13. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 7:43 pm

    Derek, this is really fantastic, thanks.

    I was going to request a horse-racing type handicapping for each, but there’s just too many names right now. I suppose the “process and who they might hire” post will pare these down to a more manageable group.

  14. joser on June 17th, 2008 7:52 pm

    So how much do we really know about the process they used to hire Bavasi? And how sure are we that they’ll vary it at all in light of how that turned out? (Whatever their public statements might suggest). I suppose one factor working in their favor is that they have a good four months to work through candidates.

    ‘they’ as a third person singular is the wave of the future. Those who resist will drown under the tides of history!

    I doubt it. I’ve actually (in informal writing) started getting out ahead of the obvious trend: we have “I” for singular, and “U” is now, thanks to txting (and Prince), well established for the second-person; so the logical choice for third person singluar is “E”… which in addition to lending itself to txting has the obvious advantage of being a gender neutral contraction of either “he” or “she”

  15. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 7:56 pm

    I mentioned we’d talk about the process later, so… we’ll talk about the process later.

  16. joser on June 17th, 2008 8:01 pm

    Yeah, it was more a “questions I hope you’ll answer, to the extent you can” prompting for that post.

  17. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 8:06 pm

    By the way, I think if the past few seasons (and this season in particular) have taught M’s fans anything, it’s that the biggest and most unnecessary problem in a baseball franchise is the compilation of a roster consisting of poor players who are paid too much, with contracts which are too lengthy. Compared to that problem, supposed personality issues are of trivial impact.

    Having dealt with people issues, I will politely disagree.

    Managing people’s personalities IS a part of a GM’s job, and a major part. You can’t scout every player. You can’t evaluate every farm hand. You rely on others to do that. And being able to nudge people into the 21st Century while still appreciating what they can contribute (incomplete as it is), will take some finessing.

    Assuming that this team is even remotely interested in moving out of the 20th Century.

  18. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 9:01 pm

    From living in L.A. during DePodesta’s tenure, listening to and reading the relentless assaults against him on the radio and in the paper, I’m still not sure what started the blood feud.

    But I can tell you that pretty quickly became about much more than DePodesta. It was a scornful, bitter, bile-filled attack on sabermetrics and, really, logic.

    A bunch of idiotic radio buffoons and old-school sports guys who felt incredibly threatened by anything that threatened to reveal the truth – that all their chemistry, camaraderie and machismo love was essentially empty and meaningless. It was ugly.

    I don’t know if Depo was rude to them or not. Maybe it was just obvious that he had no respect for their “Play Bloomquist!”-style braying. Maybe he ignored advice from Tommy Lasorda who in turn called his press friends. I don’t know.

    They wanted him to fail so bad it you could feel it.

    The side attacking him was so ignorant and hateful that I refuse to assume it was somehow DePodesta’s fault. Maybe it was, but he gets the benefit of the doubt over those jokers. Plaschke and Simers chief among them.

  19. seadiv88 on June 17th, 2008 9:07 pm

    []

  20. seadiv88 on June 17th, 2008 9:08 pm

    []

  21. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 9:09 pm

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  22. seadiv88 on June 17th, 2008 9:09 pm

    []

  23. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 9:28 pm

    Assuming that you are in agreement over Antonetti, Derek… do you and Dave agree on the next best choices?

    How many of these would you consider really top-rate possibilities?

  24. edgar for mayor on June 17th, 2008 9:28 pm

    Thanks for this.

    If you were going to guess, who do you think the Lincoln would hire off that list…based off old habits, but his new promise.

  25. averillpr on June 17th, 2008 9:31 pm

    I can’t believe thaat I am the first to say it, but great reference to “The Office”.

  26. edgar for mayor on June 17th, 2008 9:35 pm

    David Forst
    Current job: A’s AGM

    Why they might be hired: awesome
    Why they might be turned down: Hiring someone from the A’s, who have year after year handed the M’s their ass on a fraction of the budget, might be too embarrassing for the higher-ups, an admission that all the scorn they’ve tried to heap on the A’s was misplaced.

    This would just prove they really don’t care whats best for this team and they aren’t in any hurry to win.

  27. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 9:46 pm

    I think I could like Kevin Towers, if someone like Antonetti or Ng is too much of a stretch for Lincoln and Armstrong.

  28. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 9:58 pm

    How many of these would you consider really top-rate possibilities?

    and

    If you were going to guess, who do you think the Lincoln would hire off that list…based off old habits, but his new promise.

    There will be process and prediction posts. I promise.

  29. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 10:07 pm

    Sorry, I meant how many of these do you consider blue chip? How many would you be truly excited about as GM other than Antonetti?

    I’m just trying to get an idea where the drop off is from great to good.

  30. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 10:12 pm

    There’s an interesting thought. I’ll put that in the queue.

  31. jimmylauderdale on June 17th, 2008 10:16 pm

    As for the Paul DePodesta thing, IIRC, he had a pretty good working relationship with new-school types like Ng and old-schoolers like Logan White. His problem came in that he was not accepted by those two weak excuses for journalists Bill Plaschke and TJ Simers. They railed against him at every opportunity and Plascke reduced himself to name-calling like a pre-pubescent girl. As rediculous as the LA Times looked during all of that, Frank McCourt completely let it affect his decision making. Now he has a Sabean clone as his GM.

  32. edgar for mayor on June 17th, 2008 10:20 pm

    Um, this may be because I have only been seriously following baseball for 5 years. But has there ever been a female GM before?
    I’m not against it in the slightest, just curious.

  33. edgar for mayor on June 17th, 2008 10:23 pm

    Almost 60 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the franchise could have toppled two more barriers at the same time. Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ owner, interviewed Ng this month. If she were hired, she would have become the first female and the first Asian-American general manager in baseball history.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/17/sports/baseball/17dodgers.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Never mind guys. Thank you if you looked though.

  34. Sports on a Schtick on June 17th, 2008 10:33 pm

    [ot]

  35. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 10:36 pm

    Another question to find out about is how many of these candidates would be good to instigate a sea change in how things get done in this organization? From the Armstrong/Lincoln level to the scout level? Because this train wreck of a season seem to be, like 2004, the product of many hands, not just Bavasi…

  36. zDawgg on June 17th, 2008 10:40 pm

    This article is outstanding.

    It tells me a lot of what others around baseball feel about these candidates.

    Hopefully, it will help the Mariner brass with some perspective to their search.

    This blog can be an asset for the M’s if they so choose.

  37. Slippery Elmer on June 17th, 2008 10:43 pm

    Woodfork also is a pretty cool last name.

    Would hiring a bridge GM (i.e. Towers) benefit the team more overall than a fully-sabermetric/post-old-school candidate? Or would the rebuilding process require so much change that either approach may work in a similar span of time?

  38. msb on June 17th, 2008 10:52 pm

    FWIW, from 4+ years ago, after Bavasi was hired:

    “Armstrong and Lincoln wouldn’t discuss who the final candidates were, but the list is believed to have included Mariners player development director Benny Looper, Mariners assistant GM Lee Pelekoudas, Montreal GM Omar Minaya, Boston assistant GM Mike Port, Florida assistant GM Dan Jennings, Detroit assistant GM Al Avila and New York Yankees assistant GM Gordon Blakley.”

    What about Terry Ryan? Do you think he is interested in a big payroll and good scouting department. I thought one of the reason why he left the Twins was because he had no payroll to work with.

    he hasn’t left the Twins, just the GM position. He’s now a “senior adviser”

  39. MILS on June 17th, 2008 10:52 pm

    Wow. I can’t stop laughing from your description of Steve Phillips.
    Truly… Well done.

  40. jimmylauderdale on June 17th, 2008 10:55 pm

    Just want to take a minute to say thanks, DMZ. When something like this happens to the M’s, this is the first place I come for information and insight and I am sure I am not the only one. You and Dave both are invaluable resources to all of Mariner Nation. This is an excellent topic for discussion in what is, I am sure, the first of many regarding the future of this franchise. Thank you for your diligence.

  41. msb on June 17th, 2008 10:59 pm

    unless I missed it a mention of it while doing my speed-reading of the last two days blogging, Hickey has a list up as well, after talking to “a former GM”

  42. giuseppe on June 17th, 2008 11:02 pm

    Antonetti Antonetti

    DePo DePo DePo

    Antonetti Antonetti

    DePo DePo DePo

    It’s my new dance. Sung to whatever tune comes to mind, it doesn’t matter. Just do it every night until they hire one of them.

  43. Breadbaker on June 17th, 2008 11:13 pm

    This is partially a response to the Antonetti plea post and partially this one, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t take this job if I were any of these guys (or gal) with any other options. The one time the M’s gave the keys to the car to anyone was Gillick, who was hired as “the man who had to trade Ken Griffey, Jr.,” the time the team essentially had to have someone with enough credibility with the fans and media to survive that move. And Gillick was essentially emasculated by the trade deadline in 2001, never really making a major move again even though he was around for the next two seasons.

    The person you’d want for this job is someone who would be smart enough to know that history. And none of them, unfortunately, carry enough heft to be able to demand, as a condition of taking the job, that Lincoln and Armstrong be stuck in a room somewhere and allowed to speak to the public if and when summoned. Even if the next GM is going to be “the guy (or gal) who traded Ichiro” that is probably more an issue with their relationship with ownership than the fans (who do not cheer Ichiro the way they cheered Griffey or Edgar).

    I suspect Terry Ryan might be as good as we might get.

  44. Mike Snow on June 17th, 2008 11:17 pm

    Hickey’s list is new all right, although the names on it aren’t, except for Rizzo [edit - and Bernazard].

  45. jimmylauderdale on June 17th, 2008 11:18 pm

    How was Bavasi not free to make the decisions he did??? You think Lincoln/Armstrong ordered the signing of Silva? How about the trade for Vidro? In what way do they appear meddlesome? Just because BB tried to go the FA route to build this team does not mean he did not have the “keys.”

  46. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 11:22 pm

    Hickey’s list has a post of its own now.

  47. Benne on June 17th, 2008 11:24 pm

    Antonetti and DePo would be my first choices for GM. Failing that, I would be happy with someone like Forst, Kim or Towers.

  48. joser on June 17th, 2008 11:37 pm

    I seem to recall Bavasi had to convince the braintrust to open the purse to sign Beltre and Sexson. I hope people haven’t forgotten how amazing that was, to see the M’s be a big player in the offseason free agent market for the first time. It caught other teams by surprise. It was falling attendance that broke the camel’s back, but Bavasi was there piling the straw. And whose picks were those if not his? You think Armstrong and Lincoln sat around with the Baseball Almanac and the free agent list and decided those were the right guys to add to the team? Bavasi may have gotten marching orders to get rid of Garcia and Guillen, and pick up Johjima, but you really think he wasn’t the guy who decided to swap Soriano for HoRam? You really think it was Armstrong and Lincoln who decided to take on “family friendly” Carl Everett or Jose Guillen? Or Weaver or Spiezio or Washburn or the rest? That was all Armstrong and Lincoln? Really?

    Well, in that case, things are bound to get much better, because they’re clearly convinced a change is necessary, and presumably that would mean actually giving the next GM “the keys.” No, the problem isn’t that Bavasi didn’t have the keys; the problem is he used them to start the car and drive it over the cliff. To have any hope, the next GM has to be someone who knows how to see the road (the one that’s ahead, not the one in the rear-view mirror).

  49. zackr on June 18th, 2008 12:07 am

    I went to a game with Forst. A real nice guy.

  50. thefin190 on June 18th, 2008 12:10 am

    “suitable for Lincoln and Howard”

    Was it meant to be Lincoln and Armstrong?

  51. edgar for mayor on June 18th, 2008 12:24 am

    Was it meant to be Lincoln and Armstrong?

    Chuck and Armstrong

  52. Steve T on June 18th, 2008 12:57 am

    I just really, really want to see the drive-by USSM posters trying and failing to spell Zduriencik for the next decade or so. You’d probably have to add it as one of the wordpress buttons or something.

  53. pgreyy on June 18th, 2008 12:57 am

    Even if the next GM is going to be “the guy (or gal) who traded Ichiro” that is probably more an issue with their relationship with ownership than the fans (who do not cheer Ichiro the way they cheered Griffey or Edgar).

    Has our self-hatred really come to this?

    I don’t think the fans have soured on Ichiro…and it’s still quite clear that Ichiro is still the favorite player of the majority of the fans who come to the game.

    If there’s any truth to what you’re suggesting, it might be because Ichiro’s game does not lend itself to the types of cheers that perhaps Edgar and Jr. may have generated–as Ichiro is rarely the guy about to hit the walk-off home run to win the game…and there’s a difference between a diving catch (more likely in Jr.’s salad days) and a strong throw (which is Ichiro’s trademark).

    But to think that this fan base would be any less shell-shocked if M’s management chose to unload Ichiro than it would have had Edgar been traded, or if the M’s had traded Jr. without the implied promise of keeping A-Rod (which was a sold to us, at the time, as the sugar to wash down the bitter medicine of losing Jr.)…I just think that’s a bitterness unreflected in reality.

    This year has been difficult for anyone who bought into the idea that our expectations for this season should have been as high as they are…and perhaps, in that desperation, you think that anything can happen…but I truly think any GM coming in to this situation is likely to regard Ichiro, Felix and possibly Morrow as the untouchables on the roster.

    …and the ONLY untouchables on the roster.

    And I think the fans, other than those on the Times blogs who champion WFB, would agree.

  54. terry on June 18th, 2008 6:24 am

    Basically I hunger for the Ms to move in the direction of “new school”. In other words, I want to see them embrace sabermetrics fully (and competently) while emphasizing the need to blend stats and scouts in order to create an organisation that forms a cohesive, consistent whole from rookie ball to Safeco. Scouts aren’t marginalized but rather their efforts are made more efficacious. I want to be proud of this organization and I long to be able to brag about the way they lead/innovate their industry.

    That said, here’s my initial knee jerk short list:

    I’d want Antonetti (radical change in the right direction). I’d be perfectly happy to get Towers (he’s probably the best fit for the Ms “culture”). I’d “settle” for Depodesta (I think his hiring might be more analogous to drafting tools that project-in other words, philosophical he fits the mold for what I think the Ms FO needs but I’m not sure if it will translate).

  55. Reed4GG on June 18th, 2008 7:46 am

    I know that Terry Ryan is a special assistant, but is there a possibility that he could be interviewed for this job? Looking at what he has done with a smaller payroll I would like to see what he could do with a big payroll. DMZ or Dave do you think he would be a good fit for us?

  56. Evan on June 18th, 2008 10:26 am

    ‘they’ as a third person singular is the wave of the future. Those who resist will drown under the tides of history!

    If you want to live in the world described in Idiocracy, go right ahead.

  57. gwangung on June 18th, 2008 10:41 am

    If you want to live in the world described in Idiocracy, go right ahead.

    What? You mean the one Shakespeare lives in?

  58. VictorB on June 18th, 2008 11:38 am

    Where is the White Sox Assistant? I recall him being considered along side Antonetti for both Pittsburgh (who passed on LaCava, Bernazard, and Zdjurnchek) and St. Louis last year.

  59. isismajor on September 30th, 2008 10:56 am

    Hasn’t it been rumored that Beane will possibly go off to GM/rebuild a soccer team (while still helping out with the A’s) with Forst taking over as the primary head honcho?

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