Stone runs down GM Candidates

DMZ · June 17, 2008 at 11:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

While Dave and I were busy emailing ~20 names back and forth (Dave complaining at one point that we might as well put every AGM on the list since I’d included ~ten), Larry Stone wrote up and ran an article on Pelekoudas and other potential GM candidates which includes many of the people on our list and then some.

It’s a nice article, check it out. We’ll be commenting in more depth on the list, and our list, later.

Comments

68 Responses to “Stone runs down GM Candidates”

  1. carcinogen on June 17th, 2008 11:53 am

    Gillick: DO NOT WANT!

  2. busplunger on June 17th, 2008 11:55 am

    Can we plug Churchill’s list, too?

  3. lailaihei on June 17th, 2008 11:55 am

    [dupe]

  4. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 11:56 am

    I’m excited to see the potential GM post, but this is a good article too.

    Particularly excited to see Kim Ng in the mix; I think a female GM would be really healthy for baseball.

  5. Mike Snow on June 17th, 2008 12:08 pm

    To run down all the possible candidates – in addition to Stone’s and Churchill’s lists, I’ve seen names bandied about by the News Tribune, Buster Olney, Jim Street, and Ken Rosenthal. The first two don’t identify anyone not already mentioned by Stone. Street adds former GMs Dan O’Brien and Wayne Krivsky.

    And while Stone mentioned a couple of people in the Diamondbacks’ front office, Rosenthal adds yet another, Jerry Dipoto, their director of player personnel. Not surprising that Arizona is seen as a hotbed of management talent right now, although I find it a bit curious that nobody in Tampa Bay is being mentioned in the same way.

  6. Mike Snow on June 17th, 2008 12:10 pm

    Sorry, I overlooked that Stone lists Gerry Hunsicker, who is of course with the Rays front office right now. My mind still can’t get away from associating him with the Astros.

  7. Dave Clapper on June 17th, 2008 12:10 pm

    Uber-scary: “Bob Watson, former GM of the Astros and Yankees: Watson interviewed for the Mariners position in 2000, and now works for the commissioner’s office.”

  8. SequimRealEstate on June 17th, 2008 12:11 pm

    Ref. Jeff 4. I remember reading a number of years ago that the Mariners had more female baseball fans that any baseball team percentage wise. With the all so important Marketing that the Mariners do that alone should get her an interview.

  9. lailaihei on June 17th, 2008 12:13 pm

    To run down all the possible candidates – in addition to Stone’s and Churchill’s lists, I’ve seen names bandied about by the News Tribune, Buster Olney, Jim Street, and Ken Rosenthal. The first two don’t identify anyone not already mentioned by Stone. Street adds former GMs Dan O’Brien and Wayne Krivsky.

    Please… no Krivsky…

  10. Matthew Carruth on June 17th, 2008 12:18 pm

    @7

    Uber-Uber scary: Jim Duquette is on Stone’s list.

  11. jsa on June 17th, 2008 12:21 pm

    #4

    Particularly excited to see Kim Ng in the mix; I think a female GM would be really healthy for baseball.

    That sounds like all the WRONG reasons to me.

    Haven’t we had enough of the politically correct way of running a team?

    Evaluate each on their qualifications and talents and leave gender and “good for baseball” out of it.

    (Of course there is always the possibility your tongue was planted firmly in your cheek, if so, /me=dunce cap)

  12. Benne on June 17th, 2008 12:21 pm

    Dear God,

    Please don’t choose Gillick or Krivsky.

    Sincerely,
    Benne

  13. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 12:29 pm

    Haven’t we had enough of the politically correct way of running a team?

    ?

    “Had enough?”

    An unending string of white guys?

  14. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 12:29 pm

    No, it wasn’t tongue in cheek at all, but I probably in retrospect shouldn’t have made a comment that invited such a response.

    Let’s pretend I just said that Kim Ng would be an awesome potential candidate, period.

  15. ivan on June 17th, 2008 12:36 pm

    I have no confidence in anyone hired by Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong.

  16. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Oh, I’ll be talking about that tonight.

  17. bergamot on June 17th, 2008 12:39 pm

    I’m glad the name “Steve Phillips” is not on either list, though he’s probably going to be on the M’s short list of candidates.

  18. joser on June 17th, 2008 12:51 pm

    How many GMs have there been in the history of baseball that can be described as anything other than “white guy”? There’s Minaya with the Mets, and… who? Since I don’t often see pictures, and there’s not much you can tell from names, I really don’t know.

  19. jsa on June 17th, 2008 12:51 pm

    #14. Mo betta.

    Wouldn’t want DMZ to go “Sutcliffe” on you. ;-)

    #13 Color is right up there with gender in my list of things that don’t serve any valid purpose in evaluating GMs.

    Jeeze, I’m sounding pretty politically correct myself here.

    /slinks away…

  20. smb on June 17th, 2008 1:04 pm

    We can hire an overweight and sluggish Mississippi River catfish for all I care, so long as it doesn’t like to sign FA pitchers or trade prospects for veteran grit.

  21. edgar for mayor on June 17th, 2008 1:06 pm

    Dear God,

    Please don’t choose Gillick or Krivsky.

    Ditto.

    I do like however(in order of choice) Atonetti, Gerry Hunsicker, Jed Hoyer, and David Forst.
    Cahsman is interesting as well and might do well under a organization that isn’t the oppressive Yankees. Then again there are the rumors that Lincoln is a micromanager himself, I just don’t know what Cashman could do here.

  22. zDawgg on June 17th, 2008 1:17 pm

    no PC choices, please.

    “For the good of baseball”, get a GM that wins, that is what is important.

    If you want PC, go to a Storm game.

  23. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 1:22 pm

    Yeah! Only non-PC choices! Whatever that means! In fact, who’s that former Mets guy who made that weird drunken racist pass at Ng? Go sign him to be our GM! He’s anti-PC! The opposite! Yeah!

  24. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 1:22 pm

    no PC choices, please.

    If the person’s good, there’s no problem. And a person who’s good, even if fifth or sixth choice, would be an order or two magnitude improvement.

    “For the good of baseball”, get a GM that wins, that is what is important.

    That means Gillick, you know. None of the others are “proven” winners….

  25. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 1:26 pm

    I imagine we were going to end up having this discussion in the candidates post anyway; but man, I can’t recall the last time I’m regretting a comment I made this much.

  26. the other benno on June 17th, 2008 1:28 pm

    joser –

    Kenny Williams, GM of the White Sox, is African-American.

  27. scraps on June 17th, 2008 1:36 pm

    The phrase “political correctness” invariably causes the entire conversational IQ to fall thirty points. It’s never used honestly or consistently, it mixes truth and bullshit for the purpose of avoiding other truths, it’s a reduction of complicated issues to catchphrases and cant, it’s a thought-substitute.

    If everybody, the anti-PC folks and the anti-anti-PC folks, could have the arguments without ever resorting to the phrase, it probably wouldn’t magically turn into a smart conversation, but I guarantee it would get less stupid.

  28. Mike Snow on June 17th, 2008 1:38 pm

    In fact, who’s that former Mets guy who made that weird drunken racist pass at Ng?

    Bill Singer. From the exchange as it was reported, I never saw it as a “pass” in the sense that he was hitting on her (they’re what, 30 years apart in age?), but he was drunk and it was weird and racist.

    The latest from what I can tell is that Singer was hired by the Nationals as a scout. Ironically, his assignment there was to coordinate operations in Asia.

    He was also the first pitcher to earn a save after the statistic was made official.

  29. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 1:57 pm

    Trying to cut through the mass of names on these lists…

    Dan Evans is intriguing. He did a great job building the Dodgers minor league system earlier this decade and got a pretty raw deal when McCourt rolled into town. I know he’s on the scouting side of the scouts/stats fence, but he seems like a sharp guy who deserves another chance to run a team and would likely bring a progressive style. He has the obvious ties to the organization so he may be seen as a “safe” choice…

  30. jefffrane on June 17th, 2008 1:58 pm

    I will say that, PC or not, I’m offended at the idea that someone can’t possibly be hitting on someone else because they’re too old. Fooey.

  31. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 1:59 pm

    Scraps – excellent point. Hadn’t thought about it that way.

    Jeff – I’m biting my tongue. Maybe we can get more into it if she makes it to a short list… or gets hired.
    ~
    Stone’s list makes me so nervous. There are exciting names… but it’s the ones that are NOT exciting that seem to fit the Lincoln/Armstrong axis of incompetence too well not to win out.

  32. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 2:06 pm

    Stone’s list makes me so nervous. There are exciting names… but it’s the ones that are NOT exciting that seem to fit the Lincoln/Armstrong axis of incompetence too well not to win out.

    Yeah, that’s the scary thing. And Armstrong/Lincoln don’t KNOW how incompetent they are in baseball even to begin the evaluation process…

  33. JerBear on June 17th, 2008 2:09 pm

    PC Schmee See. This is a post about baseball, right?

    People are just afraid that the M’s will end up hiring someone because they’d be good for the organization’s image (see BB), rather than just good for the organization. Kim Ng could be both, so it’s a non issue.

    Back to baseball.

  34. Mike Snow on June 17th, 2008 2:20 pm

    I will say that, PC or not, I’m offended at the idea that someone can’t possibly be hitting on someone else because they’re too old. Fooey.

    Somehow I knew somebody would say that. I probably should have anticipated by saying of course it’s not impossible, just that the difference in age is a reason not to assume. Since unfortunately, there’s also the idea that a man can’t possibly be talking to a woman in a hotel bar for any reason other than to hit on her.

  35. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Aren’t we making some pretty rash assumptions about how poorly we think this GM search will proceed? Given how poorly Bavasi’s tenure had gone the past ~12 months and the sorry state of the franchise, at least at the major league level, I believe they’ll at least listen to executives who bring a completely different approach to team building and management than Bavasi’s.

  36. gwangung on June 17th, 2008 2:28 pm

    Aren’t we making some pretty rash assumptions about how poorly we think this GM search will proceed?

    You look at how this team is run…”rash” is not a term I ‘d use about the collective judgements…

  37. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 2:31 pm

    I agree with BaltimoreDave actually; it’s way, way too early to be saying “the Mariners will screw this up again”.

    Firing Bavasi is a recognition that there’s a problem with the way they’ve been doing things; while there’s good reason to be skeptical, it’s a mistake to already start speculating about ways that they could screw it up.

  38. Brian Rust on June 17th, 2008 2:34 pm

    The problem as I see it is now that that an MSM outlet has hyperlinked to the USSM Antonetti campaign, it can never seem enough like Lincoln’s/Armstrong’s idea for them to actually do it.

  39. Ninja Jordan on June 17th, 2008 2:36 pm

    Ng, Antonetti, and Forst sound intriguing.

    But we all know it will be Jim Duquette.

    Sigh.

  40. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 2:38 pm

    You look at how this team is run…”rash” is not a term I ‘d use about the collective judgements…

    Well, they’re assumptions based on candidate lists (most of which look like WAG) posted in the past 24 hours, so… yeah, I’d say assumptions like “Damn, you know they’ll just choose Candidate X because he’s old-school” is rash.

    Maybe I’m an optimist, but I believe Lincoln and Armstrong feel the organization has hit bottom. The “old way” of building a team, as carried out by a man they genuinely respected and whose methods they had backed almost unflinchingly, failed. They will almost certainly entertain new thoughts and ideas from new faces. And I believe they’ll be impressed with quite a bit of what they’ll hear.

  41. thebigp708 on June 17th, 2008 2:42 pm

    Howie will only hire someone that he can control, then blame when everything goes sour. Someone like Pelekoudas. That said, there’s no way we’re getting a gm worth his weight in salt…

  42. jzalman on June 17th, 2008 2:51 pm

    Is anyone else disturbed by this quote in the article? It terrifies me:

    “It’s tough to bring in someone from the outside, with no knowledge of our organization and the details you need to know to make those moves. I would expect Lee will certainly be the GM at the trade deadline.”

    This is from Armstrong. Doesn’t this prove our worst fears that the FO doesn’t think organizational change is needed? They think their current “strategery” is sound, and want the moves before the deadline to be made by someone in keeping with it. As soon as I hit this quote my heart broke, because: a) they are recognizing moves need to be made before the deadline to rebuild for next year and b) they aren’t capable of valuating younger talent well and c) as far as I’m concerned, the only guys worth anything in trade are Ichiro! (they don’t have the balls), Felix (they are definitely dumb enough to), Beltre (got lambasted in the first place), and Bedard (is actually a lot better than this, and I’d hate to have even less than him for AJ/Sherrill, et al).

    Anyway. I’m afraid of the implications of this seemingly inoccuous quote.

  43. jzalman on June 17th, 2008 2:54 pm

    I guess what I’m saying there is; isn’t hiring someone with no knowledge of our organization basically the best thing that could happen to us? Or at least someone who openly disagrees with how our organization is run?

  44. jzalman on June 17th, 2008 2:56 pm

    My post (41) could be directed toward your comment Jeff Nye (37).

  45. NBarnes on June 17th, 2008 2:57 pm

    But we all know it will be Jim Duquette.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_methods

    I’d love to see Kim Ng. Baseball’s old crowd needs a good setting on their ears, and she certainly seems to have spent the time to know how to do the job. Heaven knows she couldn’t possibly be worse than my nightmare candidate, Wayne Krivsky.

  46. RealRhino on June 17th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Is the A.J. Hinch in Arizona the ol’ Stanford catching prodigy? I think my fantasy league gave that guy about five years to do something, with five different teams hoping to catch a rising star….

    What is the thought on Cashman? I could never really understand why people thought he was so great, unless it’s just accepted wisdom that ownership was behind deals like the Pavano signing, things like that.

  47. Jeff Nye on June 17th, 2008 2:58 pm

    I think there’s good reason to be skeptical about the process the team will follow to select the new GM.

    I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea to start panicking, though, and I think there’s enough reason for optimism to at least keep an open mind.

    Now, if they turn around and hire Wayne Krivsky, THEN we can start lamenting.

  48. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 2:59 pm

    41 –

    I think you’re misinterpreting it. Rushing to hire a new GM just to have him/her in place by the deadline isn’t a good strategy.

  49. Evan on June 17th, 2008 3:00 pm

    Ng has been interviewed for several GM jobs, and no one’s hired her yet. Are they all sexist, or is Kim just not that good a candidate?

    I don’t know, but I’d rather have Antonetti, white guy or not.

  50. jzalman on June 17th, 2008 3:05 pm

    47-

    Now you’re misinterpreting me. I didn’t say that to rush hire someone is a good strategy. But if someone with no inside knowledge of the Mariners organization could make better decisions than Pelekoudas there is no reason to avoid them, or delay hiring them. My point is, someone on the outside does know the rosters, even the farm rosters, probably. I’m sure there are more details that help, but what I’m taking him to be referring to when he says “no knowledge of our organization and the details you need to know to make those moves” is “how we operate.” And that is scary to me. Because we don’t operate well, and it needs to change, not be maintained.

  51. scraps on June 17th, 2008 3:09 pm

    Are they all sexist, or is Kim just not that good a candidate?

    I’m not an Ng advocate — I don’t know enough to have an opinion — but there are more possibilities than just those two. In particular, there is the possibility that she isn’t a good enough candidate (in the opinion of hirers) to overcome the obstacles she’s certainly going to face when she’s hired; or that the people doing the hiring don’t have the nerve to face the media and fan shitstorm if she fails; or that it simply hasn’t been the right fit at the right time.

  52. BaltimoreDave on June 17th, 2008 3:14 pm

    jzalman,

    I didn’t take that quote to mean they aren’t considering candidates outside the organization. I took it to mean that making a change with about 6 weeks before the trade deadline puts an artificial limitation on the search – and I happen to agree with that. There’s nothing with stating clearly that Pelekoudas is the GM through the end of the season, and after that will be one of many candidates considered for the job on a permanent basis.

  53. Ninja Jordan on June 17th, 2008 3:17 pm

    If it is Krivsky I am done with the team forever.

  54. NBarnes on June 17th, 2008 3:35 pm

    Evan: I don’t find it hard to believe at all that Ng would be interviewed and not hired repeatedly. It doesn’t take a drooling trogldyte to decide on within-the-margin-of-error white male candidate over some minority, it just takes a little bit of perspective distortion, even unconsciously. But given that GMing is overwhelmingly the province of white males, it’s not hard to assume that Ng has to be twice as good to have the same shot.

  55. RealRhino on June 17th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Isn’t Jim Duquette the guy that traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano?

    If nothing else, I think I’d like a GM who can properly evaluate and value pitching talent.

    Also, I’m not saying one bad trade should knock you out, but it does cause some concern.

  56. busplunger on June 17th, 2008 3:54 pm

    I don’t find it hard to believe at all that Ng would be interviewed and not hired repeatedly.

    I don’t either, though I think you can add job scarcity to the list of reasons. There are only 30 Major League GMs on earth, meaning that there are probably multiple qualified executives who have been interviewed more than once and still haven’t landed one of those jobs. Each time there’s an opening, an organization will interview multiple candidates, so we’d expect to see lots more interviews than hires.

    Not saying there aren’t sinister forces at work behind the scenes, just pointing out that getting a few interviews but not a job (yet) is within the realm of normal.

  57. horatiosanzserif on June 17th, 2008 4:00 pm

    How many GMs have there been in the history of baseball that can be described as anything other than “white guy”? There’s Minaya with the Mets, and… who? Since I don’t often see pictures, and there’s not much you can tell from names, I really don’t know.

    Other than Ken Williams, there also was Bob Watson with the Yankees and Bill Lucas with the Braves, if I remember correctly.

  58. scraps on June 17th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Chris Chambliss got a ton of interviews for manager without ever getting hired, despite (so far as I could tell) most folks agreeing that he’d earned a chance by any reasonable measure.

  59. DMZ on June 17th, 2008 4:03 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhh Chambliss. Man, that would be entertaining.

  60. John in L.A. on June 17th, 2008 4:09 pm

    Given how poorly Bavasi’s tenure had gone the past ~12 months and the sorry state of the franchise, at least at the major league level, I believe they’ll at least listen to executives who bring a completely different approach to team building and management than Bavasi’s.

    I haven’t heard a single thing that would give me any reason to believe that they blame the team’s philosophy for their struggles.

    I think they blame Bavasi, I don’t think they blame the approach. Because blaming the approach would be blaming themselves.

    The burden is on them to prove to us that they won’t screw this up – they haven’t earned the assumption that they will make wise decisions. They have earned the opposite.

    Even in the last 24 hours they have been dismissive and defensive about sabermetrics.

    Why should the fact that they fired Bavasi years too late, after letting him gut the franchise give me optimism about their judgment? Why do they get credit for doing something even the most dull of executives would have realized needed to be done a long time ago?

    I’m excited for change, but hope will have to wait.

  61. tomas on June 17th, 2008 4:30 pm

    Axis of Incompetence. hehe. I like that.

    Those two could still be fired, remember. I kind of doubt it, but it could happen. If it did, it’ll probably be at the end of the season.

    If not, we can only hope they have learned from their mistakes. Chuckie’s insinuation that they’re going to do something at the trade deadline is troubling however. They talked about a new plan. I only hope they don’t lock themselves into a half baked ‘old’ plan by what happens the rest of this season.

    Rushing to try and rebuild might be the worst thing they could do right now.

  62. dlb on June 17th, 2008 4:38 pm

    If Armstrong’s track record of hiring GM’s tell us anything the hiring will be someone who has the following attributes:

    *Old school baseball/scout philosophy
    *Win-now is the first priority, building long term success is secondary attitude (Gillick and Bavasi)
    *Won’t rock the boat (Woody Woodward is dream candidate)
    *In lock step with the commish’s office (Bud can do no wrong)
    *History of winning or working for winning franchises (WS ring a must)
    *History in the game (No 30 something ivy league grads please)
    *Gritty (Must love WFB)
    *Old white male (sorry Kim!)

  63. scraps on June 17th, 2008 4:41 pm

    If the Columbia Journalism Review does an internet collection of funny headlines — an online equivalent of Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim — the headline of this post would make a good entry.

  64. PaulMolitorCocktail on June 17th, 2008 4:48 pm

    You know, the assistant GM and VP of Player Development for the Nationals may be available. I’m sure he’d be interested.

    Say hello to your new GM – Bob Boone.

  65. amsballs on June 17th, 2008 4:54 pm

    What about Jim Beattie?

  66. MKT on June 17th, 2008 5:00 pm

    Although Kim Ng would be a demographic breath of fresh air — young, female, Asian American, she even went to college at my alma mater — there’s a lot not to like about the way the Dodgers have been run. Granted, much of that’s due to the GM and the owner, I have no idea what Kim’s exact role and duties with the Dodgers are.

    Overpaying for vets such as Garciaparra, Andruw Jones, and Jason Schmidt (and I remember the dicussion and wariness here about the M’s going after Schmidt).

    And it’s not just the on-the-field decisions … I suspect that Dodger Stadium has become the most class-segregated ballpark in baseball (by class I technically mean class of ticket, although class of income will be correlated with that). There are whole levels of Dodger Stadium that you cannot go to if you don’t have a ticket for that section, and I don’t mean just a few luxury boxes. Some of the best concessions are in those levels. In contrast, one of the pleasures of Safeco Field wander all over into the nooks and crannies check out the viewpoints. Last year in Safeco Field a friend took me to the Hit It Here Cafe; not having tickets to sit there for the game we had to finish before gametime but we still got to enjoy the meal and the view before going to our seats. Can’t do that sort of wandering or high-class eating at Dodger Stadium, not unless you’ve got a golden ticket.

    Early this season, in order to protect the precious box seat patrons from the hoi polloi, the Dodgers put severe restrictions on where kids could stand before the game to get autographs. Mustn’t have a 10-year old drop any Cracker Jack on one of those box seats. An uproar of protest from the fans and sports columnists finally got the Dodgers to relent.

    Parking at Dodger Stadium now costs $15 and unlike many other ballparks, you have virtually no other options for parking or for getting there (I even tried walking from the nearest light rail stop once … not something that’d be wise to do at night).

    Earlier I’d drawn analogies between the Mariners and the Cubs: great ballpark drawing in enough fans to pad a high payroll roster, but no clue about how to spend that money wisely (although the Cubs are doing well so far this season). But maybe the Dodgers are a better analogy with the Ms. Unlike the Cubs, the Dodgers have won several World Series over the past century — but they’ve won a grand total of one playoff game in the last 20 years. But the fans and money keep rolling in.

    However so far the Mariners have been continuing to make the ballpark experience more fan-friendly than the Dodgers have. But would that advantage continue under Ng?

  67. Eleven11 on June 17th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Sorry to be so late in checking in. #1, Gillick:
    World Championship Blue Jays
    Division Winners Mariners
    First Place Phillies
    Gillick we do not want?
    I know, minor leagues a mess, gee, we have so many prospects now.
    Reality, personally, I would like a new face, Ng or Antonetti but Gillick is a winner.

  68. joser on June 17th, 2008 7:05 pm

    I suspect that Dodger Stadium has become the most class-segregated ballpark in baseball…

    What makes you think the GM, or anybody who works for him (or her), has any input into ticket and parking prices, seating policies, or really anything at all to do with stadium operations?

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