Experience isn’t everything
Geoff Baker is back from vacation and chimed in today with his thoughts on the GM search. While I agree with most of what he wrote, one sentence really left a bad taste in my mouth, as he seems to be writing off Woodfork because of a perceived lack of experience.
From here, one of those picks will get their shot. It may even be Woodfork, though, as I said, all else being equal, I don’t see why the M’s would take him when the other three candidates offer the same fresh look with added experience.
First of all, all else isnâ€™t equal. The candidates have different educations, different backgrounds, different strengths and weaknesses, different philosophies, ideas and contacts. If all else were equal, thereâ€™d be no need for interviews.
Secondly, knocking Woodforkâ€™s experience isnâ€™t fair. LaCava and Ng have more experience than Woodfork, yes. But DiPotoâ€™s basically a toss up. Woodfork has spent six years in major league front offices (three with Boston, three with Arizona) and another three years in MLBâ€™s Labor Relations department. DiPoto played professionally from 1989 to 2000, then spent 2003 and 2004 in Boston’s front office, joined the Rockies front office in 2005 and has been with the Diamondbacks since 2006. I would argue that Woodforkâ€™s time in the MLB office actually gives him the edge over DiPoto, experience-wise.
But thatâ€™s not the point. The point is that experience only counts for so much. Any idea how much front-office experience Theo Epstein had when he took over at general manager for the Red Sox?Â About six years. Billy Beane was an assistant GM for only five years before he was promoted to general managerÂ in 1997.Â And how about Andrew Friedman? Just three years before he was GM for the Rays, laying the groundwork for one of the most well-run franchises in baseball, he was an investment analyst for Bear, Stearns & Co.
Experience is what got us in to this mess, remember? Itâ€™s time for change.
Woodfork in â€™09.