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  1. Nice article. Totally agree that on the analytical and philosophical side, we’re moving towards having all GMs be essentially equal. Not there yet, obviously, but it’s going that direction. But I really think you can’t underestimate the value of having a guy with great interpersonal and management skills, and, respect around the game. Not only for building a smoothly running front office and inspiring smart people to come on, but also for interacting with other GMs. Alex Anthopoulos, for example. The guy must have tongue made of silver.

    Comment by Matt — October 3, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  2. So hiring Epstein would be the ‘Cub’ move then, like overpaying for Soriano, Zambrano, et al.

    Comment by RB — October 3, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  3. No, there’s something else you get with Theo – a proven willingness to make very tough decisions, and to use available resources in ways that appear to be extraordinarily inefficient to the point of being embarrassing, to get what the team needs. Prime example: a deal giving up the popular star (Garciaparra), the prospect (Murphy) and the cash for a two- (three- as it turned out) month rental (Cabrera). You can’t know that anyone who hasn’t done that would do it. Of course, it doesn’t always work, and when it doesn’t you look terrible — but that’s the point.

    Comment by Mr Punch — October 3, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  4. No one will be truly free until the MLB is free of neanderthals like Ned Colletti and Brian Sabean.

    Comment by D4P — October 3, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  5. Will they take lackey with epstein?

    Comment by jesse — October 3, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  6. Theo Epstein may be a marginal upgrade in terms of expected value over many other candidates such as Hahn and others, but he does represent a “safe” investment compared to other options. How many hirings both in front offices and elsewhere don’t work out as well as would have been expected. You see this all the time with GMs, NFL and College Football coaches, and plenty of other positions both in and outside of sports. There aren’t too many jobs in the world comparable to being a GM and for an organization like the Cubs looking to reestablish it’s value, it could prove well worth the investment to avoid risk at the most important position in the organization.

    Comment by Doug — October 3, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  7. I think the Angels are a good example of this. You’ve got a manager who knows how he wants to do things, and he might have to give an established GM some more respect than a wiz kid instead of running roughshod over the newbie.

    Comment by Kernel — October 3, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  8. Maybe that’s the compensation: Sure, you can have Theo. But you have to pay Lackey all his money and run him out there every fifth day.

    Comment by Dann M — October 3, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  9. Think i disagree. Just because these GMs are all stat-minded, we assume they will do the same job? Just because you have the same data, doesn’t mean everyone interprets that data equally.

    Billy Beane and Andrew Friedman are both sabermetric-GMs but the difference between the two is about the difference between the rosters of the A’s and the Rays .

    Comment by PR — October 3, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  10. I’m not sure I agree at all. If the role of GM is such a commodity in sports, why are the so many obviously bad ones out there? Why are some teams perennial winners, and others losers? I just don’t agree that there is any evidence, statistically, that a GM is a GM is a GM.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 3, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  11. You’re making similar assumptions as to the abilities of people to perform GM jobs based on their performance in an assistant GM position. The skill sets needed to perform well in both jobs may have some overlap, but there’s more to being a GM than the ability to run a statistics program.

    We all may think we’d be better GMs than 75% of those in MLB, but let’s face it. 99.9% of us would fail miserably if handed the job.

    Comment by Steve — October 3, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  12. I was thinking about these guys too–given that so many new GMs are following newer schools of thought, are the teams that don’t have an intelligent FO going to start to have more and more trouble competing?

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — October 3, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  13. That’s not what I was trying to say. I don’t think all GMs are created equal, but I do think that there are a lot of “generic” versions of the “name brand” guys who have very similar ideas and would attempt to implement very similar gameplans to guys like Epstein, Friedman, etc…

    The differentiators aren’t the ideas, but how well the person can get the organization on board and going in that direction. It’s possible that Epstein or Friedman’s experience is worth the extra cost to a team like the Cubs, but I don’t know that I can agree that teams should just start bidding over established front office personnel given the huge supply of smart executives-in-training who are willing to work for next to nothing.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — October 3, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  14. I think the days where some GM’s clearly have no business being where they are are behind us, but all GM’s will never be equal. Somebody’s going to be a better negotiator or better able to jump on a market inefficiency. There will always be some GM’s that are better than others. Ed Wade will be gone this year, Colletti will follow shortly. Sabean will probably be around for as long as he can find ways to turn the likes of Burrel and Ross into Babe Ruth for a month in October.

    Comment by Bill — October 3, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  15. You’re forgetting supply and demand. Yes they may produces wins worth more than their salary when compared to players, but like you said a thousand ivy league graduates would love the job but they can’t play. There is a very limited pool of applicants for players.

    Comment by Joe — October 3, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  16. What do we know really know about Epstein other than the fact that he interviews well? The same thing can be said about Francona. I’m not sure how you can separate his ability from the fact that he can have a huge payroll. Of course going to the Cubs isn’t really any different (in fact easier because the division is so much easier) so maybe he’s a perfect fit there.

    Comment by Tom — October 3, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  17. I think you need to read the article more carefully, because that’s not what Dave is saying at all. The point of the article is that there is a basic skill set that is largely held in common, but there are additional differentiators come into play at the higher level – differentiators that involve organizational skills that aren’t as significant at the assistant level.

    The question is how much extra a team should be willing to pay to acquire demonstrated ability with those added skills versus selecting a cheaper candidate for whom those added components are more “unknown”.

    Comment by Basil Ganglia — October 3, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  18. Not sure even friedman himself would agree with that kind of shortsighted results-first analysis.

    Comment by Welp — October 3, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  19. GM’s play with someone else’s money in the game of baseball. If you are a good “gambler”, then your successes exceed your failures with many of the factors that control those outcomes out of your control. (injury makes a good decision a bad one) I’m thinking that many contributors to this web site have the ability to be on the success side of being a GM, using stats as a partial predictor. My conclusion is GM’s are not underpayed.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — October 3, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  20. Crap argument. Do you punish other GMs for not playing in the AL East? No one is going to argue that money doesn’t help, but the majority of Epstein’s biggest fails have been his big ticket FA signings, while his strong points have been his drafting and development and finding undervalued players. He has also done a great job of letting his own FA’s go at the right time, with Johnny Damon being one of the only guys to earn his contract after leaving. It would be one thing if the Red Sox thrived off guys like Crawford, Lackey, Dice-K, etc…their whole core is home grown guys, or guys dealt for home grown guys.

    Comment by Earl Sweatshirt — October 3, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  21. “The differentiators aren’t the ideas, but how well the person can get the organization on board and going in that direction. ”

    Boom. Ties in nicely with the reason Epstein would be considering the door in the first place. If the Cubs can guarantee him independence, he has a lot to gain over his subordinate-to-a-douche position in Boston.

    Comment by Welp — October 3, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  22. well you can use any metric you want over pretty much any time period, you want and Friedman has better performance. Over enough sample size, results are the product of decision-making and judgment. I’m not taking about one year or one trade.

    Comment by PR — October 3, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  23. Assumes that Theo is the guy you’d throw money at if you thought the market for GMs was inefficient. I don’t see why anyone would think that. The Sox keep missing the playoffs, his big FAs keep going bust, and it’s been several years since the farm system coughed up anybody useful. Just ‘cuz he’s SABR doesn’t mean he’s good.

    Comment by Pierre — October 3, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  24. “I’m not sure how you can separate his ability from the fact that he can have a huge payroll. ”

    You could probably look at their drafting and development, among other things. Epstein’s regime falls on its face with free agents, but is near the top in that department.

    The more difficult question — and I think every GM would acknowledge this — is distinguishing between the GM’s work and the work of the staff he surrounds himself with. Ultimately a large component of a GM’s talent, I’d wager – how well he identifies and acquires other front office personnel.

    Comment by Welp — October 3, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  25. Really interesting. This is why I read Fangraphs.

    Comment by ICEYhawtSTUNNAZ — October 3, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  26. “I have no idea what the job entails other than signing free agents. Listen to my conclusions.”

    Comment by Welp — October 3, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  27. What is known about him:
    1) Shares (or follows) James’ ideas
    2) Has difficulty drafting talent once key personnel leave.
    3) Will blow through a team’s payroll acquiring bad “name” players if given the chance.

    In other words, we know he’s pretty much like every other GM.

    Comment by Sultan of Shhhhwwwing — October 3, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  28. I really hope Theo doesn’t leave for the Cubs. He would probably do something stupid like trade for one of Boston’s bad contracts to try to prove that he was right about him (Crawford).

    Comment by Brian S. — October 3, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  29. haha

    Comment by matt — October 3, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  30. No, hiring Epstein is sort of like signing Joey Votto’s extension. Overpaying for Soriano, Zambrano and Crawford would be like hiring Tony Reagins and giving him a raise.

    By the way, the best part of that article on ESPN was the little snippet that the Angels and Reagins have “parted ways”, hahahaha.

    Comment by SC2GG — October 3, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  31. In some ways having a dark ages GM may be of value going forward. If the market all moves to value the current “undervalued” aspect, eventually the things that used to be highly valued may be undervalued again.

    Then again, probably not.

    Comment by CMC_Stags — October 3, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  32. If drafting is a key component than PHL and LAA have really good GMs.

    This is why I don’t like to over credit GM’s in smaller markets. One of the few, huge mistakes GMs make is large long-term contracts. Small market GMs don’t avoid these contracts because they’re a bad idea. They do so because they don’t have a choice.

    The death of the A’s could have been long-term contracts to Giambi, Mulder, Zito, and Chavez.

    What’s killed the Als is not being able to reproduce the drafting skills that turned out 7 star in 4 years?

    That’s why I wonder how much of OAK’s success was drafting luck. Philly also has a lot of homegrown talent as it’s nucleus.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 3, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  33. What the hell are you talking about with 2?

    Comment by Michael Scarn — October 3, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  34. And to think an article in the SF Chronicle this AM is bragging about Sabeans devotion to sabermetrics.

    Comment by channelclemente — October 3, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  35. Dave wrote

    “I’d argue that the individual ideas that any GM candidate can offer are now probably so similar that they aren’t worth paying that much for. Smart, analytical baseball executives have essentially become commoditized – there are a few thousand Ivy-league graduates willing to work for peanuts and cracker jacks pounding on these team’s doors every year, and there is a seemingly never-ending supply of wiz kids attempting to climb the ladders of Major League front offices.”

    and the closing statement

    “The supply of qualified candidates is so high that I’m not sure that throwing a lot of money at an established guy is actually going to bring you a significant upgrade.”

    Dave mentions that there might be an additional value to the added skill differentiators, but only as an aside.

    What’s the upside for the Cubs if Epstein turns Chicago into a postseason team? In 2008, Tampa Bay made $17.7 million in additional revenue due to making the World Series. The Angels made $4.4 million for hosting two playoff games in 2008.

    Cubs ticket sales also have dropped by about 500 per game. At an average price of $53, this is worth over $2 million per year, not including concessions.

    The upside is significant and probably worth the cost for the Cubs. Maybe there’s someone who’s young, cheap, and almost as good as Epstein. However, fans and Fangraphs fall in love with the new hot young thing too easily.

    We’re not talking about 750 positions; there are 30 GM slots. It’s like Hollywood, with lots of people wanting to be stars and starlets. Only the select few end up being and getting paid like Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, or Brad Pitt.

    Comment by Steve — October 3, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  36. “well you can use any metric you want over pretty much any time period,”

    K. I choose wins per dollar.

    http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/payroll_v_wins_in_the_moneyball_era_2002_2011/

    Also, you didn’t merely claim that Friedman is better than Beane, you attempted to quantify how much better he is: “the difference between the two is about the difference between the rosters of the A’s and the Rays”.

    I doubt that’s true, doubt you could prove it, and doubt either GM would agree.

    Comment by Welp — October 3, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  37. Welp – you misquoted PR’s statement and your wins per dollar comparison is false.

    He said “well you can use any metric you want over pretty much any time period, you want and Friedman has better performance” Your reference to wins per dollar relates to seasons BEFORE friedman was hired.

    Welp’s comparison was Freidman vs. Beane, not Rays v. A’s.

    Comment by SeaWolf — October 3, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  38. I think the common financial disclaimer is apt: “Past results are not an indicator of future success.”

    If Theo is uniquely excellent at building a front-office organization, delegating responsibility, making good investment decisions, promoting the franchise, etc. (and maybe he is), then by all means pay him a market premium.

    I’m with Dave — I think there are lots of people out there who could do the job well. “Credibility” is only worth so much.

    Comment by Jason — October 3, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  39. I don’t think it’s just about paying for credibility. I think it’s about paying for a known quantity.

    As Dave says, there are thousands of ivy-leaguers who would love the chance to be a GM. Many of them are probably good enough to do the job well (and maybe than Theo). But how do you know which of them will be as good as (or better than) Theo, and which ones will be in way over their heads? You can interview as many people as you want, but you don’t know how they’ll handle the job until they’re actually in the role. Theo has shown that he can handle it capably.

    Comment by vivalajeter — October 3, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  40. I support this 100%

    Comment by Irv — October 3, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  41. The last few years the Red Sox haven’t been as good at drafting players as they were earlier in Epstein’s tenure (of course it’s still early to judge those drafts). I’m not sure someone from their scouting department left a few years ago but I’m sure that’s what he’s referring to.

    Like most teams the Red Sox seem to be hit and miss with the draft. However the Red Sox are able to use financial strength to draft higher regarded players in later rounds (which a lot of teams don’t do).

    Comment by schlomsd — October 3, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  42. Aren’t Sabermetrics named after Brian Sabean?

    Comment by Aaron (UK) — October 3, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  43. Minus the Gorilla suit.

    Comment by yeahhh — October 3, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

  44. A Cubs-Royals World Series, Epstein Francona, Pujols and Reyes square off against Hosmer, Moustakas, and Montgomery! Apocalypse scenario anyone?

    Comment by Ted Williams Head — October 3, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  45. Yeah, have the awful free agent contracts he’s given out the last few years done nothing to dent Epstein’s reputation?

    Comment by cpebbles — October 3, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  46. As a Red Sox fan, I’d be glad to see this. Would hate to see Epstein go. But even if his successor is a replacement level GM, it’d be worth dumping Lackey’s contract.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — October 4, 2011 @ 12:01 am

  47. It’s well time to move past the idea that the new and successful GMs are achieving their results because of sabermetrics. They are not. The use of advanced metrics is but one element that needs to be incorporated into the running of a baseball organization.

    We’ve seen some spotty results among GMs associated with sabermetrics, such as Peter Brand, err, I mean Paul DePodesta with the Dodgers, and J.P. Ricciardi with the Blue Jays. In both cases it was believed to be for other elements of management where they did not show enough skill. And that’s the point. Having a degree from a nice school, and understanding the concepts of the Bill James crowd is hardly a ticket to success. It’s a baseline for entry in most cases, but nothing more.

    Andrew Friedman is now regarded as one of the top GMs in the game. It has little to do with sabermetrics. It has a lot to do with his management skills, developing the right front-office talent, and/or recruiting the best talent that fits within the Rays organizational style, and in his ability to listen to that talent, incorporate their input, and to make the right decisions.

    Where I disagree with Dave (or at least where I think I disagree if I understand what he’s writing) is on paying for that front-office talent. Not all talent is created equal. We see that in the business world. Steve Jobs was better at running a consumer technology company than other people who hold similar positions. Maybe he’s not the best example, because to use a sabermetric term for players who do extraordinary things, Jobs is an outlier. Yet there are many examples of CEOs who are very good at what they do, and others who are not. The same in MLB. The best talent should be identified and paid, not on an industry standard, but on a success standard. MLB has yet to realize this.

    If I’m the owner of the Rays, I don’t hesitate to take more money and give it to Friedland. He’s shown he’s worth it and it can’t simply be assumed he can be replaced by another guy with an Ivy league degree.

    Epstein? I think he’s probably okay, but was also in the Red Sox organization at the right time. There’s a very good chance he’s overrated, which means the Cubs should be careful. And on that, I agree with Dave.

    Comment by RDobbs — October 4, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  48. we all know that theo doesnt even stay up past 11:45PM EST to watch the west coast games end when his team is on the east coast, hence the awful signings of cameron and lackey.

    Comment by kash — October 4, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  49. “Andrew Friedman is now regarded as one of the top GMs in the game. It has little to do with sabermetrics.”

    Show your work.

    “It has a lot to do with his management skills, developing the right front-office talent, and/or recruiting the best talent that fits within the Rays organizational style, and in his ability to listen to that talent, incorporate their input, and to make the right decisions. ”

    None of which has to do with sabermetrics, I’m sure.

    Comment by Welp — October 4, 2011 @ 1:01 am

  50. The premise here seems faulty, mainly because if most GMs are commoditized (nice word, btw) or “equal” (for the layman out there), then finding someone who is better than the average would be a wise thing worth paying for. I’m not talking about “market inefficiences” necessarily. I mean if a GM can consistenly hit on a few players every year in the draft, plus hit on a free agent acquisition, or a trade, there’s tremendous value in that. As an example, take a guy like Juan Cruz…he was great for Arizona, then KC overpaid for him, then Tampa swooped in knowing he was better than that, and he has been. How did a bunch of other teams miss on that? They didn’t necessarily miss, Tampa was just smarter, and they do that a lot.

    Comment by Dave G. — October 4, 2011 @ 1:23 am

  51. Theo and Lackey for Zambrano.

    Boom.

    Done.

    get it done Boston.

    Reload again after Z and DiceK’s awful deals get off the books.

    Comment by Boss — October 4, 2011 @ 1:24 am

  52. One other note: are there really that many Ivy league grads trying to get front office baseball jobs? I’d like to see the numbers on that one.

    Comment by Dave G. — October 4, 2011 @ 1:28 am

  53. David Chadd left his scouting department for the Tigers. Suddenly players like Alex Avila and Brennan Boesch and Al Alburquerque (signed as a minor league FA, not drafted) appeared.

    Comment by Larry Smith Jr. — October 4, 2011 @ 2:20 am

  54. Doesn’t this suggest that the real inefficiency is in a team’s ownership evaluation of GMs, along with how they let their GMs operate? Perhaps there are 100 Epstein clones out there, but it is the Red Sox who let Epstein take the reins and make the moves, whereas the ownership of a team like Seattle has consistently meddled in their GMs’ affairs (see: the return of Griffey Jr.).

    Comment by David — October 4, 2011 @ 3:42 am

  55. As I stated clearly right at the top, “the use of advanced metrics is but one element that needs to be incorporated into the running of a baseball organization.”

    Friedman’s strength goes beyond sabermetrics. If you think that’s all it’s about, I doubt I’ll convince you otherwise.

    Comment by RDobbs — October 4, 2011 @ 3:43 am

  56. Great article, though I was kind of hoping you’d lay out explicitly what you think Epstein’s marginal value over a Hahn type is worth. I think it’s clear that there is some additional value there, but how much? One decent prospect? Two very good prospects? $5 million? $10 million? A hamburger?

    Comment by Brett — October 4, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  57. Interesting article.

    As a yankee fan I debated with others a while ago the value of Kevin Long to the organisation. Most yankee fans (and writers) attach huge value to Long as they believe (I have no opinion whether or not this is true or not) that his methods have resulted in hugh improvements for Granderson, Cano, Gardner and others.

    Given his salary is less than 1m you would think (using WAR value) that his overall impact on batted runs would be less than 2.5 runs created across the whole organisation!

    That would account for 1 or 2% improvement to all hitters (unmeasureable).

    So a similar argument to the GM one above. Does Kevin Long have a huge impact (but one lots of others could have?) so his salary is still low. Or is his impact grossly overstated?

    Or is he way underpaid?

    Comment by DarraghK — October 4, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  58. Epstein has one thing in his favour : he GM’d a team with decades of failure that won the World Series. Twice. He has a record of success with a team that has considerable resources. Does that sound like any other team we might be discussing? (the Cubs, dummy, the Cubs!). Thus he could be packaged and sold based on what his teams have accomplished. How could the Cubs resist him?

    Comment by DonM — October 4, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  59. IMHO, this sentiment is being underplayed.

    There is a LONG list of guys that were successful GMs, managers, and players elsewhere who thought they were the ONE to come to Chicago and bring them their long awaited title. After their soul was painstakingly wretched from their body, heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss, they left zombified and realizing they underestimated the job.

    Only Lee Elia got to tell it like it is. Best. Rant. Ever.

    That’s where Epstein has some insight that Hahn doesn’t. He’s already been “in the fire” for a hopeless organization with rabid fan base and hatred of an organization that’s multiple times more successful than they are (StLouis : Chicago; New York : Boston).

    The Cubs are always selling “hope”, though fewer and fewer are actually buying it. However, what could more promising that bringing in the guy that built a two-time world champ out of the most cursed franchise in history? (I’m not viewing Hahn’s role with the 2005 ChiSox as being as prominent as Epstein’s with the Red Sox).

    Epstein can sit in the room and look everyone in the eye and say “You want to listen to me. I’ve been where you are, and I’ve been where you want to be.” There’s some value in that.

    Knowing the right path isn’t enough. You have to be able to get everyone to follow you on that path, even though some are not going to be comfortable doing so.

    Even if the Cubs drastically overpay on Esptein, it’s still minimal compared to what they’ve overpayed in the past.

    I don’t think the Cubs job is like the Mets or the Indians or any of these other teams. I do, however, think it is very much like the Red Sox (or how they used to be).

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 4, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  60. Wait, Theo is smart because he is willing to overpay and make bad trades?

    I think Theo WAS really smart….in 2003. He’s still smart, but the rest of the league has caught up and Theo is essentially an average GM at this point.

    Comment by Steve — October 4, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  61. might be good for both teams

    Comment by kash — October 4, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  62. Thanks for the answer, but I guess I’m not getting the distinction right now. Clearly there are enough smart people to be GMs of baseball teams. It’s not a supply issue at all in terms of skills. But, there probably is value in experience and knowledge. Also, I still read it as a GM is a GM is a GM. I must be missing a nuance someplace……Either way, it is a good article, on an interesting topic. But as a fan of the Twins, it is clear that there are bad GMs (don’t care about the Timberwolves, but that makes the case even stronger that there are bad GMs).

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 4, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  63. no, they are busy trying to pay down their unbelievable debt load they racked up, so they are on wall st. coming up with new formulas to ripoff investors!

    Comment by tdotsports1 — October 4, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  64. Remember when Friedman had to succeed without the benefit of having his roster filled with top 5 draft picks? Me neither. It’s not apples to apples. Compare them each at the beginning of their careers.

    Comment by The Real Neal — October 4, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  65. Where oh where will Epstein get the new crop of ‘roided up castoffs?

    Comment by Trotter76 — October 4, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

  66. I must not be staying up late enough either, because I totally missed the earthquake that sent Milwaukee to Oregon.

    Comment by The Real Neal — October 4, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  67. How much is a GM worth who can’t make the playoffs despite one of the highest payrolls and most supportive fanbases in the Majors? About as much as me I guess, I could have done the same thing.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — October 4, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  68. Spot on.

    There’s very little evidence that sabermetrics had anything whatsoever to do with TB success. For the proof Welp desires, look no further than TB’s OBP: Middle of the road and what SABR is precisely about.

    Except

    Friedman is just a manager of people. There has to be many similar guys out there who would hire/retain the right scouts and do the same job. It’s just a matter of finding and hiring them.

    Same with Epstein. He didn’t scout Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, et el. He hired the right others instead.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — October 4, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  69. Uhm… your first point has no validity: there’s less water in developed countries than in non-developed countries, and by a wide margin (total, per capita and by square foot).

    Comment by Mikhel — October 14, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  70. I think that’s what the Cubs and Red Sox are negotiating right now, so we’re about to find out.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — October 15, 2011 @ 3:44 am

  71. As a Red Sox fan, I say he’s way underpaid. Give him a 10 year, $250 million contract immediately.

    Comment by mattymatty2000 — October 15, 2011 @ 3:45 am

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