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Articles Tagged GMs 

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Ben and Sam banter about the Nationals, then discuss where the Padres went wrong and whether Josh Byrnes deserved his dismissal.

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The firing of Josh Byrnes ends a period of unprecedented GM job security. Did he deserve to get the axe?

In March, I wrote about the unprecedented job security major-league general managers have enjoyed over the previous two-plus years. Led by the long-tenured Brian Sabean, Billy Beane, Brian Cashman, and Dan O’Dowd (who was forced to share the throne but hasn’t been relieved of his duties), GMs have seen their occupation, historically a high-turnover one in which on-field success was the only sure route to remaining employed, morph into one that comes standard with the owner’s commitment to stay the course, even if it means suffering through some lean times. Accordingly, I dubbed the new strain of nearly unemployment-proof GMs the “Duracell GM Generation”—a cohort of front-office head honchos who last.

On Sunday, Josh Byrnes’ battery died. Byrnes, the Padres’ GM since October 26, 2011, became the first GM fired since the Astros axed Ed Wade on November 27, 2011. That’s a streak of 938 firing-free days—by far the longest such streak over at least the last four decades, even though baseball’s expansion to 30 teams has created more opportunities for a change to take place.

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A WARP-based look at the GMs who've had the most and least success on the trade market over the past two decades.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers, and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Tim Malone is an ex-engineer/ex-Angeleno with degrees from UCLA and UW in Bioengineering and Biostatistics who lives in the Seattle area with his family. His likes include coconut, peanut butter, tools, and conversations with strangers. His dislikes include runny eggs, bad champagne, mindless repetition, and conversations with strangers. The return of Major League Baseball to Seattle warms his soul.

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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about Ian Kinsler, how to decide when it's time to change GMs, R.A. Dickey and the dome, and more.



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Unhappy with the return your team's general manager received in a trade? Jonah offers one possible explanation.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

Do GMs sometimes act in their own interests instead of their teams'? Jonah explored the possibility in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as an "Avoiding Dissonance" column on April 25, 2002.
 


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You can't predict baseball, no matter how high-ranking you are.

The answer is they are smart. Come on guys, be serious. Of course they're smart. 

But...

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BP's resident former GM explains what the deadline is like for the people pulling the trigger on trades.

As we announced earlier this month, former Los Angeles Dodgers GM, major-league executive, and player agent Dan Evans has joined Baseball Prospectus as a regular contributor. In his first article, he explains what the trade deadline is like from a general manager's perspective. Dan will be answering your questions in his chat this Wednesday at 1:00 PM ET, so submit your questions now.


Tension? Absolutely. Anxiety? Sure. Pressure? Without a doubt. Enjoyment? No question.


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If EVERYONE has a brilliant GM, does ANYONE have a brilliant GM? Or are standout GMs going the way of .400 hitters?

There is an industrywide understanding now—a lot of teams spend a lot of time on this. There is a constant understanding that you need to find the next area of opportunity.—Mark Shapiro

The ideas that at one time were innovative are now mainstream.—Sandy Alderson

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February 4, 2010 11:56 am

Squawking Baseball: The Best and Worst GMs of the '90s

48

Shawn Hoffman

Dialing up the wayback machine to see who ranked atop and at the bottom of MLB during the Clinton era.

As a recap, here's my original piece on PER (or Payroll Efficiency Rating), followed up by some adjustments, and then the first part of this series two weeks ago.

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The former general sits down to talk about guiding a cash-strapped team, trading Pedro Martinez, and how much front offices have changed.

Jim Beattie won't be in Indianapolis for this year's Winter Meetings, but the erstwhile Expos and Orioles General Manager knows what goes on behind closed doors when his former brethren convene to talk trade. It was at the meetings 12 years ago that Beattie, then in charge of a financially-strapped Expos franchise, reluctantly laid the groundwork for trading Pedro Martinez to the Red Sox.

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December 23, 2008 12:18 pm

On the Beat: Lots of Talk, Little Action

3

John Perrotto

Minor tweaking by the GM and major baiting by the players in The City of Brotherly Love, plus news and notes from around the major leagues.

Ruben Amaro Jr. is in the minority, and that goes beyond his Latin American heritage. The new Phillies' general manager is one of just three former major league players to currently hold that position in baseball. The others are the White Sox's Ken Williams and the Athletics' Billy Beane.

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June 29, 2004 12:00 am

You Get What You Pay For

0

Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

Inherent in the desire to develop better baseball statistics--and as a result, improve baseball analysis--is the belief that this information is not only available but also not being used by the men and women who run baseball. As Moneyball and the resulting reaction has showed, some General Managers seem to be using the same methods for performance evaluation that were used 20 or 40 years ago. It therefore stands to reason that GMs are paying players not for actual performance, but rather for perceived performance as viewed through the rusty and decrepit glasses of decades-old beliefs about the statistics of the game. For this study we wanted to find out if General Managers were, in fact, paying players along the lines of their objective "value" (as defined by VORP), or if there were something else in play.

Inherent in the desire to develop better baseball statistics--and as a result, improve baseball analysis--is the belief that this information is not only available but also not being used by the men and women who run baseball. As Moneyball and the resulting reaction has showed, some General Managers seem to be using the same methods for performance evaluation that were used 20 or 40 years ago.

It therefore stands to reason that GMs are paying players not for actual performance, but rather for perceived performance as viewed through the rusty glasses of decades-old beliefs about the statistics of the game. For this study we wanted to find out if General Managers were, in fact, paying players along the lines of their objective "value" (as defined by VORP), or if there was something else in play.

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