This past week I took myself to the local multiplex to catch “True Grit.” Now I’m not a big filmgoer and no fan of the Coen brothers to be sure. But I had seen the John Wayne version in the theater back in 1969, enjoyed it immensely, and heard that the remake was even better. And I must say it was better. In fact, it was just about the best movie, Oater or not, that I had seen in quite some time, and both the box office and reviews are bearing that out. It’s on track to become the second highest grossing Western ever, and has an “Oscar Buzz” about it. I ate up this movie so well that I went out just yesterday, bought the book, and read it in about four hours. And I can tell you it’s the best novel I’ve read in some time as well. A real “American Classic.”
After I put the book down last night I mulled over the character of Mattie Ross, the shrewest horsetrader and surest judge of men and ther peculiaralities in perhaps all of fiction, and I thought, “What an excellent general manager she’d make! She’d have her team in contention every year regardless of payroll.” And now that I’ve slept on it I’m even more certain on the point: Given my choices of any character in fiction to be General Manager of a major league baseball franchise I would go with Mattie Ross. There’s no Captain Ahab or Rhett Butler about it—although both were superb dramatis personae—It’s all Mattie Ross for me.
Which leads me to the question for the day: If you could replace Brian Cashman with any character from fiction to run the Yankees, who would it be? The answer may tell you as much about your understanding of the role of a MLB GM as it does about your choices in reading material.