• When Did Baseball G.M.’s Become Rock Gods?

    Posted by on March 27th, 2012 · Comments (16)

    If Gabe Paul walked down 5th Avenue at lunch time in NYC back in 1977, no one would notice him. If Brian Cashman did it today, he would get mobbed.

    When did baseball G.M.’s become such “stars”? Do we blame Billy Beane and/or Theo Epstein? Someone else?

    Then again, back in their day, guys like Branch Rickey and Frank Lane were pretty famous. And, I suppose that Rickey would gather a crowd out in public. And, today, most people would not recognize Andrew Friedman or Jon Daniels if they saw them on the street today.

    So, maybe it’s only those baseball G.M.’s who want to become rock gods that actually do?

    Comments on When Did Baseball G.M.’s Become Rock Gods?

    1. Garcia
      March 27th, 2012 | 11:51 am

      Reading between “The Lombardi Lines”: “most people would not recognize Andrew Friedman or Jon Daniels if they saw them on the street today. ”

      The GMs that are out actually doing work, making their baseball clubs successful with smart and sound acquisitions, aren’t trying to be Rock Gods because they spend all their time on baseball related activities, and not on gimmicks or extramarital affairs. Gotcha!

    2. Raf
      March 27th, 2012 | 12:33 pm

      Billy Beane had Moneyball. Theo Epstein was a boy wonder. Those who worked under them, that have become GM’s, have a little more “cred” not unlike bench coaches under Joe Torre that eventually managed at the ML level.

      For a while there “young saber-minded” GM’s were all the rage. I’m sure that factored into that as well.

    3. MJ Recanati
      March 27th, 2012 | 2:34 pm

      If Epstein or Cashman are so-called rock gods, it’s probably a function of where they work (or in Theo’s case, previously worked). The Rangers are in the midst of the most successful two-year run in their franchise’s history but I don’t think the average person living in Arlington, Dallas or Fort Worth obsesses over the baseball club the way New Yorkers and Bostonians do.

      If Cashman or Epstein have achieved celebrity status, it’s because they work/worked in cities with a media machine that followed their every move. Does anyone in Tampa give two craps about the Rays franchise? If the team itself doesn’t move the meter then why would their GM?

    4. March 27th, 2012 | 3:04 pm

      Billy Beane works in a city with a media machine that follows his every move?

    5. MJ Recanati
      March 27th, 2012 | 3:58 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Billy Beane works in a city with a media machine that follows his every move?

      Billy Beane had a New York Times bestseller written about his baseball team that made him a household name 10 years ago. If Friedman or Daniels ever has a book written about them (and that book becomes a national bestseller and is optioned into an Academy Award nominated motion picture) maybe they’ll become rockstars too.

    6. March 27th, 2012 | 4:20 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      On Friedman, see: http://extra2percent.com/

    7. KPOcala
      March 27th, 2012 | 4:57 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: Bill Beane was wrote his self-aggrandizing book. For what it’s worth, had I been his boss, I’d have fired him for giving away an advantage. That’s assuming that every GM wasn’t already in “The Loop”. And while that info had long been available I don’t know who was actually operating in that fashion, nor do I know if that info can be readily ascertained. I do remember being shocked and amazed that Beane did write the book…

    8. KPOcala
      March 27th, 2012 | 4:59 pm

      @ Steve L.: Bill Beane was wrote his self-aggrandizing book. For what it’s worth, had I been his boss, I’d have fired him for giving away an advantage. That’s assuming that every GM wasn’t already in “The Loop”. And while that info had long been available I don’t know who was actually operating in that fashion, nor do I know if that info can be readily ascertained. I do remember being shocked and amazed that Beane did write the book…

    9. KPOcala
      March 27th, 2012 | 5:00 pm

      Oh, and Steve. Come on we’re talking about New York, in Tampa everyone is a Yankee fan….

    10. Raf
      March 27th, 2012 | 7:21 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      I don’t think every GM was in on OBP, just the smart ones. At the very least, the astute GM’s would’ve paid attention to what Beane was doing. Baseball is known for “copycatting” and if something works, other teams are usually quick to adapt.

    11. KPOcala
      March 28th, 2012 | 12:45 am

      @ Raf: Raf, don’t doubt you at all. Still, why give away any advantage? Sometimes your competition takes your idea and takes up a couple of notches, then your out of a job. When I was in business I always refrained from opening my mouth, and God knows I wanted to put some fools in their place. In the end though, they’re still working, I retired. So take it for what it’s worth….

    12. MJ Recanati
      March 28th, 2012 | 11:29 am

      KPOcala wrote:

      Bill Beane was wrote his self-aggrandizing book.

      To begin, Billy Beane didn’t write the book, Michael Lewis did. Sadly, sort of like the birther movement, the idea that Beane wrote an autobiographical account of his years as GM of the A’s has taken a life of its own. That’s simply not true.

      Beyond that, I don’t understand your larger point. Are you saying that Beane isn’t a recognizable GM? Are you saying that he should be fired for being recognizable? Are you saying that you don’t believe that Beane was among the first to employ sabermetrics in his analysis of players?

    13. KPOcala
      March 28th, 2012 | 12:57 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: MJ, as I understand it Michael Lewis was allowed access to Billy Beane and the front office during the 2002 season. This pretty well amounts to him being a ghost writer (and by extension, semi-autobiographical). I was under the assumption that ownership didn’t know that a book was forth coming, apparently I was wrong on that one, to my dismay. I feel that you didn’t really read what I had to say about Billy Beane at all. The ‘crux of biscuit’, as Frank Zappa would have put it is this: Billy Beane had an insight, build on 2+ decades of saber research. I was/am surprised that he told everyone how he had used that information to his competitive advantage. As I wrote above, I don’t know at what point he was using said advantage (late ’90′s, I would guess), and when all other GM’s got the idea. If he blabbed while some were still in the dark then ‘shame on him’.

      I also don’t understand how you got the idea that I was implying that he wasn’t a recognizable GM, either implied or otherwise. And please don’t even use the “birther movement” “thing” with me. MJ, I’m surprised that you’d write something like that. Maybe you have a ghostwriter of your own, while your busy writing Cashman’s bio ;)

    14. MJ Recanati
      March 28th, 2012 | 3:00 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      I have no idea what you’re talking about at this point. Punctuation and grammar tend to add value to one’s attempt at making cogent points.

      If you want the last word, it’s yours. I don’t really care to debate any further.

    15. KPOcala
      March 28th, 2012 | 6:03 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: That’ll work.

    16. KPOcala
      March 28th, 2012 | 11:01 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:MJ, actually it won’t work. Sorry, I didn’t have my MLA book handy, but I’m writing into a baseball blog. I originally wrote my comment to Steve, but I hit your button by mistake. Secondly, the Keith Law snark was uncalled for, I’m surprised at you. I thought that over several posts that it was clear that the only thing that I was surprised at (and I admitted that I didn’t know the particulars) was that Billy Beane may have given ideas prematurely to his peers. Finally, your comments, “Beyond that, I don’t understand your larger point. Are you saying that Beane isn’t a recognizable GM? Are you saying that he should be fired for being recognizable? Are you saying that you don’t believe that Beane was among the first to employ sabermetrics in his analysis of players”? I,when reading my comments written before the quote that I just cited, am at a loss to understand your obtuseness. I’m not trying to be offensive, but I’m Italian, so I can’t be held accountable for getting “ticked”. And your right, I screwed the pooch on a couple of sentences, but nothing that will keep me out of heaven, I hope.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.