Somewhat due to the Jim Hendry firing, and the statement by the Ricketts that they wanted a GM who was both comfortable with scouting and sabermetrics, I was inspired to do some mini-research on the current GM's all around baseball. Part of it was to get an idea of the distribution of old-timers versus up-and-comers. Another was to get a sense of how long the road to becoming a GM takes. And finally, a general idea of where GM's get their education.
The research was not particularly scientific in any way, and was really just a simple survey. But, hopefully it is interesting to others as well. After all, there probably isn't a single individual on a given team more important to baseball operations, and the direction the organization takes in the future, than the GM.
Much of the data below is taken from Baseball America. What I couldn't find on Baseball America, I looked up in Wikipedia:
|GM||Entry into the Front Office||First Season||Education|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Kevin Towers||1994||2011||Brigham Young University|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Ned Colletti||1993||2006||Northern Illinois University|
|San Francisco Giants||Brian Sabean||1987||1997||Eckerd College|
|San Diego Padres||Jed Hoyer||2003||2010||Wesleyan University|
|Colorado Rockies||Dan O'Dowd||1984||2000||Rollins College|
|Houston Astros||Ed Wade||1990||2007||Temple University|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Doug Melvin||1983||2003||Unavailable|
|St. Louis Cardinals||John Mozeliak||1997||2008||University of Colorado at Boulder|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Neal Huntington||1995||2007||Amherst College|
|Cincinnati Reds||Walt Jocketty||1981||2008||University of Minnesota|
|Atlanta Braves||Frank Wren||1987||2008||St. Petersburg (Fla.) Junior College|
|Florida Marlins||Larry Beinfest||1991||2002||University of California Berkeley|
|New York Mets||Sandy Alderson||1983||2011||Dartmouth University|
|Washington Nationals||Mike Rizzo||2000||2010||Saint Xavier University|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Ruben Amaro Jr.||1999||2009||Stanford University|
|Los Angeles Angels||Tony Reagins||1999||2008||California State University, Fullerton|
|Oakland Athletics||Billy Beane||1994||1998||University of California San Diego|
|Seattle Mariners||Jack Zduriencik||1991||2009||California University of Pennsylvania|
|Texas Rangers||Jon Daniels||2004||2006||Cornell University|
|Cleveland Indians||Chris Antonetti||1998||2011||Georgetown University|
|Kansas City Royals||Dayton Moore||1997||2006||George Mason University|
|Detroit Tigers||Dave Dombrowski||1978||2002||Western Michigan University|
|Minnesota Twins||Bill Smith||1982||2008||Hamilton College|
|Chicago White Sox||Kenny Williams||1997||2001||Stanford University|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Alex Anthopoulos||2006||2010||McMaster University|
|Baltimore Orioles||Andy MacPhail||1982||2007||Dickinson College|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Andrew Friedman||2005||2006||Tulane University|
|Boston Red Sox||Theo Epstein||1998||2003||Yale University|
|New York Yankees||Brian Cashman||1993||1998||Catholic University of America|
1. I hope we never hire a GM from Stanford University. They have produced two of the GM's I dislike the most in all of baseball.
2. It takes a hell of a lot of time to become GM (thank you, Captain Obvious). Some of the years are skewed, because some GM's became a GM with one team, and then were fired, and became a GM with another team. The "First Season" years only record the GM's first season as a GM with its current team. However, in general, it looked to me like it would take somewhere between 5-10 years on average, from the point where you entered the front office, to becoming a GM. And even at the point where it takes five years or less, you pretty much have to be an absolute genius, and also lucky in the sense that the team needs a GM. See: Andrew Friedman, Jon Daniels, Theo Epstein.
3. Billy Beane was a Stanford recruit, but opted to be drafted out of high school. Thanks to soco for correcting me that Beane actually attended UCSD while during baseball offseasons.
4. Andrew Friedman used to work at Bear Stearns. You know...back when Bear Stearns was still....well....existant. He also spent time working at a private equity firm. It's no wonder that the Rays front office runs like an economic machine. It's a little surprising to me, but you'd think with the Rays success, more teams would be going out to hire similarly profiled GM's.
5. You'd think with high profile hirings and corresponding recent successes of guys like Jon Daniels and Theo Epstein, that more teams would consider hiring rising stars, as opposed to recycling old GM's. Whether teams have considered infusing their front office with new ideas and young minds is hard to say. But GM hiring at least, has remained largely stagnant. Alex Anthopoulos and Jed Hoyer are really the only two hires in the last couple of years, where a "new face" was given the opportunity. Otherwise, you see guys like Kevin Towers, Andy MacPhail and Walt Jocketty being recycled off the old GM dustbin. Just gives you an idea of how incredibly high the barriers to entry in baseball are, for "new faces". Likewise, I thought the hiring of guys like Daniels and Epstein would lead to an increase in Ivy League influence, especially since sabermetrics was largely developed by a bunch of Harvard brats. While sabermetric influence has definitely increased in front office development, there doesn't appear to have been a similar increase in Ivy League influence.