GM's Around Baseball

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
NL West
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
NL Central
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
Chicago Cubs N/A N/A 2012 N/A
Pittsburgh Pirates Neal Huntington 1995 2007 Amherst College
Cincinnati Reds Walt Jocketty 1981 2008 University of Minnesota
NL East
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
AL West
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
AL Central
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
AL East
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


Random Notes:

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.

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