Garza Touts Friedman, Cubs Fans Salivate

Immediately following the termination of Jim Hendry, Tom Ricketts had a press conference and discussed what he would like to see in his next GM:

  • commitment on player development
  • experience with advanced analytics
  • winning track record
Personally, I'm partial to the likes of Andrew Friedman and Brian Cashman.

Here's what Matt Garza had to say about the Rays GM in Chris Silva's article:
"He flipped the Tampa team around in two-plus years," Garza said. "Yeah, we went on a great run in 2008 but it's not like it was a one-year wonder. The following season we still had a winning record and last season we won the division once again and this year, you know, I don't know how he does it. But year in and year out he can put together a bullpen and put together the pieces he needs with the type of market he has. I think he'd be great here but like I said that's just a biased opinion. I know there's plenty of great GMs out there who would give for this gig. ... I think it's going to be a fun couple months."

Much of Friedman's work with the Tampa Bay Rays is documented in the book "The Extra 2%". If you haven't read this book, you're missing out on one of the best baseball business books I have ever read. In fact, this book should be required reading at all MBA programs — reading this book converted me into a Rays fan more so than hearing Brad talk about the Rays like I talk about The Wire. True story.

Brian Cashman comes from the Yankees and is a mixture of old school and new school philosophies. His winning record speaks for itself (4 world series championships and 6 pennants). But what impresses me about Cashman is his ability to think outside of the box. He has stated publicly that Derek Jeter may move to the OF. Whether or not this makes sense remains to be seen, but his ability to at least entertain the idea impresses me. He also has experience with the media pressure of a big market club. But the Yankees have the ability to print money and Cashman has stated publicly that he's "not looking to go anywhere." Maybe this is a ploy to have other teams enter a bidding war with the Yankees — this would increase his market value significantly.

Regardless, the Cubs have to hit a home run (pun intended) with this GM signing. As a disgruntled Cubs fan, I expect Friedman or Cashman.


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