MLB Insights

August 9, 2009 2:22 PM

The General Manager Study - Part One

Something that I have always been interested in is how successful different types of General Managers are.  You always hear talk about different types of managers; the tactical one, the player's manager, or the no-nonsense boss.  However, there is very little talk about General Managers.  With more and more teams hiring the young Ivy League guys as GM's, I wanted to take a look at how successful different types of GM's have been.  I chose as my start date the 1998 season, which is when Billy Beane took over the Oakland Athletics and helped bring statistical analysis to the forefront of baseball.

What I have done is place each GM in a category, which will be described later, and calculate their winning percentage over their tenures.  This is obviously not perfect as winning percentage is not everything, and is also dependant on the quality of the roster left by the previous GM.  For example, Andrew Friedman of the Rays has a career winning percentage of.461, placing him in the bottom third.  However, he only has three full seasons to his name, and had to rebuild the team left to him by Chuck Lamar.  I would not rank Friedman in the bottom third of GM's over the last ten years. 

So for my first post, all I am going to do is lay out the different categories with the corresponding GM's.  My goal with this is to familiarize you with the study, and also get some feedback from readers on whether I have placed everyone in the right category.  Some of the guys were difficult to place, so please let me know if you think anyone should be moved.  I will then follow this up with some more in-depth analysis.  


This category is pretty self-explanatory, and is a dying breed in baseball.  These are guys who come from a scouting background and worked their way up the ranks to become GM

Dan Duquette - .546

Brian Sabean - .529

Omar Minaya - .520

Terry Ryan - .508

Kevin Towers - .486

Cam Bonifay - .445

Dayton Moore - .444

Syd Thrift - .421

Chuck Lamar - .401



These are guys who had significant playing careers, and moved into the front office once their playing careers were done.

Kenny Williams - .527

Bill Stoneman - .524

Steve Phillips - .517

Ron Schueler - .515

Kevin Malone - .506

Woody Wodward -.472

Bob Gebhard - .460

Jim Beattie/Mike Flanagan - .433



These are guys who began their non-playing careers in baseball as a coach, either as a Manager, pitching coach or something similar.

Jon Hart - .523

Jim Hendry - .519

Allard Baird - .408


Baseball Other

These GM's started their careers with a club in departments other than Baseball Operations, like marketing or public relations.

Tony Reagins - .599

Gord Ash - .517

Mark Shapiro - .503

Ed Wade - .501

Dan O'Dowd - .464



There was really nowhere else to put Joe Garagiola, so he gets his own category. 

Joe Garagiola - .503



These are the guys who are the statistical minds.  I may have lumped some of the new, young GM's in here incorrectly, so let me know if you feel they should be moved.

Theo Epstein - .581

Billy Beane - .548

Josh Byrnes - .510

Paul Depodesta - .506

JP Ricciardi - .500

Jon Daniels -.481

Andrew Friedman - .461


Baseball Operations

This is by far the biggest category.  These men got their start in baseball operations, ranging from Assistant Scouting Director to Assistant Farm Director.

Brian Cashman - .604

Jon Schuerolz - . 590

Mike Port - .574

Pat Gillick - .560

Gerry Hunsicker - .553

Walt Jocketty - .544

Dan Evans - .541

Bill Smith - .540

John Mozeliak - .531

Ned Colletti - .523

Larry Beinfest - .502

Tim Purpura - .502

Doug Melvin - .489

Frank Wren - .481

Wayne Krivsky - .469

Jim Bowden - .466

Dan O'Brien - .460

Sal Bando - .457

Bill Bavasi - .457

Andy Macphail - .453

Dave Dombrowski - .442

Jim Duquette - .438

Dave Littlefield - .427

Herk Robinson - .422

Dean Taylor - .419

Neal Huntington - .414

Randy Smith - .411


Please enjoy this information that I doubt you can find anywhere else all in one place, and do not forget to comment if you think I am out to lunch.

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