Kapler: Interns are the foundation of the front office

From Gabe Kapler at Baseball Prospectus on August 6, 2013:

The average manager of an MLB team gets to the ballpark at 1:30 in the afternoon. He’s immediately inundated with media requests, face-to-face meetings with players, and the various concerns of his potentially needy coaching staff. His phone rings, and his seven-year-old daughter scored a goal and wants to tell him all about it. He’s fat and needs to spend some time on the treadmill before batting practice. Bang, it’s 7:05, and game time. Postgame, there’s more media time, meatloaf and green beans at the ballpark, a few beers, and 30 minutes at home with his wife. 2:30am bedtime, up at 10:30am. That’s an average day.

The piles of data necessary for an MLB manager to make informed decisions during the course of the game can overwhelm even the sharpest and most flexible men in baseball. The manager is not one of those men. Surprisingly, neither is the general manager, who might be the smartest person in the organization but who also has the least bandwidth. There are front office personnel capable of relieving this pressure, of course, and they do. (Advil is useful as well.) But those men understand the magnitude of the vast organization they oversee and are forced to delegate responsibility.

Somebody has to be the foundation, the bottom of the pyramid. Enter the intern.

Remove the bias you’ve accumulated from years of watching the coffee-fetching TV caricatures of entry-level workers. Those personalities don’t have the pedigree earned by these squirts. MLB interns can come armed with degrees from Ivy League schools and often have completed additional years at prestigious business institutions like Chicago Booth and the London School of Economics. In most cases, they turned down high-paying job offers from major corporations like Wal-Mart (woo-hoo!) to pursue careers in baseball.

Read the full article here: http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21451

Originally published: August 6, 2013. Last Updated: August 6, 2013.