Sarris: As Giants’ search begins, what’s the model for a next-generation GM?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on September 27, 2018:

Your​ typical front​ office looks a lot different these days​ than​ it did when​ there were​ fewer people on​ the​ masthead.​​ When Branch Rickey was general manager of the Dodgers in 1943, he made major innovations in player development (batting cages!), metrics (on-base percentage!), and scouting (Jackie Robinson!). In today’s front office, the general manager would probably task his subordinates with the research and thought process behind those moves.

That means today’s GM is more manager than scout, analyst, or player development guru. That doesn’t mean the GM doesn’t have to have intimate knowledge about each of those facets of the team.

In fact, your next generation’s GM should probably be fluent in the language of each of the major aspects of running a baseball team. And that’s something the Giants should be thinking about when they sort through the candidates to replace Bobby Evans after firing him earlier this week.

The next generation of GMs will have to be fluent in analytics, even if the new GMs won’t necessarily be knee deep in the stats themselves. The next-gen GMs will be receiving analysis and will need to know which questions to ask of their quantitative analysts. The new GMs will need to know how to phrase requests when asking for research.

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Originally published: September 27, 2018. Last Updated: September 27, 2018.