Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Former Major League Shortstop Ryan Theriot Opines About Newly Speculated Dodgers GM

Ryan Theriot, who played for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants during his major league career had specific opinions about the speculated general manager to-be of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers will reportedly hire former Oakland Athletics assistant general manager, Farhan Zaidi as their general manager at some point in the next week. In response, Theriot tweeted: 

This sent twitter abuzz, and Theriot's name started trending in the United States for a brief period of time. While Theriot's more recent retweets hint that he was being sarcastic on the matter, current New York Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy reacted the same way much of twitter did: with a response under the assumption that Theriot was serious in his opinion about the newly named GM. On twitter, McCarthey tweeted: 

McCarthy is right. Theriot has been a part of two World Series teams, both of which were being run by a GM who has had no  major league baseball experience (John Mozeliak was the Cardinals GM in 2011, and Brian Saben was the Giants GM in 2012). In addition, Jim Hendry, the general manager of the Cubs in 2007 and 2008, also has no major league baseball experience. Those two clubs made it to the National League Division Series. 

That World Series winning teams which Theriot played for had GMs who never played any level of documented baseball is not surprise. Over the past 50 year, just nine teams that won the World Series had then-current GMs who had either major or minor league experience: 

WS Winning Team: GM (Years Active in Major Leagues): 

-1967 St. Louis Cardinals: Stan Musial (1941-1963) 
-1969 New York Mets: Johnny Murphy (1932-1947)
-1979 Pittsburgh Pirates: Pete Peterson (1955-1959)
-1980 Philadelphia Phillies: Phil Owens (1951-1959)
-1981 Los Angeles Dodgers: Al Campanis (1943)
-1982 St. Louis Cardinals: Whitey Herzog (1956-1963)
-1996 New York Yankees: Bob Watson (1966-1984)
-2002 Anaheim Angels: Bill Stoneman (1967-1974)
-2005 Chicago White Sox: Kenny Williams (1986-1991)

One of the GMs played in the minors, but never made it to the majors: Bill Lajoie of the 1984 Detroit Tigers. 

In a response to McCarthy, Theriot tweeted: 
McCarthy fired back: 

In sum, the majority of World Series winning GMs over the past 50 years never played a game of major league baseball. Although it may be against Theriot's opinion, baseball GMs who haven't played the game have made decisions that pushed many teams to victory in the past half-centery. Brandon McCarthy is right to defend general managers. In general, these GMs have worked hard in studying many aspects of the game, which, as McCarthy points out, is more often than not more than what regular players do. 

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