Peer-reviewing the GMs

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The Buster Olney story I mentioned earlier today in which he got the inside dirt from general managers about general manager is up. It’s Insider only, however, and will be in the July 12th edition of ESPN the Magazine. Some highlights:

  • Easiest GM to make a deal with: Jim Hendry, Cubs. And no, it’s not because he’s a bad GM who is easy to fleece. It’s because he’s a nice guy and people just like him. And because he’s easy to fleece, I’d guess.
  • Toughest: Brian Sabean, for the points mentioned in today’s earlier article. Ned Colletti is an honorable mention because GMs don’t know that he really has any authority when they talk to him.  Probably because he’s being steered by a couple of psycho owners and V-Energy and everything.
  • Great quote about Omar Minaya being a “card player”: “He’ll offer you a $5 bill and ask for two 10s in return.”
  • An intriguing vote of confidence for Theo Epstein: “Theo’s career has been helped by being in Boston, but I think that if
    you had put him in Kansas City five years ago, they’d be pretty good
    right now.”
  • And finally, something I’ve heard said about the Rays’ Andrew Friedman before, though I’m not sure we know enough about what GMs do all day to really say for sure: “He’s the best GM in the game.”

Anyway, it’s a pretty neat article. One of the few that ESPN puts out there that, in my opinion anyway, justifies an Insider subscription.  If they did more stuff like this I’d tell everyone to put their money down for it.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.