Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.
Number 17 on the list was Dan Duquette, who laid the foundation for the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox. But Theo Epstein was on the job when the title happened and he kept the team a winner on through the 2007 championship. Still had his fingerprints on 2013 too, really.
He’s no longer a GM — even if everyone seems to think he is, the job belongs to Jed Hoyer in Chicago — but he is currently building the Cubs up into a winner as well. If Mark and Dan do this list a few years from now, he’s probably higher. For now, though, go read their assessment of Theo Epstein, the 16th greatest GM of all time.
Back on New Year’s Eve we noted that Mariners “catcher” Jesus Montero had lost some 30-35 pounds. Now it’s apparently 40 pounds, as this more in-depth report from John McGrath of the News-Tribune about Montero’s offseason transformation reveals.
More importantly, it reveals that the Mariners, though they would have every justification to, have not given up on Montero. They have not given up despite his regression as a player, his knuckleheaded antics off-the-field and the fact that, at present, he doesn’t seem to have a position.
He may not play into the Mariners’ big league plans at all this year. But at Triple-A last year an out-of-shape and unfocused Montero hit .286/.350/.489 with 16 home runs and 74 RBI over 97 games. Imagine what a dedicated, in shape Montero might yet do.
Money talks, but Ken Rosenthal reports that, all things being equal, James Shields prefers to sign with a team located on the West Coast. Shields lives in San Diego. The Giants and Padres have been connected to him, but at the moment, the scope of his market is rather unclear.
Also linked to Shields: the Tigers, Royals, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Brewers. At least a couple of those cities have direct flights to San Diego, I imagine. You know, for odd off-day and stuff.