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.
The Yankees were already good — heck, they had already won a World Series — when Brian Cashman took over. They had Jeter and Mo and all of those guys and more money than God. It’d be harder, under those circumstances, to lose than it would be to win, right?
Well, maybe so, maybe not. As we’ve seen constantly throughout baseball history, even teams that win a lot of games and make the playoffs often don’t always win championships. Ask anyone in Atlanta, for example. And teams that were supposed to become dynasties who make the playoffs a lot often peter out more quickly than we expect. Ask anyone in Philly, for example.
But Brian Cashman’s Yankees did not. At least not for a while. And he has four rings to show for it. Go check out Mark and Dan’s article on Cashman to see why that is and whether that, truly, makes him the 21st best general manager of all time.
Oh, and while you’re at it, go check out their bonus article on an owner who behaved like a general manager, Charlie O. Finley.