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.
In some circles, Bill Beane is talked about like he’s a Gabor sister or something. Famous for being famous, almost. They wrote a book about him and Brad Pitt played him in a movie and he’s held up as an example of something that most of the people doing the holding up fail to understand or refuse to understand. He’s more avatar in some big dumb debate than real person, it seems. A guy who, if you hear his detractors tell it, is most famous for never having a team he’s run make it to the World Series. And if you hear his fans tell it, is God Almighty. Yeah, he’s a bit polarizing.
But he’s first and foremost the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. And has been for a very long time. And as Mark and Dan argue today, he is the 11th greatest general manager of all time.
Check your preconceptions at the door and see if you think they’re right about that.