CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Dream Job Competition: Manager vs. GM


by Dan Peschong

There is no doubt that many baseball fans dreamed of being a major league player growing up. Most of us could picture ourselves knocking one deep like Jimmy Wynn or racing in to make a miraculous catch like Cesar Cedeno. I’m not sure what our lady friends thought growing up — that is perhaps a post for a different day. But anyway, at some point we would realize that God gave us many skills, but few in the baseball talent department, and our minds would turn to other sports-related jobs.

Many kids turned to fantasies about being the next Vin Sculley or

Gene Elston. But I think a lot of kids once they reached their teen years liked the thought of being a baseball manager. Traveling, seeing all the games close-up, ordering around all the players – superstars down to scrubs and making decisions on a minute by minute basis that had a direct effect on the game.

But with fantasy leagues and instantaneous access to statistics, another job may have eclipsed the manager’s spot in our (personal) fantasy wish list – that of general manager. When we were younger we may not have even known that such a job existed much less know the name of that particular person for our favorite team . However, I feel a sea change has occurred and the GMs spot is now a very high profile position.

So, fellow bloggers – most of your comments here are either second guessing the manager or the general manager’s decisions.  If you were given the choice of either job, which one would you take and why? And would it make a difference if these hypothetical jobs were with the Astros rather than some other team in the majors?

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

29 comments on “Dream Job Competition: Manager vs. GM

  1. Astro45
    March 19, 2014

    I would take GM. It would appear higher salary, and a little more job security. And I get to fire the other guy. On a side note as GM, in looking at the 40 man roster, it appears that all cuts have been made except for pitchers. So the team is set after the pitchers are cut, unless a major trade involves someone on the 40 man. Does this appear to be correct? 4 OF, 7 INF & DH, 2 catchers. So 12 pitchers?

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      Astro 45 – I think the GM job is not quite as accountable as the manager’s job. Very rarely will the GM for a particular regime be let go before the manager or managers are let go.
      Chip has argued that they will go with 13 pitchers to start the season, since they have 13 games in 13 days to start the season. In which case from your list – we would expect someone from the 7 inf + dh group to be let go.
      I have not been watching the recent cuts closely – are they really down to 13 everyday players?

      Like

  2. Dan P
    March 19, 2014

    I looked in yesterday’s box and saw that DeShields, Correa, Izturis, Petit, Dominguez, Villar, Singleton, Guzman and Carter (Inf + DH) all played. I don’t think they have made all their everyday cuts.

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  3. Astro45
    March 19, 2014

    Sorry for confusion. I was looking at the 40 man. Stassi and Santana were sent to Minor camp. So on the 40 man, those numbers are correct. (per Astros web site). And of course, does not show NRI.

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      I know it is difficult to keep track of what the heck they are doing. Also, sometimes they have kids in the minor league camp fill-in when they have split squad games.

      Like

  4. Astro45
    March 19, 2014

    DanP, we know Springer, Moylan, 2 additional catchers, etc. etc are still in camp. But someone will have to leave the 40 man, for any of those to make the 25 man. For some reason, I still believe (perhaps hope) that a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 trade comes along and throw in Schaub for good measure.

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      My most likely scenario is that Springer and Moylan make the team and a couple guys they picked up on waivers – like McHugh and Downs get waived again.
      A trade is a possibility – I’m sure the Texans would sweeten the pot to include Schaub – haha.

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      • Chip Bailey
        March 19, 2014

        Jumping in here late in the game, but another possible — if not probable — move to clear a spot on the 40-man is to start a player like Alex White on the 60-day DL. Those players won’t count against the 40-man. That would allow him to continue to rehab after last April’s TJ surgery and he could still be ready by June-ish.

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        Good point Chip – I think White will have spent a lot more than 60 days on that list between last year and this

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    • Steven
      March 19, 2014

      Throwing in Schaub will only slow the deal down, the guy probably threw a pick 6 from RF in spring training.

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        Steven – with Schaubs throwing arm we would not let him on the field. He would be a DH.

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  5. Steven
    March 19, 2014

    No doubt for me – I enjoy talking out the 162 game projections on guys, I love the challenges the GM has in balancing the long term projections with a win now also attitude, but give me the manager job anytime.

    I am a senior NCO in the Army. I equate the relationship between management and the coaches the same as a I do officer/NCO. In the Army, the officers make our rules, they evaluate missions, they write policy, they decide operations. The NCO’s teach the individual, guide and mentor their career, and do all the little things to make the organization successful. Same concept.

    The same that I don’t teach a guy to seek cover when he gets fired at, thats a natural inclination – I just mentor him in how to find the BEST cover and let instinct take over – coaches have to deal with hitters tendencies. A manager isn’t going to teach a hitter to hit, they are grown adults that have been playing the game their entire lives, but he and his staff can mentor them on adjustments, drill technique and discipline, hold them accountable and figure out what role each plays that is best to fit the organization – practices we all do everyday in whatever walk of life we take (except Dan – I am pretty sure he lives off social security).

    Give me the lineup card to fill out any day – I love the challenge of finding and exploiting the best possible matchups, reading guys and figuring out who has “it” today, give me that chess match with the guy across the field – and I don’t even care if you give me less (like what is given to Porter), just give it to me and I’ll take that challenge head on.

    Of course, if I am 10-20 in my first 30, I fully expect that I will be the first to go…..while the GM sits in his press box and shrugs his shoulders.

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      First of all – Steven thank you so much for your service to this wonderful country.
      Second – though I have been an Astros fan since the mid-60’s I am not yet on Social Security – I work as a project engineer and God willing will be doing that for another decade.
      I love how you tied your NCO position to a field manager position. Very applicable and I’m betting you would make a great manager (and would not have guys who can’t steal bases running into outs 1/2 the time – but I digress).
      Thanks for everything you bring to the blogs – love the insight you give us.

      Like

      • Astro45
        March 19, 2014

        Dan P: I was hoping Steven to fill in, because my experience is now about 45 years old. But in the structure, the G-3 was Operations Manager under the General (Division Level). So Crane would be the General and Luhnow would be G-3 (Operations and normally a Colonel under the General). The Sargent Major was highest enlisted man in the Army, but out ranked by all officers. HOWEVER, when the Sargent Major said, “The General asked me to ……” – he immediately went to the top. So Joe Torre or Frank Robinson would be good examples. They carry no weight, but you better listen when they speak.

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        Thanks – that helps clear things up!

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      • Steven
        March 20, 2014

        Yes its still called G3. Command Sergeant Major for a General Officer is a sweet job I imagine, comes with a driver and all, a little rock star status, but you gotta do some crappy jobs on the way lol.

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      • Dan P
        March 20, 2014

        Steven – the Army sounds like a microcosm of most areas of civilian life. There are jobs where I work that are pretty sweet – but you have to swallow a lot of sour to get them.

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    • Astro45
      March 19, 2014

      I too say thanks Steven for your service. Then I must add, I had rather be the G-3 (if the nomenclature is still the same) and not be a Senior NCO unless I get to be the General’s Sargent Major (which might be the best gig in the military)

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        So, Astro45 – what are the equivalents of the G-3 and the Sergeant Major in baseball? Is the G-3 like a hitting coach and the Sergeant Major is Bud Selig’s assistant?

        Like

  6. Dan P
    March 19, 2014

    Speaking for myself – I think I would much prefer to be a GM. I know that playing fantasy ball is just that – an unrealistic fantasy – but I would really love the challenge of trying to piece together a team, draft the right guys, sign the right FAs, make the right trades, hire the right staff, coaches, managers – cut your losses with folks at the right time – but continually work towards increasing the value of the team.
    I totally respect the folks like Steven who feel like they fit better in the day-to-day hands-on of managing. I think it is definitely a personality thing and what makes a person comfortable.

    Like

  7. Devin
    March 19, 2014

    No, I would take a spot as NCAA head coach over a mlb manager or GM position. The ability to teach and exert change appeals to me…I just don’t think mlb rosters are malleable enough. 2nd choice would be GM. At least Luhnow can replace guys unwilling to adjust. Porter is stuck watching whiffs, errors, and walks with little recourse.

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      Interesting discussion Devin. Basketball coach is really a totally hands on job – it has to be a lot higher stress than manager, but you do have a lot of control. In basketball you can pull somebody for being an air head and sit them for awhile and put them back in. In baseball you have to live with what they are doing or lose them for the day.
      Would you feel any different about things if the choice was between being Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and Yanks GM Brian Cashman instead of Astros GM Jeff Luhnow?

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      • Devin
        March 19, 2014

        Yes – who would voluntarily live in Syracuse?

        FWIW, I meant NCAA baseball though. I’m ignoring the likely disparity in salary though.

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        Sorry – have March Madness on the brain, Devin.

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      • Dan P
        March 19, 2014

        Well the best college baseball squads are in some of the best locales – not Syracuse…

        Like

  8. BrianT
    March 19, 2014

    Manager. I’d make out the lineup card, take the walk to the mound and be on the field with the guys. I know everyone thinks that in the AL there’s no strategy. Bull. There’s plenty to decide. It’d be fun.

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    • Dan P
      March 19, 2014

      Brian T – I can totally see why folks would enjoy doing it. One additional thing AL managers deal with…they do not have the decision to pull the pitcher made for them (pitcher pitching well late in the game but trailing will almost always be pinch hit for). The AL manager has to pull the pitcher when he really thinks he has had it.

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  9. Chip Bailey
    March 19, 2014

    I could see myself taking either job, but — a big BUT — I’d need to feel very comfortable with the guy in the other role. If I were GM, I’d probably tend to meddle if the manager weren’t good. And, if I were manager, it could be very frustrating to keep George Springer away from my team if my job was hanging in the balance. So…I’ll just buy the team and sit in my owner’s box and be happy.

    Like

  10. Dan P
    March 19, 2014

    Cheater! No as long as we are fantasizing – you might as well fantasize big.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 19, 2014 by in Astros.
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