The 2007 media guide for the Atlanta Braves features a profile on general manager John Schuerholz. Listed alongside his biography is a chart that lists all of the GMs by length of tenure. Schuerholz stood at the top, after taking over the team in Oct. of 1990.
And now he’s no longer listed. Schuerholz announced his resignation as Braves GM last week and that he would be assuming the role as team president effective immediately. His replacement is hand chosen and a close ally, Frank Wren. Schuerholz will still be involved with baseball operations, but his presence will be less than it previously was.
This is similar to what happened in Minnesota. Terry Ryan, an astute GM who built a winner through scouting and development, announced his resignation with a few games remaining in the season. He left because of a lack of desire to continue. Ryan will continue in a role with the team, the one he has been with since 1994.
Another GM that started in 1994, Walt Jocketty, has recently announced he won’t be with his team, the St. Louis Cardinals, next year, too. Jocketty put together two 100+ win teams in 2004 and 2005, along with a World Series team in 2006. Not given the largest budget to work with, Jocketty scoured the market for the Darryl Kiles, Juan Encarnacions, David Ecksteins, and Andy Beneses.
And a fourth could be joining that vaunted triumvirate. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim held a press conference yesterday morning to announce that GM Bill Stoneman was leaving the team and Tony Reagins, who was the former director of player development. Stoneman assembled four teams that made the postseason in his eight seasons with the Angels, including one World Series champion in 2002. He is expected to take a role as a consultant with the team.
So, where does that leave us? Both Schuerholz and Ryan have had replacements chosen, but the job in St. Louis is still available. With no big free-agent GMs out there, it’s likely that someone holding another position will take over, whether they are with another club or not.
One solid baseball mind is Tom Hicks. He is currently serving as a consultant for the Texas Rangers, and his contract ends after the 2013 season. Paul DePodesta is currently in the front office of the San Diego Padres and would bring a heavy focus on sabermetrics to a team. A third potential candidate is Chris Antonetti, who is a VP of Baseball Operations with the Cleveland Indians.
No matter who is hired, they will have a long way to catch up to their predecessors.
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