Ben Cherington “withdrew” himself from consideration for the Mets’ and Giants’ front office openings and so now I can breathe a sigh of relief for having written about his prime candidacy. When it comes to these front office executive searches, not even “people who played the game” have a good grasp of the basics.
None of us really know what the organizations tend to look for or what the secret handshake is to get a GM job — the front office is one of the least observable parts of a major league operation (the owners colluding being the #1 least observable facets of the game) — and so our speculation in this case is even less considered or based on factual information than ever before.
That’s sort of frustrating. It means that once the hire has been made, we’ll need time — years — to track the success or failure of the move. We can all be excited about certain names, but the magnitude of this particular job is different. The San Francisco Giants aren’t the Houston Astros, they’re not the San Diego Padres. There are different conditions and a different sort of fan base. More importantly, they have to uphold a certain degree of the team’s culture, and that could be tricky — it’s not impossible, just tricky. It suggests, too, that the winning candidate will have to have a great dynamic with Larry Baer, and that quality alone could help us determine from our distance who’s got the best shot.
And this is the new offseason format we’re trying out. This BP thread will be pinned to the front page and remain there all weekend. The next BP will be Monday morning. There will be one GameThread for all the games today and then a GameThread tomorrow for both Saturday and Sunday.