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View Full Version : Is the Presence of Jim Beattie scaring off some potential GM candidates?



cincinnati chili
02-04-2006, 07:32 AM
On the other board, in the discussion about Mike Hill and others turning down interviews, M2 said:

"These are strange days in MLB. It's not just the Reds. Ass. GMs seem to be turning down GM interviews all over the place. Maybe that's why we've got this new abbreviation for all the happy lieutenants out there."

Could it be that the "Happy Lieutenants" out there are turning down interviews because of the perception that Jim Beattie, a two-time former GM, has already got the owner's ear.

Think about it. Guys like Antonetti and Mike Hill are (supposedly) happy in their roles as second fiddles (or third fiddle in Hill's case because of the hands-on style of Dave Sampson). The only reason they'd want to leave their situtations would be to get significantly more say and more power over what goes on in the baseball operation.

I'm not saying this as a slam on Beattie, because I have no reason to believe that he's a "usurper." But I think it would be natural for the GM candidates to see him as a threat to their power.

[somewhat unrelated note about Beattie: I've heard through the grapevine that Beattie developed a reputation in Baltimore for not working "GM hours." In other words, he wasn't coming into the office to work the hours expected of a modern GM (i.e. ALL hours). Has anybody else heard this?]

KronoRed
02-04-2006, 08:15 AM
That's a pretty good line of thinking, could other guys see him as another voice they will have to listen to in addition to Allen, and Casto and think it's not worth the effort?

Hmm.

Krusty
02-04-2006, 08:57 AM
If Beattie doesn't get the job, he might get the assistant GM position with Dean Taylor getting the boot.

Candy Cummings
02-04-2006, 09:52 AM
Its a little like having Jerry Narron hanging around. Miley had to know what was coming.

WVRedsFan
02-04-2006, 10:46 AM
Good point to ponder. I wonder, but I think it's something else.

Say you have this owner that demands winning. Say the club hasn't won for years and has the second worst pitching staff in the league. Now say the owner says there will be increase in payroll. Then say that the big contracts of Eric Milton and Ken Griffey, Jr. are not moveable. Then finally you say this is going to be a lot of work and very difficult. Hmmm.

You just might pass.

UKFlounder
02-04-2006, 01:53 PM
Good point to ponder. I wonder, but I think it's something else.

Say you have this owner that demands winning. Say the club hasn't won for years and has the second worst pitching staff in the league. Now say the owner says there will be increase in payroll. Then say that the big contracts of Eric Milton and Ken Griffey, Jr. are not moveable. Then finally you say this is going to be a lot of work and very difficult. Hmmm.

You just might pass.

And if these guys want to wait for a job with a $125+ million payroll, a good club on the field, and a top-notch farm system already in place, good luck to them.

Of course it's going to be hard work. GMs generally don't get replaced because they have the organization in great shape. If they want to take over an organization that's in great shape, perhaps they'll find that opportunity elsewhere

Personally, I'm not sure we should want any GM who would turn down an interview opportunity because the job might be too hard.

It seems like we have some qualified names interested in the job (though most on here will be better judges of that than I am) so I'm not sure Beattie is "scaring off" too many.

KronoRed
02-04-2006, 02:47 PM
Why walk into a close to impossible situation and sully your name for life when you can stay a LT and make more $

Marc D
02-04-2006, 03:24 PM
Why walk into a close to impossible situation and sully your name for life when you can stay a LT and make more $

Agreed.

On a personal note, in my occupation I'm in a "Happy LT" situation and its got a very strong appeal. A lot of people look at the overall quality of life when evaluating a job, not just a title, recognition or income. The hours, stress level, travel and accountability are all severe for my boss whereas I'm financially comfortable hanging back, dealing with a minimal amount of the BS and seeing my kids grow up.

Also, when positions do come open(happens a lot) guys in my position very much look at the potential for success. In fact its the first thing you look at. NO ONE wants to walk into a situation in which you are set up for failure because you won't ever be able to go get your old cushy "trusted LT" job back if you fail.

Anyway, just my .02 but for me and a lot of guys I know in similar situations, Krono's post is dead on accurate.

cincinnati chili
02-04-2006, 03:32 PM
See, I don't see this job as an impossible situation at all, given the facts that are publicly available.

If RCast is a jerk behind closed doors, that's another story.

If the Reds have a secret deal with MLB to bring in Pete Rose in '07, that's another story.

But from what I can see, the next GM enters a situation that any half wit could improve. Dan O'Brien was quite unique in his ability to take as situation as bad as it was in '03, then make it worse.

We're in a (relatively) low payroll division, we have some offensive talent, and we have a fan base that's proven it will support a team that contends.

The only thing that should scare off GMs are personality conflicts and meddlers.

Henry Clay
02-04-2006, 04:20 PM
I hope the field of candidates realizes that this job will be a challenge. The fact that some potential candidates are declining suggests that the nature of the challenge is being noticed. From his various comments, Castellini wants a GM to focus on both long-term and short-term improvement. That dual focus is going to be very difficult without a surge in payroll or a complete change in organizational mindset (e.g., duplication of the A's model).

I once wrote on the other board that O'Brien's first press conference made it look like he saw the Reds' GM opportunity as a culmination of a career's hard work, like a capstone to what had come before. He gave an Oscar speech thanking the world and proceeded to invite old friends into his new company. I don't see the new GM doing the same thing. For one thing, Castellini will probably be standing right there at the press conference and will probably reiterate his goal of working hard now to improve the club.

As for Beattie's role and influence, I don't know what to think. If he wasn't willing to work long hours in Baltimore, that's not good. Nevertheless, I can't say I blame him too much. He was co-GM in a franchise run by a meddling owner. Who knows how much influence he really had. I guess some candidates may fear a Rasputin role for Beattie in the club, but I don't see it. I just don't think his current, limited role is a bad one or anything other candidates need to fear. If he were more entrenched, like Lucchino in Boston, I might feel differently. Don't get me wrong, he shouldn't get the job. I just don't see him as a big red flag for candidates. If anything, Castellini may look like a meddling owner. Candidates likely noticed that he said he is going to work out of GABP for the next few weeks. I'm sure they noticed how quickly he fired O'Brien, who had only been on the job for 2 years. For those who cited comfortable second-in-command roles for those who are declining interviews, I think there may be a lot to that.

[This is my first post on ORG after years of just reading others' comments. I love the quality of this board and am proud to be a part of it.]

WVRedsFan
02-04-2006, 06:07 PM
If anything, Castellini may look like a meddling owner. Candidates likely noticed that he said he is going to work out of GABP for the next few weeks. I'm sure they noticed how quickly he fired O'Brien, who had only been on the job for 2 years. For those who cited comfortable second-in-command roles for those who are declining interviews, I think there may be a lot to that.

I think, with some of the guys who declined an interview, this was probably the case. If you happen to be in a comfortable position and have aspirations to be a GM, why walk into this situation? Much like it did for Dan O'Brien (and Lord knows he had it coming), it could wreck your dream for years.

OTOH, we've got some good candidates, so I just hope a good guy gets the job and gets the job done. If not, he's history. And I don't think Castellini will wait around to can him, either.

traderumor
02-04-2006, 06:21 PM
I could care less if the GM is in the office for X of hours a week. Face time sucks as does expecting people to do nothing but work just because they have an important position. Just do the job, however long it takes.

cincinnati chili
02-04-2006, 07:59 PM
I could care less if the GM is in the office for X of hours a week. Face time sucks as does expecting people to do nothing but work just because they have an important position. Just do the job, however long it takes.

I should also point out that the "source" for this innuendo about Beattie was the afternoon "Big Show" here on WEEI am in Boston. Beattie was a candidate for the Red Sox' GM job, and allegedly the Team President (Lucchino) wanted to give it to him, but the owner (John Henry) vetoed him.

His lack of time at the office was one reason cited by WEEI, not by John Henry.

GAC
02-05-2006, 04:22 AM
If anything, Castellini may look like a meddling owner.

Lindner was an uninvolved owner. Now Castellini is possibly a meddling one?

Aronchis
02-05-2006, 05:00 AM
Lindner was an uninvolved owner. Now Castellini is possibly a meddling one?

Lindner wasn't uninvolved. Lindner was Schott status quo. He only fired Bowden when he had no other choice and then he hires a napping local boy who he feels comfortable won't rock the boat to much.

GAC
02-05-2006, 08:53 AM
Lindner wasn't uninvolved. Lindner was Schott status quo. He only fired Bowden when he had no other choice and then he hires a napping local boy who he feels comfortable won't rock the boat to much.

That's being pretty uninvolved IMO. Schott was far more active on the day to day operations then Lindner ever was. Lindner was not a baseball person; but hired people he felt would handle that aspect for him.

Yet he also "meddled" (see Larkin contract).

KronoRed
02-05-2006, 09:15 AM
Lindner was an uninvolved owner. Now Castellini is possibly a meddling one?
You want a balance, an owner who gives a crap but who won't overrule the baseball people when he sticks his nose where it doesn't belong.

Krusty
02-05-2006, 10:09 AM
You want a balance, an owner who gives a crap but who won't overrule the baseball people when he sticks his nose where it doesn't belong.

As owner you want to see positive results. If not, then you replace the people and bring in others until the results start to swing towards your way.

Chip R
02-05-2006, 10:31 AM
Well, I for one don't want to see someone get the job if they are scared of Jim Beattie's position. I want someone who isn't scared even if the odds are stacked against him. There's a lot of things in this job to be scared about. Jim Beattie shouldn't be one of them.

westofyou
02-05-2006, 11:50 AM
Lindner was an uninvolved owner. Now Castellini is possibly a meddling one?
Depends on what is meddling.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060129/COL09/601290388/1082/SPT

While the selection of a GM is critical, whoever gets the job is going to have less autonomy than O'Brien had. It's pretty clear Castellini is going to be much more involved in the day-to-day operations than Lindner was.

Castellini sat in on a meeting with Kullman and the top advisers Thursday as they discussed player personnel. Lindner was not involved at that level.

Personally I don't care if that's considered meddling, the man has millions of bucks in the team. It's nice to see that he knows where the offices are in the ballpark.

As for the young guys, sometimes the job isn't right, sometimes you're not right for the job and you know it... it's all conjecture anyway.

Wren is to be interviewed Monday, I'm thinking he's gonna get the job and Beattie and Kullman stay on as well.

cincinnati chili
02-05-2006, 02:46 PM
Good meddler:
Mark Cuban

Usually good meddler, but when bad... really bad:
Larry Lucchino

Bad meddler:
George Steinbrenner (if he didn't have the money to pay for his mistakes, he'd be in big trouble.)

jmcclain19
02-06-2006, 03:16 AM
Well, I for one don't want to see someone get the job if they are scared of Jim Beattie's position. I want someone who isn't scared even if the odds are stacked against him. There's a lot of things in this job to be scared about. Jim Beattie shouldn't be one of them.

Nothing really more to add to these comments, but I thought they were excellent representation of my thoughts and wanted to see them repeated.

GAC
02-06-2006, 06:01 AM
Depends on what is meddling.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060129/COL09/601290388/1082/SPT


Personally I don't care if that's considered meddling, the man has millions of bucks in the team. It's nice to see that he knows where the offices are in the ballpark.

I agree. It's his millions, and he's the owner. Anyone here not want to be actively involved/participating in how your investment does?

I have wholeheartedly approved of what he has done, involving the FO, up to this standpoint.

I don't know much about Castellini except that he comes from an organization that obviously has some baseball minds and follows a good philosophy. How much he had to do with that, or what influences he had, I don't know.

But at the least, I feel he has learned something, has gained knowledge and experience on what it takes to be a winner, and brings to this organization (in the form of an owner) something that has been missing for quite some time.

This organization, especially the management, needs some "meddling" from someone who has knowledge of the game. Is Castellini that guy? We'll see.

But at least he does have some experience/knowledge, which will enable and equip him, far better then a Lindner, to oversee his FO, and if they are up to the task or are screwing up.