Re: How Would You Rate O'Brien's First Year As GM?
O'Brien did fine. We have better young starters than we did before -- remember he acquired Hancock for very little and signed off (I assume) on the promotion and steady use of Hudson. The handling of mega-assets Dunn and Pena (for which everyone seems to want to credit Chambliss, an O'Brien/Miley hire) worked very well. Top prospects Encarnacion, Gardner, Pauly, Moseley, Votto (to name just the top 5) made solid-excellent advances in the minors. In general, the 8-man/75 pitch system, in place for most of the season, helped our lower level pitchers avoid injury. The team, built on a low budget, was competitive and interesting enough (untraded Griffey's chase of 500 helped) to get fans to the park in numbers significantly higher than projected for a small-market team in its 2nd year in a new ballpark. In turn, the payroll is expected to climb in 2005.
Perhaps most importantly, he appears to have helped stabilize a FO that, from all accounts, was in chaos. We don't see that stuff.
No grade from me until 3 years from now, when his contract is up. Even then, it'll still be too soon to have a final reckoning on the 2004 draft.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini