Originally Posted by M2
IMO, what you're really looking for in a GM is good philosophy and analytical skills. Numbers can be part of that, but I agree that they're not the whole shebang. . . .
The media tries to make a lot of hay out of the A's approach vs. the Braves approach, but, IMO, Billy Beane and John Schuerholz are two peas in a pod.
I think a highly underrated GM skill, one that you indirectly cite above, is the ability to negotiate with your peers and relentlessly pursue those assets that are needed to make your team successful. Both Beane and Schuerholtz have that in spades, and I think that may be the key downside to a guy like DePodesta. He may be a genius, but unless he can consistenly acquire *the guy he wants* for what he is willing to give up, Paul will never be a Beane.
Moreover, I think it is interesting that neither Beane nor Schulerholtz developed a Bowden-like reputation in GM circles as a rip-off artist (e.g., the negative pub Bowden got after the Jeff Shaw deal with Lasorda). From my experiences in negotiating, these short-term wins have a negative long-term consequence: nobody wants to deal with you because they don't trust you or they fear you will be ripping them off.
My ideal GM would be what Jim Collins calls a Level 5 Leader
*one who understands and uses the numbers to "confront the brutal facts."
*one who does one thing exceptionally well. This is called the "hedgehog concept": Beane's is quantifying value, Schuerholtz's is scouting and developing HS arms.
*one who has a "stoic, resolve toward life." This creates a culture of discipline among his colleagues.
M2 is right in that both Schuerholtz and Beane have all three of these qualities (in differing quantities, of course).