May 16, 2007, 04:49 PM ET
by Will Carroll
Iíve been getting more and more questions over the last few weeks about GMs. In one recent (I think Monday - days mesh together. When was Heroes? Yeah, Monday.) interview, the assumption was made in a question that Bill Bavasi, GM of the Mariners, would be fired. While Iím not sure about that, Iím convinced that baseball front offices are getting smarter. And thatís saying something.
Sure, the Indians have Keith Woolner, but before that, they go org deep with really, really smart guys. There are people in the mid-levels of the Mets front office or the Aís front office that are among the smartest, sharpest baseball minds Iíve encountered. Rays? Sure. Braves? Absolutely. Cubs? Youíd be surprised, but the answer is yes. Sox? Both colors, yes. Brewers? Let me stun you - if I made a list of five people I would interview to be my GM if my bid of $17.49 happens to be the high bid for the Cubs, Gord Ash would be on that list. (No, you couldnít pay me enough to give you the other four names.)
Ash is a perfect example of someone who made moves in the past that BP disagreed with. Same with Kenny Williams, who I think should be in the top echelon of current GMs. While some of them may have thought that our criticism was personal, it wasnít. Smart people make dumb moves, but more usually, we donít see the inner workings that led to the decision. I can disagree with J.P. Ricciardiís logic on B.J. Ryan and A.J. Burnett (ĒIf they stay healthy ÖĒ) but I understand why he did it. We donít often get the full logic, the transparent breakdown, or anything close.
Baseball, as a whole, is getting better and smarter, on and off the field. Just donít mistake that evolutionary improvement as an indictment of the men in place now.