Astros GM Candidates

In the wake of the recent changes for the Astros, speculation is percolating about who the possible replacements will be. Like I said yesterday, as far as I’m concerned, Cecil Cooper can stay as the manager as long as he has the respect of the players and can get them to play hard. A baseball manager just isn’t that important in terms of wins and losses.

It’s hard for even a slightly more fanatical fan like me to know much about possible candidates for the GM job. Because of the fact that you rarely hear about anyone in the front offices of baseball teams outside of the GM there really isn’t too much information that is publicly available to evaluate potential candidates. You pretty much have to look at their experience and how the organization they came from works and what their philosophy is. For information about their reputation in the business we have to rely mainly on people with more inside information.

Today Tim Brown suggests Dan Evans as a possible candidate. He’s from the Dodgers organization and Brown says he’s overseen a redevelopment of their farm system that will make them competitive for some years to come. Very well, that sounds like the kind of guy we should be interested in, so add him to the list.

One candidate it seems clear that should NOT be under consideration for the job is Randy Smith. Smith has been a GM a couple of places before and both times left under similar circumstances to the way Purpura did from the Astros. Coincidentally, in Detroit, he was fired on the same day as his manager, Phil Garner, during the season only a few years ago. However, Randy Smith happens to be the son of Tal Smith, who will be heading up the search for the new GM. Not only does Randy Smith not have any kind of record of success that would suggest him as a good candidate for the job, being hired by your dad basically removes any chance that the decision can have any credibility whatsoever. Yet he’s being mentioned in press reports for the vacancy, hopefully just because of the family connection.

It’s also interesting to see how far the AL and NL reprsentatives in the 2005 World Series have fallen. Both are > 10 games under .500 and bringing up the rear in their division. The White Sox haven’t fired their GM and manager yet, but it’s nice to not have to hear all those stories about what a great manager Ozzie Guillen is and how Ken Williams is a genius and building a team that will compete for years.


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