The Job of a General Manager


Mar 3, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels (left) talks with third baseman Adrian Beltre prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians in a spring training game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Kinsler thinks Jon Daniels is a sleezeball, and this comment among others has me thinking about the relationship between a general manager and his team. In the movie Moneyball, Billy Beane said it was important to maintain a distance between general manager and player, so that the GM can make a trade if he has too. So where is the fine line between boss, business manager and friend? Sometimes it is hard to see, and most obviously sometimes it is almost impossible not to befriend a player that the GM really likes. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner and GM, seems to hang on to players for just a little too long (unless it is Demarcus Ware), and then Tampa Bay cuts players at the first sign of them demanding a big contract.

First of all, I know that I personally know very little about being a major league GM, I’ll admit that. I spoke with someone who deals with one though on The Hague Sports Podcast, Brett Nicholas of the Texas Rangers, and I asked him what he thinks about the relationship between the GM and the players.

"“For me personally, you see them on a day-to-day basis, especially during spring training. They’re around the facility all the time and you talk with them, you know, kind of like how are things going…it’s not as much mechanical stuff, that’s obviously the coaches, but you definitely build a relationship with them, you know it’s a working relationship and everybody goes through it with their jobs…there’s a respect there and there is a working relationship and it’s the same thing as any job, as long as you are doing your job and they are doing theirs everything runs smoothly…”"

Brett makes it sound like any working relationship with a supervisor, they see him but they don’t have to deal with him a lot as far as day-to-day coaching. The GM has the very difficult task if putting a winning team on the field every single day and every single season, and I can only imagine how difficult of a job that is. The stress level must be through the roof. But it is a job that guys seem to love, and Jon Daniels seems to be thriving at it, if you like him or not. They get to play with other people’s money, and if they lose a good chunk of that money, they will no longer be employed.

It is most assuredly a high risk, high reward job when they do finally put together that World Series winning team, and I hope that is in Jon Daniels near future with the Texas Rangers. His job is to put the best team on the field regardless of whether or not a former Texas Rangers thinks he is a sleezeball. I hope he can finally take the Texas Rangers over that hump of winning a championship soon!