I’m Mike Lee and I am the Deputy Editor of American Thinker. I stepped outside the world of news and politics recently to conduct an e-mail interview with San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer. That follows below.
Psychologically, we are hard-wired as humans to want to clean house when we take over a position that oversees many others, but are we better off working in conjunction with the existing personnel? By coming in to a new environment, does it make it difficult to properly evaluate incumbent talent- perhaps because employees, unlike players, do not have concrete levels of production from which to draw?
JDH – After getting the job with the Padres, I had a lot of great calls from the existing GM’s around the game. Almost all of them offered some advice for a new GM. One theme that was consistent was ‘don’t be hasty in your desire to make changes.’ I have made changes and will continue to add talent to the front office, but I was also fortunate to inherit a lot of very good employees from Kevin Towers. If I had tried to put my stamp on the office too quickly, I would never have been able to properly evaluate those employees.
How important is discipline by a GM? Can you make an ill-advised decision if you’re tempted by boredom or feel the need to do something?
JDH – The marathon nature of a baseball season can certainly tempt a GM into activity. For one, you are competing against 29 other teams and you always have a sense that if you’re not doing something to get better, you’re falling behind. Also, small sample sizes can often mask the real value of a player or a team. It is really important to constantly look at underlying numbers/metrics to make sure that you aren’t reacting to a meaningless slump.