Billy Beane may be the best-known general manager in baseball, but that wasn’t the case when he replaced Sandy Alderson in 1997. Here’s how Beane was presented to fans back when he was promoted to his current position, plus notes on his three AL West counterparts (click here to see what they were saying about AL East GMs and here to see what they were saying about AL Central GMs):
“Jack Zduriencik, who has made his baseball reputation as a scouting guru, was asked Friday to give a scouting report on his own administrative style.
‘I'm a 24/7 guy,’ he replied. ‘I'm a little no-nonsense. I like to get right down to it; there's a job to be done here, let's not waste each other's time. I like decisions.’" – Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, October 25th, 2008
“While the promotion of Reagins keeps the Angels' hierarchy largely intact, it does elevate an inexperienced hand to the critical position of general manager. Though he has spent 16 years in the Angels' organization, Reagins' only experience in negotiating contracts has been in dealing with minor-league free agents.” – Bill Plunkett, The Orange County Register, October 17th, 2007
“Daniels' Queens upbringing comes off as rather normal, with no hints of his blazing career path. Following his mother's example, he grew up a Mets fan, first in Fresh Meadows, then in Bayside; it was the mid-'80s, and everyone around him cheered on Davey Johnson and his wild players as the pitching-poor Yankees couldn't make the playoffs. He attended P.S. 26, and before seventh grade, he was accepted into an academically gifted program run by Hunter College on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
‘It was kind of a quick learning process,’ recalled Jon Daniels, ‘to go from a mama's boy from Queens to having a little more court awareness.’- Ken Davidoff, Newsday, November 25th, 2005
“One of three first-round picks by the Mets in 1980, Beane, an infielder/outfielder, had a six-year major- league career with the Mets, Tigers, Twins and A's.
‘This is something that since I was 18, I've looked forward to doing,’ said Beane. ‘I've wanted to run a ball club.’
And Beane knows he has some work ahead of him. The A's finished 65-97, the worst record in baseball.” – David Bush, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 18th, 1997