According to Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News, the San Francisco Giants are now ’50-50′ on hiring a general manager this off-season. What does this mean going forward?
Well, it could mean that newly hired San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, could have a lot of control this off-season. Obviously, he won’t be making decisions alone. The front office is filled with tons of people who will help him reach the right decisions.
The Giants could still hire a GM some time soon. But statements from Larry Baer and Zaidi suggest that it will not exactly break their hearts if they don’t hire a GM this off-season.
But at the end of the day, it seems like Zaidi will have the final word on many important decisions such as what to do with Madison Bumgarner (If you need a refresher on all the different Bumgarner options, look right here). It is fair to ask if that is a good thing.
Throughout history, struggling countries have vested power in a lone person. Usually, it hasn’t turned out all that well (see Germany, Italy). Zaidi isn’t going to be a dictator though. Obviously, it’s not as if he has jurisdiction to do anything he wants.
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He is a president, and decisions will be made in a somewhat democratic process. Not too dissimilar to a president presiding over a cabinet.
John F. Kennedy essentially wanted to be his own Secretary of State, which is why he appointed yes-man Dean Rusk to the position so he’d do whatever Kennedy told him to do when it came to foreign affairs.
Historians have argued that having such a weak Secretary of State led to, or at the very least didn’t help, the disaster in Vietnam because the only major dissenting voices in the federal government were from farther down on the totem pole of power.
I hope my point doesn’t get lost in loose historical analogy. Zaidi is obviously a very smart guy. He is more than qualified to be his own GM.
I think a much better analogy would be San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan acting as his own offensive coordinator for his first two years on the job. Obviously, the results haven’t been great, but in my opinion that’s due to a lack of talent more so than poor scheme.
I have supreme confidence that if the Giants don’t hire a GM this offseason, Zaidi will not fool himself into thinking he’s got all of the answers. He’s smart enough to know that he doesn’t know everything.
I’ve never met the guy, so I could definitely be wrong, but from everything I’ve heard and read about him he seems more than equipped to handle the pressing duties of his new job as well the role of GM which he’s proven he’s more than adept at. Let’s hope I’m right.