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I WOULD MAKE A GREAT GENERAL MANAGER

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Some years ago Morrison-Knudsen hired me to go to Peru and engineer some tunnels.  They had asked me if I had experience building tunnels.  Sure, I told them, I had worked on the Hunter's Point sewer tunnel and that street car tunnel that comes out near Broadway.  I didn't tell them that I was a kid at the time, holding on to the end of a hundred foot chain and knew very little about engineering a tunnel.  Anyway I went to Peru as their tunnel specialist, scared out of my skull.

 

We had a railroad to build from Ilo on the coast to a copper mine 8,000 feet up in the Andes.  There were twelve tunnels on the plans.  I went to the superintendent right away and told him I had little experience building tunnels.

 

He laughed.  "No sweat," he said.  "I've built a lot of them.  Nothing to it."

 

That was a great life lesson:  If you don't know how to do something, find someone who does.

 

That's why I would make a great general manager, and I'm perfectly serious about that.  Here's what I would do:  I'd hire the smartest man in the history of baseball.  I'd hire Bill James.  For how much?  Doesn't matter.  I'd make him an offer he couldn't refuse.

 

I'd make him Chief Executive officer and turn everything over to him and then I'd go home, drink beer and watch soaps and baseball on TV.

 

They probably wouldn't put me in the Hall of Fame or erect statues of me, but I would have established a Giant dynasty.

 

There's no doubt in my mind.


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