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Brian Sabean, some mystery GM take issue with Buster Olney's GM piece

Jul 2, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

Remember that Buster Olney article I linked yesterday in which he relayed anonymous GM scouting reports on other GMs?  Well, Brian Sabean — who was pretty much slammed in it — isn’t happy with the results:

“I’ve never talked to Buster. I tried to reach him today
to have a productive conversation. I was told he polled 12 GMs and 7
responded . . . The article is what it is, but it’s backhanded. There
should be further explanation and there is not. It comes down to
management style, and when it comes down to it, he didn’t poll 30
teams.”

Sabean’s actually wrong on the numbers: Buster actually got responses from 12 GMs, not seven. Seven of those 12 named Sabean the most difficult guy to deal with.  Finding seven GMs to agree on anything seems like a pretty tall order, so I’m willing to give Olney the benefit of the doubt here.

Not that Olney’s poll was perfect or anything. One of the respondents described Arizona Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes thusly: “I think he’s smart as hell, he’s well thought-out, and he’s a good
person.”

That would be ex-Diamonbacks GM Josh Byrnes, of course. Between his firing and Sabean’s inexplicable longevity, I guess being as smart as hell doesn’t count for much these days.

  1. Drakos - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Buster was on SportsCenter yesterday and said that he did talk to the Giants about this. Their response was basically that Sabean delegates authority and that their way of doing things works fine.

  2. APBA Guy - Jul 2, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    I’ve defended Sabean in the past because I believed many of his moves during the Bonds era were directed by ownership. Which of us knows what it takes to be a successful GM? I like Buster’s article because it gives insight into an aspect of the game I find fascinating yet opaque. Naturally Sabean takes exception to the conclusion he’s hard to deal with. That isn’t surprising. Maybe he delegates, maybe he is aloof. At least he isn’t glued to the EPL like certain GM’s across the bay. But ultimately what decides a GM’s fate is W-L. And currently the Gigantes are on a six game skid, 5.5 back.

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