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No one wants to be the Astros’ general manager

Dec 2, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

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Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine turned down a chance to interview for the Astros’ general manager opening and apparently he wasn’t alone.

According to Jon Heyman of, White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn and MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng also said no thanks to the Astros.

Houston’s top choice is obviously Andrew Friedman of the Rays and the Astros at least got Rockies assistant general manager Bill Geivett to agree to an interview.

Much like the Orioles last month before they settled on Dan Duquette, it sure seems as though most of baseball views the Astros’ gig as an extremely tough one.

  1. kjkulsrud - Dec 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Alright alright, I’ll do it… but only if I get access to a private jet and the ability to work remotely.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Between their awful season and the bad PR regarding Tal Smith, would you want that gig?

    …okay, so most of us readers make 5-10% of what an average GM does, so a lot of us probably would. But still, most qualified candidates have little reason to.

    And it’s not like any of those candidates feel like a GM gig is all that rare to have open these days – Baltimore, Chicago, Boston, Anaheim (or whatever the hell the Angels call themselves) & New York have all proven that recently.

    • dparker713 - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      It’s beyond arrogant to turn down an interview for the Astro’s GM job. There are a total of 30 MLB GM jobs in the world, how many opportunities do you think these people are going to get?

      The O’s job is one thing – Angelos has setup that job for people to fail. But the Astros have a new ownership group talking about taking the long view on roster building and essentially a clean slate at the MLB level.

      Sure, 2 or 3 of these jobs open up each year, but there are well more than 2-3 qualified candidates with more gaining the qualifications every year. These guys will only be the prettiest girls at the dance for so long.

      • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        Even so, if I were offered the choice between being the general manager of the Astros or director of sanitation and hygiene in Fukushima, I would need a few days to think it over.

      • paperlions - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:33 PM

        No, it is not arrogant. There is more to life than promotion, even for the ambitious. If you like the situation you are in, prefer it to what it offered, and can live with the fact that you may never get another chance at such a job, then it is logical (not arrogant) to turn down the opportunity.

        Every opportunity is not the right opportunity for everyone.

        What is arrogant is assuming you know what is best for people you don’t even know.

  3. cur68 - Dec 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    The Orioles and Astros = the 2 ugly desperate girls at the dance. So far, the Orioles have “settled” and are hoping for big things (while living on deep fried food) and the Astros are getting shot down by the guys with a chance of getting them out of that hick town they hate so much.

    The Sox are the pretty girl but she’s just a crap load of maintenance and she whines a lot. Also, while she can dance, she spends so much time in the bathroom its always a surprise when she comes out and actually does what she’s there for. She’s landed the Jock who’s behaviour and comments always seem to get him in some sort of weird trouble.

    And Theo to the Cubs, you ask? That’s like when Carrie goes to the highschool prom with Tommy Ross…

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      Let’s hope Theo doesn’t end up with Bucket of Pig Blood cracking his skull.

      • cur68 - Dec 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Same thing every guys says when he asks a chick to the high school prom, I’m sure.

  4. thekingdave - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    If the Astros reel in Friedman none of it matters. Any aspiring executive should jump at opportunities to be an MLB GM. Bad PR regarding Tal Smith? Seriously? I have no sympathy for a guy who’d been there far too long and watched the Astros nose dive from NL Champs to cellar dwellers.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Yes, because the team was 100% in Tal’s command at every aspect.

      I don’t care who he is, you show long-tenured execs more respect than that. Dishing out a few more bucks and telling him they’re sorry he found out that way is all they have to do to kick him out of the door but with less of a footprint on his back.

  5. hoopmatch - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I understand Jim Hendry is available…

    • jimbo1949 - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      So is Steve Phillips & Jim Bowden

  6. Kyle - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I’d rather run the Stros than the O’s, at least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t blocked out by the Yankees and Red Sox. In both cases, though, it’s going to be a long slog.

  7. paperlions - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Wow…smart people already in good situations don’t want to interview to work for a flaming asshole and war profiteer? Who knew?

    • natstowngreg - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:06 PM

      Three possible explanations:

      1. Word is out that Jim Crane is a bad boss.

      2. Word is out that Jim Crane isn’t committed to the complete organizational rebuild the Astros need.

      3. Both.

  8. thekingdave - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Cry me a river, a millionaire exec who sucked at his job in recent history and overstayed his welcome for almost 10 years didn’t get a severance. Boo hoo. Take the hill, the “Eat more fowl” poles, and choo choo train with you.

  9. crankyfrankie - Dec 2, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    I nominate Utley’s hair or Johnny5. I am sure there are a few people RAJ would like in the stros system.

  10. cintiphil - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    What is so bad about this job? You only have one way to go. If a GM can be successful in Houston, he will command his own salary. This has to be viewed as an opportunity by anyone looking to manage a MLB team. You have a large market team with lotsa of potential money to spend and rebuilding is the only kind of job which pays big dividends. Why would one want to be the GM of the Yanks? There is a long way down with them, and any small error in judgement could cost a lot. With the Astros, it would hardly be noticed.

    • paperlions - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      This is complete organizational rebuild, it will take years….lots of them. It is probably not the right opportunity for the vast majority of people that have never been a GM before…it is highly likely that the next GM will be long gone before the organization is in any condition to compete. A GM with experience and a reputation already built might be able to weather the next 5 years of constant losing….someone taking the job over for the first time will probably start getting “is this person right for the job” questions by the end of year 2.

  11. jeffa43 - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Drayton owned the team for 20 something years, and Tal Smith has been there for 35 years. You have to think the problem is another example of how Drayton never had a open door policy.

    How do you know the owner is leaving for …a couple years now, and not discuss your compensation in departure?

    With that said, as a (gulp) loyal follower for 32 years now, Tal Smith got TEN YEARS …10, of compensation. He was paid for 10 years, afrer he should have been fired.

  12. jeffa43 - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    The world economy is falling apart…

    There is sadness around every corner… you come on here, and everyone is bitching about the Astros position.. I know, I know it is not good in Houston…. but,


    Lets all unite and rejoice, just give thanks this Christmas for Wades Departure.

    Thank you Lord!

    • stex52 - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      A step in the right direction, but we need someone to take us to the next step.

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