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Mitch Williams speaks complete nonsense about the Nolan Ryan situation

Mar 6, 2013, 9:50 AM EDT

Nolan Ryan Rangers

This will be interesting news to almost every general manager in Major League Baseball: Mitch Williams, who is paid for his baseball insight, apparently believes that one cannot be a general manager unless one played baseball. He writes this about the Nolan Ryan drama on his blog:

I don’t know [Jon] Daniels, but the way that Michael Young was treated there was just wrong. Young changed positions four times for the good of the team. He became an All-Star at three different positions, then demanded a trade after the signing of Adrian Beltre.

I spoke to Michael about this, and that conversation will remain between us. One thing I can say for sure is that as soon as a GM starts to think he can evaluate talent better than someone like Ryan without anywhere near the baseball background, he is giving himself too much credit.

…In my opinion, you are only ignorant if you try and tell someone how to do their job if you aren’t qualified to do that job. I don’t think I’m going to get to many people calling me to do their taxes or represent them in court. Just as I am not going to argue with someone who does a job that I have no clue about.

Well, Nolan Ryan was with the Rangers when all of that was going down, so unless Ryan was merely a figurehead then — which Williams apparently does not allow for in the premise to this rant — the Michael Young stuff was partly his doing too.

In other news, given Williams’ view that one cannot be as good at something as someone who has a greater background in that pursuit, can I, as a bona fide baseball blogger, tell Mitch Williams that he shouldn’t be blogging?  Or does that stand whether or not the people saying so are baseball bloggers?

  1. proudlycanadian - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Tell the Jays that their GM is not qualified because he never played the game.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Brian Cashman agrees

    • historiophiliac - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      This is the kind of justification that keep women out as well.

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        True, there is always a silver lining.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Living dangerously today, I see.

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:57 PM


    • jashton11 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Andrew Friedman might have something to say about that, too.

      • fanofevilempire - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Ryan and Daniels suck!

        Anonymous Anaheim Angel

    • Kevin S. - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Aren’t Billy Beane and Kenny Williams the only two current GMs who played?

      • mattd0266 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Ruben Amaro (Phils GM) also played.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Okay. Still, 90% of GMs weren’t major leaguers.

      • cosanostra71 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        I believe the Angels GM Jerry Dipoto played for the Rockies at one point in the 90s.

      • moogro - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        While this happens less and less over the years, I’m perplexed why there’s ever an “I believe” comment. It takes a couple seconds to type ‘jerry dipoto fangraphs” or “jerry dipoto baseball reference” or “jerry dipoto wiki” before commenting. The only thing I can think of is avoiding the hassle of a slow smart phone interface.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    If Williams was doing his thing in his mother’s basement, then he’s qualified. Doubly so if he’s in his PJ’s and will rant on the nuances of single malt vs. blends from time to time. Even more so if he talks about his diet.

    I keed, I keed… and I know Craig knows this.

  3. contraryguy - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    “Mitch Williams speaks complete nonsense…” aaaaand, we can leave it like this. Nothing more to say there.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Grrrr… you beat me to it!

    • vanmorrissey - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Agreed. He was a lefty reliever, need anymore be said? They have him on MLB network for his glib manor, not for his intelligence or baseball saavy.

  4. phillyphreak - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Since we’re all telling others how to do their jobs now, the title of this post should have been “Mitch Williams speaks complete nonsense.”

  5. echech88 - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Mitch Williams is hands down the worst person on MLBNetwork.

    He is basically a cartoon at this point.

    • moogro - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Yer right, he’s a cartoon and an idiot, but not the worst broadcaster. Trotting out Eric Byrnes all the time while he struggles to think and talk is unbearable.

  6. El Bravo - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Didn’t Billy Beane directly intervene to his team’s benefit on more than one occasion? I can’t think this is all that new or uncommon.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Ah, but dear Mitchy can point to the fallacy of Beane having played ball before, so in his mind Billy qualifies.

      • El Bravo - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

        Oh right. Good point and bad example.

  7. raybrower - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    MLB Network is a great idea. It’s just too bad they fill the air with such dolts.

    • beachnbaseball - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Agree. IMO, Matt Vasgersian is the absolute worst and I feel badly that Harold had to sit next to him all mornings long on HotStove. And Brian Kenny rattles on like a used car salesman. MLB Network has such great potential but it’s largely been an off season disappointment.

      • moogro - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        I dunno about this. Have you watched ESPN? Then you’ve seen the worst. MLB’s Hot Stove show is executed pretty lamely (with the inclusion of anemic short commentary by token women. What’s next? Biff? Chuy?) And that is their worst show. However, seeing Brian Kenny and Clubhouse Confidential on television would have seemed impossible even five years ago.

  8. atlrod - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Well being a GM is obviously the exact same thing as being a player, so he’s clearly right on this one.

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Mitch Williams was never a GM, so by his logic, he can’t criticize them.

    • jpack1974 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      great point

  10. js20011041 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I like Mitch Williams. I think he’s, on the whole, good for MLB Network but you have to understand why he’s there. He’s not there for analysis. He’s there for entertainment, which he does fairly well. He’s a funny guy. When Williams, Reynolds, Plesac, Bowa, or any of the other “insiders” are on the network, I realize that I’m probably not getting any real information. Those guys are great when they discuss how to play the game, such as going over techniques for turning the double play or throwing different pitches. But when it comes to roster construction, strategy, and the vast majority of analysis, ex-players and managers are awful.

  11. chacochicken - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    How tall is Jon Daniels? You can’t be a good GM when you are under 6’1″. Nolan is clearly the superior candidate. Again, Michael Young is the greatest hero of our age.

  12. jpack1974 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    What a tool bag. He spoke with Young…..did he bother to speak with Daniels? Obviously Ryan and Daniels are doing an awesome job in Texas. I hate to see Ryan go, but feel that Daniels will be fine.

  13. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    I knew there had to be some type of defense of Michael Young in there. HBT doesn’t get its panties in a bunch unless someone has the audacity to defend anything about the guy.

  14. hisgirlgotburrelled - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Na. They gave Young a shit load of money, they get to tell him where to play. Whether the GM played or not is irrelevant. How do you know a former player wouldn’t have said “you should do whatever it takes to make this team better, if that means DH’ing or playing 1B”?

    If they didn’t play professionally then they do need several more years to become something as high as a GM. But it’s not like they can’t learn the game… The Eagles and Howie Roseman can show you how to destroy a team with a woefully inexperienced GM.

    • jpack1974 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Young is NOT WORTH THE MONEY ANYMORE. They asked him to move because there was better people coming up behind him. It is a business. They traded him to a team he wanted to go to. Let him DH when he wasn’t in the field. Seems to me that catered to him, worried they would hurt his feelings. His numbers have declined, his defense is average at best. Daniels did a smart think. Got something for him before he was a free agent. He has made plenty on money off Texas. He was not mistreated.

  15. jm91rs - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    How much of the team does Ryan own? How can he just be forced out as an owner?

    • wlubake - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Very little. He’s more of an owner than Jay-Z, but not by much.

    • jpack1974 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      He’s not being forced out. Just old, rich, and ready to enjoy life

  16. baseballisboring - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I’d give anything for a real baseball show besides Clubhouse Confidential (which only runs in the offseason anyway). You know, an MLB Tonight style highlights show, except like, Joe Sheehan and Keith Law are the analysts. Whoever the host is doesn’t have a phony, obnoxious TV voice, and they discuss things rationally.

    Mitch Williams…Harold Reynolds…John Kruk…


    • baseballisboring - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      And the worst part about it is that Mitch Williams has zero charisma anyways. He’s a bumbling fool who can barely string a sentence together. At least Harold Reynolds and Bill Ripken seem like pretty intelligent guys and can actually articulate their points, off the mark as most of them may be. Mitch Williams just STINKS.

  17. dw3dw - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    My favorite Mitch Williams idiocy is when he was asked, a few years ago, how Kevin Towers would do as GM of the D-Backs. Mitch said, “I know Kevin Towers. I played with Kevin Towers in A-ball. He’ll be fine.” Haha!

    • Kevin Gillman - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Didn’t he also say Bobby V would do well in Boston?

  18. cur68 - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I listened to Jerry Howarth and his broadcast partner Dirk Hayhurst call a Beaver Men game yesterday vs. The Orioles on the radio. It was fantastic. After listening to those two guys banter and carry on for 10 innings, the thought of Ole Mitch Williams saying anything is not appealing. I can’t imagine that Williams is any more scintillating with the written word, and the small example in this post is proof.

  19. hushbrother - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    He’s sticking up for Ryan, his ex-teammate. Many of Ryan’s former teammates practically worship him.

    He’s wrong, of course, but this is more about a commentator using his platform to support a friend than about offering a sensible opinion. That’s a practice as old as the printing press, and not nearly limited to just the sports media.

  20. mscxvd - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    If thats true than I wonder how John Mozeliak keeps doing so well…

  21. illegalblues - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Mitch Williams talks like he’s been in a k-hole a time or two. Guy isn’t all there.

  22. gostlcards5 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Thank you, Mitch Williams! I haven’t had the opportunity to say this in a while….

    You’re an asshat.

  23. electstat - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    My 13 year old nephew has been running a published blog for four years now. Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard there blogger.

  24. scrunchify - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    the michael young haters can take comfort that jon daniels roughed him up and got
    rid of him as soon as he could. why has daniels shifted gears and caved in to kinsler’s agent?
    his surrender apparently dooms profar to a season in round rock which sucks the air out of the
    rangers . lance berkman does not excite the natives. no 3.4 million this year.

    there are many gm’s that haven’t played the game at any level but have been hugely successful
    but it probably has to do with the scouting staff they develop. talent evaluation is only a part of the
    big picture but i agree with williams that ability to play the game is an advantage in that evaluation.
    of course, williams could throw hard but could he really ” play the game ?”

  25. butchhuskey - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Mitch Williams also believes that intangibles are more important than run prevention for starting pitchers, so it’s safe to say he’s not too bright.

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