The Arm Chair General Manager

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is approaching. The NFL is about to get it’s collective act together open up free agency before training camps open. These two things happening at the same time are going to make the coming week one of the most exciting for sports fans all over the country. Twitter will be busy. So will websites similar to Where, if you know the tail number of your favorite player or general manager’s aircraft you can see where they are flying. I’ve never done this by the way.


It’s ironic that what makes me look forward to this next week doesn’t involve any action on the field in either sport. These battles will be won and lost on the phone, through texts, and in face to face negotiations. And really, we won’t know the winners and losers of many of these battles for several years. It’s a high stakes, high pressure game. And that’s why I’m kind of glad I’m an Arm Chair GM.

All of us are Arm Chair GM’s. If you’ve ever made an opinion about who should be called up, sent down, franchised or traded you know what I’m talking about. Most of us do this every day. Some of us take to Twitter to tell the world what an awesome General Manager we would be, me included. However, I was faced with a certain irony last night while listening to the Royals game.

Many of us, including some very smart baseball people, have been screaming for Johnny Giavotella to be called up to replace Chris Getz at Second Base. Giavotella has been destroying PCL pitching, going .394/.485/.879. Meanwhile, Chris Getz has gone .256/.312/.598. If I take these numbers out of context and slap them beside each other it’s easy to see why this argument is made. But this article is not why Giavotella should be brought up. I just use the situation as an example. Besides Kyle Davies still being in the rotation this seems to be the biggest point of discussion among Royals fans.

This example is no new or unique. It’s happened before. Remember Kila Ka’aihue? Kila destroyed PCL pitching. The cries for him to be on the major league roster went on for a couple years. Yet, Dayton Moore kept in him down in Omaha. He got a cup of coffee in 2008 and did good enough for the rest of us to scream for more. Yet, in 2009 the Royals were Kilaless the entire season while we suffered through the Mike Jacobs experiment. Yet, in late 2010, and early part of this season Kila mostly struggled. Turns out the Royals front office did know what they were talking about.

Not to say front offices don’t deserve criticism. After all, a really good reliever was surrendered for Mike Jacobs. Kyle Davies is still pitching. You don’t have to be a sabrematircian, scout, or “baseball guy” to know these two players are terrible. There is this continual debate among fans of baseball between the “eye test”, and the statistics test. Like most things. The answer is somewhere in the middle. Most of us only see the numbers put up by minor leaguers. On top of that, even if we see video, we’re not watching in real life. And even if we are, most of us are not baseball scouts.

So, remember the next time we’re playing Arm Chair GM, that the front office of our favorite team might have access to better, and more information than we have. But that shouldn’t ever stop us from being an Arm Chair GM.

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