BOCA RATON, Fla. – Dan Duquette laughed as he looked around the room at the General Managers meetings.
What he saw was a lot of new faces. More than one-third of MLB teams have changed their general managers since August.
For a few, the GMs moved up to a higher position, but will still be making the decisions. For most, there are new, and much younger people making the decisions.
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“It’s a challenge to get to know new people and who they’re working with because there’s been so much turnover this year. You’ve got to work a little harder. You’ve got to have your scorecard in place. People are moving around, and owners are changing horses quickly,” Duquette said.
At the meetings, John Schuerholz, the longtime Atlanta Braves general manager, who is now team president, talked about getting his first GM job with the Kansas City Royals at 41. That was considered young back in 1981—before a few current general managers were even born.
“Generationally, there are some differences, right? There are some personality differences. Things happen pretty quickly these days. These new general managers are getting an opportunity earlier and earlier in life,” Duquette said.
Schuerholz’s success paved the way for Duquette and other young GMs. Duquette was 33 when he succeeded Dave Dombrowski as Montreal Expo GM in 1991. Dombrowski was 31 when he started running the Expos.
Jim Bowden was also 31 when he took over the Cincinnati Reds in 1992, and Theo Epstein just 28 when he took the job in Boston.
“These kids have a lot of knowledge. They have great analytical skills. They’re hustling. They’re getting a lot of experience on the job, too,” Duquette said.
Duquette was asked if general managers would soon be hired right out of high school.
“Well, I’m not sure about that,” Duquette said.
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