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GM Searches Ignore Impact Of Talent Evaluators

Jim Callis -Premium Content

If I were running a team and looking for a GM, the No. 1 attribute I'd value would be the ability to judge talent. When it comes time to make the call on player moves, I'd want my GM to have the knowledge and experience to make intelligent, confident decisions. Yet four of the five clubs who filled GM vacancies this offseason passed on attractive in-house candidates with a proven track record of talent evaluation. None of them got beyond a perfunctory interview, if even that.

Minors | #2005#Column

Talent Goes Beyond Top 10 Lists

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Here's our annual all-star team of prospects who weren't quite good enough to make the National League Top 10 lists that have run in these pages. Last year's version included Cubs outfielder Matt Murton, who hit .343 in the minors and .321 in the majors, plus Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins and Pirates infielder Freddy Sanchez, who had solid debuts as big league regulars.

Minors | #2005#Column

Three Teams Withdraw From Northern League

J.J. Cooper -

Back in 1993, Marv Goldklang and his partners were venturing into uncharted territory. As the owners of the St. Paul Saints, they were one of six owners in the new independent Northern League, trying to prove a minor league didn't need ties to Major League Baseball to survive and thrive financially.

Minors | #2005#Independent Audit

Fire Sale Alone Won’t Help Marlins

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Owner Jeffrey Loria has been rebuffed in his bid for a publicly funded ballpark, so Florida has embarked on yet another fire sale. Can the Marlins avoid 100 losses this year? Almost assuredly not. But the biggest question is, can they rebuild via a massive exchange of veterans for prospects again?

Minors | #2006#Column

Royals’ Latest Plan Won’t Work Either

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Royals haven't been to the playoffs since 1985, and now they're a complete laughingstock. The Royals have matched or set a franchise record for losses in five of the last seven years, upping the ante to 106 in 2005. Locals wondering how hapless the old Kansas City Athletics must have been now know first-hand.

Minors | #2006#Column

Prospect Handbook Is A Labor Of Love

Will Lingo -Premium Content

This is the sixth edition of the Prospect Handbook, and in many ways it's our most ambitious undertaking. We figure assembling the top 30 prospects for an organization—from research to interviews and writing—takes about a work week. Then there's editing, adding statistics, laying out, cutting text, proofreading . . . There's a reason it's the best book of its kind: because a lot of people care passionately about what goes into it. Getting the best baseball information, using just the right word, making sure it all looks nice and is fun to read. Everyone plays a part in making sure this happens on page after page.

Minors | #2006#Column

Phils Move Could Start Scramble

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The instability surrounding the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, which we've written about several times in the past couple of years, looks like it will finally cost the club its most valuable asset after the 2006 season: the affiliation with the Phillies.

Minors | #2006#Column

Minor League Markets In Short Supply

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The name of the game for minor league owners these days is revenue, especially those who have entered the business in the last decade and have laid out millions of dollars for their franchises. That's why the trend of recent years has been to leave behind smaller cities—and even those larger cities that aren't willing to build new ballparks—for greener pastures, sweeter ballpark deals and bigger crowds. The scarcity of viable markets has become evident in the last year or two, though, raising questions about when the attendance boom might level off. It sure hasn't stopped yet, with overall minor league attendance breaking the all-time record in each of the last two years.

Minors | #2006#Column