I hope Labor Day weekend treated you all well--and now we're back to business.
On Thursday we saw the first quarterfinals matchup between Billy Beane and Kim Ng. In what was a much closer match than the wild card round, Beane defeated Ng by a count of 140 votes to Ng's 98 (59% to 41%). Beane advances to the semifinals, to face the winner of TODAY'S match, which is...
ANDREW FRIEDMAN (TB) vs. SCOTT SERVAIS (LAA)
Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay's general manager, comes into this match having just defeated Texas' assistant GM Thad Levine overwhelmingly with 77% of the vote. Arguably MLB's poster boy for minute-payroll turnarounds, Friedman has found success by mining for absolute gold in the team's drafts during their darker days; several of his picks to find success, past and present, include David Price, Evan Longoria and Matt Moore. He also engineered trades that built players of background success into present-day stars; an example of this is his multi-player deal that brought Matt Garza to Tampa Bay from Minnesota after the 2007 season. Friedman would flip Garza to the Cubs three years later in another multi-player deal that brought five prospects back to Tampa Bay.
Scott Servais, one of Jerry Dipoto's assistant general managers here with the Angels, oversees most of the minor league operations. Before that, however, he was a catcher for 15 years, 11 of those in the major leagues (1991-2001) with the Astros, Cubs, Giants and Rockies. He was a member of the 1988 Olympic team that won the gold medal in Seoul (though baseball was only a demonstration event in 1988; it would not become an official event until 1992, and was retired following the 2008 Games). Servais, after his playing career ended, joined the front office of the Texas Rangers, before Dipoto snatched him after his hiring in the 2011 offseason. It is said as of recently that Servais, not Dipoto, is the most sabermetric/analytic-minded member of the Angels' front office, and that Mike Scioscia is more at odds with him than Dipoto or anyone else. His efforts since his hiring to restock and reload the farm system are beginning to yield much fruit in the lower levels of the minor leagues, with players such as Alex Yarbrough, Mark Sappington and R.J. Alvarez finding great success in A and AA.
Voting will conclude tomorrow at 12:00 PM PDT, at which point the semifinals will begin. Pick your preferred candidate (based purely in want, not logic) in the poll below.
After today, only two matches will remain in the GM bracket; the managerial bracket will then begin on Friday.