Articles matching tag: Management
- Column: The World's Greatest Leader...Theo EpsteinMarch 30, 2017
When we think of a great leader, our search may instinctively turn to business or government. Fortune magazine, which publishes an annual list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, includes individuals from two additional categories: philanthropy and “beyond.” This year, Fortune turned to the beyond category and selected Theo Epstein as the World’s Greatest Leader. For those of you who need an introduction, Epstein is the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, who ended their 108-year World Series drought last fall. If that doesn’t sound like an accomplishment worthy enough to head the greatest leaders list, Epstein’s resume also includes ending the Boston Red Sox’ 86-year World Series drought in 2004. The Red Sox proceeded to win another title in 2007 and Epstein’s fingerprints were all over the team’s 2013 World Series title even though he left Boston for Chicago after the 2011 season.
- Column: NASCAR's Big ChangesMarch 2, 2017
NASCAR began its 2017 season on Sunday in the traditional way, with the Daytona 500. But if you ask the sport’s most loyal fans, that’s about all the tradition that remains. One of the most visible changes to the Cup series - stock car racing’s highest level - is a new sponsor, Monster Energy, which is famous for edgy marketing. After an exhibition race the week before the 500, the Monster Girls were seen parading in victory lane wearing skimpy leather outfits, leaving little to the imagination. Offended fans took to social media to accuse them of looking like hookers – or worse. Appropriate or not, sex has long been one of the pillars of NASCAR’s marketing efforts along with booze and patriotism.
- Column: Knicks Most Valuable & Most Dysfunctional NBA TeamFebruary 23, 2017
The New York Knicks are the most valuable team in the NBA, worth $3.3 billion according to Forbes’ latest estimate. They’re also the most dysfunctional team in the league, if not all of professional sports. Most dysfunctional is a difficult low bar to reach, considering that the competition includes MLB’s Miami Marlins and the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. While other teams have given the Knicks a run for their dubious title over the years, New York has earned its reputation as the team at the bottom of the heap. The Knicks are a bumbling, incompetent franchise. They have gone nowhere for the better part of two decades – only one playoff series victory in 17 years – and are heading nowhere but down in the foreseeable future. The team lost 50 games last year and has a good chance of duplicating that inglorious record this year having lost 24 of their last 33 games prior to the All-Star Game.
- Column: A-Rod and Yankees Dispute HR ObligationMay 4, 2015
If Alex Rodriguez and tranquility are an oxymoron, then A-Rod and controversy are a tautology; they mean the same thing. It would take a book to chronicle all the controversies A-Rod has spawned in his illustrious career. The latest occurred last Saturday when he clubbed a game-winning home run against the Red Sox. The homer tied him with Willie Mays for fourth place on baseball’s all-time home run list at 660. Not every game-winning home run is controversial, but A-Rod isn’t your ordinary baseball player.
- Column: A Merciful End to The NFL SeasonFebruary 2, 2015
most popular and financially successful sports league. The popularity of the NFL is both a blessing and a curse. The league has experienced unprecedented financial success - approximately $10 billion a year in revenue, on track to the avowed goal of $25 billion a year within a decade. But there’s more to success than the bottom line on a financial statement. Along with that popularity comes the intense scrutiny of every move, including - and perhaps especially - every oversight and misstep. In that regard, Goodell may have had the most difficult and challenging job in sports during the past year. As the commissioner said during his annual Super Bowl confab with the media, "…it has been a tough year. It has been a tough year for me personally. It's been a year of I would say humility and learning…We obviously, as an organization, have gone through adversity. But more importantly, it's been adversity for me.” Boy was he right.
- Column: MLB Teams Hire Multiple GM'sNovember 24, 2014
“I am in control here.” General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. March 30, 1981 The Los Angeles Dodgers are known for fetching the highest price ever paid for a Major League Baseball franchise, at $2 billion. After going on a front office hiring spree this fall, the Dodgers laid claim to one other record and possibly a third: The highest salary ever awarded a MLB General Manager and having the most current or former General Managers in a team’s employ. First, the Dodgers kicked their incumbent GM, Ned Colletti, to the curb, creating a new position and assigning him the title of Senior Advisor to the President, Stan Kasten. During Colletti’s nine years as GM, the Dodgers made the playoffs five times. But they never played in a World Series and in sports, the bottom line is winning. Kasten could have fired Colletti but that would have been interpreted as unsentimental and crass for a team with unlimited resources.
- Column: Cubs Hire Joe MaddonNovember 3, 2014
The second dance with Joe Maddon turned out to be the charm for Theo Epstein. When Epstein was hired as the general manager of the Red Sox in 2002, he interviewed Maddon for the team’s vacant managerial position. Maddon had been a big league coach for ten years, but his lack of managerial experience and Boston’s intense media market led Epstein to opt for Terry Francona. Tampa Bay had no such qualms when they hired Maddon as their manager in 2005. In nine seasons at the helm of the low-budget Rays, Maddon earned a reputation as one of the best managers in the game. When former Rays’ president Andrew Friedman was hired by the Dodgers two weeks ago, Maddon became a prime topic of conversation. A clause in his contract gave him the option to become a free agent if Friedman ever left the Rays. The twitter-verse was rife with questions. Would Maddon exercise his option? Would Friedman fire the manager he inherited, Don Mattingly, and be reunited with Maddon? Would another MLB team jettison their manager to accommodate Maddon? Soon enough, the questions were answered.
- Column: Qualifications of a MLB GMSeptember 29, 2014
The 2014 baseball season is over for all but the 10 clubs that made the playoffs. The remaining 20 teams and their fans can look ahead to next year. But before rosters are remade and games on the field begin, there will be a number of changes in MLB front offices. Two clubs that failed to live up to expectations have already begun the process of change. The Arizona Diamondbacks fired General Manager Kevin Towers and Frank Wren was axed by the Atlanta Braves. Both the D’backs and Braves have identified successors, Dave Stewart in Phoenix and John Hart in Atlanta. Stewart is a former standout pitcher with the Oakland A’s who went on to a successful career as an agent. Despite being a rookie GM, Stewart is unlikely to be any less successful than his predecessor, Kevin Towers, whose career in Arizona never approximated the success he enjoyed as GM of the San Diego Padres.
- Column: No Longer a Man's WorldAugust 15, 2014
“This is a man’s world; this is a man’s world…” It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, by James Brown That may have been the case in 1966, the year James Brown recorded his hit single that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R & B chart. But two recent female hires in the sports world suggest that, almost fifty years later, the world has changed. On July 28 the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) elected Washington, D.C, attorney Michele Roberts as its new executive director, marking the first time a women has headed up a Major League sports union. A week later the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs named Becky Hammon, a 16-year veteran of the WNBA, as an assistant coach. The moves were unrelated, except that combined they served to place an exclamation point on the concept of competence over sexual persuasion.
- Column: Sterling Discipline About MoneyMay 4, 2014
The NBA – make that the world – has known for years that Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is a racist. As a slumlord he refused to rent to minorities because, in his words, “black tenants smell and attract vermin.” That opinion, uttered years ago, came to light when the federal government sued Sterling for housing discrimination. And yet no one in the NBA, least of all former commissioner David Stern, felt those comments warranted so much as a slap on the wrist. Fast forward to last month. Why were Sterling’s comments – made in September during a taped (at his request) conversation with his girlfriend/assistant - about blacks so revolting as to warrant a national firestorm that led to a $2.5 million fine, a lifetime ban from the NBA and the unprecedented effort by his fellow owners to remove him from the league? The answer can be summed up in one word: Money.