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Friday High Fives: Best General Managers Of The Last Ten Years

Fave5-1_medium Friday High Fives is back for its second installment, complete with a spiffy new logo created by professional graphic designer Graham.  Our question this week: Who are the top five general managers of the last ten years?  Please welcome Erik into the fold, hope you'll still enjoy the game as Harry and Dan take the week off.  Five points for a first place vote down to one point for a fifth place vote:

General Manager RJ Sky GG Chris Erik Total
Billy Beane 4 5 5 5 19
Theo Epstein 5 4 4 4 17
Andrew Friedman 3 1 4 3 11
John Schuerholtz 2 3 5 10
Mark Shapiro 3 4 7
Terry Ryan 2 1 3
Walt Jocketty 3 3
Pat Gillick 2 2
Kevin Towers 2 2
Chuck LaMar 1 1
Larry Beinfest 1 1
Josh Byrnes 1

Individual commentary after the jump.


  1. John Schuerholz - If you've won your division 15 times, you're probably John Schuerholz.
  2. Theo Epstein - Having a truck load of money surely helps, but Theo's made some good moves in his time with the Red Sox. Getting David Oritz -- and his +4-6 wins per season -- for nothing was a very good (to say the least) move. I've also liked the way the team has drafted.
  3. Andrew Friedman - Only turned the Rays around because of Chuck LaMar's previous good work -- thanks, Joe Buck! -- but seriously, he's done a fabulous job in Tampa Bay so far.
  4. Kevin Towers - I think he's underrated-ish. Makes prudent moves. San Diego should dip him in bronze and turn him into a statue after his fleecing of Texas (Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka).
  5. Josh Byrnes - I've generally liked the moves he's made -- outside of the terrible Brynes extension -- and he seems to be one of the better young GMs in the game.


  1. Billy Beane - No one's done more with less, and would you expect anyone else atop with a guy with an A's logo as an avatar?
  2. Theo Epstein - Yeah he gets a lot of money to spend but so do the Mets, Tigers, and plenty of other franchises and none have done what Theo has this decade.
  3. Mark Shapiro - Another do more with less in the Beane mold, but to a lesser degree.
  4. Pat Gillick - This is a 10 year exercise and few GM's have had the success Gillick has had in that time, with two separate franchises to boot.
  5. Larry Beinfest - If you thought Beane and Shapiro work with less, the Marlins payroll might be halve of those guys' teams, yet their farm system is stacked yet again.


  1. Billy Beane - Sure the it's been a couple years since a playoff appearance, but remember the early 2000s?  Succeeding with a low payroll is a huge thing in my book.
  2. Theo Epstein - Yes, the Red Sox are like the Yankees to everybody but the Yankees, but Theo really does know what he's doing.  If forced to run a low payroll team, I'm sure he could do it.  Just look at the Boston farm system.
  3. John Schuerholtz - Mastermind of the Braves for the last fifteen years.  Enough said.
  4. Terry Ryan - Low payroll, awesome talent.  Only thing keeping him from a top three spot is a systemic penchant for some seriously clunker moves mixed in with the good ones.
  5. Andrew Friedman - Am I overreacting to one season and two off-seasons?  Maybe a bit, but Friedman obviously gets it.  If I were to pick a GM for my favorite team going forward, Friedman would probably rank even higher.
  6. Others considered: Byrnes, Shapiro, Dombrowski, the new Kenny Williams, Ricciardi, and not Bill Bavasi.


What do you think?  Who would be in your top five?  Where did we miss the boat?