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Forbes GM List - Looks Like Junk To Me

Any of you guys see this ranking of all the pro sports GMs out there by Forbes? They rank them based on bang for their buck, and the team's performance under their reign compared to those who have held the job in the past. Apparently, ability to win games, draft and trade well and enjoy overall success over any sustained period of time was left out. And common sense has no role in this equation whatsoever.

It's a strange list, and, having covered baseball, football and hockey, it looks like complete BS to me. Kevin McHale (Timberwolves) is first. Yeah. Exactly. Jay Feaster of the Lightning is second and I have no beef with that - he has made great re-signings and signings, shrewd trades and completely turned around a franchise despite a very tight payroll from ownership. But Billy King (76ers) third, ahead of Lou Lamoreillo (NY Devils). They should have realized this silly formula was fatally flawed right then and there and given up.

Not a single baseball GM until 26th and then it's predictably, Billy ("Who Needs A Ring To Validate My Superiority?") Beane?

Bobby Clarke, who was fired this season and if not for his incredibly tight relationship with his owner would have been demoted long before that, is ahead of Theo Epstein, Bob Gainey and Pat Gillick. Mike Flanagan (perpetual loser with the O's) is ahead of Terry Ryan (perpetual winner with the Twins).

Please, someone stop these math-crazed weirdoes from trying to ruin sports. We can't quantify everything, guys. Put down that calculator and come out with your hands up.

And here's the kicker,. First of all, they label Vinny the Skins GM, when, if they have one it's certainly Joe Gibbs or at least Gibbs/Snyder axis of spending. But come on, Uncle Junior is not calling the shots here. Anyway, if Vinny is their choice, who is his past performance being compared to? Marty from 2001 - when Vinny was gone? Casserly? Cause seems to me Marty had a pretty good year here running the show with very little talent on the field.

Anyway, Vinny is ranked 79th, ahead of Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings, 90th), a central figure in the Red Wings ascent to multi-Stanley Cup wins, one of the best trade men in the business and an ubber-scout who as assistant GM had a hand in drafting Sergei Fedorov, Nick Lidstrom, Vladdie Konstantinov, Keith Primeau, etc. Yeah, his owner spends money, but the Wings also win Cups with great regularity and have continued to find gems in the draft despite perpetually getting one of the five lowest picks in each round as a result of all their winning. (I admit I have a Ken Holland bias from covering his team for three years and getting to see how he operates up close, but the dude's record speaks for itself).

To keep it local: Caps GM George McPhee, whose track record is hardly sparkling on the trade, draft or development front, is ranked 71st - well ahead of Holland (how many Caps fans wouldn't make that swap right now?), while Ozzie Newsome is 89th. They couldn't even get last place right - Matt Millen is only rated third-worst.


If the goal of this dubious exercise is to get people talking about Forbes magazine, then I guess it worked. But it's total crap. Stop trying to take all of the intangibles out of sports. How you handle staff, put together a scouting department, maintain a longterm plan, establish continuity, cultivate talent, find players in late rounds, and, most importantly, win games, defines your success. Oh yeah, and you also need an owner who gets it as well, which is out of the GMs hands in the first place.

Find a way to wrap all that around your abacas, and maybe you Forbes guys have something. Otherwise, you're just wasting time.

By Jason La Canfora  |  March 5, 2007; 1:37 PM ET
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Will have to check it out, thanks

Posted by: Mike4169 | March 5, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

when did becoming the 1st person to comment become cool?

Posted by: Dorf | March 5, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There is no excuse for ranking Mr. Cerrado gets higher than Ozzie Newsome. I'm glad I didn't vote for you, Teve Torbes!

Seriously, is there a career path for becoming a GM? and how do I get on that path?

Posted by: dcsween | March 5, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Come on JLa, you can do better then this...dig up some dirt on some free agents and the Skins...were too spoiled for this...

Posted by: Steve | March 5, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Guarantee you that Dan Snyder is near the top of their '100 best sports owners' list that is certain to come out soon.

Posted by: etrod | March 5, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Thinking about the remaining needs for the draft (DE and DT). Checked out the Skins roster and see they picked up (as a DT) some guy who has played both OT/DT in the Arena League (and DT in NFL Europe).

Has anyone any good every made it from the Arena League into the NFL? Is there an Arena League equivalent to the Kurt Warner story (NFLE to NFL)?

Posted by: dcsween | March 5, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I was glad I was able to touch a nerve to most of you bloggers out there, no matter which side of the fence you fall on.

Whoever said we have 4 months to spill (Old School I think?), that shouldn't be an excuse. We should look at the past to only learn from it or using examples, not to pound it into the ground that we sucked as we would have did if we was blogging back then.

Clarksburg - Habe use to coach Rugby, huh? When did they take that out of the school system? I would have loved to play. Haberman actually is a football position coach (RB?) now @ Good Counsel........

Cindy - What is this Washington Post TV show on CSN going to consist of? Who will be on it? I am very intrigued........

Posted by: 4th Floor | March 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse


I think you meant "Mr. Corrado." ;)

You may have a future as a limo driver.

Posted by: Will | March 5, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Took me so long to catch up on the blog after morning meetings that I posted while JLC was busy posting anyway, from last JLC post:

LMAO at the Sean Taylorisms!!!!

Question, since I belong to ES and read here frequently (started kinda posting on RI recently) am I a middle state, like say Maryland, in a civil war???

Posted by: Inigo Montoya | March 5, 2007 02:22 PM

Posted by: Inigo Montoya | March 5, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I meant Washington Post SPORTS TV Show...

Posted by: 4th | March 5, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Kurt Warner was an Arena League player--I remember him saying that the speed of the AFL helped him adjust to the NFL in 1998. Not sure if he had a stop in NFL Europe, but he probably did.

Also Mike Furrey, who had a pretty good year with DET last year is a former AFL player. I say this having never watched AFL in my life, I just remember NFL announcers talking about it, so take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Will | March 5, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

for some odd reason i thought of Joe Smith (and his contract) today while reading peter king's take on Adlius Thomas's contract. And obviously I thought about Kevin Mchale. And obviously after reading your post I thought how could they forget Joe Smith's contract?????

Kevin Mchale is exhibit 1ZZ for my theory that there aren't that many sharp people running sports (a mulit-multi billion dollar industry). And it all makes sense as to why Dan Snyder thought he could outsmart everyone in sports. Mike Nolan as a HC (exhibit 1A :))??????????????????????

Diddy, forget tech companies. you should focus on the seahawks, blazers, sonics...and then casinos

Posted by: dealer | March 5, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

What about He Hate Me from the XFL?

Posted by: 4th | March 5, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Owning a casino would make me the happiest drunk in the world!

Posted by: P Diddy | March 5, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Inigo, notwithstanding the power of the blogsmack on the back of the head from jm220's hammer, the 'core' of RI blogging is that its a friendly place: lovers, not fighters; at least until the team loses, then everyone is fairly vicious, at least on the Skins (and the optimists either lie low and take cover or stand up and take it on the chin till the next game).

Posted by: dcsween | March 5, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse


Copy Boy is 79th! Let's hear it for small victories!

Posted by: charlie | March 5, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Springs on 980 now.

Posted by: LH | March 5, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Can Springs get his butt on a real telephone so he can talk? Good grief...

Posted by: JustMe | March 5, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

LH give us the run down once he is done.

dcsween the hammer only comes out when people attack me or my blog crush Lisa. (lol) And of course double G just get it just because. We all welcome new people here as long as they don't attack us or JLC.

Posted by: jm220 | March 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Springs says he's happy Smoot is back.

He said that regarding his situation, it's all about what the Redskins want to do. Said he considers himself to be a core Redskin, which is why he pushed himself to return from his surgery as quickly as possible. Had a great talk with Coach Gibbs that was very positive. He told Coach Gibbs that he understood, no matter what happens. And, Coach Gibbs said that he wanted him here. He said it almost makes you feel like you're getting thrown under the bus to be asked to take a pay cut after he pushed himself to get back as soon as possible, but that he doesn't take it personally.

He likes London Fletcher as a player. Talked about how smart Fletcher is and how he organizes the defense, which is something that was missing when Antonio Pierce left.

Said his process has not gotten close to what the Lavar situation was. He said he not worrying about things too much, and that he's just working out and trying to take care of himself. Can bench over 300lbs now, so his shoulder is fine.

Posted by: JustMe | March 5, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Springs gave update on his dad: he's doing well.

Re 'Skins: Feels he's a core Redskin. It's not up to him whether he remains with the 'Skins it's up to the team. He was hurt this year b/c he came back too soon from his surgery in an effort to help the team/teammates. Now he's being criticized for missing games.
Said he's still fast. He's working out in Ariz. Said he's going to be alright no matter what happens (feferenced, while laughing, salaries FA CBs are receiving).

Posted by: LH | March 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot. He's glad Smoot is back. Said they are buddies.

Re Fletcher's talents: he was repeating what Williams told him about Fletcher.

Posted by: LH | March 5, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Forbes is junk when you dont agree but when snyder is #1 for most Valuable then forbes is great?

Posted by: ??? | March 5, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: charlie | March 5, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Forbes ranked Smith from San Diego as the best NFL GM -- #4, overall. They must have reached the rankings before Marty blew up on their faces and they brought in Never Nervous Norvous. Whoa. Any GM who would pick him as a coach is in a league with Charley Casserly.

Posted by: KK | March 5, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

For the GM's, you forgot to mention Ernie Grunfeld at #25.

He should be higher.

Posted by: Paul | March 5, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

hey ???, i hear you. Problem is, I give Forbes the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating franchise values, 'cause it's what they do, but this list is a complete farce.
As for Snyder being the most profitable, I could not care less one way or the other. I have no dog in that fight. But I think it's fairly obvious he's making a killing by owning this team.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 5, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Next month in Forbes, Mike Mamula will be named the #1 greatest draft pick of all time in the NFL.

Figures lie, and liars figure; caveat emptor.

Posted by: The Mole | March 5, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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