Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How a simple observation can give you an advantage

Good note yesterday about 71-year-old Phillies GM Pat Gillick, who over the course of his nearly 30-year career as a general manager, has led Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle, and now Philly to the playoffs. [Gillick is retiring after the postseason.]

According to the article, when looking to sign a free agent, Gillick likes to personally meet and talk with the player:

"The agent does most of the negotiating," Gillick says, "but it's important to get the feel of the client. It just doesn't make sense to give a person a long-term contract and a large amount of money if you don't know who you're getting in bed with."

Gillick remembers rejecting one marquee free agent when the player never mentioned team goals during their interview, and another who signed with the Phillies only after the player's wife gushed over the fact that a member of the front office picked up their 3-month-old baby during the interview.

"It gives you an advantage," Gillick said of the personal interviews. "It's just another piece of information."