Ryan Theriot laughs off Dodgers' hiring of GM Farhan Zaidi


It's probably a good thing that some hypothetical team hasn't hired former major leaguer Ryan Theriot to work in its front office, because all of the experience he accrued playing baseball hasn't helped him form deeply astute opinions about the sport. At least in the case of whom the Los Angeles Dodgers are hiring to be their general manager.

Theriot literally laughed out loud (on Twitter) on Wednesday in the wake of the Dodgers hiring Farhan Zaidi, saying no man is qualified for the GM job if he didn't play the game first. Theriot played 899 games in the majors, mostly with the Chicago Cubs, and retired after the 2012 season. He won two World Series rings, one with the St. Louis Cardinals and another with the San Francisco Giants, though it's safe to say that most of the championship pieces were in place before he arrived in either clubhouse.




Ryan Theriot Baseball Headshot Photo
Ryan Theriot Baseball Headshot Photo

Regardless of the obnoxious laughing, and the dubious blanket assertion that " 'Moneyball' doesn't work," Theriot's insistence on "ALL sports GM jobs" being filled by persons who "actually have PLAYED the game" seems to be the most laughable opinion of all.

Familiarity is a great thing; a bonus; gravy. But none of the GMs who Theriot played for in his major league career — Jim Hendry, Ned Colletti, John Mozeliak and Brian Sabean — played even minor league baseball. Sabean (reportedly) and Hendry played in college. Mozeliak definitely played in high school. Colletti might have — it's just all so... coincidental.

We're talking about high school, here. It's like the time Shaquille O'Neal famously said he had "won everywhere except college and the pros." Did Red Auerbach have playing experience before he ran the Boston Celtics? Does anyone actually care? Anyone remember Bill Belichick's playing career? Or Bill Parcells'? Any Bill?

Who are the great executives who also played? Go ahead and compile the list yourself, if you have the time to waste. And even if you have playing experience, it guarantees nothing. For every Jerry West, there are many more Michael Jordans.

Theo Epstein — great ballplayer? Billy Beane played in the majors and was terrible. Dave Stewart must be Theriot's singular GM, because he's the only one who also had a substantive, much less good, playing career. One out of 30.

Nobody should care, necessarily, about playing experience. It's not relevant to the task at hand. Heck, with parts of eight seasons in the majors, you'd think Theriot would be GM of the Seattle Mariners already.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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