Texas Rangers owner Thomas O. Hicks announced on Tuesday that John Hart has resigned as executive vice president/general manager to become senior advisor/baseball operations and that assistant general manager Jon Daniels has been promoted to general manager.JC ruminates...
Daniels, who becomes the youngest general manager in Major League Baseball history at 28 years, 41 days, becomes the eighth general manager in club history. He joined the Texas organization in 2002 as a baseball operations assistant before being promoted to director of baseball operations in October of 2003 and then again to assistant general manager in July of 2004.
A 1999 graduate of Cornell University in upstate New York, he earned his degree in applied economics and management. He is a native of New York City.
From now on, I’m going to be less timid: If you want to work in baseball, major in economics. Here’s a list of people working in baseball whom I know studied economics: Bill James, Paul DePodesta, Farhan Zaidi (PhD), Voros McCracken, and now Jon Daniels. The trend is quite clear. Economics certainly isn’t necessary, but it’s clear that people familiar with the economic way of thinking—maybe because they think that way naturally—are getting good jobs in baseball. Of course, there’s no substitute for making contacts within baseball, but I’m just offering course advice here.Regarding Bill James, the guru of all-things-statistic regarding baseball, here's an insightful quote from MLB.com:
"I was never a particularly good student," said James. "I suppose I was capable of being a good student -- most everybody is -- but when I studied Micro Economics, for example, I would take what I learned there and figure out how to apply it to baseball. I would spend five minutes mastering the concept, 50 hours figuring out how it might apply to baseball. This was a drain on my potential to become an Economics professor. Even when I was in high school, teachers would tell me to put away those box scores and do my homework. Once I focused on writing about baseball, all of that energy was working for me, rather than working against me."Well, I'm not sure a degree in economics will guarantee you a ticket to the major leagues, but as John Maynard Keynes has said "The ideas of economists . . .both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else."
Hat tip: Phil Miller at Marketpower.