I posed this question to many of MLB’s top-ranking baseball operations executives. Just like the rest of us, these people are currently sheltered in place with their families trying to get some work done in these difficult and strange times. The following ten execs kindly took the time to answer my question: Ross Atkins of the Blue Jays, Jeff Bridich of the Rockies, Ben Cherington of the Pirates, James Click of the Astros, Mike Elias of the Orioles, Derek Falvey of the Twins, Matt Kleine of the Brewers, Dayton Moore of the Royals, Brodie Van Wagenen of the Mets, and Dick Williams of the Reds. Their answers are below.
It’s hard to narrow down to one but if I had to I’d say finding opportunities to solve complicated problems in groups. Almost all of the work we do in baseball operations focuses on assessing, predicting, or improving human performance. Human performance is complicated. Almost none of the work we do in baseball is done by ourselves. Just about everything we do is done by teams of people. So I’d say the more practice combining those two things the better. – Ben Cherington, Pirates General Manager