May 25, 2010
A friend of the Sombrero has had quite a month of May (and parts of April). He accepted a job with a large scouting agency to analyze prospect statistics for a summer, he earned his masters degree from a very high-ranking economics program, and he is currently in a long interview process with a certain desert-located big league team named after a snake. If I seem like I am being a little cryptic, it is because our friend, who will be referred to as Eat-a for the remainder of this post, has not been given the job quite yet. Eat-a has been kind enough to include me a little in the process and has enlightened me as to what is expected from realistic applicants for jobs in the big leagues. I personally found some of it surprising, but the majority of his process has been largely what I would have expected given how coveted these jobs surely are.
Eat-a played ball in college with most of the Sombrero writers and appeared on numerous All-MWC teams as a Pioneer. He captained the team as a senior, and threw professionally in Australia after his graduation. Essentially, Eat-a had a very successful career in the game and we all greatly benefitted from being his teammate.
Academically Eat-a was nothing short of exceptional. At Grinnell, he majored in both Economics and Mathematics, two of the more challenging majors the school offers. Both departments boast star-studded faculty members wearing degrees like merit badges. Eat-a was an Academic All-MWC selection three times and earned Dean’s List recognition practically every semester. The most impressive thing about his undergraduate career in the classroom was how rarely he actually found himself there. Eat-a basically did not need lectures to succeed because his talents in academics are so vast.
Eat-a took a year off after graduating from Grinnell, and in that year not only played in Australia, but he also returned to Grinnell to coach the pitching staff. That season, at the top of his rotation sat two players who eventually would be voted MWC Pitcher of the Year. One of the arms belonged to Rickathee, a Sombrero-wearer.
Eat-a then attended a graduate program in economics at the University of Texas, a member of an international class of surely some of the finest applicants practically any school in the country could boast. While there, Eat-a developed his dream (and the skills needed to attain it): to work within a front office with the ultimate goal of becoming a Major League general manager, a dream job for any geeky baseball fan (all of the Sombero-wearers). I personally would trade at least some body parts for that kind of career. My guess is that every one of the writers for the Sombrero other than Brettsta would do likewise.
Eat-a received his masters a week ago, but his interview began well before his graduation. The interview has been primarily over the phone and via email and, up until a week or so ago, has been mostly a getting to know one another type of thing. Then it started getting a little more stressful. Eat-a called me around 1AM Thursday night regarding a recent “quiz” he had been given as part of his interview process. This quiz required Eat-a to make statistical arguments for a number of awards as well as identify strengths and weaknesses of that desert-based team interviewing him. He had to describe creative projects he had been involved in relevant to baseball as well as answer several trivia questions. He was asked to name a player whose production so far in 2010 is unsustainably high and why it is unsustainable. He also was provided video of three anonymous prospects and asked to visually evaluate them. This is the part that Eat-a asked me to help on. Fortunately for us the players were all high profile 1st-rounders and had few if any real flaws.
Eat-a will find out about his future with the Snakes in the next couple of days, maybe even today, and I assure you that I have not seen him this nervous since he was a player. Eat-a’s level of urgency and intensity always showed when he was throwing the ball, and while the front office is an area of the game that is new to him, I notice the same urgency and intensity in him that I noticed while he was playing. We are all really proud of him and know there is no better applicant on the planet. Let’s keep Eat-a in mind these next couple of days.