Alexander: A general manager’s job isn’t what it used to be

The Dodgers introduced new general manager Brandon Gomes on Thursday, which serves as a reminder that they’ve technically gone three seasons without a GM.

A couple of decades ago that would have been heresy. After all, we are surrounded in our daily lives by fantasy league general managers who wheel and deal, not fantasy league presidents of baseball (or football, or basketball) operations.

But front offices throughout sports and particularly in baseball have changed dramatically. Where a general manager previously would have the minor league and scouting directors and maybe a handful of others who reported to him, the modern front office is huge.

Andrew Friedman is the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, the front office face of the franchise. Gomes, a former pitcher, has ascended from the playing ranks through the Dodgers’ front office in just five seasons, promoted from pitching coordinator to director of player development to vice president/assistant general manager to … um, the second chair, where Farhan Zaidi used to sit before he got his own POBO gig in San Francisco.

The two-headed baseball operations boss/general manager model has become popular to the point that nine teams – the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland A’s, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox – have both. Of the rest, seven still list a traditional “general manager,” five have a president or executive vice president in the position, and…

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