Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Harvard Rumors Swirl in Epstein's Wake

After losing the Texas Assistant GM derby, former Crimson third baseman Peter Woodfork has already been mentioned for the newly vacant Boston GM spot. By no means a favorite at this point, he's still getting a lot of mention. MLB.com mentions both Woodfork and recently available Paul DePodesta '95:
Paul DePodesta: Abruptly and somewhat surprisingly, the Dodgers relieved the young general manager of his duties Oct. 29, with three years remaining on his five-year contract. DePodesta, who made a name for himself as Billy Beane's assistant in Oakland for six years, is a big believer in numbers and has a Harvard education.
Critics in Los Angeles say that his weakness was interacting with the players. The Dodgers did go to the postseason in his first season. However, year two (71-91) wasn't nearly as successful, ultimately leading to his departure.
Red Sox owner John W. Henry and Lucchino both adhere to sabermetric philosophies, possibly making DePodesta an appealing candidate. However, if DePodesta landed in Boston, he would likely have to make a bigger commitment to his PR skills, something Red Sox ownership also places a priority on.

Peter Woodfork: Another longshot because of his youth, the 29-year-old Woodford is the director of baseball operations and assistant director of player development for the Red Sox. He recently interviewed to be the assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers, but lost out on that position. A graduate of Harvard University, Woodfork came to the Red Sox in 2003 after working in the labor relations department for Major League Baseball and assists with the arbitration process and contract negotiations.
In the NY Times:
Epstein surrounded himself with a young, educated front office, and it is expected Lucchino will look at Peter Woodfork, the director for baseball operations; Jed Hoyer, the assistant to the general manager; and Ben Cherington, the director for player development.
The Globe, meanwhile, mentions another recent Harvard alum, Dave Forst:
Beane has an Epstein-like assistant in David Forst, the former Harvard baseball captain. Forst is on the fast track to becoming a general manager, but he recently turned down an offer to become GM of the Diamondbacks, a job that went to Byrnes, and appears in no hurry to end his apprenticeship with Beane. There is a good likelihood, in fact, that Forst winds up as Athletics GM in another year or so if Beane moves upstairs.
The favorite at this point is probably the Padres' Kevin Towers, but this situation bears watching.

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