With so many general manager positions open in baseball, it has come to our attention that the office of the commissioner has helped out its teams by creating a questionnaire designed to streamline the candidate screening process. It covers the essentials that teams would want to know about their applicants: qualifications, desire, philosophy and objectives. It is reprinted here for the first time:
Official Major League
G E N E R A L M A N A G E R A P P L I C A T I O N F O R M
From which Ivy League school did you matriculate?
(Note: the following colleges are not to be characterized as Ivy League: Vineland Community College, Poison Ivy State, Creeping Vine School of Vegetation Control)
Are you from a celebrated baseball family? If so, which one and how are you related?
- a. firstborn son or daughter
b. purchased by them from for-profit Romanian orphanage
c. love child
Have you read "Moneyball," or was it necessary to have another person read it to you and explain its more salient points? If so, who was that person?
Which of these statements best describes your greatest asset?
- a. I am a tireless worker who delegates well and sees little need for restroom breaks.
b. My fantasy team finished like in the top three out of 12 teams for the past like four years in a row.
c. I like sports!
With which of the following statements do you most agree?
- a. I enjoy being second-guessed.
b. I respond well to criticism from "writers," radio "personalities" and first-time callers/longtime listeners.
c. I value and appreciate the input of superiors who know little if anything about my business.
d. All of the above.
How many hours per week are you willing to work?
- a. 110
Which of these statements best describes your attitude about days off?
- a. I don't know, I've never felt the urge to take one.
b. A day without work is like a day without oxygen.
c. They are for the weak of will and the soft of mind.
d. They are a great way for me to recharge my batteries and come back better prepared to do my job, provided my job is still there after I have wastefully and selfishly missed an entire day of work.
A close friend or relative has died and you are expected to attend the funeral services. Which of the following will you do?
- a. Send in your place a pennant autographed by your team to be placed on the coffin.
b. Pretend you never heard of the person.
c. Have your assistant inform the grieving family that the news of this death has made you so distraught that you can't even talk about it and that, off the record, you seem to be throwing yourself into your work even more than usual to drown out your feelings of desolation, and that, therefore, the assistant is sure that you won't be emotionally capable of making the trip to the funeral.
d. State that you believe nobody ever really dies, that they just become a part of the universal fabric and there is, therefore, no need to mark their passing in person.
Which phrase below best fits your description of the "offseason"?
- a. The two-hour period between 4 and 6 a.m. the day after the last game of the World Series.
b. Something that takes place in other sports.
c. Everything that happens after I'm dead.
You are strolling along an enchanted river when you come to a bridge guarded by an evil troll. The troll says you may cross the bridge if you outbid the other people also trying to cross. You notice there is nobody else trying to cross, yet the evil troll wants you to keep raising your bid anyway. Do you:
- a. Find another bridge, guarded by a more reasonable troll.
b. Determine that a bridge this great must be crossed, and keep bidding against yourself.
You are shepherding a flock of magical beasts in an enchanted pasture when one of the older ones leaps the fence into a neighbor's property on the promise of better grazing. Do you:
- a. Chase after it, offering it better hay than your neighbor.
b. Go to market and replace it with an older and even more expensive magical beast.
c. Replace it with one of the very young magical beasts already on hand in the nursery.
You are walking through an enchanted forest, guiding your two cows to the slaughterhouse. You are approached by a goblin who offers you a trade: your two cows, ready for slaughter, in exchange for a magical tree which will not bear fruit for another two years. What do you tell the goblin? (In 50 words or less, please.)
You are the ruler of an enchanted land and are approached by a wise old wizard who tells you of a fair maiden who he insists will make for you a wonderful wife. He describes her beautiful face and body, and says he has seen her perform great feats that would make her ideal for matrimony. A young wizard in your court shows you a parchment that compares this particular fair maiden to other maidens in the kingdom, and shows that she is no better than average. Do you:
- a. Take the word of the old wizard and send for the maiden to make of her your wife?
b. Take the word of the young wizard and take a pass on her?
c. Use the input from both wizards, compare the two and decide accordingly?
How do you respond to failure?
- a. I am not familiar with this word. Please use it in a sentence.
b. Continue doing exactly what I did that led to the failure until it leads to success.
c. Delegate blame to underlings and terminate them with extreme prejudice.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
- a. Developing a second five-year rebuilding plan.
b. Covered in champagne, yelling "Three-peat!!!" at the top of my drunken lungs.
c. Traveling to a clinic in Denmark to have an additional finger grafted onto my hand so I'll have additional room for all the championship rings I've won.
d. Sitting in a vault in Zurich, helping the owner count all the money I've made him.
What is the most important goal of this position?
- a. To build a winning franchise as cheaply as possible.
b. To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women.
c. To get really good seats.