Lest we presume that some of the powerplays taking place in Boston and Los Angeles smack of subterfuge and self-interest, the Houston Chronicle’s Jose De Jesus Ortiz nominates former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker as the sneak du jour.
During the World Series, quite a few highly respected national baseball writers wondered why former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker (above, left) wasn’t getting enough credit for building the National League champions.
They wrote about how Hunsicker signed Andy Pettitte, lured Roger Clemens out of retirement and convinced Brad Lidge to throw a slider. All were wrong.
I’m not saying Hunsicker lied to some of my good friends. But as one Astros official put it recently, somebody misled through omission of the facts.
When it was time to close the deal on Pettitte, Hunsicker already had been taken off the assignment by owner Drayton McLane. McLane was the one who drove to the offices of Houston agents Randy and Alan Hendricks and put the final touches on the deal because, well, Hunsicker already had gone as far as the Hendrickses would let him.
The best thing Hunsicker did in the Clemens negotiations was keep his mouth shut, get out of McLane’s way and hope the Hendricks brothers still weren’t too mad at him for ripping them half a decade earlier when McLane and the Hendrickses were trying to get Clemens to Houston.
Clemens signed with the Astros because of McLane’s lobbying. You and any other fan had more to do in convincing the greatest pitcher of our era to sign with the Astros than Hunsicker did.
Some baseball officials have asked why Hunsicker has been bad-mouthed as a self-promoter with a tendency to throw his team owner under the bus. He always found ways to take credit when credit belonged elsewhere.
Now as Hunsicker tries to land another job, he must wonder what kind of recommendation he’s getting from his former employer. How would you like to be the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, wondering if the GM you hire will turn on you and rip you behind your back?
That’s the rumor going on in baseball circles these days. How else can you explain such a successful GM lasting this long without another job when quite a few already have been up for grabs this offseason?