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Former General Counsel Hired to Run New York Mets

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By Jason Beahm on November 09, 2010 5:46 AM

Here's a story for all you disillusioned law students and crusty old practicing attorneys. If you play your cards right, you can become the general manager of a sports team!

After all, Sandy Alderson made the jump from being the in house attorney for the Oakland Athletics to the team's general manager in 1983. And unlike countless others, he wasn't a total washout. To the contrary, he helped take the team to a World Series in 1989. Now Alderson is set to switch coasts: he is joining the New York Mets. Alderson has been tapped to serve as the Mets general manager.

The Mets have been in a free fall for several seasons and Alderson is being brought in to help the team in its quest to turn things around. Alderson said the Mets are interviewing internal candidates for a new manager this week, with interviews with outside candidates set to begin next week, ESPN reports.

Sandy Alderson has become famous in the baseball strategy world for his use of a method that came to be known as "Moneyball," a tactic of using advanced statistical analysis to make personnel decisions. It used to be that most scouts and managers largely used conventional baseball statistics and following their gut. "Moneyball" became a sweeping trend in baseball, though it is fallen out of favor to some extent. Alderson seemed to distance himself from it in his press conference: "[T]he game is not just about stats. It's about character. Motivation. The things you can't measure."

So what kind of path does one take when going from law school to the Mets general manager?

Alderson started with a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth and then a law degree from Harvard. He served in the United States Marine Corps, including a stint in Vietnam. Upon returning to the states, he joined a San Francisco law firm before moving to the Oakland Athletics as general counsel in 1981. Just two years later, Sandy Alderson was the general manager.

So there you have it. It sounds so simple when you lay it all out there. Of course, there are only so many general manager positions in Major League Baseball. But have hope, there is always the NFL and NBA, right?

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