The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a key member of their front office this past offseason when general manager Farhan Zaidi left to become the president of baseball operations of the rival San Francisco Giants.
Along with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, Zaidi built the Dodgers into the National League West powerhouse they have become the last handful of years, winning the division six straight times and advancing to the World Series in each of the last two seasons.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner recently discussed Zaidi bringing the Dodgers’ approach over to San Francisco, noting that he respects the work completed in Los Angeles but also noting the disparity in recent titles, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“Obviously, they’ve had success, but we’ve got three titles,” Bumgarner said. “So it’s kind of a toss-up. Obviously, they’ve been there more often. I do respect what they do. “You can tell that they’re there to play ball when you suit up against them. From what I see, they don’t look like they’re taking games off, by no means. And that’s what you’ve got to have.”
Unlike many other front offices, Friedman and Zaidi were both very hands-on with the Dodgers players in the clubhouse. Zaidi plans to meet with players on the Giants regularly as well, which Bumgarner hopes will translate into a winning culture:
“That’s always a concern, because players, especially the guys who have been here and have somewhat of a handle of what goes on, we also want the best team out there, and want to win,” Bumgarner said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m sitting in on meetings with him, but it’s definitely a concern.” Bumgarner paused for six seconds when asked what aspects of the Dodgers’ approach might translate in San Francisco.
The Dodgers are the heavy favorites to win the NL West once again in 2019, while the Giants may begin a rebuilding phase. With Zaidi in charge though, San Francisco could be back battling the Dodgers for the NL West title and World Series championships in the near future.