30 baseball books for April ’17, Day 16: Putting in the work, even on a holiday

Rockies Senior VP of scouting and player development Bill Geivett watching as Walt Weiss is introduced as the team’s new manager in Nov. 2012. (The Denver Post)

The book: “Do You Want to Work in Baseball?: Advice to Acquire Employment in MLB and Mentorship in Scouting and Player Development”
The author: By Bill Geivett
The vital statistics: Self published at Book Baby, 354 pages, $24.99,  released Feb. 4
Find it: At Amazon.com, at Barnes & Noble, at Powells.com, at Vromans.com

The pitch: Easter Sunday might be a day off in the normal business world. But things don’t stop in Major League Baseball. A full slate of 15 games will be played today, and decisions go into that before, during and after.
It’s work.
So maybe a better working title for this book might be: Are you tough enough to want to try to have a career in baseball?
Give Geivett a few moments of your time, and you’ll find out.
After 21 years in the game as a front office executive and scout with both the Dodgers (assistant GM) and Angels, as well working for the Yankees (scout), Expos (farm director), Devil Rays (assistant GM) and a 14-year run with Rockies, in addition to time invested as a college baseball coach at Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount University, Geivett decided to self-publish this guidebook from his home in Arizona where he works now as a baseball and business consultant (office website: www.insidebaseballoperations.com)
He started this project soon after leaving the Rockies as their senior vice president of major league operations in 2014, where he started as the director of player personnel.
As a third-team All-American third baseman at UC Santa Barbara who signed with the Angels and played in their organization from 1985-88 (and also drafted by the Dodgers when he was at Sacramento City College, but he declined to sign), Geivett first saw things from the player side.
But since gaining a masters in education from Azusa Pacific, he has decided it’s worth trying to educate any prospective baseball employee about just what happens, down the minute details and practical applications.
The tools needed for scouting and player development aren’t always clear, but now that Geivett has devoted the time and space to spelling it out, it makes it much easier for someone to decide before going into this field if he has the proper wiring for all that’s involved and required.
Part text book and part cautionary tale, Geivett allows the reader to learn from his mistakes as well as benefit from why things fell his way in many instances.
“This book does not attempt to define the only way to gain an interview and acquire employment in Major League Baseball — for many ways exist,” he writes in his final Chapter 19. “But it does define critical success factors.” Those would be: A personal commitment, a burning desire that inspires creativity, a clear brand identity that sets one apart from others, and a relentless persistence to gain an opportunity.
Easier said, and written, than done.
But it can be done. Especially with this as a road map.
If anything, Geivett also provides a list on page 86 called “How to Stay Under the Radar” as a practical guideline to getting and keeping your first job, which seems to apply in many careers:
1. Maintain a positive approach and don’t draw negative attention to yourself.
2. Avoid confrontations — build a positive reputation.
3. Show up early and stay late.
4. Finish your assignments early.
5. Keep your mouth shut unless someone asks you a question or you ask one.
6. Don’t inject yourself into situations that don’t involve you.
7. Keep your use of alcohol to a minimum.
8. Whether you’re at work or not, act appropriately.
9. Dating another employee within the organization is frowned upon. No fishing off the company pier.

= From an interview Geivett did on the book for MLB.com:
“I hope to convey in the book, and I think it’s an underlying theme in the book, that you need a progressive mind. The way I see it, baseball has been a game that’s been slow to change for a long time. When you don’t look to innovation and try to suppress it, over time it gets built up where now it’s like a flood.
“A lot of people that hadn’t seen those kind of things in the past, especially statistical and analytical research, are excited about it. And that’s natural. And it’s all good. Because anything you can use to help you make better decisions, how can you find fault with that?”

More to know:
= Rick Peterson, the former pitching coach for Oakland, the N.Y. Mets and Milwaukee and most recently the director for pitching development in Baltimore, came out in January with a book, “Crunch Time: How To Be Your Best When it Matters,” with writer Judd Hoesktra that one would find in the psychology or self-help shelf as it pertains to how to cope with high-stress situations in work and life. Something every potential baseball front-office person should have some knowledge about, eh?  A’s executive VP and president of baseball operations Billy Beane writes the forward.

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