Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers promoted Brandon Gomes to general manager last week, which was a role that had gone unfilled since Farhan Zaidi left the organization to head the San Francisco Giants’ baseball operations in November 2018.
Gomes first joined the Dodgers organization in November 2016 as pitching coordinator of performance. He reunited with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who acquired Gomes as general manager for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gomes pitched in parts of five seasons with the Rays from 2011-2015 before joining the Chicago Cubs on a Minor League contract. He never received a promotion and was released in June 2016, marking the end of his playing career.
“I think when your career ends, you kind of don’t know exactly where it’s going to go. I knew I wanted to get into the baseball operations side and had a goal of getting into a front office at some point,” Gomes answered when asked if he ever envisioned himself becoming a general manager.
“It’s progressed quickly, but I think at each and every turn, my goal was to do good work for the sake of doing good work; put my head down and try to tackle each task to the best of my ability.
“It’s progressed quickly, and I’m obviously very grateful and fortunate for the opportunity. I don’t think I could’ve foreseen this path, but taking it day by day and trying to do the best I can at each opportunity was really the goal from the get-go.”
Although his playing career was brief, Gomes experienced all of the ins and outs of being a Major League pitcher. He was part of three organizations, endured several injuries and felt the disappointment of being optioned to the Minors.
“I think having the opportunity to play with a lot of different guys — superstars to guys who were 4A players like myself — I think that’s a helpful perspective in this role,” Gomes said of how his playing career can help him as a general manager.
“Moving forward, I think it’s just the opportunity to continue to use that knowledge and having the curiosity of what was going on at the time. As a player, you’re not like, ‘Oh, I’m going to be finished next.’ Everybody believes they’re going to play for 10 years, and that’s just not the case.
“So as things were coming to close and you could kind of see the writing on the wall, that’s when it became a little more front of mind of what could be next. So I think that transition and having the ups and downs of a career, in failure comes a lot of strong lessons that help shape decisions and how you work moving forward.
“So I think the totality of my career, the ups and downs, getting hurt and having different perspectives, I think is helpful to having a general sense of how guys view the clubhouse, how things work in the front office now that I’ve been on this side and got to learn from a lot of talented and generous people.
“That totality of it I think is what will help shape things moving forward and have helped shape things up to this point.”
Gomes: Becoming general manager ‘definitely a goal’
After retiring as a player, Gomes made it an objective of his to eventually become a general manager. “When I transitioned to the player development side, it was definitely a goal of mine,” he said.
“To be honest, I had no idea how to quite get there. It was like, ‘I’m just going to consume as much information and talk to as many people as I possibly can to try to learn as much about how things work as I possibly could.’
“That was the mindset coming in. Once I finished playing, it was a goal of mine, but from that first point it was, I want to get into Dodger Stadium, be around and pick up on any tidbit that I possibly could.”
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