Geivett imparts career advice in new book

Former player, scout and exec shares insight from 28 years inside baseball

Geivett imparts career advice in new book

DENVER -- During a 28-year career in professional baseball as a player, scout and front-office executive, Bill Geivett never shied away from helping those who wanted to land jobs.

"I would get these emails and letters and resumes. It was always, 'Mr. Geivett, could I have 10 minutes of your time?'" he said. "And every time I'd call, it would turn into two hours.

"The whole time I was thinking, 'At some point I've got to write a book.' And that way, it would be what I feel and any kind of advice I could give would be in that book. And I'd kind of laugh it off. 'Whatever. Yeah, right, I'll write a book.'"

But after leaving as the Rockies' senior vice president of Major League operations and assistant GM after the 2014 season, Geivett thought about those aspiring job-seekers and made the book a reality. The self-published "Do You Want to Work in Baseball? Inside Baseball Operations," released on Wednesday, offers advice on landing interviews and jobs, navigating the Major League environment and contributing after being hired.

Early feedback from the baseball community has been a pleasant surprise for Geivett.

"I'm getting texts and messages from people I haven't talked to in a long time or thought about, and the stories that they bring up of how impactful I was with some advice that I gave them," he said. "I'm hopeful that in years to come somebody that reads the book remembers, 'Hey I remember reading the book and that guy talked about that,' and the lesson has been passed down."

Geivett said the book targets not only the aspiring baseball professional, but the sports management professor who can use it to supplement coursework and the fan who is interested in the game's inner workings. Geivett aspired to do so without the book coming off as a dry instruction manual.

"There is a great story about F.P. Santangelo getting called up to the big leagues," Geivett said. "I've got stories about myself and Tommy Lasorda, a lot of stories mixed in there, so it's not the type of book where I'm just telling you how it's done and trying to give you a lot of details to remember.

"I'm giving you the situations where hopefully you'd think along the lines of your perspective, and you come up with the answer. I can't come up with that for you, because the game changes all the time."

Geivett, 53, has old-school and new-school perspectives. He played in the Angels organization from 1985-88 and coached at Loyola Marymount University (1989-90) and Long Beach State (1991) before beginning his scouting career with the Yankees in '91. Geivett was the Expos' player development director from 1994-96, assistant to the GM with the Rays in '97 and assistant GM with the Dodgers from 1998-99. He also held duties such as personnel director, player development director and VP/assistant GM with the Rockies from 2000-14.

Some of the book's content grew from Geivett's earliest scouting training. He credits then-Yankees scouting director Bill Livesey (now a Pirates special adviser), who helped accumulate the team's championship "Core Four" -- Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

"You can definitely find things on the internet as far as statistical, analytical research now, but in terms of the more qualitative look at things, it's a little bit more difficult to find," he said. "I wanted to make sure some of those lessons from Felipe Alou or Bill Livesey or Tommy Lasorda are lessons that I could try to pass on to someone else."

Geivett also emphasizes that all backgrounds have value, whether it comes from playing and coaching or from an academic perspective.

"I hope to convey in the book, and I think it's an underlying theme in the book, that you need a progressive mind," said Geivett, who holds a bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara and a master's in education with an emphasis on physical education from Azusa Pacific University. "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?"

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.