- Bill Lajoie
William R. Lajoie (born
September 27 1934) is assistant to the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgersof American Major League Baseball, and was formerly the general manager of the Detroit Tigersfrom 1984 to 1990.
In addition to his current post, Lajoie also has served as a special assistant or consultant to the
Atlanta Braves(1995-1998), Milwaukee Brewers(2001-2002), and Boston Red Sox(2003-2006). Lajoie played a high-profile consulting role in the Boston front office during the brief interregnum between November 2005 and February 2006 caused by the temporary resignation of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. He headed the Red Sox delegation to the 2005 winter baseball meetings and was instrumental in the multi-player trade with the Florida Marlinsthat netted pitcher Josh Beckett. However, upon Epstein's return, Lajoie resigned, and a few weeks later assumed his current post as a top advisor to Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
After a playing career as a minor league
outfielder, Lajoie joined the Tigers organization in 1974 as a member of the scouting department. By 1979 he was named the assistant general manager to Tigers GM Jim Campbell. After an internal power struggle in 1990, he was replaced as Tigers GM by his assistant, Joe McDonald. During his time as GM, Lajoie is credited with several transactions that helped the Tigers to the 1984 World Serieschampionship and a 1987 division title. Notable transactions include signing aging veteran Darrell Evansin 1984; Kirk Gibsonleaving as a free agent; and trading John Smoltzfor Doyle Alexanderin 1987. While ridiculed by Detroit fans now, the Smoltz trade helped the Tigers make the playoffs in 1987, as Alexander posted 9 wins and 0 losses in 11 starts, with a 1.53 earned run average. Smoltz, at the time, was a lightly regarded prospect in the low minor leagues.
Western Michigan University, earning a bachelor of sciencedegree in 1956. Lajoie was an All-American athlete at WMU, and was signed by the Baltimore Oriolesorganization following graduation, spending several seasons in the minor leagues before an injury ended his playing career.
In 1988, Bill Lajoie was honored with a distinguished alumni award from the Western Michigan University Alumni Association.
*Kline, Chris, Leventhal, Josh and Lingo, Will, editors, "Baseball America 2007 Directory." Durham, NC:
Baseball America, 2007.
* [http://www.wmich.edu/alumni/awards_dist-lajoie.html WMU Distinguished Alumni Award - Bill Lajoie]
* [http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/execdb/showperson.php?idx=LajoiBi01&fname=Bill&lname=Lajoie Baseball America-Executive Database]
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