Fred Claire is a columnist for MLB.com after serving as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office for 30 years.
In a distinguished career with the Dodgers, Claire served the team as a publicity director, vice president of public relations, promotions and marketing, executive vice president in charge of day-to-day operations, and executive vice president and general manager in charge of player personnel. Claire joined the Dodgers in 1969 and he proved to be an award-winning executive at every stage of his career. Claire was directing the team's marketing efforts when the Dodgers first hit the three-million mark in attendance and established a period of record-setting attendance figures.
In April of 1987, Claire was named general manager of the Dodgers and when the team won the World Series in 1988 he was honored as Major League Baseball's "Executive of the Year" by The Sporting News . Claire became the fifth Dodger executive in the team's history to win the award, following Larry MacPhail (1939), Branch Rickey (1947), Walter O'Malley (1955) and Buzzie Bavasi (1959).
Since his departure from the Dodgers in June of 1998, Claire has maintained an active schedule with civic involvement -- as an instructor for the Annenberg School of Communications at USC and as a consultant to companies involved in sports.
A book on Claire's career with the Dodgers (Fred Claire: My 30 Years in Dodger Blue) was released in March of 2004 by SportsPublishing LLC. The book was co-authored by Claire and Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times.
During the spring semesters of 1999 through 2001, Claire was an instructor at USC in the presentation of a class titled "Sports, Business and the Media in Today's Society." He continues to lecture on the business of sports at USC. Claire also is a member of the advisory board for the Sports Management graduate program at California State University, Long Beach.
Claire's civic involvement includes board of director positions for the Rose Bowl Operating Company, Life Skills FORE Pasadena Youth, Inc., the Los Angeles Sports Council, and Special Olympics Southern California.
Claire served Major League Baseball in a number of capacities, including a role as a member of the board of directors for MLB Properties, as a member of the Broadcast Advisory Group, and as a member of the Baseball Operations Committee. In 1990, Claire received the Award of Honor from the American College Baseball Coaches Assn. He has served as a member of the board of directors for the RBI program (Reviving Baseball in Inner-cities).
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Claire spent 12 years in the newspaper field as a sports editor, columnist and baseball writer for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Pomona Progress-Bulletin and the Whittier Daily News. During the time Claire was the sports editor of the Progress-Bulletin, the newspaper was saluted for its sports section by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Claire graduated from San Jose State University with a BA degree in journalism. He holds as associate of arts degree from Mt. San Antonio College and has been honored by the college as an outstanding alumnus. Claire also attended El Camino College and was selected as the college's first Alumnus of the Year. In March of 2000, Claire was inducted in the California Community College Sports Hall of Fame.
During Claire's tenure as the Executive VP and general manager in charge of baseball operations, the Dodgers had the third highest winning percentage in Major League Baseball. In Claire's final four full seasons with the Dodgers -- 1994 through 1997 -- the team reached post-season play twice (1995 and 1996) and was leading its division when a strike halted play in 1994.
Ari Kaplan is a leading figure in the Major Leagues for revolutionizing and modernizing player assessment.
Educated at the California Institute of Technology, Ari received the university’s “Alumni of the Decade” distinction for pioneering groundbreaking sabermetrics used to evaluate pitcher talent. Crain's Chicago Business also recongized Kaplan's work in business, baseball and humanitarian endeavors by including him in their annual "40 Under 40" cover story.
For the past 20 seasons, Ari has worked full-time and consulted for more than half of all MLB organizations. He has worked directly with general managers, presidents, and scouting directors to dramatically improve business operations and strategic analytical capabilities.
Ari combines technology, statistical analysis and business acumen for a fresh look at evaluating players for maximum return on a baseball club’s investment He improves performance at every level, working closely with upper management to maximize drafts, trades, and salary arbitration opportunities.
He has worked under many GMs and managers including Fred Claire, Andy MacPhail, Tal Smith, Tim Purpura, Phil Garner, Kevin Kennedy, Frank Robinson, Roland Hemond, Joe McIlvaine, Jim Beattie, Bill Stoneman, David Littlefield, Dan Duquette, Kevin Malone, and others.
While employed by the Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, and Houston Astros, he designed and developed scouting and player development database systems from the ground up. He has been a senior consultant with additional organizations to cross-supply advanced scouting reports, computational analytics, spray charts, and additional information.
In addition to his scouting background, Ari is one of the few long-term baseball leaders who has a proven track record at Fortune 500 companies, as well as successfully running several high-profile organizations as CEO.
He worked for Oracle Corporation before eventually transitioning to the role of president of the 20,000-member Independent Oracle Users Group. He also has held senior roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Booz Allen Hamilton, U.S. Robotics/3Com, among others. Ari also developed applications for companies including Hallmark, Merck and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, as well as several branches of the U.S. military and government.
Ari founded and served as CEO of Expand Beyond Corporation, growing it through its acquisition in 2005. Backed by Menlo Ventures, Expand Beyond raised over $16 million, secured hundreds of customers, and solidified Ari's role as one of the founding fathers of the mobile business software market.
On the media front, Ari's monthly column in Oracle Magazine reached more than 800,000 subscribers, and he co-authored five best-selling books on analytics, databases, and baseball. Ari's work has been profiled on the History Channel, Baseball America, “This Week in Baseball” with Mel Allen, CNN, the Today Show, the Associated Press, USA Today, the LA Times, the Financial Times, MSNBC, and the BBC.
Ari played NCAA Baseball at Caltech 1988-1992.