Results tagged ‘ Q&A ’
Indians President Mark Shapiro addressed more than 100 avid social media followers Friday afternoon. Guests were invited to eat lunch at the Terrace Club, while Shapiro fielded their questions for an hour and a half.
Is the goal of winning a World Series every year a realistic goal? Do you have the means to be successful with that goal?
Mark Shapiro: We sat down, and we spent time in each department, and we said, ‘Is winning the World Series the right guiding commitment for baseball? Should it be being a contender, or should it be making the playoffs?’ It just seems to me that if you’re not in it to win the World Series, then what are you in it for? Why do you come to work? Why are you involved? I would say that the beauty of the playoff series, the beauty of a long season, is that a lot of times it’s the hottest team at that point in time. I think our division is still an imperfect division, still a winnable division almost every year. Our goal never changes at any juncture in time, but as a front office, you have to have one eye on now and one eye on the future. It may involve decisions that don’t most benefit that moment, but may benefit in a few seasons. Right now is now; win the World Series. I think it’s possible.
Were you accurately portrayed in the movie Moneyball?
MS: Thank goodness we got the Moneyball question. That was a great example of Hollywood. In that movie, it says, ‘Based upon a true story.’ It should say, ‘Based very loosely upon a true story.’ Not only was the event not accurate, I was the assistant GM, not the GM. I called Billy and recommended that guy. Billy never stepped foot in this office building here. He’s been in my office in Spring Training. He is a friend. I didn’t enjoy it because I’m thinking that’s way over-simplication of our job. We don’t make trades in five minutes. I don’t have 15 guys in [Baseball Operations]. I don’t have 15 guys standing behind me as I make a trade. When we make a trade, it’s a lot like someone making a sophisticated business deal. They found a guy with a receding hairline that wore a golf shirt and khakis, and I guess that part was accurate. I wish that was my office; that was a much nicer office.
Is it too early for @TheJK_Kid [Jason Kipnis] and @VinnieP52 [Vinnie Pestano] to catch a plane ticket to Kansas City [for the 2012 All-Star Game]?
MS: It’s a tough competition at second base for Jason Kipnis. You’ve got Cano, Kinsler in those markets that have a number of fans coming through. He would need a manager to pick him. He’s an exciting guy, man. He’s going to be a great player—he already is a great player. I think Chris Perez, definitively, is going to be on the team. Setup guys are tough; they [make] the team very rarely. He’s one of the best in the game, but they very rarely make it. I love both of those guys and think they represent what we want in our players as far as makeup, personality, toughness, resilience, as well as skill and talent.
As we approach the trade deadline, is there anyone in the organization who is sort of an untouchable?
MS: As far as untouchables, theoretically, I don’t think there are any untouchables. Theoretically. There’s always a trade you would do with every player. There is nobody who is completely untouchable. Those trades are just not realistic. Yes, [Lake County IF Francisco] Lindor would be very tough to trade. He’s a center-of-the-diamond kid who’s gone out at 19 years old and done what he’s done as one of the youngest two players in the league.
The ‘What If?’ Campaign has carried over to this season. Do you think it’s time to move on from [past teams] and start marketing Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, and those guys because we have a chance to win now?
MS: Part of what makes baseball special and unique, frankly, is that your grandparents, maybe your great grandparents, your uncles, your aunts, your siblings, all those different people can talk about a shortstop they saw play 20 years ago. Our current fans all remember that era, and there are great memories, so it’s just trying to make the association. It’s not saying that’s all that’s worthy of celebration. The ‘What If?’ is more focused on what could happen any night you come here. It could be a triple play, it could be a walk-off homer, it could be a contending team. How do you remind people of the special times they spent here? One of the most special eras of modern Indians baseball happens to be around those mid-90s teams.
It’s been awesome to see Kenny Lofton and Jim Thome come back. What are the chances we will see Manny Ramirez come back?
MS: Yeah, not real good. There are moments in time when I look at [General Manager Chris Antonetti] and go, ‘We could roll out the whole ’97 team in walkers and wheelchairs, and we’d be the most popular guys around. It doesn’t matter if they can play.’ Listen, I was here during those years. I remember those guys. He’s 39-40 years old. If we felt like he would be better than even our internal options, we’d certainly give him a shot. We’re not anti-Manny. We’re continually trying to look at better options than that right now.
MS: Just from the number of tweets I got from people who wanted to be here but couldn’t be here and the number of hands that are still up that I didn’t get to, I’ll try to commit to you guys, and we’ll try to make this a regular thing. I don’t know if it will be biannual, every two or three months, or whatever it may be. We didn’t even get to me being able to ask you guys questions, which is what I wanted to do, too. We’ll try to do it again soon, and we’ll leave a block of time where I can ask you guys questions.
-Megan Golden, TribeVibe contributor
Indians Director of Scouting, Brad Grant took some time out of his schedule this past Friday to answer fans’ 2012 First-Year Player Draft questions on our regular Twitter feature “Tweet Your Tribe.” Here are a few frequently asked questions Brad wanted to share here on TribeVibe.
How do you prepare for the draft?
Brad: “It’s a year process. We’re already starting to prepare for 2013’s draft now. We’ll use the summer to see a lot of High School showcases and go to different colleges to identify the prospects for 2013.”
Throughout your career, who has been the best and most memorable draft pick?
Brad: “I was an assistant in scouting when we drafted CC Sabathia. As Director of Scouting: when we drafted Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis.”
@andrewdarvin asked: “What kind of skills would you like to see in a potential employee?”
Brad: “Passion for baseball, work ethic and an understanding of how to process information.”
What percentage of your resources is used on scouting outside of the United States?
Brad: “We have an entirely separate international scouting department that concentrates only on international players.”
Christopher Plunkett asked: Why do you keep drafting players that only become minor league depth and never make it to the show?
Brad: “You never know where major league players will come from. Both Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano were later round draft picks.”
@Lake_Mistake asked: “Any late round prospects you think have big sleeper potential?”
Brad: “We feel that a lot of our picks have major league potential. We have had success in finding major league talent from later round draft picks and we’re hopeful that we have done it again this year.”
@Ryan_ALSD asked: “How much do you incorporate Sabermetrics into your evaluation process and systematical approach?”
Brad: “We incorporate a lot of information into our decisions and Sabermetrics is definitely one of those pieces that is applied.”