Baseball, General Manager, Red Sox discussed on The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Axe. So from Baltimore you now you're graduating from Yale and you get this opportunity. Go to San Diego. Yeah, so the my last internship or the orioles ended in August of Nineteen, ninety, four with the baseball strike that ended up canceling the world series last real labor labor stoppage in baseball so. That the prospect of of a job seemed to be waning at that point and I started to apply to law schools and. Other other things I wasn't really all that interested in. Got A call out of the blue. From Charles Steinberg and Larry Lucchino. Who had? Just gotten an opportunity out in San Diego and I've never been to San Diego, but they offered me the job. There was about ten in poetry with the padres there they attended. There's ten inches of snow out my room window in new haven so I said yes I. And accepted and then flew out there the day after I graduated to start new job in new license San. Diego and you moved up pretty quickly in that organization. Yes I, did PR for a year there, but he's dealing with reporters every day. Yeah, and then didn't didn't love it, but was working in baseball and salt matter better. befriended. General Manager Kevin Towers at the time was a new young general manager there. And we hit it off. He was. He was he married and I was single twenty one right out of college, so he was Kinda living vicariously through me a little bit and I got to hang around his office and. Listen to how they evaluated players, and the different things that would go on and baseball operations department. He took a liking to me and started taking me out to teach me how to scout seeing amateur players, and quickly brought me over to work in the best baseball operations department, which was my ultimate dream and you ended up running that department. At A. How would you well I didn't run The general manager runs. That runs that department, but I. he promoted me to something called Director Baseball operations, which is. Basically you know it's just jack-of-all-trades do a lot of things in the baseball operations department, so I was in I was in my mid twenties and the great thing about the padres. The time is there was a small market team to. We had to be resourceful, and it was a really small shop, so we're another organization might have had twenty folks in their baseball operations department in the home city. We had four or five and so got to do a little bit of everything to work in pro scouting got to go out for the draft got to help out and player development got to help out I majorly transactions, and it's really where I formed. My my current view of the game, my my office was situated literally between the scouting. Director and the statistical analyst that that the head of the time they were one of the first teams to have a stats guy on staff, and those to the the scouting director who saw the game really traditionally. Evaluate players subjectively with his eyes. He and the staff guy who would evaluate players objectively and didn't even want to see them. Play only WANNA see their track record. Those two hated each other. But but they both like me again I think just because I was young and going out, and and you're eager and an ear to please them and help them out I got to hear the best from both of them, and maybe some things I didn't agree with as well and they try to lobby me on why they're way seeing the game was the right way and what I determined that the you know they were. Both great baseball, guys and really insightful about the game but that. I thought I saw the clearest picture. About players, and about projecting players feature performance by looking through both lenses by looking through the traditional Scouting Lens, and at the same time, also looking through an analytical, more objective Lens, and if you could. Find a transaction that made sense looking through both those lenses. It was probably a pretty good move for your team. You know the the thing about the small operation is interesting to me because kids always ask me like. How do you get to be? The strategist for the president's on. And and how do you start telling them? Go find some small campaign where you can do everything and where you you know you're not pigeonholed and where you. If you're eager, and you're willing to help, you can learn the whole. The whole deal and the same is true obviously for you. Yeah, I think had I had I. Worked initially at a big market team that that would have had a bigger staff and maybe did not to be as. Innovative to solve problems or aggressive resourceful, it wouldn't have been the same experience and what I always tell kids when they're first. Starting out in baseball is. Whoever your bosses are, your bosses are they have twenty percent of their job that they don't like and so if you can ask them or figure out what that twenty percent is, and and figure out a way to do it for them, you'll both make them really happy and improve their quality of life and their work experience, and also gain invaluable experience for yourself, and if you do a good job with it, they'll start to give you more and more responsibility, and that's really what happened with me. At the PADRAS ended up back in Boston a few years later, Lucchino went back. Back to Boston. Brought you back there. Yeah, Larry got involved with the new ownership group of the Red Sox in late, two, thousand one, and by the spring training so march of two thousand two. He had brought me back there as assistant any reluctance to leave San, Diego? It's kind of a sweet life. Oh, out there. It was it was I got to be out there from permits twenty one to twenty eight, and had some great experiences, I turned down assistant GM, job elsewhere just to stay with the padres at a lesser position because we had such a tight knit group. was such a nice life out there, but it felt like time, and really the Red Sox. That was my ultimate dream right? I grew up half a mile from fenway park as a huge fan of the team. They were sort of the alternate ivory tower franchise where. You really had to know somebody It was the young Yawkey. Yawkey regime and They were just a closed shop and I didn't even when I was working in baseball. It was a pretty insular operation over there at the Red Sox and I, it was hard to ever envisioned myself working there so when the opportunity came up. To work for people that I really respected into to go over there. As Assistant Jam, it was it was an instant. Yes, and Kevin even supported supported me and said you know you have to have to take this opportunity, so a lot of people would be bewildered if I said there's a way in which Theo Epstein has just like Dick. But, you got assigned the task of trying to find a general manager for the Red Sox shortly after you arrived there, and somehow you ended up in the. How did that HAP- yeah? Innocent of any. Of any scheming I I I guarantee you know I got the job. In March of two thousand, two I was named the assistant general manager, but there was no full-time general manager. There was an interim general manager. Mike Port Dan. duquette had been fired a few months earlier as the full-time Jeremy Manager..

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