LAKELAND, Fla. — So much of baseball is waiting. You are waiting for your chance at the plate. Waiting to get the ball to Your way. Do not wait to get your chance.
Scott HarrisThe Detroit Tigers’ new president of baseball operations, is used to this. His chance came at 35, and he acted quickly. to run a major league team. His introduction to Baseball was an example of not waiting until the right time.
U.C.L.A. is my sophomore year. Harris Driving out to Palm Desert, Calif. to Al Rosen is the only baseball historian to have lunch. to Both the Most Valuable Player Award as well as Executive of the year were won. Harris’s grandmother, Joan HarrisShe had already met Rosen and learned about his history. to Baseball is a great sport.
Rosen was in his 80s when he won the American League M.V.P. He was a third baseman who was slugging for Cleveland in 1953. His role as a general manger saw him take the San Francisco Giants to last place. to Second in a row, earning the highest executive award from The Sunday Review in 1987. He was a man of gravitas. HarrisHe listened more than he spoke, and was captivated.
“It was one of those lunches that felt like it could have lasted forever,” Harris On Tuesday, he spoke from his office looking out at the outfield at The Tigers’ training complex between Tampa and Orlando. “We went our separate ways afterwards and I just started writing letters to teams. On a whim I brought the responses I got back to Mr. Rosen and that sowed the seeds of a longstanding relationship I wish still existed today.”
Rosen was 91 years old when he passed away in 2015. Harris earned his masters of business administration from Northwestern — while also serving as director of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. Rosen had started Harris As a junior at college, he arranged an internship unpaid with the Washington Nationals to help him on his path in life. HarrisHis mentor would be kept current if he was patient.
“One of the last conversations we had was about a trade we made with the Cubs, and he couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that negotiations were happening over text message these days — because in his day, you would have had to sit down in front of a G.M. and read their non-verbals and make decisions,” Harris said, smiling. “I miss him a lot. I owe my career to that chance encounter with him.”
After a three-year stop as the Giants’ general manager, under Farhan Zaidi, Harris His career was saved to Detroit last September. Last September. Tigers He had fired Al Avila his predecessor who helped to build a team that had won four consecutive A.L. Through 2014, he had lost his job, having fired Al Avila, the man who had helped build a team which won four straight A.L. to Since then, the playoffs.
For the longest streak of Major League Baseball’s active seasons, the eight-year gap is shared with the Los Angeles Angels. However, many teams have been spending aggressively in the off-season. Harris Decent to wait. He signed two starters and traded some relievers. to one-year deals — and revamped the infrastructure of an organization that suddenly seems modern.
“Completely, from just the plan that’s laid out for each one of us, how camp’s being run, the staff that’s here — it’s exciting already,” Matthew Boyd (left-handed starter), who was returned to The Tigers After the last season ended with Seattle, you can get one-year and $10,000,000. “I was here for seven years and I only was gone for one year, and I feel like I’m in a new clubhouse.”
It Tigers Needed a refresh: Nearly half their customers have disappeared in the past decade, since Miguel Cabrera’s second M.V.P. They drew nearly 3.1 million supporters to it’s home regular-season games. Although it made four of the five top-five draft selections over the past five years, Detroit ranks last among the league’s 30 teams in Keith Law’s annual farm system rankings The Athletic
Harris He said that he can’t yet determine how talented the applicant is. Tigers They really do. However, he took care not to Rush to any deal, and be eager to See how prospects react to Individualized, more detailed instruction.
“Those players are going to change, and we want an opportunity to get through a whole development cycle with the talent we already have, in-house, before we make judgment calls on whether they will find themselves in a trade in the future,” Harris said. “We wanted to build the systems and the staff around these players to at least evaluate them on a little bit of a deeper level.”
Also, Tigers Will wait: Casey Mize (right-handed starter), is the No. 2018 overall selection to return from last June’s Tommy John surgery; for first baseman Spencer Torkelson, the No. The 2020 overall selection, to He hammers fastballs in the same manner at Arizona State. to Develop your top talent in the draft
Last year’s 96-loss stumble — when Greene’s modest .321 on-base percentage led all regulars and no pitcher reached 120 innings — was a painful learning process. Cabrera’s 3,000th career run was his 40th birthday. He is now entering the last year of his contract. to celebrate.
“As bad as it hurt to go through struggles like that at the highest level, reflecting on that, it’s only going to help me,” Torkelson’s.604 on base plus slugging percentage was last for first basemen who have at least 400 plate appearances.
He said: “You learn more when you fail than when you succeed, and I think 10, 15 years down the road, I’m going to look back and think, ‘You know what? Thank you for last year, because that really helped me out in my career.’”
Numerous veterans Tigers should also improve, like shortstop Javier Báez, who hit just .238 in the first season of a six-year, $140 million contract, and the left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who missed about half of last season for personal reasons. Austin Meadows, an outfielder who hit 27 homers in Tampa Bay’s 2021 season, was unable to play due to Achilles tendinitis, mental health issues, and missed nearly the entire season.
“For me, personally, I’m in a much better place,” Meadows said. “I think I can add a really good weapon to this lineup if I stay healthy and be a leader on this team.”
It Tigers They have increased their analytics, coaching and mental-performance staffs.“Last year it would have been just a plain chicken breast,” Torkelson stated, “and now it’s like lemon zest garlic chicken”), and the distant center field wall at Comerica Park has been pulled in by 10 feet, to 412 feet. 412 feet. Tigers’ chief executive, Christopher Ilitch, has even promised a new team plane.
All of these changes will not, in and of themselves, make the situation better. Tigers Compete for the postseason in this year’s edition. However, the idea of Harris It has been known since childhood, that is to create an atmosphere that brings out the players’ best. That was Rosen’s most important lesson, he said: The players are the game.
“That’s what he meant — in this game, it’s easy to get distracted by all of the other things,” Harris said. “So we have to stay hyper-focused on the players in that room two floors below us and how we’re helping them get the absolute most out of their talent.”
Waiting is the best thing. Harris The Tigers It will pay off if you believe.