Forgive me if this post is a little long-winded..... I just got back from the event and I have to say I am very pleased. Jon was very forward, invited all kinds of questions and continued to answer them unitl a professor cut him off. He started off with a few questions asking for a show of hands: Who were Cowboy fans, who were Ranger fans, who was voting Republican, who was voting Democrat. Surprisingly it was about 50/50, but leaning towards Republican. I say surprisingly because this is UNT, but I guess it is the Business department hosting the thing. He gave a brief run down on his background. Josey will be happy to know that he had no problem joking about his ice cream and donut slinging.
You had lots of professors asking general business questions, a few generic questions (Are we going to sign C.C.?) but there were definantly some that we've been asking ourselves around here. I'll start off a few nuggets of info then move into my questions, because I'm arrogant.
- Blalocks option will probably be picked up
- In regards to the Rule 5 draft, the four names mentioned by Daniels as key decisions were: Poveda, Vallejo, Mayberry and Schlact
- Mentioned Feliz could start at AAA next season
I asked about the financial landscape with players changing. I used Kinsler as an example of locking players up before FA, and mentioned other clubs doing the same, such as Longoria. He explained why Ian was such a good choice to do that with. They believed in his skill set, loved his character and mentioned that as a lower-round pick, financial stability was important for Ian. Jon said that he sees more and more teams going this route, and mentioned that Tampa Bay probably felt as strong with Evan as they did with Ian.
My next question was about the amateur draft, and if they noticed any certain type of player undervalued or overvalued. He used Moneyball as an example of teams focusing on a certain type of player. He said they try to avoid focusing on a certain type and cited Beavan and Smoak as examples of players from each level.
I asked about communication with other clubs, if there were any particular organizations that gave him the run around, or blew him off. Some people always talk about how Theo won't trade with JD again so I was curious to see if left an indication that a club wouldn't deal with him. He said the Rangers have great contacts and communication with about 8-10 clubs, and mentioned that there are probably another 4 that they have less than average contact with. He said that it is important to keep all avenues of communication open.
I asked what he was looking for from the coaches positions he had to fill and he choose to focus on the pitching positions. He said they were looking for a coach to give their pitchers the same swagger that the hitters have. He also mentioned someone with experience with young pitchers.
Re: "Coddling" pitchers - Believes that word is mainly the media. Says it will be nothing drastic, but a gradual plan to challenge them. He said Nolan doesn't believe they are babying their pitchers, but wants to challenge them.
Re: Beavan's velocity - Said he was concerned, but believes it will come back as he adjusts to the rigors of professional ball
Re: Inoa - Disappointed, but didn't sling much mud at the A's. At least not compared to some quotes I heard shortly after the situation
Re: What prospects he was most excited about - Holland & Feliz. Not much of a surprise there.
Re: Media - Said he doesn't pay attention to it anymore. Mentioned Galloway by name and said when they talk casually and Galloway admits its show business. Mentioned Galloway slamming the Herschel Walker trade at the time, but didn't come out and admit he was wrong after the Super Bowl wins (nor would he expect him to). Said the hardest part is your friends and family reading it.
Re: Scoreboard/Sound system. Looking into upgrading. But we already heard that from Chuck.
He talked a lot about the farm system, Caribbean and Pacific Rim scouting, and sticking to the plan with the window for competing beginning next year. He placed an emphasis on treating how you want to be treated, and mentioned hiring people that were courteous and helpful to him when he was a peon with the Rockies.
Afterward, I had to chance to speak to Jon for a few minutes. I told him I loved what he was doing and that he had a bunch of other fans. I told him that right now is as excited as I've been as a Rangers fan. I talked to him for a bit about my Master's Thesis, which relates to baseball. He told me I knew my stuff and thanked me for my dedication.
So there you go, sprite, if I left anything out feel free to add on.