Ok, all of the local beat writers just got a nice little group sitdown with Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln.
Basically it was to do some interviews for our season-ending wrap up stuff.
But I’ll give you a few of the highlights since I have some time to kill before game time.
First of all any of you hoping for the either of them to resign, retire or be fired, I hate to crush your hopes, but I don’t think that’s happening.
“In fact, I feel just the opposite,” Armstrong said when asked about just retiring. “I have enough self confidence, this is what I’m hoping will be one of the most significant accomplishments that we do here is that I help put this thing back together and get this back into contention.”
While he was making that statement, Lincoln was nodding his head in agreement.
And the rumors of Chris Larsen of taking over controlling ownership and changing the front office leadership isn’t happening.
“I don’t anticipate any change to occur in the ownership structure,” Lincoln said. “We’ve only had one change in 17 years and that was John Stanton coming in for John McCaw.”
And so the rumors about a change in ownership structure, where did they come from?
“I really don’t have any idea,” Lincoln said. “I think people speculate about a lot of things and what happens is the speculation takes on a life of its own. As we know rumors can easily become facts and that’s not that first time that’s happened. But there just isn’t any basis for that.”
So if there isn’t new ownership, it’s tough to see Lincoln going, and Lincoln isn’t about to fire Armstrong.
Basically the rest of the meeting centered around the future … particularly the search for a new general manager.
“It will be the most important decision we make,” Lincoln said. “We’ve got to get it right.”
“It’s time we get some fresh thinking,” Armstrong said. “Inside, we have our own thoughts, but it’s good to go outside and get some fresh views. Our perception of things from the inside may not be the same as someone from the outside. We’re looking some fresh new blood.”
Um, that doesn’t sound good for Lee Pelekoudas.
Armstrong said he was actually appreciative from some of the suggestions that local writers have offered up as potential GM.
“Some of the names you have come up with I have pursued in a little more detail and depth if you hadn’t help provide me with some background for them,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said that he talked with commissioner Bud Selig already about the process. The plan is to start calling organizations to ask for permission to speak with potential candidates on Monday.
As for the type of GM or traits of the GM, they were coy.
“I think we have a pretty good idea of the attributes that we are looking for,” Lincoln said. “The candidates represent a very broad spectrum so I really don’t want to get into the specific traits and all that.”
Now they wouldn’t tell us how many people were on his short list.
“Cause then you guys will speculate, who and what and who’s been eliminated,” Armstrong said.
To make a guess, I’d say between 10 to 15. But one thing he did say was that all candidates are currently employed by other teams. Nobody that’s out of baseball is getting a call.
Remember teams, don’t have to grant permission to talk to employees. In fact, Armstrong expects to have a few teams deny permission.
Lincoln and Armstrong won’t commit to rebuilding next season or trying to win next season. They’re waiting see what the plan that each general manager candidate presents.
“The most important thing get the GM in place and have him develop the comprehensive plan back to where we want to be in both the short term and long term,” Lincoln said. “I don’t want to prejudge them.”
“As I’ve been saying all summer, I’m not willing to concede anything for next year,” Armstrong said. “Let’s see what the plan looks like. There are some in organization e.g. our field manager who think we’re not that far away.”
Well, I don’t know what to make of that. One thing that was clear, the new GM will have some of the free reign that Bavasi had. Lincoln did admit that on things like long term contracts some consultation is always necessary.
Well, that’s about it. It was like a 40 minute interview so I didn’t put it all up, if there is a question about this stuff, let me know, perhaps I can answer it.