Interview With Arizona Lumberjacks Owner mitt0108I had the opportunity to interview mitt about his Arizona Lumberjacks team. They are having another great year. With the interview, we get to talk a little about the past and the present.
J: I appreciate you taking the time to chat. Will your team continue on its torrid pace (.685 winning percentage) the rest of the year?
M: Probably not quite that high, but who knows. Everything is clicking right now. We have been fortunate to avoid injuries as well. I don't care too much what the final record is, but the goal was getting a bye for the playoffs.
J: You have some stiff competition in the NL. Do you think Arizona can represent the NL in the World Series?
M: I definitely think we are talented enough to make it, but the odds may be working against us after 3 straight WS appearances. My luck might run out against hop's Charlotte squad! I know he is sick of me haha.
J: What did you do in the first two seasons that lead to your current success?
M: I'm not a fan of full on rebuilds. I don't have the patience ha. So, when I took over I was immediately focused on improving the ML squad every season. I inherited a couple good young bats in Doug Treadway and Howard Stevenson, so that obviously helps, but almost everyone else on my squad was acquired via trade or FA. I really just look at every position and pitching role and ask if I think they are good enough to be a part of a WS team. If the answer is no, or if I think I can get a net upgrade somehow, I am willing to deal whoever it is or upgrade via FA.
J: What were the keys to winning it all in season 23?
M: Season 23 was when I finally had acquired enough ML talent mainly through FA and trades. I had 2 veteran FAs lead the team in home runs and a couple veteran pitchers acquired via trade come up big in Kevin Ryu and Tony Telemaco. Fred Keppel has also been a good value pick up in FA at SP.
J: You have won 5 straight division titles and look as though you will win your 6th. How did you build your team to where it is today? Have you built mainly through the draft, international free agents, free agent signings, or some part of each?
M: I have built mainly through free agency and trades to get the core of my team. I am quick to sacrifice a late first round pick for a quality free agent. I do dabble in IFAs, but usually just acquiring middle tier cost ones that I will eventually trade. I also try to improve something every offseason, even after having a good team. I have acquired 4 big contributors since that WS victory in 3B Danny Smoltz, 2B Arthur Haynes, 1B Franklin Cornelius, and just this last offseason CF Pedro Gonzales.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer a few questions mitt! Arizona looks like a force to be reckoned with. Will mitt win his second World Series ring? We look forward to the playoffs to see the answer.