Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to interview Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. Shapiro has been hard at work this season not just handling the day-to-day operations of the Indians, but working out his transition with assistant GM Chris Antonetti, who will take over as GM when Shapiro become team President after the season. I want to thank Shapiro again for giving me the time for this interview.
ELI: The Indians made a trade that sent Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers for Giovanni Soto. How long did it take for this deal to materialize?
MARK: The dynamic in every trade is different. With this particular deal, we were keeping in touch with a broader sense of team needs. It is difficult to trade within the division, but we matched up nicely with eachother. The Tigers needed a veteran infielder, and we simply did not have the need for Peralta anymore.
ELI: What do you think of your return in Soto?
MARK: He is a young, projectable arm with a decent arsenal of pitches.
ELI: You have been with the Indians for some time, can you tell me what it is like selecting a new manager and a little bit about your experience thus far with Manny Acta?
MARK: There is no one thing you look for in a manager. You do your best to find the attributes and characteristics most suited with your current situation. Manny [Acta] has been a successful manager and coach at every single level - Montreal, New York - He has a rock solid foundation. He understands multicultural needs of players, it's important. Natural tensions do develop, but our relationship is to communicate and to maintain a common goal, a common vision. So far, good things.
ELI: How are your days different, especially this week, compared to other weeks during the year?
MARK: They are definitely longer, less predictable. A day can change from one phone call and you'll have to mobilize quickly.
ELI: Fausto Carmona has had somewhat of a resurgence, what about his mechanics and approach has changed from 2009 to 2010?
MARK: His biggest difference is his ability to pitch with a purpose. It wasn't a dramatic change, but a mental adjustment.
ELI: How will your day-today job change after this season? When will you be changing positions: after the offseason or right after the season?
MARK: We will switch right after the season. I won't be involved with the dat-to-day as much, Chris [Antonetti] will run baseball operations.
ELI: How have your interactions been different this season. Are you meeting more to discuss the transition?
MARK: We've been meeting more, asking questions, but we've known eachother for a very long time. We have similar philosophies, it is very natural.
ELI: Network is just as important as it was 20 years ago. With that said, what advice would you give someone trying to enter the industry?
MARK: It is different for every office, but the ability to differentiate yourself is very important. You need a set of experiences, or skill, that enables you to make an impact for a team.
ELI: Much like on the field?