Weekend Plans With D-Backs Exec VP & GM Mike Hazen: Draft Prep, San Diego Bound
D-backs Exec VP & GM MIKE HAZEN was handed the reins to the organization last winter after about a decade with the Red Sox under tenured front office leaders like THEO EPSTEIN and DAVE DOMBROWSKI. Now he’s leading the D-backs’ brain trust as they attempt to get back to the postseason for the first time since ’11. With the club off to a 24-18 start to the season, Hazen took some time to dish on his adjustment to Arizona, how he’ll take in this weekend’s series against the Padres and just how deep baseball runs in his family.
GAME PREP: We wrapped up our draft meetings with our West Coast area scouts yesterday, then Friday morning I'm flying to San Diego separate from the club. I’ll get to San Diego around midday, then will head straight to the ballpark as I like to get there fairly early. Early in the day before things start keying up is a good time to spend with the coaching staff in a more casual setting. We’ll talk through long-term strategy plans, game strategies, etc. I’ll hang out, watch batting practice and then after that I’ll hit the stands. Typically, I’ll sit by myself during games as we normally have one person in the front office who travels at a time. So I’ll sit and take in the game, then head back into the clubhouse and spend 20-30 minutes there once manager TOREY LOVULLO is done with the media. We’ll talk about the game and what we may have coming up the next day.
NEW MAN IN CHARGE: Coming to Arizona and accepting this position obviously meant inheriting a different level of responsibility. But it still comes down to making decisions, and when you’re making a lot of decisions everybody has someone they report to. It’s a little different from a structure point than in Boston but not a whole lot when you get into the day-to-day aspects. It’s been great moving out here. Phoenix is a great city with a good environment to raise kids and that stuff is so important when you make a move.
LET’S PLAY TWO: I have four kids so I’m pretty much the most boring person on earth when you combine that with the amount we work. When I’m not in the office, I want to spend as much time with them as I can and out in Arizona one of the luxuries is you can play baseball January on. Sunday mornings my wife and I like to take a hike and go grab breakfast, but other than that, Saturdays and Sundays are for the Little League fields. It’s great watching your kids play -- even though it’s still baseball, it’s a great release for me.
FAMILY TIME: My family and I don’t have a favorite weekend getaway quite yet. My family was still in Boston this offseason and I was alone out in Arizona till January, so we’ll see what comes up next offseason. My whole family is back East and we’ve spent a lot of summers on the Cape. My wife will go back there this summer when it gets to be about 120 degrees here. That’s a place we really love to visit and spend time with extended family. One of my favorite new food spots out in Phoenix is The Yard. If you have kids, you can appreciate a place that has cornhole and ping pong tables while you wait for your food.
HOME BASE: I really enjoyed reading BEN LINBERGH and SAM MILLER’s “The Only Rule Is It Has To Work” about a couple baseball analysts running an independent minor league team out in California. That was a fantastic read. TV-wise we watch a lot of HGTV in my house. If the kids are involved it’s always some type of sporting event, but if my wife and I have the remote HGTV will be on.
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