We went one-on-one with the general manager of the season 1 World Series champion Syracuse Squires, profgreen. Here's what he had to say:
Describe what it feels like to take home the inaugural World Series Championship in Knuckleball?
It was painful in the wallet that's for sure. With 3 max contract guys on the payroll, I had to win a WS or it would have been a disappointment.
Tell us what happened in the top of the ninth in that Game 7?
That was an unbelievable way to end a World Series. To be honest, it's still a blur... My bats came alive against one of the best RP staffs in the league with Foster, Yoshii and Palmeiro. The MVP for my team in the playoffs was Rafael Cruz - a guy who hadn't had a save opportunity in the regular season but was lights out as the closer in the playoffs. My strategy of resting my guys down the stretch cost me a 1st round bye so my pitching staff really came up big for me.
You broke open the wallet this past off-season to acquire star 1B Cesar Gonzalez, giving him a max contract. If he doesn't hit another homerun for your team, would you consider that signing worth it now that he's helped you win a World Series?
I have no regrets signing Cesar - I couldn't have started out that strongly in the regular season without his bat. His postseason was horrendous, though! But I'll take 45+ HR with 130 RBI all the way to the bank on him. He'll prob be a little overpaid as a 35 year old in a few seasons but he'll continue to drive in runs with the guys he has ahead of him.
King Cesar wasn't your only big acquisition. A mid-season trade saw your bring in Ivy Woods for some of your top pitching prospects. Talk about that trade and the decision making process involved there and how you felt about giving up those prospects.
Giving up 23 & 26 year old very good SPs was a gamble I had to take. My offense came into shape but I was a SP away and Wood filled that void. I lost out on him in FA so it was nice that I got the opportunity to trade for him.
What's your strategy to defend your World Series championship, heading into the off-season?
This offseason may lighten my wallet even more. I'm still looking for a #3 SP and a stronger bullpen but I'm very happy with my offense. My defense isn't where I'd like it to be, so I'll be looking to upgrade there.