7 Questions with GM Chris Browne

The general managers from the American Association, including T-Bones' vice-president and GM Chris Browne, gathered recently in St. Paul, Minn., for the annual General Managers' Meetings. We sat down for 7 Questions with Browne to talk about the meetings, as well as this offseason for Kansas City.

1. We assume these annual meetings are always a good time to get together with your fellow GMs to discuss the previous season and look ahead to the next one.
Chris Browne: It is a great opportunity to discuss the challenges facing each market and club. Share information and go over best business practices. Provides for a league update and allows the GMs time for “one off’ conversations on business and marketing, and some hot-stove baseball talk as well.

2. Obviously this can be a time of proposing big, league-wide changes. Anything major discussed this year?

CB: Team rosters have been expanded to 23, baseball wise, which will give our team some flexibility. You also might see some efforts league-wide to speed up pace of the game.

3. One hot topic throughout professional baseball right now is the backstop netting. The netting at CommunityAmerica Ballpark will be extended to the ends of each dugout, as announced earlier this offseason. Are other teams around the league looking at similar modifications?

CB: We were commended by the league for being proactive. A lot of teams will be following our project to see how and what we do. Fan safety is paramount for all. And I am glad we were out in front of this with our announcement on this subject last fall.

4. Wichita announced last week that Pete Rose Jr. will be their new manager, replacing Kevin Hooper, who has ties to nearby Lawrence. A couple of the Texas teams are combining to form one team this season. Personnel-wise, what are some of the changes we’ll see in 2016?

CB: Well, the hot stove was very active at the meetings. I know Pete’s name came up in the rumor mill. I can say that now, after the fact, right? (Haha…wink wink.) I think it will be great for our league and fun for the fans. It is tough to lose a pro like Kevin Hooper. He’s a proven winner and class act, but now he is moving up the career steps with the San Diego Padres organization. That’s part of the beauty of minor-league baseball. Winnipeg and Joplin hooked up on a mega trade that will see some star players go north. Gary is always active. Manager Ken Oberkfell retired in Lincoln. He was a long-time big-league player, and a great guy, so that’s a tough loss for the league. A veteran of our league, Bobby Brown, will take over the Saltdogs.

5. The T-Bones didn’t travel to St. Paul last season, and I know it’s tough under the conditions of the GM meetings, but what were your impressions of the Saints’ stadium, which opened last year?

CB: It is magnificent, with a great setting in downtown St. Paul. I love the look and color scheme. Derek Sharrer and his staff do a terrific job. I know our team will enjoy going there during our first road trip in May. Fun as it may be, I hope we win the series!

6. It’s hard to believe, but roughly three months from today (May 19), the T-Bones open their 14th season in Kansas City. What’s the toughest part of this time of the year?

CB: Steady nervousness? You know you are close but a lot more work has to be done. It’s full steam ahead!

7. We’ve talked about changes around the league. The T-Bones’ preseason roster is nearly complete, with a few new faces but the majority of the guys are back from last year’s club. You and manager John Massarelli are in constant contact throughout the offseason about the roster. Is it shaping up the way you guys envisioned it back in mid-September, shortly after the 2015 season?

CB: Mazz is on the phone every day, looking to improve our club. We talk several times a week to compare notes, share ideas, and see where we are. It’s definitely more enjoyable to be building right now and not re-building! It is fun to look at our club and lineup on paper in February, but we have a long way to go and things can change fast. There is more work to be done. You don’t play these games on paper.

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
December 2002