Bethlehem Grad’s Ears Guide Rookie MLB Manager
The days of the old grizzled Major League Baseball manager barking directions at his young players is certainly a thing of the past. Today's successful skippers are well versed in analytics, medical limitations and of course the rules of the game. What makes the great ones different from the rest, in a game where your stars make 30 times what some managers make? It's their relationships.
Friday morning, I caught up with the rookie manager of the Kansas City Royals, Bethlehem Central High School graduate, Matt Quatraro for The Drive with Charlie & Dan. To start, Matt has an incredible ease to him that makes him a very accessible person to talk to. He has been that way since I met him, when he was helping out UAlbany's Baseball program years ago. That accessibility appears to be a winning characteristic in his climb to the pinnacle of professional baseball managerial jobs. There are only 30 MLB managers in the world. It's not an easy job to get.
Throughout our conversation on Friday, a consistent theme was an undercurrent. Listening. My first question to him was was about the media's attention to the "vibe" that the rookie manager has established in Kansas City's spring training camp. Matt immediately responded that his offseason was spent talking to his players about what "they wanted." Quatraro said to me "its their team. They're the one's playing the game." It didn't matter if they were a rookie or a veteran, Matt Quatraro wanted their input. It was interesting. When Quatraro was describing each of his players that we talked about, he always highlighted something about the player's personality. It was an awesome aspect that you don't get so consistently from managers at that level. His approach seems to be working.
So far this spring, the Kansas City Royals have the best spring training record in all of MLB. These games mean nothing but Matt Quatraro is trying to guide a team that some so-called experts predict losing 100 games in 2023. Almost everyone forecasts Kansas City will come in last place in the American League Central. Guess what?
They are all wrong. The former bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays knows what it takes to take a small market team to the World Series. The Royals have some building block young players mixed in with some very productive veterans that want to win. I have been part of enough championships to know that Matt Quatraro is going to exceed expectations in 2023 and quickly lead the Royals back to the playoffs, sooner rather than later. Click here to listen to our conversation. The Drive with Charlie & Dan podcasts are also available on Apple, Google Play and Spotify.