I knew that Zack Greinke was smart. I mean, you can talk to anyone who has ever spoken with him before and they will tell you this, most notably his last two managers Mike Scioscia and Ron Roenicke. But at Tuesday’s press conference at Dodger Stadium where Greinke was formally introduced to the media, I heard him speak in person for the first time. Yes, Zack Greinke is smart – scary smart.
Check this out:
Q: Why did you pick the Dodgers over the other teams that were interested in you?
Greinke: “When it was getting closer to which team I was picking, I wrote down all the players on each team to try to pick out which one I thought was the best, and when you compare the lists, I saw how good the offense is on this team. It’s as deep as any team I’ve ever seen.”
Who does that?
Q: How do you evaluate an offense, say like the Dodgers offense?
Greinke: “Almost every hitter has a little hole you can go to, and I’m sure they do the same with me and try to get something that they want from me, but there’s a couple guys in their line-up that I don’t really know how to get them out. I don’t want to say who it is, but there’s two guys… and I’ve never faced them more than ten times before, but I couldn’t figure out a way… to get them out.”
Are you kidding me? Greinke hasn’t faced the Dodgers since last May and he knows how to get all but two of them out? E.T. phone home… Zack Greinke is an alien!
But wait… there’s more!
Zack Greinke knew exactly who the Dodgers number one draft pick was last June - by name. I mean, there are guys on the Dodgers 25-man roster who don’t even know this.
Like I said, Zack Greinke is scary smart; and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
About three weeks ago, Greinke showed up at Dodger Stadium on his own; no agent, just him. What was supposed to be a one hour meeting with Stan Kasten, Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti ended up being a three-hour meeting. This was not a contract meeting. In fact, money was never even discussed. It was a meeting that Greinke himself requested to get to know the Dodgers management and to learn the direction the organization was headed. When it was over and Greinke left, Kasten shot off an email to Mark Walter in which he summed up the meeting in two words – “beyond impressive.”
“(Zack) knows everything about the game, the science of pitching… he’s really into it,” said Kasten. “He has strong opinions on everything. The fact that he knew our draft? He was hoping that Corey (Seager) would draft to his team because he really liked that player. Oh my goodness, what player does that?” Kasten added.
Like I said, Zach Greinke is scary smart.
…and he’s a Dodger!