Scary Smart

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.

Don't let the intensity on Greinke's face fool you - he's far more intense than he looks. Zack Greinke is scary smart. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Don’t let the intensity on Zack Greinke’s face fool you – he is WAY more intense than he looks. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

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.

During Tuesday's press conference, Earvin "Magic" Johnson was asked why the Dodgers were spending money like it's going out of style. Johnson's answer was short, sweet and to the point - "We wanna win."(Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

During Tuesday’s press conference, Earvin “Magic” Johnson was asked what the Dodgers philosophy is when it seems that money is no object. Magic’s answer? “We wanna win.” (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

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!

 

 

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9 Responses to “Scary Smart”

  1. funkyjam says:

    The fact that Greinke knows Seager and wanted a team that he was on to draft him is hilarious to me. I was already excited about Seager before but if greinke knows the Kid that just takes it to a whole other level.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    It is really refreshing to hear a player say something other than the usual line of: “This is a storied organization.” or “They know how to win.”

    It looks like he not only plays the game of baseball but likes to play it , and wants to play it as well as possible. Preparation, preparation. preparation.

    I also think he might say some things that everyone might not like during the season but he won’t just be popping off. As already mentioned, if he can pitch as expected, those instances won’t be a problem.

    I am betting, Zach and Clayton become good friends.

  3. echavez2 says:

    I have read a lot of strange things like that in the past couple of days. I hope it’s a good thing. Sometimes over thinking can be a bad thing. I am going to think positive though, and say with his way of thinking, and the smarts of kershaw watch out! that’s a heck of a 1-2 punch!

    I can’t stop smiling when I think about the 2013 season.

    Go Dodgers!!!!

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      I could be wrong, but I do not think it is a matter of over-thinking with Zack Greinke, Evan; but more of a “preparation, preparation, preparation” thing as Bluenose noted. As I mentioned in another post, Zack actually brings a notebook with scouting reports on every hitter he has and will face into the dugout with him. Much like future Hall of Famer Greg Maddox, Zack knows every hitter’s weakness (well, except for two, but that’s no longer an issue – haha!).

      I also agree with Bluenose that Clayton and Zack will become very close friends – and when that happens, LOOK OUT!

      BTW – In addition to the Dodgers having a great team this season, I’m betting that your Isotopes are going to be phenomenal this season as well.

  4. ebbetsfld says:

    In addition to being “scary smart”, he’s also brutally honest and candid. He admitted that money was a major factor in his decision, and I like that much more than if he had try to BS everyone by saying “Money’s not important”.
    We all have high expectations (justifiably), now all we have to do is get healthy, stay healthy, and enjoy the ride!

  5. MFGRREP says:

    And that’s the key Dick “Staying Healthy” One can not live up to such high expectations if one is not healthy !! And last year this team was not HEALTHY !!

  6. thinkblue55 says:

    That’s a great photo you took of Zack and Magic. Awesome expression on Magic’s face.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Obviously, I don’t need to tell a professional photographer such as yourself that it’s all about being in the right place and the exact right moment.

      Zack and Magic were posing for the hoards of media when Magic spotted Emily (Zack’s wife), who wanted to take a quick photo of the two of them. Magic was trying to turn Zack towards his wife, thus creating said moment. Magic is an absolutely incredible photo target because of his great facial expressions (as you well know).

      I get some pretty strange looks with my $300 Canon PowerShot camera, especially in a room with (probably) more than a million dollars in photo equipment – but I’ll put some of my photos up against theirs anytime. :)

      Thanks for the kind words, Garrett – that means a great deal coming from someone of your skill level.

  7. OldBrooklynFan says:

    It’s great to read all the nice things you guys are saying about Greinke. I don’t know what most of it has to do with pitching but if it does I’m happy with it.

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