Tom McNamara is pumped, and the new Seattle Mariners director of scouting figures by the end of the weekend, all 24 amateur scouts in his department will be, too.
"It's the first time most of us in the organization are going to sit down face-to-face," McNamara said. "The manager and his coaching staff, all the scouts, the front office people. We're going to go over everything from philosophy to report writing."
Once new general manager Jack Zduriencik had the job, McNamara was one of his first hires. They have been friends for years, and worked well together in Milwaukee. This weekend, McNamara hopes, he begins to repay Zduriencik for his confidence.
"I'm of no use to Jack if our staff doesn't produce good drafts," he said. "And we're going to talk about how important this draft is to the organization."
McNamara has brought in a handful of new scouts, kept what he considers the best of the Mariners and now has a staff long on experience.
"Some of the guys we brought in have already seen a lot of the players we'll be looking at – high school and college," McNamara said. "We're not starting from scratch. I want guys familiar with the players we'll be seeing again. I want to build an environment where people will disagree at times and feel free to make their case."
Three full days of front office meetings begin Friday, and new manager Don Wakamatsu will sit down with his coaching staff for the first time.
A day later, McNamara will begin a two-day 'refresher course' for his 24 scouts.
"We'll talk about philosophy and accountability, how we're going to do things," he said. "Don is going to talk to them, and that will get the juices flowing. When I was first a scout here, Lou (Piniella) spoke to us, and it got me going. The big leagues is where you want your players to be. Part of this weekend is instilling the guys with pride."
McNamara has been preparing for this weekend for more than a month. What's h plan to do starting Monday?
"Open all the sealed boxes in my apartment," he said. "Around here, we all have a passion about baseball."