I will never be accused of being a comic book freak. However, I have enough useless knowledge that includes certain super heroes that this comparison readily jumped out at me. I may have two years of sharing an apartment with one of my best friends who had a serious comic book addiction to thank for this as well. While my colleague Justin McClary (follow him on Twitter @jmcclary22) wrote a great piece about Mozeliak’s rise to power and career thus far I felt that I wanted to explore his recent moves from a couple of different angles.
Batman has been one of my favorite comic book heroes because he is plausible. By that I mean he has no “Super Powers”. Bruce Wayne’s power, for lack of a better term is money. He has a desire to complete a job and be a hero, but without taking the credit for it as much as possible (that’s why he wears the mask). He just wants to do what is right and prevent bad guys from winning. He is shrewd, calculating, resourceful, and persistent. All of these characteristics can easily be used to describe Mo as well.
My favorite Batman Villain besides The Joker, has been Two Face. Harvey Dent was a former District Attorney who is obsessed with committing crimes themed around duality and opposites. He uses a two-headed coin (one side is scarred like his face) to make major decisions involving his evil deeds. Here is my conundrum with Mr. Mozeliak. I feel at times he is both of these characters. Maybe one of these guys more than the other. I hope that this article helps me resolve my own conflict about who he really is.
I wanted to start by taking a look at some of his strategy and moves that lead me to believe that he may be Batman. If we take a snap shot of the past two years encompassing two off seasons we can get a pretty good picture of Mozeliak and how he is shaping the organization. I have narrowed the elements of my discussion to 8 specific moves or proven outcomes. Let’s look at his Batman side first.
Batman Example 1:
Player development has been the cornerstone of Mozeliak’s rise to power in the organization. I am not sure anyone can argue with how well he has succeeded in stocking the farm and using his knowledge from each of his previous positions within the organization to bolster the talent to set the organization up into the future. This demonstrates his ability to be a quality judge of talent and shrewd negotiator.
Batman Example 2:
When he orchestrated the deal to sign Lance Berkman last year I have readily admitted that I didn’t see the wisdom in that at the time. I honestly felt he was done and could no longer be a presence in the National League. What we now know is Berkman still had some gas left in the tank and was a vital part of the World Championship run last year. Mozeliak’s knowledge and understanding of player assessment was crucial to this decision. As the year wore on and Berkman was producing at a ridiculous level I began to see the true picture. Berkman was going to play first base if “that guy” who used to play there ended up leaving in the offseason. This move was calculated and resourceful even if it was a gamble that paid off.
Batman Example 3:
Getting rid of Colby Rasmus may have been unpopular in some circles it was a dramatic move that set the tone for the rest of Mozeliak’s tenure as the boss. Rasmus and TLR did not get along. For many reasons I understand. I did hate to see someone with that much talent throw it away due to immaturity (JD Drew anyone???). He no longer fit the mold of this team. I firmly believe this deal won us a World Championship. The pitching we received carried us through an offensive drought and Tony’s carousel of pitchers. I believe this is where John Mozeliak seized complete power by proving he knew what he was doing. As a fan I didn’t feel he had done enough at that point. I’m sure glad he proved me wrong.
Is he Batman? Is he Harvey Two Face? Tune in on Wednesday 1/4. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel!