Wind of change – Kuliszewski named GM

By
Updated: August 19, 2014

 

calzones

 

The change of general manager wasn’t surprising to the San Antonio Calzones of Laredo fans at all. After bad 2019 season and really poor start to 2020 everyone expected the owner Cledus Snow to find new guy for the job and to do it fast, maybe even before All-Stars. What may be surprising though is the actual choice of who will replace Adam Dee, previous GM.

It’s Simon Kuliszewski, age 29, in baseball pryoda2actically unknown Polish manager, whose biggest achievement so far was to win Poznan Regional League Championship back in the 2010 at the age of 19. “I like to look back on that success. It was really nice accomplishment. We called ourselves Giants like we truly were. I had this starter in my team, really great talent, Tim Lincecum was his name, weird for a polish kid, but who am I to judge. In my opinion he was good enough to play in PEBA” said Kuliszewski with nostalgia.

So how did this happen, how did he end up being hired as general manager of nowakone of the most respectable teams in the League? “It’s quite a story, really” smiles Kuli. “After 2010 success I was recognized in Poland as good team leader and organizer despite my young age. I met Peter Nowak, manager of Chicago Fire, a soccer team in the MLS. He asked me if I wanted to take the job of a coach in the youth Academy. I said yes.” As you probably noticed, Chicago Fire is not exactly baseball team. To get coach job there without any experience at all? “Everyone in Poland is soccer specialists and I’m no different” replies Simon with a little smile.

He took the job in 2011. In 2013 he was already Head Coach in the Academy, in 2015 Player Development Manager and in 2017 Director of Player Development and Assistant Coach to Peter Nowak. Nice career isn’t it? “Yeah, I moved up fast. It was just 6 years since I arrived in Chicago and I already was the most important person in the club after Peter. It was crazy”.

But it wasn’t enough for always ambitious manager. He never forgot about his roots. ”After I took job in Chicago, my love for baseball didn’t suddenly vanish. Actually living in The States I had better access to the game than ever before“ explains Kuli. “Back in spring 2017 our team was playing at San Antonio Scorpions. I took this chance to meet Matt Higgins. He was (and still is) one of the most established managers in baseball, it was really exciting to talk to him”.

Randy Smith

What happened on that meeting, that (now we know that) convinced Matt to recommend Simon Kuliszewski for the job, when Calzones were looking for new GM? “Nothing special” Kuli continues. “Among other things I told Matt he should check on a pitcher Randy Smith. I think it was a shame he was wasting time in Yuma’s triple A”. Few months later San Antonio traded reliever Larry Taylor for a young starter. “I didn’t like losing Larry, but I definitely liked getting Randy” reveals Simon.

Ok, so we know about the past, but it’s the future that matters.  What are the plans of the new San Antonio general manager? “First of all I need to talk to my scouts, also minor league managers and coaches. We lack on young talent and I am planning to change that. No more trading draft picks nor signing expensive free agents. As much as we all want to win Planetary Extreme Championship, I was hired here for a long term plan. We want to become strong force in Dixie Division for more than one season and key to that is good farming system. No more 30 years old veterans in Short A team either, it’s just ridiculous.”

But that’s not all. “25-man roster needs some changes as well. While batting lineup looks solid, with youngsters like right fielder Charlie Tucker and first baseman Rubén Memde and solid veterans like Octávio Pexego providing needed experience, pitching staff doesn’t look that great. Don’t get me wrong, Glenn Dixon, Randy Smith and Clarence Flores all provided some nice pitching throughout the season, but we need more backup from #4 and #5 starters. Also bullpen could use few additional arms. I heard they were misplayed by previous manager, we’ll look into it. I want to talk to our closer Roberto Rosado as well, he was good for us in the past and we need him to be in the future.” explains Kuli.

Are we expecting a lot of trades then, especially new pitchers coming in? ”Not in the first few weeks, that’s for sure. I have to evaluate my players and see what I’ve got exactly”.

Finally we asked Simon about his thoughts about the recent news about PEBA merging with LRS league. “There’s been some controversies about it, but I think it’s good for the league and good for the baseball overall.” answers Kuliszewski. What about Matt Higgins coming back to Dixie Division with his new team Kawaguchi Transmitters? “I will be the first one to greet him. He’s been a great manager and we all should benefit from his comeback”.