Carter Hawkins, Jed Hoyer enjoy a memorable road trip from Arizona to GM Meetings
CARLSBAD, Calif. — New Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins had a moment of worry.
He, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer, new assistant general manager Ehsan Bokhari and vice president of special projects Jared Banner were getting into the car, and he had drawn the passenger seat of their dark grey SUV. On a road trip, that meant he was the de-facto DJ.
“It was a little nerve wracking because I was in the front seat, and I knew that I was gonna get judged on that,” Hawkins said with a slight chuckle.
The group of four from the Cubs front office decided to stay an extra day in the Phoenix area on Sunday to watch prospects Caleb Killian and Ryan Jensen play. When they struggled to get a flight out of Phoenix into San Diego on Monday for the annual General Managers meetings that started that night, Hoyer decided to jump into a car and make the five-and-a-half-hour drive.
“We made it fun,” Hoyer said with a smile.
For someone only a few weeks into his new job, there’s still plenty of icebreaking to be done for Hawkins. That extends to Bokhari, too, who joined the team from the Astros last month. That’s why Hawkins had some trepidation about being in control of the music and directions.
“I just let the radio, ride,” Hawkins said. “There was more talking than listening to music so I got away with it.”
That’s because Banner was ripping away on team-building questions to the other three that allowed everyone the opportunity to better know each other.
What were some of those?
“Nothing that I could share publicly,” Hawkins said with a hearty laugh. “But yeah, we got to know each other pretty well.”
The group made the most out of what could have been an unfavorable situation.
“Anytime you get to spend an excess amount of time with people that you care about, and you want to learn more about it’s pretty fun,” Hawkins said. “So yeah, I think all in all, it was a good thing.”
Just, don’t bring up Hawkins’ co-piloting skills. He relied on the travel app Waze and at one point had Hoyer wondering why they were turning so much on what should have been a fairly straight shot across the interstate.
“My navigation skills were to be desired,” Hawkins said with a smile. “But we got here, we’re alive and, yeah, live to tell the tale.”