Fred Malek (www.fredmalekblog.com) is well known to long-time supporters of DC baseball, having led a team of local investors in a bid for ownership of the Washington Nationals. Now, in addition to his many other day-to-day responsibilities, Fred Malek is once again in the news as national finance committee co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Still a steadfast Washington Nationals fan, Fred Malek revealed before the season that he is a fan of Teddy Roosevelt and the Nationals’ presidents race. Malek recently agreed to share his thoughts about the Washington Nationals — and about Teddy Roosevelt’s prospects for entering the real president’s race.
Q: Have you been to Nationals Park and what do you think of it?
Fred Malek: It’s a jewel of a stadium. As a baseball fan and as a long-time Washingtonian, I feel in my heart that this stadium is one of the proudest accomplishments of our community. It’s a wonderful place to watch baseball. I will predict that one day soon the Washington Nationals will host the All-Star Game. Hopefully, also the World Series. Of course, the next step for the stadium will be giving it a permanent name. I doubt I’ll realize my lifelong dream of having a stadium called Fred Malek Field.
Q: How do you get to Nationals Park? Metro, Nats Express, or Valet parking?
Fred Malek: I drive and find what I can.
Q: What grade would you give the Lerner family as the new owners of the Washington Nationals?
Fred Malek: I’d give them an “A.” Of course, I wish I was on the winning team for the competition to own the Nationals. It was a pleasure to work with a visionary leader like Mayor Tony Williams and all the members of my Washington-based ball group team. That said, I am pleased that the team is in the hands of strong local owners like the Lerner family, with a solid team president like Stan Kasten. I’m also satisfied with the way the management team has kept salaries under control. Runaway salaries are a big issue in baseball today. The Washington Nationals are proof that you can have a team with a lot of heart and will to win, but with respectable salary levels. Not many teams can boast that. As far as individual players go, I think Ryan Zimmerman is someone they need to hold on to forever. They can build a future around that kid.
Q: What would you do differently if you ran the team?
Fred Malek: That’s easy: I’d mandate that Teddy win. If he doesn’t, I’d probably fire Abe, George, and Tom, and have Teddy just compete against the Geico Gekko.
Q: The Washington Post called you “one of Washington’s ultimate insiders.” If that’s the case, can’t you arrange for Teddy to win?
Fred Malek: I can do lots of things in politics, business, and philanthropy. But inspiring Teddy to greatness? That’s something even I can’t do.
Q: Do you think big-headed Teddy could have a chance as a write-in candidate in the 2008 general election?
Fred Malek: My guy is John McCain. And his guy is Teddy Roosevelt. So how about just putting big-headed Teddy on the ticket? I’d be for that, but first he has to show at least one victory. In politics and business alike, we don’t reward failure.
Photo of Fred Malek from fredmalekblog.com.