Morris 'flattered' by interview for D-backs' GM opening

OAKLAND -- Longtime Reds first baseman Hal Morris, like most retired hitters, still feels most comfortable on the field, "around the batting cage." But he's transitioned into a front-office role, currently finishing his third season as the Angels' director of pro scouting and recently being a candidate to be the D-backs' new general manager.

"I was certainly flattered," said Morris, who didn't make it to the second round of interviews and will resume his role with the Angels next season.

Morris was in Japan, in part to scout soon-to-be-posted pitcher Kenta Maeda, when he got word that D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa wanted to interview him in the wake of dismissing Kevin Towers as his GM. La Russa and Morris sat down for lunch in Los Angeles last week.

"I got to pick his brain a little bit about his managerial career," Morris said. "It was a lot of fun, and it was an informative experience."

After his final season in 2000, Morris earned an MBA from Stanford University, worked in real estate private equity, spent three years as a scout -- two years scouting amateurs with the Pirates, one year scouting pros with the Red Sox -- then became one of Jerry Dipoto's first hires when he got the job as Angels GM in October 2011.

Morris remains open-minded about his future.

"I've never really thought about where my career was going to end up," Morris said. "I was just trying to embrace whatever I was doing and learn as much as I can and take it from there. I've had the good fortune of getting real educated on this side of the game."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.