"When I took the general managing thing, all of a sudden, here I am in the public eye. That's a whole different story. People say, 'Do you wish you had treated the media better?' I might've been treated better, but we might not have been able to do the things we did. If I had said something to somebody before the Pippen draft, it would've got out. We were able to do that, and nobody had a clue in the world that we were interested in Pippen. Not one person."
Krause admits that after a bout with pneumonia in spring training, his stamina isn't the same. Air conditioning in his hotel rooms and rain delays at the park make him cranky. So how much longer will he work?
When the Diamondbacks hired him, the news release said Krause possessed a "no job is too small" mentality. Krause likes this.
"Some guys might say, 'That's beneath you.' Screw that. Nothing's beneath you," he says. "You sign a contract, and that means you do whatever they ask you to do.
"I do love that special stuff, though. Go see so-and-so; we have to make a decision in the next four days. That's pressure, but I love it. It gets your blood going."
Trouble at home
Jerry Krause loves the lions that sit outside the Art Institute.
To him, they signify strength, toughness and honor, traits he associates with his hometown. He once elaborated on this in an essay for a class at Bradley, where he continued plans to become a newspaperman. Inspired by the writings of Mike Royko, Krause had been a copy boy at the Chicago Herald-American while a student at Taft High School.
Krause envisioned himself a sportswriter, covering the teams he followed in the city he adored, the Chicago where, through his immigrant parents, he saw hard work rewarded. But during one summer stint on the rewrite desk, Krause had a revelation.
"I knew I could only be fair," he says. "And I didn't want to be fair. I wanted to be great."
Krause had met Yankees scout Freddy Hasselman while learning baseball from Taft coach Jim Smilgoff, whom Krause worshipped. One summer while home from Bradley, where Krause had begun charting plays as basketball coach Chuck Orsborn's student assistant, Hasselman invited Krause to join him on trips to semipro and high school games throughout the small-town Midwest.
Krause had found his calling.
"I don't know how; I just had this recall, this ability to see things," Krause says. "You have a little success a few times, get it validated by those who know more than you, and it makes you think."
While working for the Cubs, Krause befriended Slick Leonard, a veteran on the NBA's Chicago Packers/Zephyrs. Leonard took over as coach when the franchise moved to Baltimore for the 1963-64 season, and he hired Krause as public relations director.
Krause didn't know the first thing about public relations. It didn't matter. He'd write some press releases and then go scout, which was Leonard's plan all along.
Krause had early success drafting Jerry Sloan and Earl Monroe for the Bullets, and his career gained traction. He ran a minor league baseball team in Portland, Ore., then returned to scout for the Bullets. He worked year-round, also scouting baseball for the Cleveland Indians.
To this day, he won't say if he prefers scouting baseball or basketball better. Scouting is scouting.
Williams hired Krause to scout for the Bulls in 1969. Krause hit on Clifford Ray in the third round in 1971 but missed on Jimmy Collins over Nate Archibald in 1970. He moved on to gigs with the Phoenix Suns and the A's.
"You couldn't do it now," Krause says of scouting two pro sports. "It was crazy then. I remember going from the baseball draft to the basketball draft a couple weeks later."