The Mets AA skipper on keeping things real when they're wrong.
Wally Backman knows all about dealing with adversity, and as the first-year manager of the Double-A Binghamton Mets, part of his job is helping others do the same. The colorful, and sometimes controversial, former infielder talked about his role in keeping everything on an even keel prior to a recent game.
A Red Sox prospect stays connected with the world.
Like most players in the minor leagues, Red Sox outfield prospect Che-Hsuan Lin is plugged in. He isn’t a gadget geek -- at least not yet -- but the 22-year-old native of Taiwan certainly knows his way around cyberspace, especially when it comes to staying in touch with the other side of the world. Lin is beginning the 2011 season with the Double-A Portland [Maine] Sea Dogs, over 7,600 miles from home.
A filmmaker talks about his minor-league documentary.
“Time in the Minors,” a documentary film by Tony Okun, follows two players, one a highly-touted first-round draft pick and the other a minor-league journeyman, as they chase their dream of making it to the major leagues. Okun, a filmmaker currently living in Idaho, talked about his recently released documentary.
The Astros short-season skipper remembers being in his players' shoes.
Jim Pankovits enjoys working with young players, and one of the reasons why is that he remembers what it feels like to be in their shoes. Currently the manager of the Tri-City Valley Cats, Houston’s short-season affiliate, the 55-year-old Pankovits has coached and managed in the Astros system since 1995. He talked about his responsibilities as a short-season skipper earlier this season.
A Mud Hen hurler talks about his career and the media in the minors.
Six years into his professional career, Scot Drucker knows all about second chances and the fourth estate. A 28-year-old right-hander who spent the season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, Drucker sports a record of 40-22, 4.45 in 196 appearances since being drafted out of the University of Tennessee. He touched on his career, and the media, earlier this summer.
The Mets AA pitching coach discusses working with Latin-American players.
For Mark Brewer, it’s all about comunicación and comprensión. Currently the pitching coach for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, the 51-year-old Brewer previously served as the Mets Latin American pitching coordinator. The son of former big league reliever Jim Brewer, he has also worked for the Dodgers, Rangers, Royals and Pirates.
The Ernie Harwell of the Toledo Mud Hens talks about his long career.
The Toledo Mud Hens are a staple of the International League, and Jim Weber is a staple of the Toledo Mud Hens. Currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, the Mud Hens have been in the league since 1965. Weber has been the team’s play-by-play announcer for nearly that long.
A high school lefty is enticed by over-slot bonus money.
When the Yankees drafted Nik Turley in the 50th, and final, round of the 2008 draft, the 6’ 7” left-hander thought he would be spending the next three years at Brigham Young University. Six weeks later, the North Hollywood, California prep product was reporting to the Gulf Coast League after receiving a signing bonus more in line with that of a sixth-round pick. Turley, who celebrates his 21st birthday next week, has spent most of this season with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League.
Minor League Baseball's drug policy impacts the career of a top prospect.
Andrew Lambo is more than capable of hitting his way to Pittsburgh -- if he can avoid strike three. Acquired from the Dodgers as part of the Octavio Dotel deal at the end of July, Lambo has twice violated minor league baseball’s drug policy, in each case testing positive for “a drug of abuse.” A third positive test could result in an end to the young outfielder‘s career.
The assistant GM of the Tampa Yankees talks Florida State League.
The Florida State League is a challenging baseball environment, and Julie Kremer understands that as well as anyone. Kremer has spent the last seven years as the assistant general manager of the FSL’s Tampa Yankees, who play in a league known as much for steamy temperatures and small crowds as it is for competitive baseball. The wife of Yankees assistant director of amateur scouting John Kremer, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, with a minor in Business Administration, from the University of Evansville.
A Durham Bull discussed raising a family and trying to eat well in the minors.
In this, the 44th installment of Minor Issues, Justin Ruggiano returns to talk about the trials and tribulations of raising a family, and eating well, on a minor-league salary. A 28-year-old outfielder in the Tampa Bay organization, Ruggiano is currently with the Triple-A Durham Bulls.