Hal Lanier wasn’t the only independent league manager to jump teams for 2010. Continue reading for more information on the current coaching carousel as of 11/28/09
Frontier League –
Normal CornBelters – Hal Lanier – Sussex Skyhawks (CanAm League 2008-2009). Lanier, 67, managed the Houston Astros from 1986-1988 following a 12-year Major League playing career. He more recently resurfaced in the Northern League first with Winnipeg, then Joliet. He moved on to manage Sussex in the CanAm League for a couple seasons, where he was named Manager of the Year in 2008. He is the first manager for the expansion Normal CornBelters.
Windy City Thunderbolts – Mike Kashirsky – Windy City Bench Coach (2009). Kashirsky returns to the manager position he first held in 2007 when manager Brian Nelson resigned his position midway through the season. Kashirksy turned around the ‘Bolts that year and led them to their second consecutive Frontier League Championship. In 2009, he took the job as Head Baseball Coach of Robert-Morris College and returned the Thunderbolts as their bench coach. Tommy Thompson, the Thunderbolts manager for the 2009 season, left the team at the end of last season to take a roving instructor job with the Chicago White Sox, leaving the position open for Kashirsky.
Washington Wild Things – Open – The Wild Things manager for the 2009 season, Mark Mason, recently left the team to take a job as a pitching coach in the Atlantic League. The Atlantic League is considered the highest level of independent baseball by most in the game, but I am still a little surprised by the move. No announcement has been made on a replacement to this point.
Kalamazoo Kings – Open – Manager Fran Riordan had been synonymous with Kings baseball for the last six years; however, Riordan’s success led to other teams calling for his services, namely the Lake County Fielders, an expansion franchise in the Northern League, where Riordan will manage in 2010. The are many rumors concerning the Kings managerial job for 2010, but nothing has been officially announced to date.
River City Rascals – Steve Brook – River City Bench Coach (2009). Brook has been involved with the River City team since 2004, when he made his professional debut as a pitcher. He pitched four seasons for the Rascals, compiling a 33-17 record in the process, before hanging up the cleats and becoming a member of the Rascals’ coaching staff for 2008 & 2009. This year he will be the team’s skipper following Chad Parker’s resignation, who left the team to take the job with the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League. Parker led the Rascals to the Frontier League Championship series in 2009, going up two games to none before losing in game five to the Lake Erie Crushers.
Northern League –
Lake County Fielders – Fran Riordan – Kalamazoo Kings (’04-’09). Riordan will be the first skipper of the expansion Lake County Fielders of the Northern League after spending the previous six seasons with the Kalamazoo Kings and all of his nine year managerial career in the Frontier League.
Joliet JackHammers – Chad Parker – River City Rascals (2009). As previous discussed, Parker joins the JackHammers after one terrific season managing in the Frontier League with the River City Rascals. Parker successfully built the ’09 Rascals from scratch and will have the same challenge next year in Joliet.
Kansas City T-Bones – Tim Doherty – Kansas City T-Bones (Hitting Coach – 2009). Doherty has been with the T-Bones since their inaugural 2003 season, starting out as bullpen coach before moving to bench coach and finally hitting coach. The 2010 season will be his managerial debut. Doherty follows Andy McCauley, who resigned after three seasons at the helm of the KC club.
CanAm League –
Sussex Skyhawks – Open – The Skyhawks job is left open with the departure of Hal Lanier, who will be the first manager in the history of the Normal CornBelters, an expansion team in the Frontier League. The Skyhawks had a 38-56 record in 2009 while defending the CanAm League Championship they won in 2008 with a regular season record of 52-42. Lanier was named the CanAm League Manager of the Year in 2008 following the championship season.
Coming Soon – Golden League, United League, Atlantic League…