I’ve been covering professional baseball in some way, shape, or form for nearly 25 years and there is no manager I’ve enjoyed working with more than PawSox skipper Ron Johnson.
But Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley isn’t far behind.
I got to know “Miles” when I was hosting the Cincinnati Reds TV pre-game show and he was the Reds manager from 2003 to 2005.
Miley was named the Reds interim manager on July 28, 2003 when Cincinnati cleaned house by firing General Manager Jim Bowden and Manager Bob Boone. It was an extremely popular move within the organization because Miley had spent the previous 23 years in Cincinnati’s system as a player, coach, and minor league manager.
But before the 2004 season, the Reds hired a new GM in Dan O’Brien, and he and Miley didn’t seem to mesh. Miley was fired in June of 2005 after compiling a 125-164 record with Cincinnati.
Before Friday’s game at McCoy Stadium, I asked the 47-year-old manager if he would have done anything differently.
“This is probably the first time I will answer that,” Miley told me. “I’ve been asked that question by John Fay (Cincinnati Enquirer) and Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) over the years. I think I would have done it more my way. It was a situation where I was a first and second-year manager with a new G.M. and different things. There’s no finger pointing or anything like that. I just think that if I had done it my way, things may have been different – maybe not, who knows – but I think if that opportunity ever comes again that’s what I will try to do.”
I hope he gets the opportunity. Miley led Scranton/WB to the Governor’s Cup title last year and has an all-time minor league managerial record of 1383-1043 (.570).
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It looks like Charlie Zink has returned to 2008 form when he was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Year. On Friday night, Zink took a shutout into the 9th inning against the league’s highest scoring team, and eventually gave up one run in a 2-1 win over Scranton/WB.
That’s Charlie’s 2nd win in a row after a rocky month of April and it’s no mystery why he’s pitching better – he’s throwing his knuckleball for strikes. Zink only walked 2 batters in Friday’s game – he entered it averaging 7.4 walks per 9 innings this season.
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This is strictly speculation on my part, but it looks like there’s a chance that John Smoltz could be pitching for Pawtucket as soon as Sunday, May 31st.
Smoltz threw 3 scoreless innings on Thursday for Class-A Greenville and is scheduled to make his next appearance on Tuesday for Double-A Portland. If that goes well and he continues to climb the minor league ladder, that would put Smoltz with Pawtucket 5 days later in Indianapolis.
Even if he is not with the PawSox that quickly, it appears highly likely that Smoltz will make an appearance at McCoy Stadium during the next homestand (June 2 to June 9).
Smoltz told reporters after his successful outing with Greenville that he hopes to join the Red Sox in mid-June. It just so happens that Boston hosts the Atlanta Braves from June 19-21 before going to Atlanta the following weekend.
Think Smoltz wouldn’t like showing his former employer that there are still a few bullets left in his right arm?
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Did you happen to read that Notre Dame is considering playing a football game at the new Yankee Stadium?
Judging by the way baseballs are flying out of the place (75 HR in the first 20 games), if they put the goal post in front of the right field wall it could result in the first 80-yard field goal in football history.
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The PawSox got to miss scheduled starter Chien-Ming Wang on Friday night. He was driving from New York to Rhode Island on Thursday when Joba Chamberlain was injured during the first inning of the Yankees game against Baltimore. Yanks officials called Wang on his cell phone and told him to turn around and drive back to New York. Instead of making a rehab start against the PawSox, he was in the Yankees bullpen as they opened a series against the Phillies.
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Saturday should be a great day at McCoy Stadium. There’s a free youth clinic from 2:00 to 3:15 featuring manager Ron Johnson and several Pawtucket players, followed by Game 3 of the PawSox/Yankees series at 6:05.
The pitching matchup features 31-year-old veteran Casey Fossum vs. the Red Sox top-rated minor league pitching prospect, 22-year-old Michael Bowden. Bowden leads the I.L. with a 0.86 ERA and the league is hitting a miniscule .136 against him.
I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 5:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
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