Very soon we will have some news.
Not yet. But soon.
Expect the Biscuits to announce their promo calendar in the next couple weeks as well as the field staff announcement by the Rays. Which begs the question.....
WHO WILL MANAGE THE BISCUITS?
If you said anything but Craig Albernaz, most fans probably don't want to hear it. Naz was a popular backup catcher during his days in Montgomery as a player and how has moved into coaching for Tampa. He would be the first Biscuit to return as a full time manager and should be an obvious choice. In 2018 Albernaz was manager at Bowling Green and could be on his way to Montgomery.
Of course, the first former Biscuit player to manage a game for Montgomery would be Dan Dement, who had several nights at the helm after Brady Williams was tossed, albeit not a permanent position.
Dan hails from Birmingham, so he would be a fair choice to head the Biscuits due to his many connections with the area and familiarity with both the Rays and the Southern League.
Gary Redus is pretty new to coaching, as coaches go, but has a pedigree that outstrips that of most double-A skippers. Redus, like Dement, is an Alabama guy and would bring similar benefits to having already been experienced with the city and the league.
Maybe a one year managerial tryout for Redus would put him on the fast track in his coaching career and let the Rays reassign other coaches who have put in time and deserve promotions.
Like Jamie Nelson, who is usually a roving instructor for the Rays but spent this past year as the Biscuits bench coach. Nelson has been with Tampa for some time and could easily spend a summer filling out the lineup cards for Montgomery if asked to, more than capable to the task but perhaps more valuable elsewhere.
It was speculated by some that Nelson was with Montgomery last year as an instructor to new coach Gary Redus, but perhaps it was to get Nelson ready to run the Biscuits as manager.
Probably Oz is not giving up his MLB gig as a first base coach with Tampa but if they decide to really shake things up Timmons might be an option for the Biscuits manager spot due to his familiarity with the Southern League.
Lots of candidates are available and would be good for promotion to Montgomery. Jim Morrison took a year off for medical reasons, if he returns he might be the easiest fit, leaving the lower coaches basically the same as last year. High-A Port Charlotte skipper Reinaldo Ruiz could move up after his first season in the FSL. Stone Crabs coach Steve Szekely is another possibility.
|Destino by Salvador Dali|
HOLDING OUT ON YOU
Usually we begin the year with predictions of the roster, I will save that for next time and instead offer up a few historical gems that have turned up this offseason that I am really excited about.
HOT HISTORY FINDS!!!!The Dept of Archives as digitized a slew of reconstruction-era newspapers from our area. These include a mix of southern and northern propaganda with a smattering of local news thrown into one column with the legal notices. The baseball clubs announce their meetings in the newspaper and offer some new names associated with these early teams.
And of course, advertisements of the era.
One story that caught my eye was the formation of a womens team in Pensacola, in June of 1867. Way earlier than one might have expected, and immediately subject to ridicule.
One of the gems is a box score of the first game between two local teams, The Pelham Club and the Montgomery Base Ball Club faced off, with the MBBC winning 52-30 in six innings.
The Merry Nine and the Montgomery Athletic Club also put together teams and face the Pelhams and MBBC in several matches around Montgomery in 1867.
There was one name I did notice associated with Dr. Pearsall. My original interest in the subject of Montgomery's first baseball team was generated by a post from John Thorn which includes a letter written by someone who named the New York Excelsior players pictured in an early image of the pioneering ball team thanks to a former player living in the south. The letter is referring to A.T. Pearsall as the player in Montgomery, and was written by Dr. Jacobi.
We see Jacobi listed as umpire in the first summer of organized baseball in Montgomery, adding that he is attached to the Manhattan Baseball Club. More research needed, but this is a hot bit of box score history.
We also find the first organizational meeting of the first Montgomery team chronicled in the local papers:
That was in the paper on May 3rd, 1867 wishing Montgomery "Base Ball" all success. There we are, the first organized team in Montgomery, just like that.
This actually really surprised me, as historians have errantly labeled Pelham the first Montgomery club, the boxscore article above clearly notes the MBBC as being "the older" of the two teams and repeats that statement throughout its coverage of baseball that summer.
Later that month, the MBBC find an opponent in the upstart Pelham Club. (to be noted, this is not Pelham the city, the name Pelham was a popular post-war name due to its anti-federal connotations. This Pelham club is a Montgomery team)
Before even the first game is played, the first injury....
The first game was on June 1st, its box score is the one above. It was a pleasure to find, though tough to read through all those old-timey newspapers!